This week, Xiaomi launched the Mi MIX Alpha as the first smartphone with 108-megapixel image sensor. The smartphone shows Xiaomi’s ability to get ahead of its rivals and use Samsung’s new high-resolution image sensor. However, it seems the company has plans to bring new video-centric features to its smartphone as well. The MIUI Camera app hints at future Xiaomi smartphones being capable of recording 8K videos at 30 frames per second.
Alongside the launch of Mi MIX Alpha and Mi 9 Pro 5G, Xiaomi also announced the availability of MIUI 11. The new interface is based on Android 10 and will start rolling out to devices in mid October. Apart from changes to the interface, the new custom skin also brings an updated camera app. According to XDA Developers, the app has shed light on new features coming to cameras on Xiaomi smartphones. XDA Junior Member kackskrz notes that there is now inclusion of strings for capturing UHD/8K videos at 30 frames per second.
The codes also have evidence allowing users to configure the video quality to output resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels or 8K. There is also a new drawable resource for the 8K@30fps recording mode. The MIUI Camera app even has an image showing 8K@30fps next to the Mi logo. It does seem clear that Xiaomi is indeed working on adding support for 8K video recording at 30 frames per second. It is not clear which device will get this feature but is not mentioned or listed in the device specifications for Mi MIX Alpha.
Interestingly, the 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is not capable of recording 8K videos. The sensor is capped to recording 6K videos at 30 frames per second. In order to enable 8K recording at 30 frames per second, Xiaomi will need more than a new image sensor. The Spectra 380 ISP on the Snapdragon 855 shows 4K at 60fps as the maximum supported recording option. There is a possibility that we will see native support for 8K@30fps with the new mobile platform.
It would be safe to assume that 8K@30fps is not coming to any Xiaomi’s existing smartphones. We might see the feature being unlocked when Qualcomm introduces its next flagship Snapdragon mobile platform. The Chinese smartphone maker might also be collaborating with Samsung to make the sensor capable of recording 8K resolution. We will need to wait to see more details about this new capability and device that will support it.