Just six months after the release of its previous flagship, Xiaomi today unveiled a trio of recognizable-looking smartphones to kick off its collaboration with Leica.
The new 12S Series operates on Qualcomm’s purportedly more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship chipset and comes with MIUI 13, which is based on Android 12.
The flagship 12S Ultra is equipped with a large 1-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 primary sensor.
This results in generous pixel sizes of 1.6um, which are then doubled to 3.2um using pixel binning for purportedly improved color fidelity and low light performance.
And in contrast to the Sony Xperia Pro-I, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra appears to utilize the entire 1-inch sensor.
Xiaomi participated in the Sony IMX989’s development, and the $15 million price tag was equally split between the two businesses, according to CEO Lei Jun.
It’s interesting to note that Lei said the sensor will be made accessible to his regional rivals after the 12S Ultra is released in order to “support the advancement of mobile imaging together.”
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra features a “Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system,” which includes all three of the back cameras: the 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1), 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm, f/2.2), and the aforementioned 50.3-megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9).
A 1/2-inch Sony IMX586 sensor is used by both 48-megapixel cameras. The entire circular camera island, which is now co-branded with “Leica,” benefits from coating magic to reduce lens glare and enhance image consistency. Oh, and the rim around here is made of 23K gold.
Users will be able to choose between two photographic looks in addition to a few Leica filters: “Leica Authentic Look” for images that look more authentic and have stronger three-dimensional depth, and “Leica Vibrant Look” that adds Xiaomi’s take on vibrancy while maintaining authenticity (somehow).
The watermark banner at the bottom of your images may also be toggled, adding the recognizable red Leica logo, photo metadata, and geographical coordinates to the right, along with the phone model and timestamp on the left.
In China, preorders for the Xiaomi 12S Series are now being accepted before its retail release on July 6. The 12S Ultra is available for purchase for between 5,999 yuan ($900) and 6,999 yuan ($1,000) (8GB RAM, 256GB storage).
Priced between 4,699 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; approximately $700) and 5,899 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; about $880), the 12S Pro is less expensive.
With prices starting at 3,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; about $600) and going as high as 5,199 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; approximately $780), the 12S is the most cost-effective option available.