The Chinese Xiaomi is not just a budget brand. With the Mi 11 series, the company has shown that it can also put fantastic high-end smartphones on the market. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the current flagship. A special feature of this phone is the secondary display that is placed on the back of the device. The new Xiaomi 12 series is expected in China later this month. For a long time it was assumed that the Ultra model will again have a rear display.
Last month, graphic designer Technizo Concept made a series of impressive product renders of the Xiaomi 12 Ultra. Due to lack of information, it was a self-designed concept model.
In the meantime, Finnish Twitterer Teme @rodent950 managed to get hold of a photo of a Xiaomi 12 Ultra case via the Chinese social media platform Weibo. The picture unveils the new model will feature a completely redesigned camera system. It’s so large that there will be no space left for a rear-display.
Xiaomi smartphone with 50MP Leica quad camera
Since the image only shows a case with cutouts for the camera, the exact camera configuration of the 12 Ultra remains unknown for the time being. Nevertheless, Teme was able to provide the necessary information to LetsGoDigital. As a result, in-house designer Parvez Khan, aka Technizo Concept, has been able to create a series of realistic 3D product renders of the anticipated Xiaomi 12 Ultra.
Starting with the camera system, the new top model will come with a large round-shaped camera, placed on a rectangular elevation. The newly leaked images indicate that it is a quad-camera system. That means that the new model gets one more camera, compared to its predecessor.
Regarding the configuration, there has been talk for some time about the integration of a 50 megapixel wide-angle camera. The new Samsung ISOCell GN5 image sensor will probably be used for this, which enables improved Dual Pixel Pro autofocus. It is the successor of the ISOCell GN2, which is used in the Mi 11 Ultra.
As we are used to from Xiaomi, the other three cameras will also be equipped with a high-resolution image sensor. It may be three 48 megapixel cameras with an ultra-wide angle lens and a periscopic telephoto zoom lens. Judging by the 11 Ultra, it will support 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and 120x digital zoom.
Details about the fourth camera lens (which is placed centrally at the top) remain unknown for the time being. Xiaomi could, for example, opt for a second zoom lens – as we also know from the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – or for a monochrome camera – as with the Huawei P50 Pro.
To the right of the fourth camera is an as yet unknown sensor, possibly meant for the color temperature. Then two more sensors are visible on the right side, which together form the dTOF laser autofocus system. Further to the bottom is a triple LED flash – as we also know from the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
Finally, there is also a microphone visible, to be able to record clear and noise-free sound fragments during video recordings. You may also assume that videos can be recorded in 8K resolution. Of course there will also be several advanced video features available. An optical image stabilization system (OIS) will not be missing either, in order to prevent unintended camera shakes.
The Leica logo is of course also included in the design. In May this year, Teme announced via Twitter that the partnership between Huawei and Leica is coming to an end. In the meantime, Leica has entered into a partnership with Sharp. The Sharp Aquos R6 is the brand’s first phone with Leica optics and a large 1” sensor. Reportedly Xiaomi also started a collaboration with the German lens manufacturer. We will probably see the first results of this with the Xiaomi 12 series.
Regardless of whether Leica is actually involved in designing the camera system for the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, it is clear that Xiaomi will again pay a lot of attention to the photo and video capabilities. Although several brands have opted for a round-shaped camera over time, the quad-camera system of Xiaomi’s new flagship looks very advanced and complete.
Xiaomi 12 Ultra with 6.8” curved AMOLED display
Just as important as the back is the front. Xiaomi will equip the 12 Ultra with a curved display. It is probably a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display will undoubtedly show clear and sharp images.
A punch-hole camera system will most likely be used to accommodate the selfie camera. Xiaomi has already released the Mix 4 with a 20MP under-display camera. Although this technology is expected to be widely used in the future, in 2022 the top model will be fitted with a punch hole again. This time however, it’s a centrally placed front-camera.
To unlock the device, a fast-acting in-display fingerprint sensor will be built in. You can also opt for 2D Face Unlock, although the facial recognition technology is less secure.
You can also expect the necessary high-end features when it comes to audio. Xiaomi has been working with Harman Kardon for some time to ensure a high-quality sound experience. It is expected that the new top model will be equipped with dual stereo speakers. Furthermore, the housing will be dust and waterproof with IP68 certification.
Android 12 phone with powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC
The 12 Ultra will not only be equipped with an advanced camera and a beautiful display, the phone will also be driven by the latest and most powerful chipset available. The new flagship model is expected to be powered by the recently introduced Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
The first smartphone with this brand new SoC was introduced last week, the Motorola Edge X30. In the coming months, this processor will be widely used for various high-end smartphone models, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, the OnePlus 10 series and the Oppo Find X4 series. Xiaomi’s high-end models will also be powered by this powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
The Xiaomi 12 Ultra will run on the Android 12 operating system, which is available since October this year. In addition Xiaomi makes use of the MIUI 13 user interface. Opinions are divided about the software experience with Xiaomi phones and the MIUI skin. If you have no experience with Xiaomi phones yet, then dive into a telecom store and test and experience it yourself.
Regretfully Xiaomi’s update policy leaves a lot to be desired. The company is not very transparent when it comes to the update plans. Nevertheless you may expect the device to be provided with 2 years of Android OS updates and 3 years of security updates. The security updates will be rolled out monthly and quarterly for the first 2 years. In the third year, updates are done every three months.
Powerful battery can charge very fast
Like its predecessor, the new Ultra model will be equipped with a 5,000 mAh battery. There are no top models available with a larger battery capacity. In practice, with intensive use of the phone you will easily get 1.5 days ahead before you have to put the device on the charger.
The charging speed will be further increased. The current top model already offers support for 67W wired and wireless charging. In the meantime, Xiaomi has introduced its 120W charging technology. The 12 Ultra is expected to support this insanely fast charging technology – just like the Xiaomi 11T Pro and the Mi 10 Ultra.
Some even believe that the device will charge even faster. There have been rumors about a 150W charger. In addition, Xiaomi has already introduced a 200W charger in May this year. Perhaps this charger is intended for the new flagship. Anyway, the large battery of the 12 Ultra will be able to be charged in record time. Another positive point, Xiaomi still provides a fast charger in the sales package.
Xiaomi 12 Ultra Price & Availability
This brings us to the last part; the price and availability. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra performs well to very well in many areas. Still, the verdict of many expert reviews was that the top model is simply too expensive. The Mi 11 Ultra cost $1,200 (12GB/256GB) at launch.
There is currently no information about the price of the new model. The 12 Ultra will be refreshed and improved on several points. In that regard, there is little chance that the price will be drastically reduced. Possibly Xiaomi will opt for a similar suggested retail price as this year.
For the renders, we have assumed that the flagship will again appear in the colors black and white. Nevertheless, it is possible that another color variant will be released – with or without extra luxurious ceramic or vegan leather back panel.
The Xiaomi 12 will be officially released in China later this month. The Pro and Ultra model will probably arrive a month or two later. There is also an extra cheap Lite model in the pipeline. In Europe we will probably have to be patient for about two months longer. In other words, the basic model will arrive around February – simultaneously with the Galaxy S22 series – after which the extra advanced Pro and Ultra model are expected around April.
Note to publishers : The Xiaomi 12 Ultra product renders presented in this article are created by in-house graphic designer Parvez Khan (aka Technizo Concept). The 3D renders are based on information provided to LetsGoDigital by well-known leaker Teme @rodent950. This product is not (yet) for sale. You can use the copyrighted images for your own website, YouTube and/or social media channels, please be so respectful to include a clickable source link into your publication.