Skip to main content

Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept fixes the cameraphone's biggest problem

As impressive as smartphone cameras are these days, even the best camera phones face a couple of major limitations. One is the selection of lenses, since there’s a limit to how many different ones you can reasonably equip a phone with, and the other is the quality of those lenses, which is limited based on their necessarily small size. But Xiaomi has just shown off a phone that solves both of those problems.

The company took to Weibo – a Chinese social network – to reveal a modified version of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra (which already includes a one-inch sensor) that you can mount a Leica M-series lens to. The post included a video that’s been uploaded to YouTube by XDA Developers, so you can watch it below.

One inch is impressively large for a smartphone camera sensor, but as is true of any smartphone that touts photography as a key selling point, the bottleneck then becomes the smartphone-sized lenses used. While the standard Xiaomi 12S Ultra's 50MP Sony IMX989 is styled like any other smartphone camera, this newly-unveiled Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept doesn’t have a lens over the sensor at all – or at least not until you attach one.

In order to keep the sensor as clean as possible when a lens isn't attached, the company has opted for a sapphire crystal cover, that should repel scratches well; dust between the lens elements and the sensor seems like it would still be a persistent challenge, however.

Since you can attach and swap Leica M-series lenses, you’re not limited to just the one lens there, so you can take advantage of that powerful one-inch sensor across a variety of lenses (assuming you invest in a variety).

And these Leica lenses are designed for proper mirrorless and rangefinder cameras, so they’re much bigger and more capable than the lenses you’d typically find on a smartphone. If one was permanently attached to this Xiaomi phone, it would be impractical, but you can simply remove it when not in use, to keep the phone's conventional form factor intact.

For now, this is just a concept phone, so there’s no guarantee it will ever go on sale, but it’s not impossible to imagine that we’ll one day see this or something similar sold.


Analysis: a niche but exciting idea

A phone like this Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept is never likely to be mainstream, since it will only appeal to people who already have or want a proper camera, and aren’t satisfied with quality or look of conventional smartphone photos, but for those few, it could be a revelation.

There’s a saying that the best camera is the one you have with you, and since we all carry our phones around with us everywhere, that makes them the best – or at least the most useful – even if they're not the highest quality.

Carrying around a DSLR or mirrorless system is, for most of us, something we’d only do when we actively plan to be taking photos while out, and even then, it’s an extra thing to carry, which can be an annoyance.

So, Xiaomi's 12S Ultra concept could offer the quality of a proper camera without the need to carry a separate snapper. You will, of course, still need to bring at least one lens out with you, but there’s less weight and size there than in a whole dedicated camera system.

Plus, there are a wide variety of Leica M-series lenses out there, so there are already loads of compatible options, and for people who already own some, this Xiaomi concept could be even more tempting. So there’s no doubt this would be one of the best camera phones and best Xiaomi phones around, if it ever did launch.



Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Uber Eats exits seven markets, transfers one as part of competitive retooling

Uber Eats is pulling out of a clutch of markets — shuttering its on-demand food offering in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Ukraine. It’s also transferring its Uber Eats business operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Careem, its wholly owned ride-hailing subsidiary that’s mostly focused on the Middle East. “Consumers and restaurants using the Uber Eats app in the UAE will be transitioned to the Careem platform in the coming weeks, after which the Uber Eats app will no longer be available,” it writes in a regulatory filing detailing the operational shifts. “These decisions were made as part of the Company’s ongoing strategy to be in first or second position in all Eats markets by leaning into investment in some countries while exiting others,” the filing adds. An Uber spokesman said the changes are not related to the coronavirus pandemic but rather related to an ongoing “strategy of record” for the company to hold a first or s

Keep your Oculus Quest controllers going strong with these batteries

The Touch Controllers for the Oculus Quest 2 ship with one disposable AA battery each, but once those run out of juice, you should invest in the best Oculus Quest 2 replacement batteries to fill in for them. While the Touch Controllers last much longer than the headset's limited battery, it's still wise to invest in some rechargeable batteries or a stack of disposable batteries to stop your VR sessions from getting disrupted. Here are the batteries and chargers we recommend for your Oculus Touch controllers. Best rechargable batteries + charger Panasonic K-KJ55MCA4BA 3 Hour Quick Charger with 4 AA eneloop Rechargeable Batteries Staff Pick These rechargeable batteries store up to 2,000 mAh of power and can be recharged up to 2,100 times. They can be charged completely from dead or partially charged without damaging the energy storage memory. We recommend buying them with the quick charger accessory, which will get your AAs recharged in no time, but you can also purchas

These Android games support Bluetooth controllers and they're better for it

Gaming is simply better with a controller in your hands. Gaming on Android typically requires you to settle for using touchscreen controls. However, some gracious game developers take the time and effort to add support for Bluetooth gamepads— and we love them for it. Since so few games provide this feature, we've taken the time to test and compiled our list of the best games that let you play with the best Bluetooth controller in your hands. We'd also recommend getting a Style Ring or PopSocket which can help prop your phone up at a good angle for gaming. You might recognize some of these games from the best Android games roundup and for good reason. But you're here for the best games with controller support, after all, so here I present to you the best you can find on the Play Store. The games Call of Duty Mobile GRID Autosport Tesla vs Lovecraft Evoland 2 Horizon Chase World Tour Riptide GP: Renegade Modern Combat 5: Blackout GTA: San Andreas Oceanhor

What ancient advice can teach us about AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant have become indispensable to millions of users. Tesla Autopilot has the potential to change driving forever. And IBM Watson took a new job providing big data solutions to corporations after its first job was in jeopardy. Those are just the most prominent examples. Helpful applications of AI are being deployed in a broad spectrum of industries, but AI also has the potential to be misused. About the author  Jason Egnal is Chief Marketing Officer at Zenfolio . His background spans a variety of industries, including SaaS, AI, Fintech and Consumer Electronics.  Zenfolio, the website builder and photo sharing site , recently introduced technology that applies AI to assist photographers in selecting the best photos from the thousands of shots typically taken during a photo session. The advanced image recognition technology is tremendously powerful and can make photographers more efficient than they ever d