Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra challenges OnePlus 9 with a massive camera upgrade

Watch out OnePlus 9, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra will pack Samsung's 50MP GN2 camera sensor

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, due to be launched on March 29, will be the first phone in the world to come packing Samsung's massive 50MP ISOCELL GN2 image sensor. That's Xiaomi taking the cameraphone fight right back to OnePlus, which teamed up with Hasselblad for the cameras on its recently announced OnePlus 9 series.

News of the Mi 11 Ultra's camera prowess was broken by leakster Ice Universe last month and now Xiaomi has confirmed it on its Weibo channel (spotted by MyFixGuide) and on Twitter. The sensor will be able to capture images at a resolution of 8,160 × 6,144 pixels which will make the Mi 11 Ultra a serious contender for the best camera phone.

Taking to Twitter, Xiaomi's Sr. Product Marketing Manager said that "18 months of research went into this sensor, and it shows." MyFixGuide quotes Xiaomi as saying "The investment of 200 million is only a small goal: to break through the ceiling of mobile phone imaging".

An earlier leak by YouTuber Tech Buff, reported at XDA Developers, shows the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra with three cameras on the back AND a small second screen. As in really small, but it could be useful when taking selfies with the rear-facing camera, or perhaps to see notifications if the phone is laid face down on a desk. Tech Buff said that the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra will feature a 6.81" WQHD+ 120Hz curved OLED screen with a punch-hole the top-left for the front-facing camera. Other leaked specs include a Snapdragon 888 chip, 5G support and a 5,000 mAh battery which sound right to us given the spec sheet of the current Xiaomi Mi 11 which was announced on March 16.

Add that massive Samsung camera sensor to the above specs and we're looking at a phone that could give the OnePlus a serious run for its money so we'll be keeping a close eye on the official Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra launch in just a few days time. You'll be able to keep up with the launch on Xiaomi's YouTube channel.

Until then, you can what the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is likely to look like in the renders created by concept designer Ben Geskin below.

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to TechRadar.com in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of FitandWell.com and PetsRadar.