Previously Nokia had the edge in the mega-pixels game with Carl Zeiss optics and a 41-megapixel camera onboard the Lumia 1020. After both Sony and Samsung revealed their own 48-megapixel sensors for smartphones it was only a matter of time before someone used it on their phone.
Earlier today Xiaomi’s President Lin Bin teased the users of what might be in store for them and posted a close-up shot of what seems like a phone with a 48-megapixel camera and a dual LED flash on his Weibo account.
Unfortunately, at this point, it cannot be ascertained how many lenses the phone might have but it can be safely assumed, based on the volume control’s position, that the camera is placed on the top left corner of the phone at its back.
Lin said in the post “used it for a few weeks, not bad!” and hinted at launching it in January. If things go as planned we might see Xiaomi unveiling a smartphone in the near future packed with the world’s most powerful 48-megapixel camera which can be either Samsung’s ISOCELL Bright GM1 or Sony’s IMX586 (or maybe both).
Both sensors have the same 0.8µm pixel size but they can use pixel binning algorithms, merging 4 adjacent pixels into 1 pixel, improving the lighting and quality of the image.
When the light is adequate the powerful 48-megapixel resolutions offers digital zoom that is not only smooth but also with minimal loss in detail i.e. with a 4x zoom you are still able to get a 12-megapixel crop, which is big enough to be used normally.
Even though cameras are not Xiaomi’s strong point, this might just change the odds in their favor. It comes down to how Xiaomi will brand their newly acquired superiority in cameras, we have our fingers crossed in anticipation of a pleasant surprise coming our way in January.