Xiaomi 12S Ultra launched with 1-inch Sony IMX989 camera sensor, Leica optics: Details

The 1-inch Sony IMX989 is the largest we’ve seen on any smartphone at the time of writing.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi has no plans to launch the 12S Ultra outside of China.

Xiaomi, today, launched its most powerful camera-centric flagship phone, Xiaomi 12S Ultra, in China. The 12S Ultra is a high-end phone with top-tier hardware including Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, but its headlining bit is the new 1-inch Sony IMX989 primary camera sensor. The cameras in this phone are also getting the “Leica-treatment” thanks to Xiaomi’s newly announced partnership with the iconic German optics brand.

XIAOMI 12S ULTRA SPECS, FEATURES

The 12S Ultra has three cameras on the back housed inside a pretty sizeable circular module. The primary sensor is a brand-new 1-inch Sony IMX989, the largest we’ve seen on any smartphone at the time of writing. It has a resolution of 50.3MP with individual pixels at 3.2µm in its 4-in-1 binned 12.5MP state. This sensor sits behind an 8P lens with optical image stabilisation custom tuned by Leica itself to minimise issues like flare, ghosting, and chromatic aberration while taking photos.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Under the hood, you get a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip.

You naturally get a couple of “exclusive” photographic styles, in this case, “Leica Authentic Look” and “Leica Vibrant Look” in software, in addition to a bunch of filters that would make more sense to those who’ve used a Leica camera before.

The secondary and tertiary cameras are same as the ones on the Mi 11 Ultra— two 48MP sensors, one with an f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens (128-degree field-of-view) and another with a periscope-style telephoto lens for a total of 120x zoom (5x optical). Both capture 12MP photos by default.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is probably the first Android phone we can think of that’s capable of recording videos in Dolby Vision HDR.

As for the rest of the hardware, the 12S Ultra has a 6.73-inch E5 AMOLED display with a 1440p resolution and up to 120Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, you get a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip paired with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Software is MIUI 13 based on Android 12.

Powering the phone is a 4,860mAh battery with 67W wired and 50W wireless charging support. The phone supports 10W reverse wireless charging as well. Xiaomi has added two custom chips—Surge P1 and G1— for battery management. You also get a seemingly elaborate 3D liquid cooling mechanism for sustained performance.

Rounding off the package are Harman Kardon-tuned stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support and IP68 dust and water resistance.

XIAOMI 12S ULTRA PRICE, AVAILABILITY

Technically, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is a follow-up to the Mi 11 Ultra. Unlike the Mi 11 Ultra (review), though, Xiaomi has no plans to launch the 12S Ultra outside of China. In its home country, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra will start at CNY 5,999 (roughly Rs 70,800) for a version with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage going up to CNY 6,999 (roughly Rs 82,600) for 12GB/512GB. A version with 12GB/256GB will be sold for CNY 6,499 (roughly Rs 76,700).  

Xiaomi 12S Ultra is joined by the Xiaomi 12S and Xiaomi 12S Pro models.

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