The new Xiaomi 12S series flagship is finally here. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra brings a vastly improved camera thanks to the help of Leica and the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. Two more cameras cover the ultrawide and telephoto range, similar to the setup in the Mi 11 Ultra. The main camera, on the other hand, is completely new and is preparing to be nothing short of the most impressive smartphone camera in the world.
Sony IMX989 1 inch sensor
The 23mm wide-angle, 50.3-megapixel camera marks the debut for Sony’s new 1-inch IMX989 sensor. This is currently the largest sensor in a smartphone with the largest individual pixels at 3.2 µm after 4-in-1 binning. Leica also brings its expertise to the Xiaomi 12S Ultra in terms of software. The lens in front of the 1 inch sensor is an 8P element lens. Thanks to the eight lenses, problems such as flare, chromatic aberration and ghosting should be a thing of the past. In addition, there is a lens edge coating, as well as a cyclic olefin copolymer material and an infrared light filter with spin coating technology. Leica has decorated the entire rear camera module with its iconic Summicron label.
On the software side, there are two photographic styles – the “Leica Authentic Look” and the “Leica Vibrant Look”. The authentic look aims for a natural image, focusing on light and shadow contrasts and adding depth to photos. The vibrant look combines Xiaomi’s computational photography with Leica’s aesthetic. Additionally, there are Leica filters – Leica Vivid, Leica Natural, Leica BW Natural and Leica BW High Contrast.
Ultrawide and periscope from the Mi 11 Ultra
The other two cameras on the back of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra adopt the proven 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 1/2.0-inch sensor, which was also used in the Mi 11 Ultra. The ultrawide has a focal length of 13mm, an aperture of f/2.2, as well as autofocus and macro capabilities. The telephoto camera uses a 120mm f/4.1 periscope. Both capture 12 megapixel images with 1.6 µm pixels after binning. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra can capture 8-bit JPEG or high-efficiency HEIF files, as well as 10-bit DNG RAW files with an embedded profile for Adobe Lightroom.
In terms of videos, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the first Android phone to support Dolby Vision HDR recording. The 10-bit h.265 videos are recorded in HLG with the Rec.2020 color space in both 4K and FullHD. In 4K you get 30 or 60 fps at up to 80 Mbit/s. At 1080p 60fps the bit rate is 55 Mbit/s and at 30fps it is 35 Mbit/s.
The 6.73-inch E5 Super AMOLED display has a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels and supports AdaptiveSync Pro support. In plain language: The Xiaomi 12 Ultra can variably change the refresh rate from 1 to 120 Hz. The 4,860 mAh battery supports 67 watts of wired charging and 50 watts of wireless charging (10 watts of reverse wireless charging). Two surge chips for battery management are on board. The Xiaomi Surge P1 charging chip protects the battery from overcharging and extends its lifespan, while the Xiaomi Surge G1 manages battery usage.
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is powered by the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with either 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The new Snapdragon is said to deliver 10% more GPU and CPU performance and 30% higher energy efficiency compared to the 8 Gen 1 processor. According to Xiaomi, the 12S Ultra has an innovative new 3D liquid cooling mechanism that uses a capillary mesh. Cooling liquid is pumped through this, which condenses on the side opposite the warm area.
Like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, the 12S Ultra also comes with Harman Kardon tuned stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos. MIUI 13 based on Android 12 takes on the software side.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra weighs 225 g and is IP68 water and dust resistant. It’s available in Classic Black and Verdant Green with a leather-like back. Unfortunately, Xiaomi has already confirmed that it will not be available outside of China. In the Far East, the smartphone costs 5,999 CNY for 8/256 GB, 6,499 CNY for 12/256 GB and 6,999 CNY for 12/512 GB ($836/906/976).