Say cheese for the Xiaomi 12 Pro smartphone’s monstrous camera

Xiaomi 12 Pro zoomed in on camera array

Xiaomi’s looking to put a big smile on shutterbugs’ faces 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.

For 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 ultrawide rear camera.

The 12 Pro’s IMX707 sensor is a refresh of Sony’s IMX700, according to Gizmochina, and uses 1.22 μm 4-in-1 pixels. A bigger camera sensor combined with the lens aperture can bring in more light, allowing for less blur and artifacts. Overall, the 12 Pro’s large camera “improves light capturing capabilities by 49 percent compared to the previous generation,” Xiaomi’s announcement claimed. According to The Verge, the phone’s main camera lens has an f/1.9 aperture.

Xiaomi has used larger camera sensors before—he Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra announced earlier this year has a 1/1.2-inch sensor with a f/1.95 lens. But combined with its wider aperture, there’s no denying the presence of the 12 Pro’s primary shooter.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has three rear 50MP cameras in total. In addition to the primary camera, the other two rear cameras each use a JN1 sensor. The ultrawide camera has a 115-degree field of view, and the other is a telephoto camera for portraits.

Xiaomi also announced the standard 12 version this week. It too carries a substantially sized sensor, with the main rear camera using the 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766. The phone also has a 13MP ultrawide camera and 5MP telemacro one.

Xiaomi 12 Pro (left) and Xiaomi 12 (right).
Enlarge / Xiaomi 12 Pro (left) and Xiaomi 12 (right).

Both the Xiaomi 12 Pro and standard version use Xiaomi’s Night Mode algorithm for low-light situations. Additionally, they leverage 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 shape, angle, or color change,” allowing you to capture stable images of moving objects.

Both phones come in green faux leather or black, blue, or purple glass.
Enlarge / Both phones come in green faux leather or black, blue, or purple glass.

Beyond the cameras, the phones are specced to take on rival flagships. They each use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that claims 30 percent more power and 25 percent more energy efficiency, along with an AI engine with five times the performance.

The larger phone looks to stay cool with a 2,900 mm-squared VC soaking plate and three “large” graphite sheets to dissipate heat. The smaller phone uses a smaller, 2600 mm-squared VC soaking plate, a 1,000 mm-squared area of graphite, and white graphene around the antenna.

A look inside.

Both phones also use OLED panels. The Pro version has a 6.73-inch display with 3200 × 1440 resolution and up to 1,500 nits brightness with HDR content. The lesser SKU has a 6.28-inch screen with 2400 x 1080 resolution, up 1,100 nits, and a 120 Hz refresh rate.

Both phones have HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support for HDR.
Enlarge / Both phones have HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support for HDR.

You’ll have to make a big journey to check out the big cameras on the 12 Pro and 12, as they’ll only be 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.