The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has the Death Star of camera bumps

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We had been warned. But as is so often the case, our feeble mind could not fully comprehend it until it stared us in the face. We saw the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s camera bump in a pre-unboxing pre-announcement video, so we knew what was likely to come: an absolutely massive bump with three rear-facing cameras in addition to a 1-inch screen. But now that the phone has officially launched and we’ve seen it from more angles, we can confirm that it’s actually the Death Star of Camera Bumps.

Most striking is the unapologetic thickness of the bump. This is not a design that tries to minimize the appearance or merge with other elements of the phone, such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Instead, it makes a significant contribution to the overall 8.38mm thickness of the device. It’s practically halfway through one 2008 Sony Cybershot Point and Shoot glued to the back of your phone.

Top and bottom view of the Mi 11 Ultra’s camera bump and the phone attached to it.
Imaginee: Xiaomi

The bump’s standout feature – that tiny 1-inch OLED – undoubtedly requires a thicker design than your average display-less array. And let’s not forget the cameras themselves, starting with a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens with a very large 1 / 1.2-inch sensor that’s just a bit smaller than the 1-inch sensor found in dedicated cameras like the Sony RX100 VII. finds. That large sensor offers potentially better light-gathering capabilities than a more conventional format, especially considering that it’s paired with a relatively fast f / 1.95 lens.

The bump is big, but so is the main camera sensor.
Image: Xiaomi

There is also a 48-megapixel f / 2.2 ultrawide and a 48-megapixel f / 4.1 periscope-like 5x optical zoom. That’s not quite the same as the S21 Ultra’s four rear-facing cameras (plus an autofocus sensor), but it’s still plenty of hardware to house.

The camera bump is without a doubt enormous. But it’s not just big to be big. The screen and unusually large main camera are potentially very useful. Will we ever see a more mainstream device with a camera bump, for lack of a better term, chonky? Probably not. This 6.8-inch device is probably the best place to introduce these features, as users already know they’re getting a large device. The rest of us can just marvel at what an astonishing technological achievement it is. Really more machine than man.