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Xiaomi and Leica are partnering up for an 'imaging flagship' coming this July

This ends the HUAWEI-Leica era for good.

Published onMay 22, 2022

xiaomi 12 ultra leica lets go digital
  • Xiaomi has tied up with Leica for the camera tech on its flagship phones.
  • The first Xiaomi-Leica “imaging flagship” will launch in July.

Update: May 23, 2022 (5:46 AM ET): In an email exchange, HUAWEI confirmed to Android Authority that its partnership with Leica ended on March 31, 2022.

Original article: May 22, 2022 (10 PM ET): Rumors about a possible Xiaomi-Leica partnership have been confirmed today. Xiaomi has announced a long-term strategic partnership with the German camera maker. The tie-up will bear fruit this July in the form of a flagship phone focused on imaging.

Leica had previously joined forces with HUAWEI. Its camera tech has been a part of the Chinese OEM’s phones since the launch of the P9 back in 2016. However, leaks revealed last year that the camera company is searching for a new partner and that its collaboration with HUAWEI would end with the P50 series. While HUAWEI previously denied this development, it looks like leakers were on point. We’ve reached out to the company to reconfirm the same.

Nevertheless, the Xiaomi-Leica partnership could first appear on the rumored Xiaomi 12 Ultra. The company hasn’t said so specifically, but information-based renders of a Leica-branded 12 Ultra have been doing the rounds for a while now. The phone is expected to feature a quad-camera setup with a 50MP IMX800 main camera and a periscope zoom lens.

Huawei’s Leica-branded phones offered monochrome images through software and camera hardware. They also delivered color filters in the camera app. We could see similar implementations on Xiaomi’s Leica-stamped devices.

“We are convinced that the first jointly developed imaging flagship smartphone makes the pioneering progress of both companies visible. We will provide consumers in the field of mobile photography exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unrestricted creativity, and will open a new era of mobile imaging,” Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG, said in a press release.

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