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Largest-ever Sony smartphone camera sensor just leaked

Rumors suggest this could be the sensor attached to the Xiaomi 12 Ultra.
By
March 25, 2022
Xiaomi 12 series camera module left profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The Sony Exmor IMX800 just leaked.
  • The smartphone camera sensor could be a 50MP 1/1.1-inch unit, the largest ever from the brand.
  • Rumors suggest it could land with the Xiaomi 12 Ultra.

When it comes to smartphone cameras, it’s not just the number of lenses that you need to worry about. The sensor(s) underneath those lenses are also very important and, in general, bigger is better.

That’s why Sony’s new rumored sensor is quite notable (via GSM Arena). The Sony Exmor IMX800, as it’s expected to be called, could be a 50MP sensor sized at 1/1.1 inches. Assuming nothing similar comes out before it, it would be the largest from Sony and the largest smartphone sensor on the market for now. It would just outsize the Samsung GN2, which is also a 50MP sensor but is ever-so-slightly smaller at 1/1.12 inches.

See also: The best cameras for every type of user

Rumors heavily suggest this new Sony sensor could debut in the Xiaomi 12 Ultra. That’s unsurprising considering the Samsung GN2 graces the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra from last year.

Judging from its size, the Sony Exmor IMX800 would likely be one of the best smartphone sensors available today. Because it’s so big, it would be able to draw in more light than other, smaller sensors. That should create clearer photos as well as better results when shooting in low-light situations.

Sony Exmore IMX800: Size isn’t everything

Although sensor size is an integral aspect of smartphone camera quality, it’s not everything. The lens quality, lens type (ultrawide, telephoto, etc.), and software optimizations all have an influence here. So just because this huge sensor will likely appear in the Xiaomi 12 Ultra doesn’t necessarily mean that camera would be the best on the market.

Case in point, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra received decent reviews from us here at Android Authority, but there were still better cameras in 2021.

Time will tell if this rumor pans out. Needless to say, we are excited to put this through our testing processes if and when it lands!