Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and Mi 8 to get the camera improvements from the Mi Mix 3
In the past, camera performance was a weak point of Xiaomi phones. The issue affected the company’s flagship phones as well as its budget phones. The improvement in camera specifications didn’t necessarily result in significant improvements in image quality, and we examined how a Google Camera port improved the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3‘s image quality. In 2018, however, Xiaomi has upped its game in this field. The company has streamlined camera specifications across a broad range of devices, and made much-needed improvements in image processing that have paid off. We praised the camera performance of the mid-range Xiaomi Mi A2 in our review. Flagship phones such as the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and the Xiaomi Mi 8 were also acclaimed for good image quality, but there was still room for improvement. Then, we come to yesterday’s launch of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.
Earlier this year, DxOMark reviewed the cameras of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and the Xiaomi Mi 8 and gave them overall ratings of 97 and 99 respectively. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 features the same dual rear camera setup, but it was given higher scores by DxOMark. The Mi Mix 3 received an overall score of 103—the third highest ever tested—with photo and video scores of 107 and 93 respectively. If there was no change in hardware, how did the Mi Mix 3 score higher?
The answer: image processing. The Mi Mix 3 has Xiaomi’s version of Night Mode, which was even compared with the Huawei P20 Pro‘s Night Mode (for reference: the P20 Pro’s Night Mode results in excellent low-light camera performance). The Mi Mix 3 has the same 12MP Sony IMX363 (primary) and 12MP Samsung S5K3M3+ (telephoto) rear cameras as the Mi Mix 2S and the Mi 8. For users of the Mi Mix 2S and the Mi 8 who were hoping to receive camera improvements from the Mi Mix 3, there is good news as Lei Jun—Xiaomi’s co-founder—has announced on a Weibo post that he has conveyed to the Xiaomi research and development teams to transplant the camera improvements from the Mi Mix 3 to the Mi Mix 2S and the Mi 8 in an update.
Mr. Jun said that as the camera of the Mi Mix 3 is the same as its predecessor, the improvements in image quality have been made by continuous optimization of software improvements and camera tuning.
Earlier this year, Xiaomi opened a dedicated department for developing and researching mobile cameras. It seems the effort has paid off as the company’s latest flagship phone seems to be a top-tier smartphone camera which is capable of going head-to-head with phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Huawei P20 Pro. Xiaomi will deserve praise if it lives up to its word by rolling out camera improvements from the Mi Mix 3 to the Mi Mix 2S and the Mi 8.