Smartphone of all superlatives, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is now official. Developed in partnership with Leica, it features an imposing 1-inch Sony IMX 989 sensor.
Expected for many weeks, the successor to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is official. Forget the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, the Chinese giant doesn’t have the time and prefers to launch the Xiaomi 12S Ultra directly. The choice is logical insofar as this model becomes the spearhead of a new range stamped Leica. This partnership arouses curiosity and concerns the entire 12S series, including the Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro.
Nevertheless, it is this 12S Ultra that concentrates all the attention and attracts many looks. At first glance, it’s hard not to look at its imposing circular photo block. Smartphone with generous curves (163.17 x 74.92 x 9.06 mm for 225 g), it incorporates what the Chinese brand knows how to do best. The presence of the term Leica at the top left of the photo block reinforces this premium feeling and the desire to enter a new era.
The photo, favorite terrain of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi wants to shake up the market and is giving itself the chance to do so with this 12S Ultra. After the Sony Xperia Pro-1, this model is the second to integrate a one-inch sensor. The 50.3 megapixel Sony IMX989 is there (pixel binning, 12.5 megapixels, 3.2µm) and it’s not alone. A 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle (Sony IM586, equivalent to 13mm, f/2.2) and a periscopic lens (Sony IMX586, equivalent to 120mm, f/4.1) are present. Selfies are not left out with a 32-megapixel front camera with RGBW sensor.
Like its little brothers, the partnership with Leica takes the form of specific filters. Users will be able to switch between the “Leica Authentic Look” for natural images while the “Leica Vibrant Look” is a mix between the Xiaomi experience and the Leica style.
A muscular photo configuration for a smartphone that leaves nothing to chance. Xaiomi adds a 6.73-inch QHD+ AMOLED screen with LTPO 2.0 technology. It promises an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, along with 1,500 nits of brightness. This panel is compatible with HDR 10+, HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Inside, the 12S Ultra relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip and adds 8-12GB of RAM (LPDDR5) and 256-512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The smartphone also relies on a 4,860 mAh battery, compatible with wired charging at 67 W and wireless charging at 50 W. Reverse charging of 10 W is also available, while “house” chips called Surge G1 and Surge P1 are respectively in charge of range and battery.
We also retain the IP68 certification to better resist water and dust. The smartphone is also entitled to MIUI 13 with Android 12, but Xiaomi remains discreet about the monitoring of its device.
Price and availability
Only announced in China, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is displayed from 5,999 yuan, or around 860 euros. The price rises to 6,499 yuan (about 930 euros) for the model with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage; and 6999 yuan or around 1,000 euros for the 12+512 GB version. For the time being, Xiaomi is not mentioning a price and release date for this Ultra model.