Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a Leica camera with a huge 1-inch sensor

Richard Lai
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Just six months later pre- flagship launch, today Xiaomi has announced a familiar-looking trio of smartphones to mark its debut. Partnership with Leica. The new 12S Series includes MIUI 13 based on Android 12 and Qualcomm allegedly works more efficiently. Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship processor, with hood 12S Ultra It packs a massive 1-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 main sensor. This means a generous pixel size of 1.6 µm and then doubled to 3.2 µm via pixel grouping for supposedly increased color accuracy and low-light performance. and on the contrary Sony Xperia Pro-IThe Xiaomi 12S Ultra apparently uses its entire 1-inch sensor.

According to CEO Lei Jun, Xiaomi was involved in the development of Sony IMX989, and the $15 million cost was split equally between the two companies. Interestingly, the sensor will not be exclusive to Xiaomi; Lei added that to “co-promote the advancement of mobile imaging,” the 12S Ultra will be made available to local competitors after its launch.

A close-up of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra's rear camera module developed in collaboration with Leica.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra


As for Leica’s part in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, you get a “Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system” that covers all three rear cameras: the aforementioned 50.3 megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9), Along with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm, f/2.2) and a 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1). Both 48-megapixel cameras use 1/2-inch Sony IMX586 sensors. The entire island of circular cameras – now co-branded “Leica” – benefits from some coating magic to reduce lens flare and improve image consistency across each lens. Oh, and here’s a 23K gold rim too.

In addition to some Leica filters, users will be able to switch between two photo styles: the “Leica Authentic Look” for natural-looking shots with stronger three-dimensional depth, and the “Leica Vibrant Look” (somehow), which adds Xiaomi’s vitality input while maintaining authenticity. You can also change the watermark caption at the bottom of your photos, which will add Leica’s iconic red logo, photo metadata and location coordinates, along with the phone model and timestamp on the left.

A sample shot with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra showing a cyclist on the riverbank in the early morning before sunrise.


On the other side of the phone is a 32-megapixel selfie camera powered by an unknown RGBW sensor. Most of these cameras are capable of Dolby Vision HDR video recording (up to 4K@60fps) and playback, making the 12S Ultra the first Android device with these features. Some also use engine-based “HyperOIS” for more stable footage. As for still shots, the entire 12S Series supports 10-bit RAW format calibrated by Adobe Labs and has color correction metadata embedded in the files for easier post production like Adobe Lightroom.

The 12S Ultra also carries two proprietary Xiaomi Surge chips: a Surge P1 fast charging chipset and a Surge G1 battery management chipset. These support 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging and 10W reverse charging for the 4,860mAh single-cell silicon oxygen anode battery. Note that some fast charging solutions use dual-cell batteries instead of splitting the current load, so that’s a good thing with the Surge P1 being able to handle up to 16A of output current here and apparently with 96.8% conversion efficiency. Like the latest phones from Oppo and ASUS, the 12S Ultra offers adaptive charging, which allegedly increases the number of charge cycles by 25 percent.

Keeping the phone cool is key to a healthier battery, let alone more stable performance while gaming. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is equipped with a “three-dimensional cooling pump” that moves the coolant over hot surfaces using a capillary mechanism similar to that in leaves. This apparently significantly improves thermal conductivity compared to conventional vapor cooling modules.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra


The rest of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is a standard flagship affair. For the screen, you get a 6.73-inch Samsung E5 AMOLED panel (3,200 x 1,440, 522ppi; LTPO 2.0), peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits, 1-120Hz AdaptiveSync Pro refresh rate, native 10-bit color depth. and support for the P3 color gamut. As the camera features suggest, the display can handle HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG as well as Dolby Vision; these go well with Harman Kardon speakers that also support Dolby Atmos sound. The device is IP68 rated, meaning it should survive accidental dives into sinks and pools. You will also find an infrared remote port on the top for controlling home appliances.

Options include up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage – it features Xiaomi’s self-developed FBO (File Based Optimization) storage refresh technology and supposedly delivers the same read/write performance for at least four years (and Lei He added that FBO has already written to the next-generation UFS 4.0 storage specification). Buyers can choose between “Classic Black” and “Green Green”, both wrapped in vegan leather.

A close-up of the Xiaomi 12S Pro's Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.9-2.4/14-50 ASPH camera system, with all three cameras having 50-megapixel sensors.
Xiaomi 12S Pro


Less Xiaomi 12S Professional It shares the same 6.73-inch display and Surge P1 fast charging chipset as the 12S Ultra, but supports 120W wired charging for its smaller 4,600mAh battery, but lacks 10W reverse charging. It has a tidier (but apparently still expensive) 1/1.28-inch, 50-megapixel Sony IMX707 main sensor, which is a variation of the earlier IMX700. Huawei Mate 40 Pro series. This still offers a decent pixel size of 1.22um (or 2.44um after pixel binning) and matches the resolution of its ultra-wide camera (14mm) and telephoto camera (50mm) – all fine-tuned by Leica. course.

As for the “basic” Xiaomi 12SIt has the same main camera as the 12S Pro and the same fast charging capabilities as the 12S Ultra, but with a smaller 4,500mAh battery under the 6.28-inch 120Hz display in a more palm-friendly body. It looks like there’s still a huge demand for small flagship phones, according to Lei.

The Xiaomi 12S Series is available for pre-order in China ahead of its retail launch on July 6. The 12S Ultra is priced between 5,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 256GB storage; around $900) to 6,999 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $1,000). The 12S Pro is cheaper, asking 4,699 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; around $700) to 5,899 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $880). The 12S is the most affordable option out there, starting at 3,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; around $600) and capped at 5,199 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $780). We’ll follow up on international availability later.

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