Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra packs world's largest phone camera sensor, but it's not enough

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Launched yesterday, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra sets a new record for the size of its sensor. The new super smartphone boasts a 50 megapixel sensor that measures 1/1.12 inches across its diagonal (or 22.7mm, if you prefer it without the fractions). This is substantially larger than other contenders for the best camera phone currently around. It takes the record from the Huawei P40 Pro Plus which has a 1/1.28 inch sensor (19.8mm). Other leading phones are smaller still - the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max makes do with a 1/1.8 inch (14.1mm) chip, and the Samsung S21 Ultra sports a 1/1.33 inch (19.1mm).

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the first phone to use the newly-developed Samsung GN2 sensor that will undoubtedly be seen on other handsets in the coming months. The 50MP chip has large photosites arranged in a 4-in-1 2.8µm Super Pixel arrangement which promises great low light performance. The sensor has already taken top honors in the DXO Mark charts from the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Smartphone sensor sizes compared
Row 0 - Cell 0 Main sensor size (in)Main sensor size (mm)
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra1/1.12 inch22.7mm
Huawei P40 Pro Plus1/1.28 inch19.8mm
Huawei Mate 40 Pro+1/1.28 inch19.8mm
Samsung S21 Ultra1/1.33 inch19.1mm
Xiaomi Mi 111/1.33 inch19.1mm
Oppo X3 Pro1/1.56 inch16.3mm
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max1/1.7 in14.1mm

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.