The Xiaomi 12s Ultra was the first smartphone to have an inch sensor. However, it wasn’t the first such device on the market. The sensor isn’t exactly an inch.
After breaking the Xiaomi flagship, JerryRigEverything decided to take it apart to examine the main camera’s inch sensor live.
As you can see the sensor’s physical dimensions are far beyond 1 inch. They can be viewed diagonally or on one end. Sony and Xiaomi are not lying. This is a fact that is rarely discussed. The optical format of image sensors is indicated in inches but is actually not measured in inches.
This was the case at the time digital image sensors were introduced. They replaced tubes in cameras and began to replace them. Common inch tubes had a rectangular photosensitive region with a diagonal measuring 16 mm. These are the dimensions for inch digital image sensors. It is the equivalent of a 1 inch diameter tube. A sensor measuring 1.5 inches diagonally will therefore be listed as 1.5 inches.