The Xiaomi 12S Ultra features a massive 1-inch sensor and a Leica camera

Xiaomi has picked up where Huawei left off with this new partnership with Leica. Today, six months after announcing its previous flagship, Xiaomi announced three familiar-looking smartphones to begin its partnership with Leica. MIUI 13 runs on top of Android 12 and is powered by Qualcomm's supposedly more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

The flagship 12S Ultra features a massive 1-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 sensor. In other words, this translates to 1.6um pixels, which are doubled to 3.2um via pixel binning for enhanced color accuracy and low-light performance. In contrast to the Sony Xperia Pro-I, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra appears to utilize the entire 1-inch sensor.

Xiaomi's CEO, Lei Jun, said Xiaomi participated in the Sony IMX989's development, and the $15 million costs were also shared equally between the two companies. Interesting enough, Xiaomi will not be the only company to offer the sensor; Lei explained that it will be available for local competitors to 'promote the advancement of mobile imaging together.'

Leica's Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system covers the Xiaomi 12S Ultra's three rear cameras: a 50.3-megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9), a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm, f/2.2), and a 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1).). 

Each 48-megapixel camera makes use of a 1/2-inch Sony IMX586 sensor. All lenses on the circular camera island - now co-branded with Leica - benefit from a coating that minimizes glare and improves image quality. There's also a 23K gold rim on this.

In addition to Leica filters, users will be able to switch between two photographic styles: 'Leica Authentic Look' for natural-looking shots with deeper three-dimensionality, and 'Leica Vibrant Look,' which adds Xiaomi's take on vibrancy while preserving authenticity (somehow). The Leica logo, photo metadata, location coordinates, and your phone model and timestamp will also appear in the watermark banner at the bottom of your photos.

The phone's other side features a 32-megapixel selfie camera with an unknown RGBW sensor. These cameras can record (up to 4K@60fps) and playback Dolby Vision HDR video, thus making the 12S Ultra the first Android device to offer these capabilities. For more stable footage, some cameras also use the motor-based 'HyperOIS'.

In terms of stills, the entire 12S Series supports 10-bit RAW files calibrated by Adobe Labs, with color correction metadata incorporated into the files for easy post-production with Adobe Lightroom, for example. The 12S Ultra is also equipped with two proprietary Xiaomi Surge chips, namely the Surge P1 fast-charging chipset and the Surge G1 battery management chipset. 

For the 4,860mAh single-cell silicon-oxygen anode battery, provide 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging, and 10W reverse charging. Note that some fast-charging solutions use dual-cell batteries to split the current load,

This is why the Surge P1 is able to handle an output current of up to 16A here, and apparently with a conversion efficiency of 96.8%. In addition to adaptive charging, the 12S Ultra boasts 25 percent more charge cycles than Oppo's and ASUS' recent handsets.

In addition to a healthier battery, keeping the phone cool will also make it more stable when playing games. A 'three-dimensional cooling pump' on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra moves cooling liquid across warm surfaces using a capillary mechanism similar to that found on leaves. The thermal conductivity is improved significantly, compared to conventional vapor cooling modules.

As for the rest of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, it's a typical flagship. With the Samsung E5 AMOLED panel, you get a display with a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440, 522 PPI, a peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits, and a refresh rate of 1-120 Hz AdaptiveSync Pro, and a native 10-bit color depth. The panel also supports the P3 color gamut.

The screen supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG; these features will work well with the Harman Kardon speakers that support Dolby Atmos audio as well. The device is IP68-rated, which means it can withstand accidental immersion in sinks and pools. Additionally, there is an infrared remote port at the top for controlling home appliances.

Up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM is available, as well as up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage - powered by Xiaomi's own FBO (File-Based Optimization) storage refresh technology, which, according to Lei, is already incorporated into UFS 4.0. Customers can choose between a 'Classic Black' and a 'Verdant Green,' both wrapped in vegan leather. 

Xiaomi's 12S Pro sports the same 6.73-inch display and Surge P1 fast-charging chip as the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, but it only supports 120W wired charging for its smaller 4,600mAh battery, and lacks 10W reverse charging.

It has a more regular (though still pricey) 50-megapixel Sony IMX707 main sensor, which is a variant of the IMX700 used on Huawei's Mate 40 Pro series. Even though the pixel size is 1.22 um (or 2.44 um after pixel binning), it matches the resolution of Leica's ultra-wide camera (14mm) and telephoto camera (50mm) - all fine-tuned by Leica as well. 

As for the 'basic' Xiaomi 12S, it has the same main camera as the 12S Pro and the same fast-charging features as the 12S Ultra, but with a smaller 4,500mAh battery and a more palm-friendly size underneath the 6.28-inch 120Hz display. According to Lei, there is still a significant demand for small flagship phones.

Pre-orders for the Xiaomi 12S Series are now open in China ahead of the retail launch on July 6th. 12S Ultra is priced between 5,999 yuan (8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage; around $900) and 6,999 yuan (12 GB RAM, 512 GB storage; around $1,000). 

The 12S Pro costs between 4,699 yuan ($700) and 5,899 yuan ($880) (8GB RAM, 128GB storage). From 3,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; around $600) up to 5,199 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; about $780), the 12S is the most affordable option here. As soon as the international version is available, we'll let you know.

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