Xiaomi brings the world's first phone with an insane 108MP camera to Europe

Xiaomi brings the world's first phone with an insane 108MP camera to Europe
For better or worse, the megapixel wars are back on, at least in certain parts of the world and as far as certain smartphone manufacturers are concerned. We've been expecting Android handsets equipped with mind-boggling 108MP image sensors to make their debut ever since spring, and as teased just a couple of months ago, the first such device comes from Xiaomi rather than Samsung.

Unlike the Galaxy S11, which could make the jump from its predecessor's primary 12MP rear-facing camera to a 108-megapixel shooter early next year, the Mi Note 10 is not technically a flagship model, packing an upper mid-range Snapdragon 730G processor instead of an ultra-high-end 855 or 855 Plus. But that's not necessarily bad news, meaning the world's first phone to use a 108MP camera (as well as four additional rear shooters) will not cost a fortune.

Unveiled just yesterday in China under the Mi CC9 Pro name alongside Xiaomi's shameless Apple Watch copycat, the Mi Note 10 is set to rapidly expand to Europe after an international launch event today in Madrid.

More than just an ultra-high-resolution camera

Those who've been following the mobile industry trends and innovations of the last few years probably know better than to get excited about meaningless or misleading numbers. After all, some of the best camera performers out there "only" come with 12MP main sensors on the back, as well as one or two extra lenses in charge of beautiful portrait shots and ultrawide photography.

The Mi Note 10, meanwhile, combines the world-first 108MP sensor with not one but two different telephoto cameras, as well as a 20MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP macro shooter. The first telephoto lens is a 12MP affair with large 1.4μm pixels, f/2.0 aperture, and 2x optical zoom, while the second one technically downgrades the megapixel count to 5 but at the same time supports impressive 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 50x digital zoom capabilities.

The ultra-wide-angle camera supports a 117-degree field of view to capture pretty much everything surrounding you, while the reason why the 2MP macro camera might sound familiar is the aptly titled Motorola One Macro.

Of course, the 108MP shooter is still without a doubt the star of this penta lens show (which is another first for Xiaomi, by the way), strengthening the actual meaning of that number by adopting a 4-in-1 Super Pixel technology allowing you to essentially merge four megapixels into one and thus capture extra-clear, extra-bright 27MP photos. At the same time, you also have the choice to take snapshots in full 108MP glory, with resulting images sporting an insane resolution of 12032 x 9024 pixels to match the (theoretical) capabilities of high-end DSLR cameras. Oh, and the Mi Note 10 also has a more than decent 32MP selfie shooter.

A beautiful display, a powerful processor, a massive battery, and more

Believe it or not, the epic (at least on paper) five camera system of the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is complemented by an equally remarkable list of other features... for a non-flagship device. While the Snapdragon 730G SoC is obviously no match for the 855, its octa-core Kryo 470 CPU setup is specifically optimized for top-notch gaming performance, while its 8nm architecture guarantees extreme power efficiency.

Coupled with an extra-large 5,260mAh battery, that means the Mi Note 10 should be capable of keeping the lights on for "more than two days" on a single charge (in certain usage scenarios), and although the 6.47-inch 3D curved AMOLED "edge-to-edge" screen (with a small notch) is both big and sharp, its 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution is yet another reason to be optimistic about battery endurance.

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Made almost entirely from glass, this bad boy does sound a tad hefty, weighing in at 208 grams and measuring 9.67mm in thickness, but let's be honest, you weren't planning on buying the beast for its extreme portability or compact body anyway. Keep in mind that Xiaomi plans to sell the Mi Note 10 bundled with a 30W fast charger as standard, which is pretty rare even for high-end devices.

Other features include a trendy (and hopefully, secure) in-display fingerprint sensor, as well as a decent but not stellar combination of 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage that was probably needed to keep the price point low.

Pricing and availability

Right off the bat, you probably know you shouldn't expect Xiaomi's smartphones to be officially released stateside. That being said, it's a little weird that the company took the time to unveil a handset in Madrid that already broke cover in China without announcing anything on its European availability. Based on the incredibly low domestic price of the Mi CC9 Pro, we can expect the Mi Note 10 to fetch around €400 when it eventually goes on sale in the Western Hemisphere. But it might be wise to wait and see before getting too excited.

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