Xiaomi Mi 12 Ultra render
Image courtesy: Concept bro

Xiaomi is known for being one of the most experimental smartphone manufacturers in the world. For instance, last year, they patented a phone design that would allow users to hide the device’s notch by splitting its display and twisting it backward. Now, according to a new leak, Xiaomi’s upcoming Mi 12 Ultra smartphone will feature an insane 200 megapixel (MP) camera.

First reported on by TechRadar, the leak comes from Digital Chat Stations, a leaker that has some clout behind them. The leaker posted the information to Weibo (a Chinese social media platform), suggesting that the phone will either have a 192 MP or 200 MP camera.

200 MP doesn’t automatically mean better image quality

Like with dedicated cameras, an impressive megapixel count doesn’t ultimately determine the overall image quality a camera’s capable of. That’s determined by the camera’s sensor, not the megapixel count. Instead, the megapixel count determines the amount of detail a camera’s sensor can theoretically collect. So, if the Xiaomi Mi 12 Ultra does feature a 200 MP count but doesn’t have a quality sensor to match it, it probably won’t look any better than what you can already get with a smartphone that has a lower megapixel count. Additionally, smartphone bodies usually have a limited amount of space. Xiaomi may shrink the size of the pixels to fit more of them into the standard smartphone body. This can also affect the image quality.

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Who is the camera for?

For the general public, 200 MP is overkill. Not many would need this many megapixels to capture good-looking photos. However, professionals would find the feature more useful. The Xiaomi Mi 12 Ultra may have a sensor that can utilize all the 200 MP, increasing the phone’s image quality. A higher megapixel count allows more flexibility when cropping and pixel binning (combining pixels to capture more light). Though, we wonder how many professionals are looking for a smartphone to capture their photos on. We’ll have to see when the phone officially releases somewhere down the road.