As expected, Xiaomi officially unveiled the new 12S smartphone series today. This is led by the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, in which the strong 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor is supposed to provide impressive image quality. But the smartphone, which was developed together with the camera professionals from Leica, also looks impressive in other respects.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra in detail
Xiaomi today officially unveiled the new Xiaomi 12S Series “co-engineered with Leica”. The 12S, 12S Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra are said to mark the first culmination of the strategic imaging technology partnership between Xiaomi and Leica.
Although the joint focus is on the device’s impressive camera features, the rest of the specs are more than respectable as well. Xiaomi installs the new flagship SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and provides it with 8 GB or 12 GB of working memory. In addition, there is a choice of 256 GB or 512 GB flash storage.
Compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1’s core area is 21 percent smaller, with both the CPU and GPU seeing a 10 percent improvement in performance and a 30 percent improvement in power efficiency.
The 12S Ultra also features, just like the 12S Pro, a 6.73-inch AMOLED display with a peak brightness of 1,500 nits, a 2K resolution and an adaptive frame rate of 120 hertz (AdaptiveSync Pro). It also covers the DCI-P3 color space and supports HDR10+.
Special cooling system
As a result, the Xiaomi 12S series consumes less power and also emits significantly less heat, according to the manufacturer’s promise. After all, just the 2022 smartphones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 have massive problems in this area.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is equipped with a completely new system for heat dissipation, which is similar to the biological mechanism that allows the leaves of a plant to absorb water. A three-dimensional cooling pump is equipped with a series of channels that use a capillary network to actively pump coolant that condenses on the side opposite the warm areas.
Sounds impressive, and it greatly improves efficiency. It also increases thermal conductivity by 100 percent over normal VC heat dissipation systems.
Quick and safe charging
The 12S Ultra also uses a novel system called the “Xiaomi Surge Battery Management System,” which employs two dedicated chips. The pure capacity is 4,860 mAh, wired charges the smartphone with 67 watts, wireless with 50 watts and reverse wireless charging with 10 watts.
In addition, the Xiaomi Surge G1 battery management chipset features a set of battery management algorithms developed in-house to protect the operational safety of the battery and monitor the discharge load – allowing the device’s available battery life to be accurately predicted. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra also supports adaptive charging to prevent battery overcharging, increasing the number of charge cycles by 25%.
The Leica cameras of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Together, the manufacturer and Leica have developed the Xiaomi 12S Ultra as a true camera flagship, offering specifications that pack a punch. Accordingly, the camera mode in the upper third also takes up the entire width of the smartphone.
“Combining Leica’s deep understanding of optics, image processing and image quality with Xiaomi’s extensive experience in smartphone photography, the Xiaomi 12S Series “co-engineered with Leica” delivers unprecedented smartphone image quality and color,” the press release states.
The star of the party is the main camera’s new 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor, which resolves at 50 megapixels and offers an open f/1.9 aperture. This uses a quad-bayer pixel array with an individual pixel size of 1.6 μm. After pixel binning, the pixel size reaches 3.2μm, which is said to reduce image noise, expand dynamic range, increase light pickup, and achieve overall better low-light images.
The main camera of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra uses an 8P aspherical lens to address common issues such as flare, ghosting, and color aberration. The camera module of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra also features an anti-glare coating to minimize flare and display a clearer image.
A similar system is also used in the new Vivo X80 Pro, which features a Zeiss T-coating.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is also the first Android device to support Dolby Vision HDR video recording and playback. In addition, the smartphone uses HyperOIS for extra stability, which is supposed to compensate for movements during video recording even better. “HyperOIS uses the gap between two frames to move the OIS motor to its original position, allowing the full stabilization range to be used in each frame,” the manufacturer writes.
Besides the strong main camera, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra features two more cameras on the back. Overall, the setup looks like this:
- Wide-angle (main camera): 50.3 MP, 23mm equivalent, f/1.9
- Ultra wide-angle camera: 48 MP Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1, 13mm equivalent, f/2.2
- Telephoto camera: 48 MP, 120mm equivalent, f/4.1, 5x optical zoom
- Front camera: 32 MP
Xiaomi 12S Pro and 12S with cutbacks
The Xiaomi 12S Pro comes very close to the Ultra model. It relies on the same display specifications, but the battery only has a capacity of 4,600 mAh. In return, it even charges with up to 120 watts via USB Type-C. The main camera uses Sony’s IMX707 sensor, which is also used in the normal 12S.
The Xiaomi 12S, on the other hand, is a bit smaller and offers a 6.28-inch AMOLED display and also supports P3 color space, HDR10+ and 120Hz AdaptiveSync.
Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition
They also announced the Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition, a re-release of the previous flagship (without the S name suffix), which is equipped with the new MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC and has also been improved in terms of battery capacity. A 5,160 mAh battery is now under the hood. The whole thing is combined with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of system memory.
Prices and availability
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra, like all other smartphones in the series, has so far only been announced exclusively for the Chinese market. It starts at 5,999 yuan (the equivalent of around 859 euros) with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of system storage. The top model with 12 GB RAM and 512 GB ROM is priced at 6,999 yuan (1,002 euros).
The Xiaomi 12 S, like the Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition, will initially be offered exclusively in China starting at the equivalent of around 570 euros. The 12S Pro will cost at least 840 Euros.More information, specifications and sample pictures can be found in the Newsroom of Xiaomi.