Xiaomi 12S Ultra: Sony IMX989 1-inch sensor apparently isn't exclusive to Xiaomi's new flagship phone
Earlier this week, Xiaomi launched its most ambitious flagship phone yet, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The 12S Ultra looks to be wholly focused on camera performance, in no small part due to its massive 1-inch main camera. It appears, however, that the Xiaomi 12S Ultra's vaunted camera isn't exclusive to it.
Apparently, the 1-inch IMX989 didn't make its first appearance on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and actually debuted on the Sharp Aquos R7 instead. The Aquos R7 launched in May with a 47 MP camera that now seems to be the IMX989. This is confirmed by an image shared on Twitter by a Japanese user—the Aquos R7 is exclusive to Sharp's home market of Japan—showing the phone's camera hardware.
It's a tad interesting that the Aquos R7 implements the IMX989 as a 47 MP sensor. The image shows the output resolution as 11.8 MP presumably after 4-in-1 binning, which would place its full resolution at 47.2 MP. In comparison, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is widely reported as delivering a 50.3 MP resolution. Likely, Sharp just crops slightly into the sensor on the Aquos R7.
Xiaomi claims the "Sony IMX989 is co-developed by Xiaomi and Sony, and Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the first imagine flagship equipped with mass-produced Sony IMX989". Or something to that effect when translating from Chinese. Anyhow, if the shared images are anything to go by, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra doesn't have the honor of being the first smartphone with that CMOS sensor. Indubitably, it isn't the first with a 1-inch sensor either, as both the Aquos R6 and Sony Xperia Pro-I both debuted with 1-inch sensors last year. That said, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra already looks to be the best camera phone of the lot.