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The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is on the way, but what happened to 12 Ultra?

The device isn't going to see the light of day now that the 12S Ultra is on the way.

Published onJune 30, 2022

Mi 11 Ultra showing rear of the phone and camera
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun says the Xiaomi 12 Ultra was canceled in favor of the 12S Ultra.
  • Jun said the 12 Ultra was originally scheduled to launch in March or April.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was the company’s first ultra-premium flagship phone, packing features like a flexible triple rear camera system, IP68 rating, and fast wireless charging. We expected the Xiaomi 12 Ultra to debut in 2022, but the firm is offering the Xiaomi 12S Ultra instead.

Now, Xiaomi co-founder Lei Jun has revealed in the comments of a Weibo post (h/t: ITHome and Phandroid) that the device was originally supposed to launch in the first half of the year before being canceled.

“The Xiaomi 12 Ultra is equipped with the Snapdragon 8, which was originally planned to be released in March and April, but was canceled,” read an excerpt of the machine-translated post. Jun added that they chose to switch to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 “in pursuit of a better experience.”

More Xiaomi coverage: Everything you need to know about the MIUI Android skin

It seems like less of a cancellation and more like a case of the device undergoing a few tweaks (e.g. new chipset) and a name change. However, we’re not sure if this is the case or if the Xiaomi 12S Ultra was indeed designed from scratch.

Either way, the 12S Ultra is shaping up to be a camera beast. The Chinese brand confirmed that the phone is equipped with a new one-inch camera sensor (IMX989) co-developed with Sony. In fact, Xiaomi says the two brands spent a combined $15 million on developing the sensor. The device is also said to offer Leica lens coatings to reduce glare and purple fringing.

Xiaomi will launch the new Ultra phone alongside the standard 12S and the 12S Pro on July 4. So we’ll know more about all the devices then.