Launch of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra with the photographic expertise of Leica

Xiaomi has unveiled its new 12S series of smartphones, and these devices offer Leica’s expertise for their camera systems.

Xiaomi has just unveiled a trio of new phones: the Xiaomi 12S, Xiaomi 12S Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The focus of these devices is clearly on the potential of the camera, thanks to a partnership with the prestigious photography brand Leica.

Each device in the series features a different imaging system which has been jointly developed by Leica and Xiaomi, with Leica’s Summicron lenses featured on the handsets, complemented by Xiaomi’s “rich experience in smartphone computational photography”. .

One of the new additions to the range thanks to this partnership is the arrival of Leica Imaging Profiles, allowing users to access two different photographic aesthetics. The Leica Authentic Look opts for natural images, while the Leica Vibrant Look focuses more on capturing “the emotion of the moment”, so you are likely to see more saturated images when using this mode.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the flagship of the series, and therefore naturally has the most impressive technical specifications. Its main sensor is a Sony IXM989, and the individual pixel size will reach 1.6µm, dropping to 3.2µm after the pixel grouping process. This device will also be the very first Android smartphone to support Dolby Vision HDR video recording and playback.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra’s full array of lenses includes a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 50.3-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor, while the selfie camera has a resolution of 32 megapixels.

Moreover, this device will also be the first to be equipped with two Xiaomi Surge chipsets, one to manage fast charging and the other to manage the battery. The former enables the 12S Ultra’s 67W wired fast charging and 50W wireless charging, while the latter will optimize the handset’s 4860mAh cell.

The phone’s main processor is the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which was only recently announced by Qualcomm. This is a very powerful silicon that needs an efficient cooling system, and this is where Xiaomi announced its intriguing heat dissipation model which is “similar to the biological mechanism as the leaves of a plant can use to absorb water”. Apparently, this solution can increase the thermal conductivity of a single unit by 100% compared to traditional systems.

The screen of the Ultra and Pro variants is a 6.73-inch AMOLED panel that boasts a peak brightness of 1500 nits, 2K resolution, the full P3 color gamut, and an adaptive refresh rate of 1-120Hz.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra will retail for ¥3,999 in China, which works out to around $600/£500. We have yet to get official confirmation that the device will be available outside of China, or its retail price in other markets.

Michael E. Marquez