super-powerful smartphones with Leica sauce

During an event held in China, Xiaomi formalized its new Xiaomi 12S series. Here are the Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro, two high-end models with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and Leica cameras.

Xiaomi has just lifted the veil on its Xiaomi 12S range in China. This new series includes three models: a standard variant, Pro and an Ultra version. The latter is the best equipped, but it is the little brothers that interest us here. A little less premium, they are positioned in the very high-end segment with solid arguments.

The Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro succeed the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro (read our test) and offer a similar design. They benefit from the partnership with Leica, widely promoted by the manufacturer and which should help it take a new step. The mention “Leica” also appears on the photo block of the two models, taking advantage of careful integration.

Xiaomi 12S
The Xiaomi 12S. © Xiaomi

Before going back in detail to the photo configuration, it should be noted that the two models have different sizes. The Xiaomi 12S has a 6.28-inch AMOLED screen displaying in Full HD+ with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. It adds a 4,500 mAh battery compatible with wired fast charging at 67 W, but also wireless at 50W.

Neat technical sheets

The Xiaomi 12S Pro goes further by integrating a 6.73-inch QHD+ AMOLED screen with LTPO 2.0 technology to offer a refresh rate ranging from 1 to 120 Hz. Its battery is slightly larger (4,600 mAh) and above all offers wired fast charging at 120 W. It also offers 50 W wirelessly and adds an in-house chip called Surge P1 to optimize charging efficiency. According to the manufacturer, it takes 19 minutes to go from 0 to 100%.

If the two models have some differences, they are powered by an identical chip. The new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, presented as less energy-consuming than its predecessor, equips the range. It promises to deliver great performance and better temperature management.

The Leica paw in the photos

The main curiosity of this series remains the rapprochement with Leica. The Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro want to be photo specialists and the manufacturer has not reserved this privilege for the 12S Ultra. However, these models make some compromises and are not entitled to the one-inch sensor of their big brother. Instead, Xiaomi uses a proven formula by using the same 50-megapixel main sensor as on the Xiaomi 12 Pro. This 1/1.28 inch Sony IMX707 is already an interesting module and this should help it in low light situations.

Xiaomi 12S Pro
The Xiaomi 12S Pro. © Xiaomi

The Xiaomi 12S adds a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle and 5-megapixel macro sensor. More ambitious, the 12S Pro adds two other 50-megapixel sensors: an ultra-wide-angle and a 50mm telephoto lens offering 2x optical zoom.

In addition to hardware developments, the quality of the image depends on the work done by Leica. Xiaomi mentions the presence of image profile presets, with the “Leica Authentic Look” and “Leica Vibrant Look”. In addition, both models support the 10-bit RAW format calibrated by Adobe Labs. The smartphone will integrate metadata for better support by Adobe Lightroom software.

Xiaomi 12S
The Xiaomi 12S. © Xiaomi

The costs

The Xiaomi 12S arrives in China in four colors (black, purple, green and white) and in four storage variants:

  • 8 GB + 128 GB: priced at 3,999 yuan (about 570 euros)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB: 4,299 yuan (615 euros)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB: 4,699 yuan (670 euros
  • 12 GB + 512 GB –: 5,199 yuan (740 euros)

The Xiaomi 12S Pro is also entitled to four different configurations and the same colors as its little brother. Here are the prices:

  • 8 GB + 128 GB: 4,699 yuan (about 670 euros)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB: 4,999 yuan (715 euros)
  • 12 GB + 256 GB: 5,399 yuan (770 euros)
  • 12 GB + 512 GB: 5899 yuan (840 euros)

These prices only concern the Chinese market. Indeed, Xiaomi has not confirmed the launch of this series in Europe. Much higher prices should be expected in our regions.

Note that the Chinese giant has also formalized a Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition. As its name suggests, this smartphone features a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ chip and that’s exciting news. Indeed, the Taiwanese founder manages to shake up Qualcomm and its Snapdragon in the high-end segment. This model will be priced at 3,999 yuan (around 570 euros) in the 8+128 GB version and 4,999 yuan (around 650 euros) with 12+256 GB.

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