Xiaomi wants to put a big smile on the faces of shutterbugs with a new monstrous smartphone camera. On Wednesday, the Chinese company announced the Xiaomi 12 Pro, the first product to use Sony’s massive 1/1.28-inch IMX707 sensor.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 1/1.33-inch type sensor for its wide rear camera and a 1/2.55-inch sensor for its ultra-wide rear camera.
The 12 Pro’s IMX707 sensor is an update of Sony’s IMX700, according to Gizmochina, and uses 1.22 µm 4-in-1 pixels. A larger camera sensor combined with the aperture can bring in more light, resulting in less blur and artifacts. Overall, the 12 Pro’s large camera “improves light-capturing capacity by 49 percent compared to the previous generation,” Xiaomi’s announcement claimed. According to The Verge, the phone’s main camera lens has an aperture of f/1.9.
Xiaomi has used larger camera sensors before – the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra announced earlier this year has a 1/1.2-inch sensor with an af/1.95 lens. But coupled with its wider aperture, there’s no denying the 12 Pro’s primary shooter presence.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a total of three 50MP cameras on the back. In addition to the primary camera, the other two rear cameras each use a JN1 sensor. The ultrawide camera has a field of view of 115 degrees and the other is a telephoto camera for portraits.
Xiaomi also announced the standard 12 version this week. It also has a sizeable sensor with the main camera on the back using the 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766. The phone also has a 13MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP telephoto macro.
Both the Xiaomi 12 Pro and the standard version use Xiaomi’s Night Mode algorithm for low-light situations. In addition, they use machine learning for “smart visual tracking”, where the phone focuses on human eyes and shapes and pets. According to Xiaomi, the algorithm lets the smartphone “quickly analyze features of the focused subject, even if the shape, angle or color changes”, so that you can capture stable images of moving objects.
Besides the cameras, the phones aim to take on rival flagships. They each use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that claims 30 percent more power and 25 percent more power efficiency, along with an AI engine with five times the performance.
The larger phone seems to stay cool with a 2900mm square VC week plate and three “big” graphite plates to dissipate heat. The smaller phone uses a smaller, 2600mm square VC weekly plate, a 1000mm square area of graphite and white graphene around the antenna.
Both phones also use OLED panels. The Pro version has a 6.73-inch display with a resolution of 3200×1440 and a brightness of up to 1,500 nits with HDR content. The smaller SKU has a 6.28-inch display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080, up to 1100 nits and a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
You’ll have to travel a long way to check out the large cameras on the 12 Pro and 12, as they’re only available in China. Prices range from 4,699-5,399 (about $737-847) for the 12 Pro and ¥3,699-4,399 (about $580-690) for the 12.