Xiaomi Mi 12S Ultra: All we know about the new one-inch camera sensor

For some context, the one-inch sensor is quite large for a smartphone, to be precise, 1.7 times larger than the camera sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The 12S Ultra will be the first phone to implement and use such a sensor in most markets like India.  While popular phones such as the Sony Xperia Pro-1 and Aquos R7 had a similarly sized sensor, these were not available in many markets and, in Sony's case, only partially used the larger sensor.

A new image shared on Weibo shows how big the sensor is compared to some other popular sensors right now, including the iPhone 13 Pro Max.  Check it out below.

The new sensor, called the Sony IMX989, is theoretically capable of better smartphone photography, perhaps on a par with the league of cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot series.

A larger sensor, with larger pixels, can mean more light in photos, more well-lit night-time shots.

The IMX989 will allow larger optics to be connected to the camera setup, opening up new possibilities.  However, Xiaomi hasn't yet revealed much details about what the new camera can do.

Xiaomi is partnering with German camera-maker Leica for new cameras in the 12S series, including the IMX989-powered 12S Ultra.  However, we still don't know if the partnership will simply be a marketing gimmick as many brands have done before, or if it will actually contribute to new hardware on the phone.

We should find out more about this and the capabilities of the new Sony IMX 989 during the launch of the Xiaomi 12S series, which is set to debut in China on July 4.

The international availability of the series is still a mystery, but the 12S series is likely to arrive in India months later, perhaps with a new name.