Leica Creates the Biggest Ever Phone Camera Sensor

How big can sensors get on a phone's camera? Leica has done a collaboration with a rather surprising company to give you a glimpse of the future.

I recently returned to Australia for the first time in three years, and due to the whirlwind nature of my visit and my desire to pack lightly, I decided against taking any of my considerable camera gear. It was a hard decision to make, but ultimately, it was the correct considering the circumstances and my itinerary. What that meant, however, was that I had to rely on my iPhone 11's camera to capture all those family reunion moments and my daughters' new experiences. When I look back at the photos I took over the two weeks, I certainly wish I'd had something a little better.

And that brings us to this great video brought to you by the team at Moment, in which they review the collaboration between Leica and Xiaomi, which resulted in the 12S Ultra and the world's biggest camera sensor in a phone. Just looking at the sensor is jaw-dropping, as it takes up half the space on the back side of the phone. When you compare it with the small top-left corner area of my iPhone's sensor area, the difference almost unbelievable. But what about performance? I'll let you be the judge of that, but let me say I'll think you'll be pleasantly surprised regarding what the future might look like for phone cameras. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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I don't know if this is a language error or not. The "sensor" is not the same as the camera module. The camera module does take up a huge area, but the sensor is still tiny. It may be the world's largest sensor in a smartphone (1" - but not really 1"), but other reviewers have shown that the lens design doesn't make use of all of that sensor. This is what is under that back.

Sony Xperia PRO-I ??? why dont you even check around before you make such a statement about biggest sensor?

Stop calling the entire camera assembly and decorative backplate the "sensor"... Also, this was made by xiaomi and they paid leica for the badge, as usual.

Great information here lain... Curious, if one gets an unlocked Xiaomi, I'm guessing it would work on US networks? Are there any that it would/would not work on?

Sorry, I’m not sure about that, as I live in Japan

Ok thanks, I'll inquire more.

What about Sharp Aquos R6?

"Leica Creates..." should say "Leica licenses their name to..." Leica does not "create" any sensors.