Alas, the Xiaomi 12S series will be China-exclusive

In a move that would essentially surprise no one, the recent Xiaomi 12S series will most likely hardly ever make it outside of China. Engadget’s Richard Lai has it that a Xiaomi spokesperson has confirmed the Xiaomi 12S’ exclusivity for mainland China, so those hoping to get the intriguing new devices in other regions are seemingly out of luck.

Alas, such an exclusivity has historically been typical for Xiaomi’s most intriguing gadgets, and the Xiaomi 12S series is just the latest in the line of products unavailable elsewhere in the world. For now, it’s certain that it’s a proof of concept that will most certainly ensure the camera prowess of future Xiaomi phones. Hopefully, by the time the Xiaomi 13 series gets released early next year, that is. Leica, Xiaomi’s long-term iconic camera partner, is also  software/hardware camera package will have scored all the new goodies that make the Xiaomi 12S Ultra such an interesting device.

As a refresher, Xiaomi unveiled the Xiaomi 12S series (Xiaomi 12S, 12S Pro) yesterday, but the truly important thing here is the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and its camera sensor, the Sony IMX 989, which is the largest one built specifically for phones. It’s a 50MP sensor that sits beneath an 8P lens with multiple coatings to ensure a clear, glare-free photography, and has a large f/1.9 aperture. Thanks to pixel binning, pixel size essentially grows up to 3.2μm, which is an exceptional number that holds promise for superb low-light image quality, with less noise and much better details captured at challenging lighting conditions.

Reportedly, this new sensor has been developed by Sony and Xiaomi together, but will most certainly trickle down to other manufacturers’ phones in the near future. 


The Xiaomi 12S started at around $600, while the Xiaomi 12S Ultra kicked off at the local equivalent of roughly $900 in China. Let’s hope that Xiaomi doesn’t take too long to bring this promising new camera sensor 


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