Xiaomi 12S Ultra launches with Leica photographic expertise

Xiaomi has revealed its new 12S series of smartphones, and these devices offer expert input from Leica 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 camera’s potential, due to a partnership with the prestigious photography brand Leica.

Each device in the series features a different imaging system that was jointly developed by Leica and Xiaomi, with Leica’s Summicron lenses being present on the handsets, being complemented by Xiaomi’s “rich experience in smartphone computing photography.”

One of the features coming to the range courtesy of this partnership is the arrival of Leica imaging profiles, giving users access to two different photographic aesthetics. The Leica Authentic Look goes for natural imagery, while the Leica Vibrant Look instead strives to capture “the emotion of the moment”, so well likely see more saturated pictures when using this mode.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

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

The full complement of lenses on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra include a 48-megapixel ultrawide, 50.3-megapixel wide angle camera, and a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor, while the selfie camera has a 32-megapixel resolution.

What’s more, this device will also be the first one ever to be equipped with two Xiaomi Surge chipsets, one to manage the fast-charging and the other to deal with battery management. The former enables the 12S Ultra’s 67W wired fast-charging and 50W wireless charging, while the latter will optimise 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 some seriously powerful silicon in need of a capable cooling system, and this is where Xiaomi has announced its intriguing heat dissipation model that is “similar to the biological mechanism leaves on a plant may use to absorb water.” Apparently this solution can increase the thermal conductivity of a single unit by 100% when compared with traditional systems.

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

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra will cost ¥3999 in China, which converts as approximately $600/£500. We’ve yet to get official confirmation that the device will be available outside China, or its retail price in other markets.

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