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Xiaomi 12S Ultra teardown reveals a potential camera gambit

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra sports the biggest camera sensor ever seen on a contemporary smartphone. (Source: Xiaomi)
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra sports the biggest camera sensor ever seen on a contemporary smartphone. (Source: Xiaomi)
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is already regarded as one of the best camera smartphones in the world, thanks to its class-leading 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor and Leica's imaging. The flagship phone may be set to get improved camera performance as well, in light of new information.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra debuted at the start of the month and has received plaudits for its stellar camera performance, thanks to its massive 1-inch 50 MP Sony IMX989 sensor and Leica's imaging contribution. It appears, however, that the Xiaomi 12S Ultra's cameras aren't even at full potential.

A teardown of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra has now revealed the presence of Xiaomi's in-house Surge C2 imaging chip. For some reason, though, the Surge C2 chip looks to be non-functional right now. According to leaker Ice Universe, Xiaomi is currently working on final debugging for the chip and will activate it on Xiaomi 12S Ultra units in a future OTA. 

Over the past few years, custom imaging chips have become increasingly popular. OPPO, for example, debuted its in-house MariSilicon imaging NPU with the OPPO Find X5 series earlier in the year. While Qualcomm's Spectra ISP and Triple 18-bit ISPs on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 already deliver excellent performance, OEMs seem to be leaning towards custom silicon. 

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra's cameras compete with rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and Google Pixel 6 Pro. While most comparisons see the Xiaomi flagship perform just a bit worse than the competition, on average, Xiaomi 12S Ultra owners will be hoping that the activation of the C2 imaging chip gives their phones the edge needed.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 07 > Xiaomi 12S Ultra teardown reveals a potential camera gambit
Ricci Rox, 2022-07-31 (Update: 2022-07-31)