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This Xiaomi concept lets you use a full-blown camera lens on a phone

Xiaomi Logo on the back of a smartphone

TL;DR

  • Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept phone.
  • It allows you to attach a Leica camera lens module to the rear camera.

The top smartphones today all have flexible rear camera systems, featuring a main camera, ultrawide camera, and telephoto shooter. Unfortunately, you can’t attach different lenses to these cameras as you would on a DSLR camera.

Now, Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept in partnership with Leica, and it indeed allows you to attach a camera lens module on your smartphone camera. More specifically, the company says you can attach a Leica M-series lens module to the phone. Check out an image below.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept

The phone is also equipped with two one-inch camera sensors, including a center-mounted sensor that attaches to the lens module. We’re guessing the company is using the IMX989 camera sensors as seen on the standard Xiaomi 12S Ultra.

It’s unclear if you can attach other Leica lens modules to the smartphone to give you even more flexibility. But Xiaomi is promising a boost in “optical power” with this particular combination.

Would you buy a phone that supported camera lens modules?

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Xiaomi hasn’t dished out any other details either, such as the lens capabilities or smartphone specs. However, we can make out what appears to be focus and aperture dials on the lens module, with the latter seemingly going all the way down to f/16.

There’s also no word on whether we’ll see this tech on a future commercial smartphone. Nevertheless, this is a pretty radical approach to smartphone photography and we’re keen to see what this setup is capable of.