It has been a busy March, and to conclude close this month, rich in new launches, Xiaomi has unleashed the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, a flagship phone that comes with one of the most potent mobile cameras on the market.

We commented about the photography potential when the Mi 11 Ultra launched on Monday. It’s time to take a closer look at its mobile camera hardware and rank it objectively using our Camera HW score.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra rear camera system has three cameras going from 12mm (Ultrawide) to 120mm (long-zoom) and as usual, the 24mm Primary camera has the most powerful electro-optics of the three and has an optical image stabilization system (OIS).

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Ultrawide 12mm 48-MP f/2.2
Primary 24mm 50-MP f/1.95 (Primary) +OIS
Long-Zoom 120mm 48-MP f/2.4

This Primary camera’s sensor is the Samsung ISOCELL GN2, a recently announced mobile camera sensor with outstanding theoretical specs and features. I’ve described these in detail in our Samsung GN2 Overview. The sheer size of the sensor is mind-blowing:

– 32% larger than the Mate 40 Pro primary sensor
-42% larger than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra primary sensor
-183% larger than the iPhone 12 Pro Max primary sensor

The f/1.95 lens seems well-suited for such a sensor, and the combination of both should yield excellent results in all shooting conditions. There is no obvious weak point, and we’ll have to see if Xiaomi enables up to 100MP captures in “auto” mode.

The Long-zoom camera seems very promising as well and should compete at the highest levels in the industry. Zoom performance is very tricky to estimate algorithmically, but our score suggests that it is comparable to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, one of the best on the market.

The M11 Ultra’s Ultrawide camera is very decent but not -that- exciting. It features a medium-size Sony IMX586 sensor with a 12mm ultrawide lens. Usually, you find such a large angle with smaller sensors or large sensors with 18mm lenses with a narrower field of view.

It remains to be seen if Xiaomi’s Ultrawide shots would experience Vignetting issues, but this combo looks like a decent compromise. The OnePlus 9 Pro’s ultrawide camera has more impressive specs, but this time, Xiaomi easily surpasses Apple and competes with Samsung on this one.

With an overall Camera HW score of 220 the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is confirmed to be one of the best mobile camera hardware on the market and certainly the most powerful in the USA, overtaking the OnePlus 9 Pro, which was #1 last week.


As our Camera HW sub-scores show, Xiaomi now has the best Primary camera hardware in the world (“Wide”), as it surpasses Huawei’s as well. It also claims the best long-zoom camera hardware, taking it away from the Galaxy S21 Ultra by a hair.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra ranking, Camera HW v1.1
246 Huawei Mate 40 Pro 8.6/10 10/10 7.6/10
220 Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra 10/10 3.9/10 10/10
215 OnePlus 9 Pro 7.9/10 8.3/10 5.6/10
201 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 8.8/10 4.4/10 8.8/10
157 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 7.5/10 2.4/10 5.5/10

Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro remains the mobile camera with the highest overall score, but the competition is getting closer than ever, and only a complete Camera IQ photo benchmarking can tell us which has the best real-world photos.

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