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Xiaomi 12S Ultra Taps Leica Camera, Sony 1-Inch Sensor & Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

Geek Culture logo Geek Culture 4/7/2022 Jimmy Sho
xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica © Provided by Geek Culture xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica

The first set of Xiaomi-Leica co-engineered smartphones, the Xiaomi 12S Series, has finally launched — but only in China for now.

The jointly-developed smartphone series contains Leica Summicron lenses and supports Leica imaging profiles, and is said to “offer unprecedented smartphone image quality and colours that closely adhere to Leica’s signature look and feel”. From the get-go, you know that the camera is a big part of the 12S Series.

The series has three models: the topline 12S Ultra, 12S Pro and 12S. Let’s focus on the 12S Ultra.

xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica © Provided by Geek Culture xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica Xiaomi 12S Ultra

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is equipped with Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 aspheric lens camera system. It is capable of capturing in ultrawide-angle (13mm f/2.2, 0.5-inch Sony IMX586), wide-angle (23mm f/1.9 8P aspheric lens 1-inch Sony IMX989), and telephoto (120mm f/4.1 periscope 0.5-inch Sony IMX586). On the other end, its front camera is a 32MP RGBW image sensor.

It implements a Quad-Bayer pixel array with individual pixel sizes reaching 1.6μm, which goes to 3.2μm after pixel binning. Captured images will have reduced noise, extended dynamic range, and increased light so even low-light photos turn out better.

In addition, the camera module adds an anti-glare, infrared light filter coating that helps remove issues such as flare, ghosting and chromatic aberration. Photos can be captured up to resolutions of 8192 x 6144 in 50MP mode, and supports 10-bit RAW format with colour correction metadata embedded. If opened with Adobe Lightroom, the software can automatically optimise the photos based on the metadata, giving you a headstart in post-production edits.

xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica © Provided by Geek Culture xiaomi 12s ultra co-engineered with leica

The 12S Ultra also comes with two Leica photographic style profiles: ‘Leica Authentic Look’ for a more three-dimensional depth with its time-proven light and shadow aesthetics; and ‘Leica Vibrant Look’ for more emotive, in-the-moment captures. Other than these, you have four Leica filters to play around with: Vivid, Natural, BW Natural, and BW High Contrast.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra also supports Dolby Vision HDR video recording, said to be the first Android device to have it. Along with HyperOIS for ultra-stable recording, you can capture up to 4K videos at 60fps that are more vivid, sharper and richer in detail.

The phone is powered by the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile chip with 10 percent improved performance and 30 percent lower energy use over the Snapdragon 8. It goes up to 12GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 512GB of UFS3.1 storage.

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To display all those beautiful photos, the 12S Ultra has a 6.73-inch AMOLED Dolby Vision-certified display with 2K resolution, a peak brightness of 1500 nits, P3 colour gamut and 1-120Hz AdaptiveSync Pro.

It is powered by a 4,860mAh battery, and has been lab-tested to last for 1.24 days. The battery supports 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging. Its adaptive charging tech also prevents overcharging, able to increase charge cycles by 25 percent.

Rounding up the specs are Harmon Kardon stereo speakers, IP68 dust and water resistance, and support for dual 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and BlueTooth 5.2. It runs on MIUI 13 Operating System based on Android 12. The 12S Ultra weighs 225g and comes in either Classic Black or Verdant Green.

The Xiaomi 12S starts from 3,999 yuan (US$600), 12S Pro from 4,699 yuan (US$700), and the 12S Ultra from 5,999 yuan (US$900). The Xiaomi 12S Series is currently out in China, with no release dates announced yet for the rest of the world.

You can check out the launch event for examples of shots taken with the 12S Series.

Edit 13 July: Looks like Xiaomi hid their own launch event video. No idea why.

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