Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Engadget

Xiaomi is looking to break some records in 2019 with the release of a smartphone with a 48-megapixel sensor, according to images posted by Xiaomi co-founder and president, Lin Bin.

Taking to Chinese social network Weibo to post a close-up snap of the device, Bin declined to release many details about it, only venturing to say that the device will release in January. However, it’s clear the point of the snap was to highlight the extremely high megapixel count of the phone’s primary lens. While the close-cropped image betrays little about the device itself, the “48MP camera” text alongside the camera lens is clear as day.

If Xiaomi were to release such a device it would set a new record for a the highest megapixel count on a smartphone camera. The current record of 41 megapixels was set by the Nokia 1020 back in 2013, and it has held firm for years. Recently, phone sensors had begun to sneak up to the Nokia 1020’s record — the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro both contained 40-megapixel primary lenses — but so far no phone has beaten the Nokia phone’s record. But that seems to be set to end with the release of this unnamed Xiaomi phone.

There’s precious little else to glean from the picture, save that Xiaomi seems to be plumping for a vertically stacked camera suite again. What looks to be a volume rocker can be seen running along the phone’s frame — and that suggests a vertically stacked set of cameras. A dual-LED flash is set underneath the camera lens — but it’s unclear how many camera lenses the phone will contain. Earlier speculation contended the phone could be the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 9 — but it’s clear from the positioning of the camera lenses that this is unlikely. Instead, we’re likely looking at another Xiaomi phone entirely.

Whatever the reason, we can certainly expect to see more of this phone as January gets closer. Lin Bin has shown a fondness for showing it off already, so it’s possible he won’t be able to resist showing more in the coming month — and we’re especially looking forward to seeing whether Xiaomi has finally cracked phone photography. The camera has been a weak point on some of Xiaomi’s recent phones, and if it were to pull off this particular camera, 2019 could mark a revolution for the Chinese giant.

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