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Xiaomi 12S series launches: The first Leica-branded Xiaomi phones

These phones aren't coming to global markets though.

Published onJuly 4, 2022

Xiaomi 12S Ultra camera bag

Xiaomi and Leica announced a partnership earlier this year, following in the footsteps of OnePlus and Hasselblad and vivo and ZEISS. The company announced late last month that the Xiaomi 12S series would be the first phones as part of the deal, and it’s now launched these devices in China.

The Xiaomi 12S series consists of the standard Xiaomi 12S, the 12S Pro, and the 12S Ultra. All three phones offer Summicron lenses for reduced glare and improved light transmittance, while also offering Leica imaging profiles.

The latter feature harks back to Leica’s partnership with Huawei, offering two different photographic styles for users to choose from. There’s a “Leica Authentic Look” profile for more natural photos and a “Leica Vibrant Look” that ostensibly opts for more saturated hues.

All three phones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC as well, with Qualcomm previously claiming 30% improved efficiency and 10% better CPU and GPU performance.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra: One-inch sensor and more

Xiaomi 12S Ultra back
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The Ultra model is the top dog here in terms of photography. The headline feature is a one-inch IMX989 main sensor co-developed with Sony. This is a 50MP sensor with a 1.6-micron pixel size. The camera also offers four-in-one pixel binning to deliver images comparable to a 12.5MP 3.2-micron pixel sensor.

Otherwise, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is also equipped with a 48MP IMX586 ultrawide camera (13mm equivalent, with macro mode) and a 48MP IMX586 periscope camera (120mm or ~5.2x zoom). The company adds that the phone is equipped with HyperOIS stabilization for improved video recording. A 32MP RGBW camera handles selfies.

More reading: Everything you need to know about Xiaomi phones

Moving to core specs, the device serves up a 6.73-inch QHD+ LTPO OLED screen (Samsung E5, 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate), a 4,860mAh battery, 67W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless top-ups.

Other features worth knowing include stereo speakers, Dolby Vision HDR recording (Xiaomi says this is a first for an Android phone), Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, and MIUI 13 atop Android 12.

Xiaomi’s new Ultra phone also has a faux leather back that’s said to be resistant to dirt, a camera housing rim made out of 23-karat gold, and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro

Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro

The Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro are also available if you want a Leica-branded Xiaomi device at a cheaper price. The two devices share a Sony IMX707 50MP main camera, delivering a 1/1.28-inch sensor size and 1.22-micron pixel size. Xiaomi adds that both devices offer a 30fps burst mode as well as fast capture/startup times.

Focusing on the middle model, this device offers the same 6.73-inch QHD+ OLED display as the Ultra variant but also offers a 4,600mAh battery, 120W wired charging, 50W wireless top-ups, and 10W reverse wireless charging. Xiaomi’s Pro model also brings 50MP ultrawide (115-degree field-of-view) and 50MP telephoto rear cameras (2x zoom).

Finally, the company also announced the standard Xiaomi 12S. It differs from the Pro and Ultra variants by offering a more compact design. Expect to find a 6.28-inch FHD+ OLED panel (120Hz) here. The device also serves up a 4,500mAh battery with 67W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging.

In addition to the 50MP IMX707 main camera, the standard device also brings a 13MP ultrawide lens (123-degree field-of-view) and a 5MP telemacro lens. Don’t expect a telephoto lens here like the Pro model.

Xiaomi 12S series pricing and availability

Xiaomi 12S Pro
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12S series is exclusive to China, the company told Android Authority in an emailed response. However, it added that the partnership with Leica “will have long-term impacts beyond the scope of this series, into Xiaomi’s international markets.”

Nevertheless, expect the Xiaomi 12S Ultra to start at 5,999 yuan (~$896) for the base 8GB/256GB model, all the way up to 6,999 yuan (~$1,046) for the top-end 12GB/512GB option.

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12S Pro will start at 4,699 yuan (~$702) for the base 8GB/128GB variant, topping out at 5,899 yuan (~$881) for the 12GB/512GB model.

The standard Xiaomi 12S starts at 3,999 yuan (~$597) for the 8GB/128GB model, reaching a maximum of 5,199 yuan (~$777) for the top-end 12GB/512GB option.

Xiaomi 12S series: Hot or not?

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