Xiaomi makes 200MP camera phones mainstream with the 12T series

Xiaomi just announced its long-awaited addition to the universe of affordable camera phones – the 12T Pro and 12T – both sporting main sensors in excess of 100MP. By in excess we mean double in the case of the 12T Pro that starts from 749 EUR/USD, and an 108MP sensor on the 12T which costs just 599 EUR/USD.

Xiaomi 12T Pro specs and camera

The Xiaomi 12T Pro and 12T’s other specs make them modern powerhouses, too. Both sport large 6.7-inch 1220p displays with dynamic 120Hz refresh rates, 5000mAh batteries, ultrafast 120W charging and top-end chipsets – the 4nm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in the case of the Pro, or the 5nm MediaTek’s Dimensity 8100 Ultra on the 12T.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Xiaomi 12T Pro


Display

6.7 inches
2712 x 1220 pixels
120Hz Refresh rate

Camera

200 MP (Triple camera)
20 MP front

Hardware

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1
8GB RAM

Storage

128GB,

Battery

5000 mAh

OS

Android 12

Where the phones shine, however, are their main camera sensors if not anywhere else in the camera department. The 12T Pro sports Samsung’s next-gen 200MP ISOCELL HP1 sensor which offers 2x crop zoom for portrait shots, coupled with Xiaomi’s enhanced low-light photography algorithms in the app’s software.

Samsung also provides the 108MP main camera sensor on the Xiaomi 12T, albeit likely a stock one, not the custom unit that is in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. At those price points, these are the camera phones with the highest-res sensors from a top-tier handset maker to mark this season.

Needless to say, given the price tags of both the Xiaomi 12T Pro and the 12T, we can’t expect periscope zoom cameras as these are one of the most expensive components in modern smartphones, second to only high-end display panels. Surprisingly, we shouldn’t have expected any telephoto cameras, wither, not even a 2x zoom lens, as the crop zoom of the 200MP sensor does the same trick.

Indeed, the phones offer very modest camera abilities outside of their main shooters – an 8MP ultrawide-angle camera, a dedicated 2MP macro mode shooter and 20MP selfie sensors – a kit that seems designed to keep costs in check while the main 200MP and 108MP sensor shine in marketing materials.

As if to justify the $150 price difference, Xiaomi equipped the 12T Pro with the slightly better specs in most other aspects, too. While both displays are HDR-certified, the panel on the Pro supports the top Dolby Vision standard and its screens are individually calibrated in the factory for top-shelf color credibility specs like a Just Noticeable Color Difference (JNCD) of around 0.28, and a Delta E hue representation number of about 0.38.

These are excellent numbers indeed, and a delight to see offered on a phone in the upper midrange category, given that the screen is the other most important part of a phone today, together with its camera chops.

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