Xiaomi's 108-MP Camera Phone Beats Flagships That Are Triple the Price

(Image credit: XIAOMI)

The Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro looks like a phenomenal camera phone that apparently we will never get in the US. Which is a big bummer, because its features and price turn it into an iPhone and Samsung Galaxy killer. 

We already saw the Mi CC9 Pro’s uncanny selfie powers in near total darkness and its razor-sharp hybrid digital zoom abilities. While we haven’t tested those functions ourselves, both look really amazing. Just like all of the phone’s features.

However, what is more important is that professional camera benchmark testers DxOmark has given the Mi CC9 Pro the highest score in a tie with the $1,200 Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 121 points

The DxOmark review is glowing: “With an overall score of 121, the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition has tied with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro for the highest overall Camera score of any phone we have tested so far [...] The Xiaomi device delivers excellent results in just about every type of photographic situation.”

And that is truly remarkable because the Mi CC9 Pro only costs one third of the Mate 30 Pro’s price tag: $400. The phone easily beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and the iPhone XS on this benchmark. Yes, friends, a $400 phone cell can eat the lunch of a $1,000 flagship.

Five cameras

But the phone is not only its 5 back cameras and 1 front camera. The former includes two telephoto lenses with 2x and 4x optical zoom power, which can be combined in software to obtain a variety of focal lengths. The first is a short 50mm-equivalent telephoto with f/2-aperture lens coupled with a 12.19MP 1/2.6-inch sensor. The second telephoto is a 94-mm equivalent with 7.99MP and f/2.2 lenses.

The third camera is a macro lens that can pick subjects from a distance of up to 2 centimeters. The fourth is an ultra-wide 16mm equivalent f/2.2 lens with a large 20.11MP sensor.And finally, the crown jewel: the 108MP sensor made by Samsung, which uses a 25mm equivalent f/1.69-aperture lens — the Samsung Isocell Bright HMX. This is a QuadBayer sensor, meaning it can put together pixels in groups of four in order to obtain much better results under low light conditions. It’s also a gigantic sensor compared to the one in the iPhone or the Galaxy S10, at nearly double the size.

Huge battery and privacy

Aside from the penta-camera setup, the Mi CC9 comes loaded. To start, it has a huge battery that is 5,260mAh. The machine charges at 30W, as it should be. Anything lower will make charging this battery very annoying. With this you can fully recharge the phone is a bit over an hour.

The Mi CC9 also comes with the usual brains, the latest Snapdragon 855 Plus typical of other high end flagships, with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That version will set you back about $500 while the 128GB and 8GB costs $442 in China.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.