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After spending so much time creating a flagship smartphone like the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, the company then decided to not sell this phone anywhere else other than China alone. Sure, we can import the phone but there won’t be any official Google Mobile Services support and the translation will most probably be iffier than before. In other words – you’re on your own.

Anyway, we got our hands on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra for a very short while of just about an hour. Though our time is short, we tried to make the best of our time by focusing on the cameras alone.

Acer Nitro 5

But first, here’s a quick spec rundown:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset
  • Up to 12GB RAM
  • Up to 512GB storage
  • Triple rear-facing cameras
    • Main: 50.MP f/1.9; dual-pixel PDAF; laser AF; OIS
      • “1-inch sensor”
    • Periscope telephoto: 48MP f/4.1 with 5x optical zoom; PDAF; OIS
    • Ultrawide: 48MP f2/2; dual-pixel PDAF
    • 3D TOF sensor
  • 32MP f/2.4 selfie camera
  • 4,860mAh battery
    • Included 67W charger
  • MIUI 13

Again, I’m only going to focus on the cameras on this phone. Even after spending such a short time with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, I can tell that there is nothing particularly outstanding or interesting other than the cameras alone – and that is because of Leica.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Maybe we’re going to talk about the camera bump. It’s now unnecessary humongous and in my opinion, it doesn’t look good. The Mi 11 Ultra utilized the space better and especially since it had a secondary screen beside the camera bump to offer some utility. I was hoping that Xiaomi made the secondary display bigger, but unfortunately it was yeeted out and occupied by this humongous camera bump.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

One thing I particularly like is how the phone feels. That faux leather is absolutely fantastic.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Back to the camera – the measurement of “1-inch sensor” is using a supremely old measurement. The sensor itself is smaller than 1-inch. For more information, check this video.

It’s Xiaomi’s first collaboration with Leica and even though it is not going to be available for sale anywhere else other than China, Xiaomi still insists that we should at least try out the cameras of this phone.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Well, I suppose it is going to be an indicator of how the cameras of Xiaomi phones will be moving forward. I’m not sure which phone or series will get the Leica treatment – but we’re trying out what the company’s best of the best has to offer right now.

The two Leica profiles

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra has two modes – color profiles, more like. At the top of the camera UI (which I do not have the screenshot), we can choose between Leica Vibrant or Leica Authentic. I shot a comparison so you can take a look at it for yourself.

I have no idea why the Leica Authentic simulated vignette as well – but that’s what we’re getting. The colors aren’t as flat to make it editable, and it’s definitely not poppy enough to be directly uploaded. In fact, the Leica Authentic looks… not good.

I am really liking the Leica Vibrant’s color though. The colors really do pop but leave little to no room for post-processing. With that said, I doubt anyone will ever need to do any sort of post-processing when a randomly-shot picture already looks like this.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra Xiaomi 12S Ultra

We also took some other random pictures using the main camera and I think that it looks good – but we didn’t have much time to test anything else.

What this means for the future

I think it will mean that more phones from Xiaomi in the future (starting from the premium range at least) will come with this type of camera profile and characteristics too. The collaboration with Leica will (hopefully) grow, unlike the other smartphone brand with another camera brand’s collaboration.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

It could also mean that the more premium Xiaomi phones can and most definitely will demand a higher price tag. Call me a pessimist, but I am also a realist – I think a price increment will most definitely happen.

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