Capture your next weekend getaway with a seriously awesome smartphone camera

Woman walking Shiba Inu through wooded area. Text on screen:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a photograph shot on a smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform is worth at least a billion. Thanks to Snapdragon Sight’s innovative features, your smartphone is transformed into a DSLR-quality camera. As a Creative Director at Mashable, I recently had the chance to try it out for myself in a photographer’s dream location.

Let me back up for a sec. My best friends and I have lived in New York City for over a decade. After a months-long search, they closed on the most picturesque property in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. Now, I get to reap the rewards of their hard-earned purchase, without the responsibility of mowing the lawn or paying the mortgage. We’ve driven up there practically every weekend — hiking, swimming, and living our best summer lives.

After our morning coffee, we walk through the ferns and into the forest with our three dogs. We geek out over clusters of vibrant orange mushrooms, crouch down to examine frogs, and marvel at squishy beds of moss. We are city folk, after all!

My personal smartphone camera couldn’t capture the enchanting detail, vibrancy, or incredible light that defines the forests of upstate New York. What I needed was a pocket-sized phone with an incredible camera. Enter the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, powered by Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. I hit the road for the Catskills on a Friday afternoon to see what I could capture over the weekend.


The camera on this phone is big, bold, and unique. It has a Leica professional optical lens, which mimics the weight and heft of shooting with a real camera. But it’s the tiny chip inside of the smartphone that’s responsible for such amazing photo capabilities. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform powers the camera with a 1-inch image sensor — the largest ever in a smartphone to date. Snapdragon Sight features an 18-bit Triple ISP that’s capable of capturing photos or videos from 3 cameras simultaneously and 4,096x more color and light data compared to the 14-bit triple ISP in the previous Snapdragon generation. Capturing such huge amounts of data requires a lightning-fast processor that can keep up, and this baby sprints.

Close up of orange butterfly on purple flower

Credit: Lindsay Harrison. Shot on a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powered smartphone

Lifestyle fit

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform is optimized for close ups, portraits, nature shots, night shots, you name it. Whatever catches your eye, you’ll be able to display on your Instagram feed as richly as what you actually saw. Even if you’re not a professional photographer with knowledge of aperture and shutter speeds, the preset shooting modes make your photos look seriously legit. If you are a pro, you can shoot in 12-bit RAW and then have fun playing with all the data captured, allowing you to make pixel-perfect edits.

Left: Hands palm up holding two tiny frogs. Right: Close up of frog in the image on the left

Credit: Lindsay Harrison. Shot on a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powered smartphone

Standout tech specs

The zoom capabilities on this camera are insane. 50 MP photo capture means you can take massive images and zoom in really close while staying incredibly sharp. The 8K HDR video capability captures 33MP per frame in over a billion shades of color. You can upload and share on Google Photos and YouTube in 8K HDR. Play around with the premium HDR10+ format, too – it’s a premium HDR video capturing format used in the movie industry.

Left: three dogs curiously sniffing small frog. Right: Close up of lady bug on plant covered in aphids

Credit: Lindsay Harrison. Shot on a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powered smartphone

Be on the lookout for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform powering an array of smartphones, including Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4, ASUS ROG 6 / 6 Pro, and OnePlus10T, with more devices launching throughout the rest of the year and next year. .  Learn more about the amazing capabilities that Snapdragon Sight  is bringing to mobile phones and get your hands on one ASAP — because your next weekend adventure awaits!

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