nubia, a sub-brand of ZTE, is known for its innovative smartphones that feature 35mm lens on the main cameras of some of its flagships, like the nubia Z50S Pro and the Axon 40 Ultra. However, the company seems to be working on a new device that will take the camera performance to the next level by using a 1-inch type sensor.
A prototype with a huge camera module
A leaked image of a prototype nubia flagship was shared by Digital Chat Station, a reliable tipster on Weibo. The image shows the device sitting next to the current nubia Z50S Pro, and it reveals just how much bigger the lens and resulting camera module have to be in order to accommodate a 1-inch sensor over the current 1/1.49-inch unit in the Z50S Pro.
The tipster also claims that the phone in the image uses the Sony IMX989 sensor, which is rumored to be a 1-inch type sensor with 192MP resolution and 16-in-1 pixel binning technology. The sensor is expected to offer improved low-light performance, dynamic range, and detail compared to smaller sensors.
The tipster adds that nubia will release the phone after it manages to optimize its volume, implying that the final design may be different from the prototype. The phone is likely to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which is the latest flagship processor from Qualcomm.
A potential competitor to Sony Xperia Pro-I
If nubia manages to launch its first 1-inch 35mm camera-equipped phone, it will be a direct competitor to the Sony Xperia Pro-I, which was announced last year as the world’s first smartphone with a 1-inch type sensor. The Xperia Pro-I features a 12MP Sony IMX800 sensor with a variable aperture of f/2.0-f/4.0 and a focal length equivalent of 24mm. The phone also has a dedicated shutter button, a micro HDMI port, and a 6.5-inch OLED display with 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.
The Xperia Pro-I is aimed at professional photographers and videographers who want to use their smartphone as a monitor or a backup camera. The phone is priced at $1,799 in the US and £1,199 in the UK, making it one of the most expensive smartphones in the market.
It remains to be seen how nubia will price its upcoming device and what other features it will offer besides the impressive camera. The company has not officially confirmed or denied the existence of such a phone, so we will have to wait for more information in the future.