Xiaomi 12S Ultra arrives with 1-inch camera sensor after company’s partnership with Leica

July 5, 2022
front and back of Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Xiaomi‘s newly released 12S Ultra goes beyond the typical photography features of most smartphones. The back of the phone boasts a huge camera hardware section that consumes almost half of its rear. It houses a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and the main highlight of the 12 S series, a 50-megapixel main camera using a 1-inch sensor.

This new creation from the Beijing-based company is the product of its first partnership with Leica, which has a well-established name in the photography market. “Co-engineered with Leica,” the 12S Ultra features Sony’s IMX989 1-inch sensor, which is rather uncommon for many smartphones. The huge sensor can make a big difference in the phone’s image quality, as sensor sizes are one of the biggest factors contributing to the performance of digital cameras. Of course, the 12S Ultra won’t beat the traditional mirrorless or DSLR camera, but its sensor could set it apart from other smartphones today. On the other hand, 12S Ultra’s two low-end siblings in this series – Xiaomi 12S and Xiaomi 12S Pro – bear Sony’s IMX707 1/1.28″ sensor. 

In addition to the huge sensor, Xiaomi says that 12S Ultra comes with an 8P aspheric lens in its primary camera to resolve usual photography issues in phones. It also features HyperOIS for stable video recording performance and two photographic styles: “Leica Authentic Look” and “Leica Vibrant Look.” And while it is not the first smartphone to offer a 1-inch sensor, Xiaomi claims it is the first Android device to allow Dolby Vision HDR video recording and playback. It is also the company’s first phone model to use two proprietary Xiaomi Surge chips (Xiaomi Surge P1 fast-charging chipset and Xiaomi Surge G1 battery management chipset).

As a flagship phone, Xiaomi 12S Ultra has other impressive features that certify it as a high-end model from the company. It includes the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip (same as the 12S and 12S Pro), fast charging capability (67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging), 4,860 mAh battery, IP68 dust and water resistance, new 3D cooling system, and 6.73″ Dolby Vision TrueColor display with 120Hz refresh rate.

The phone will only be available in China for now, but anyone interested in the new device can already have a peek at the phone’s price. According to Xiaomi’s announcement, 12S Ultra will come in three variants: 8GB+256G, 12GB+256GB, and 12GB+512GB, which are priced at RMB 5,999 (around $900 USD), RMB 6,499 (around $975 USD), and RMB 6,999 (around $1,050 USD), respectively.

Meanwhile, the two other budget phones in the series come with four variations through the addition of the 8GB+128GB variants. 

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