Xiaomi 12 Pro review: ultra-fast-charging Android phone. Xiaomi 12 pro ultra

Xiaomi Leica partnership will not see a Xiaomi 12 Ultra happen this time. Leak suggest a Xiaomi 12S coming to the markets soon.

Xiaomi and Leica announced earlier this week about their new joint venture, promising a new announcement in July. While both companies have kept mum on the product name, the world of leaks has given us an idea on what is coming towards us. And spoiler alert! It is NOT the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, the successor to last year’s Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. In fact, it will essentially be a beefed up variant of the Xiaomi 12 Pro we saw just a month ago. Have a look at all the details.

Based on a leaked post from a tipster on Weibo reported by GSMArena, Xiaomi is working on Xiaomi 12S and Xiaomi 12S Pro smartphones. The IMEI database has listed these phones for the Chinese market only for now but the company could be announcing these phones for global markets later this year. The leaked post also reveals the picture of the phone, showing us for the first time a Leica branded Xiaomi smartphone.

Xiaomi Leica partnership to spawn Xiaomi 12S series

The image shows this Xiaomi 12 Pro with a design that is largely unchanged from the Xiaomi 12 Pro. The camera hump design remains the same with its triple camera system but instead of the 50MP branding, there sits a LEICA sticker along with the lens specifications. Other than that, the phone also appears to be come in a new silver colour variant.

Sadly, we cannot see anymore of the Xiaomi 12S Pro as of now. However, given that launch is happening in July, Xiaomi could start teasing the phone in a month’s time. The global launch of the phone could happen sometime in September, considering the usual gap between the China and global launches. over, Xiaomi would like to use the Xiaomi 12S series for challenging the Apple iPone 14, especially with its Leica branded cameras.

What remains to be seen is whether the Leica partnership is just a mere sticker-job or will Xiaomi actually take any tuning inputs from Leica. Leica was previously associated with Huawei for its flagship P and Mate series devices. The venture was disrupted after the US-related issues for Huawei.

This will be an interesting development to see considering the Xiaomi 12 Pro has a good set of rear cameras. The Xiaomi 12 Pro launched in India recently with its triple 50MP camera system, which we found capable but not on the same level as the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S22.

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Xiaomi 12 Pro review: ultra-fast-charging Android phone

Xiaomi’s new top phone for the start of 2022 is the 12 Pro featuring high-end specs, svelte design and triple 50-megapixel cameras but at a decidedly premium price.

“China’s Apple” as Xiaomi was once called, is more frequently known for top-spec phones that undercut the competition on price. But the 12 Pro is different – a direct challenger to Apple and Samsung costing £1,049, which is as much if not more than rivals.

It certainly looks the part. The 6.73in OLED screen is super bright, vibrant and pin-sharp with a 120Hz refresh rate to keep everything smooth. The sides curve to a metal frame and a smooth frosted glass back with a protruding camera lump in the top left corner. The 12 Pro a large phone but feels great, is slightly lighter than some rivals and comparatively easy to grip.

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There’s a set of four speakers in the top and bottom of the phone, which are surprisingly good for a smartphone and not as easy to block with your hand when holding as some rivals.

Exceptionally fast charging but short battery life

The 12 Pro has the same top Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip as the Oppo Find X5 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro and most high-end Android phones launched in 2022 and performs similarly, capable of handling demanding tasks and games with aplomb.

The battery life is a bit short compared with rivals. The 12 Pro lasted only 30 hours between charges, while most phones last at least 35 hours. That included about two hours on 5G and having actively using the screen for about four hours for mostly light tasks such as messaging, browsing, music and taking a couple of photos.


Xiaomi rates the battery for at least 800 full-charge cycles while maintaining at least 80% of its original capacity and can be replaced for about £12 plus labour.

The phone is generally repairable, with screen fixes costing about £180 plus labour. Its predecessor scored only four out of 10 on iFixit’s repairability ranking.

Xiaomi does not publish environmental impact assessments or offer trade-in or recycling schemes in the UK. The phone is not made of recycled materials.

Miui 13

Miui 13 is Xiaomi’s customised version of Android 12. It is still a work in progress for western markets, full of little differences and oddities compared with Samsung, Google and other common brands, and certainly not the best version of Android available.

It is highly customisable with options to change the way it looks and operates beyond what most rivals offer, from making it look and work like an iPhone to the more traditional Android way. But it took some digging through menus and tweaking settings to get it to work to my liking, after which it was fairly fast and attractive.

Xiaomi will support the 12 Pro, with software updates including three big Android version upgrades and a total four years of security updates from the phone’s release. That is a year longer than last year’s model but behind Samsung’s five and Apple’s six-plus years of support.


The phone has three 50-megapixel cameras on the back and a very capable 32MP selfie camera, which produces detailed photos but defaults to some degree of artificial skin-smoothing unless you turn it off manually.

The main camera is the best of the bunch, producing sharp, well-detailed images with excellent colour balance and exposure, even in high-contrast scenes. Low-light performance is strong and video is excellent too. But the ultra-wide and 2x telephoto cameras are also good with consistent colour and exposure as you switch between the three cameras. The 2x zoom is weak compared with rivals, however, which often have 3, 5 or even 10x optical zooms. Extending beyond 2x with digital zoom quickly becomes full of artefacts.

Overall, the 12 Pro’s camera is generally very good but let down by the limited optical zoom.


The 12 Pro is Xiaomi’s latest attempt to take on the best of Samsung and Apple at the top of the premium market, which delivers in some areas while falling short in others.

It certainly looks the part, feels great, performs well and has the fastest charging currently available. The camera is pretty good too but lacks extended optical zoom, limited only to 2x magnification where others offer 3x or 4x for the same price.

Xiaomi’s Miui software is improving but still feels geared towards enthusiasts. The biggest problems for the 12 Pro are relatively weak battery life and high cost. The buyer is simply getting less with the Xiaomi than with similar phones from OnePlus, Google, Samsung or Apple.

Pros: good screen, top performance, super-fast charging, nice design, good camera, good speakers, decent in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Cons: expensive, relatively short battery life, lack of extended optical zoom for the camera, only four years of software support guaranteed, no official water resistance rating.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra: la nueva bestia de Xiaomi es una cámara pegada a un teléfono de la gama más alta

Xiaomi acaba de presentar, junto a los nuevos Xiaomi 12S y 12S Pro, el móvil más ambicioso de su catálogo, el Xiaomi 12S Ultra. A pesar del cambio en la nomenclatura, este es el sucesor directo del Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, una bestia fotográfica que logró sorprendernos en su análisis.

Con más potencia, un sensor de una pulgada y un hardware que compite con lo mejor de lo mejor, el 12S Ultra tiene el reto de competir con los mejores teléfonos de 2022. Estas son sus especificaciones y ficha técnica.

Ficha técnica del Xiaomi 12S Ultra

AMOLED de tipo LTPO6,73 pulgadas2K (3.200 x 1.440 píxeles)Refresco de 1Hz-120HzBrillo máximo de 1.500 nitsDolby Vision /HDR10Gorilla Glass Victus

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 a 3,19GHz (5nm TSMC)GPU Adreno 730

Principal: 50 megapíxeles f/2.0, PDAF, OISAngular: 48 megapíxeles f/2.22, PDAF, 128ºZoom: 48 megapíxeles f/4.1, PDAF, OIS, Zoom 5XProfundidad: sensor ToF 3D

32 megapíxeles OMNIVISION f/2.0

4.860 mAhCarga rápida de 67WCarga inalámbrica de 50WCarga inversa inalámbrica de 10W

5G DualWiFi 6EBluetooth 5.2GPSNFCInfrarrojosUSB-C 2.0

Lector de huellas bajo pantallaAltavoces estéreoIP68 contra polvo y agua

Una bestia con sensor de una pulgada

Empezaremos la casa por el tejado, y es que la cámara es el punto más importante en este Xiaomi 12S Ultra. Estrena un nuevo sensor de Sony IMX 989 con tamaño de una pulgada, el más grande jamás montado en un teléfono de Xiaomi. El 11 Ultra ya era uno de los mejores exponentes fotográficos con diferencia, y este 12S Ultra tiene todas las papeletas para seguir por el mismo camino.

Según Xiaomi, no se trata solo de introducir un sensor grande, sino que por fin parece que se empiezan a tomar en serio el procesado. Han desarrollado los distintos módulos del ISP para que sea más preciso en colorimetría, siendo menos agresivo con el tratamiento de la piel.

Las lentes son de primer nivel, prometiendo corregir algunos de los problemas actuales en reflejos, presentes en algunos de sus rivales directos. En concreto, son lentes revestidas con un copolímero de olefina cíclica (COC) que reducen el destello de lente, algo especialmente importante cuando disparamos por la noche a objetos como farolas.

Si hablamos de las cámaras secundarias, tenemos un zoom óptico de cinco aumentos periscópicos y con una resolución de 48 megapíxeles, capaces de saltar al zoom 120X digital. El otro sensor un ultra gran angular, también de 48 megapíxeles.

El hardware esperado en un flagship

El panel de este Xiaomi 12S Ultra es de 6,73 pulgadas, con tecnología AMOLED, 120 Hz adaptativos hasta 1 Hz gracias al LTPO y la promesa de tener una calibración sobresaliente. Es compatible con contenidos Dolby Vision y tiene un brillo máximo de hasta 1.500 nits.

La configuración de memoria se eleva hasta los 12 512 GB, con tipos de memoria LPDDR5 y UFS 3.1. El procesador, como no podía ser de otro modo, es el nuevo Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, fabricado en proceso de TSMC y mucho más eficiente que el anterior Gen 1, con proceso de Samsung y muy poco eficiente a nivel energético y de temperatura.

La batería es de 4.860mAh, debido principalmente a que las cámaras ocupan la mayor parte del teléfono. La carga rápida es de 67W (extraño que no hayan apostado por los 120W), con carga inalámbrica de 50W e inversa 10W.

Versiones y precio del Xiaomi 12S Ultra

El Xiaomi 12S Ultra no saldrá a la venta en España, siendo una versión (en principio) reservada para el mercado chino. Queda aún la esperanza de que pueda llegar bajo otra nomenclatura, pero según fuentes oficiales no aterrizará en nuestro país.

  • Xiaomi 12S Ultra 8/256 GB. 857,37 euros al cambio (5.999 yuanes).
  • Xiaomi 12S Ultra 12/256 GB. 928,83 euros al cambio (6.499 yuanes).
  • Xiaomi 12S Ultra 12/512 GB. 1000,29 euros al cambio (6.999 yuanes).

Xiaomi 12s Ultra review: hey big sensor

The best smartphone snapper ever made, and you can’t even buy it in the UK. Meet the Xiaomi 12s Ultra. With some world-first sensor tech, nothing can touch Xiaomi’s new, China-only flagship when it comes to camera hardware.

Picking up where the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra left off and refining the mix considerably, the 12s Ultra is also the first to benefit from Xiaomi’s partnership with Leica – until recently, Huawei’s bedfellow. That co-branding effort helped Huawei rise from photography mediocrity to camera phone dominance, and now Xiaomi wants some of that magic for itself.

Acquiring photography heritage is one thing, but the 12s Ultra matches it with best-in-class camera hardware, courtesy of a new 1in sensor co-developed with Sony. It also packs the latest processor, a beautiful screen, a sizeable battery, and fast wired and wireless charging. Cast an eye over the spec sheet and it looks set to be a world-class smartphone – were it actually launching around the world, anyway. If you want to buy one and don’t live in China, you’ll need to import it.

So why review it at all? Three reasons. The first: the Xiaomi 12s Ultra is a landmark camera phone. Second: you can import it relatively easily. And finally, it’s easy-ish to get the phone running Google services, making it feel and function like a Western phone.

Design and screen: Ring-a-ding-ding

If any phone feels like it’s back to front, it’s the Xiaomi 12s Ultra. The protruding camera ring is so prominent, complete with gold trimming and stepped design, that it commands more attention than the screen. Xiaomi hasn’t tried to emulate the look of a traditional camera, but the bold, circular design calls on the spirits of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro and proceeds them unapologetically.

The camera ring is surrounded by a sandblasted, bevelled metal squircle, which sits atop a leather-like material. You can have it in Black and Green colours, but our green unit leans more towards grey. It’s set into a matte, metal frame that’s a blush gold colour. The colour combo looks eye-catching yet subtle, and the curved body plays well against the flat top and bottom.

While far from light at 225g, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra weighs less than its predecessor and the 240g iPhone 13 Pro Max. Despite being a chonk there’s still an elegance to it, with iP68 dust and water resistance suggesting it’s relatively hardy too. This is undeniably a thick phone, though. It’s 9.1mm thick for the most part, but add the camera bump and this increases to 13mm – all to accommodate that huge 1in Sony IMX 989 camera sensor.

As for the screen, it’s a box-ticking exercise in 2022 flagship display tech. Is it an AMOLED display? Check. Second-gen LTPO for adaptive 120Hz smoothness and optimum power consumption? Check. High brightness of up to 1500 nits for easy outdoor viewing? Another check. What about excellent colour reproduction and viewing angles? You guessed it – the Xiaomi 12s Ultra is something of a full house.

Measuring 6.73in, the 12s Ultra’s display is also large without being Galaxy S22 Ultra-sized, and with a resolution of 1440 x 3200, it also squeezes in 522 pixels in every inch of screen, making it one of the crispest around.

Camera: A lot to Leica

You might argue the Xiaomi 12s Ultra isn’t the first 1in camera phone we’ve tested. After all, we spent weeks with the Sony Xperia Pro-I back in January and quite liked it. Look past Sony’s marketing, though, and you’ll discover the Xperia Pro-I actually crops its sensor rather than use the full 1in. It’s still a formidable camera, but the accompanying telephoto and ultrawide lenses were only ever fine.

Xiaomi hasn’t been nearly as reserved. The main sensor is a true 1in sensor, the telephoto periscope camera is competitive, and the ultrawide lens is impressive too.

Xiaomi’s new Leica partnership means being presented with options when you first fire up the phone: Leica Vivid and Leica Natural. Leica Vivid produces photos that are rich and unctuous, pleasingly contrasted and saturated without being too unrealistically zingy. Leica Natural makes photos look moodier and atmospheric, darkening shadows and cooling things down a fair bit. We got 1890s London, Jack the Ripper vibes when shooting in Leica Natural, so tended to stick with Vivid.

Naturally the Sony IMX 989 1in sensor has been matched with all the frills you could ask for, namely optical image stabilisation (OIS) and dual-pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF). The lens has an f/1.9 aperture matched to a 23mm focal length, so it’s one of the wider primary cameras we’ve tested, helping you fit loads in frame.

Normally, phone photos show very little background blur for any subjects further away than arms’ length, but the Xiaomi 12s Ultra can pull out natural-looking bokeh at much greater distances. This instantly makes pictures look richer and more dramatic, and makes this a superb portrait camera.

An extremely shallow depth of field with oodles of soft FOCUS isn’t always useful, though. Try taking a photo of a passport or a driving license for online verification, and there’s a good chance the sides won’t be sharp. It automatically switches to the 48MP ultrawide camera’s ‘macro’ mode for close-ups, though, and does a respectable job – even if it misses out on the main camera’s dynamic range and subtlety elsewhere.

Low light photography is best in class even before you get to night modes or long-exposure pro mode. Just point and shoot in dimly-lit scenes, and the phone does a great job of keeping noise at bay. With night mode active, it competes head-on with the best from Apple and Google, packing a pleasing amount of detail and depth.

The ultrawide lens leans more heavily on computational photography than the main camera to pull off a good shot in darker scenes, but is very competitive. The 48MP, 5x zoom telephoto camera is also mighty, capturing a good amount of crisp detail thanks to OIS.

Neither secondary camera can match the main sensor’s nuanced shots, which creates a disconnect when shooting across them all – but individually they still stack up well against the competition. The Galaxy S22 Ultra with its 10x optical zoom, and the Oppo Find X5 Pro with its large, 50MP ultrawide camera are both taken to task.

Video captured on the 12s Ultra looks excellent right up to 8K resolution, coping with noise better than virtually any phone we’ve used. The 32MP resolution selfie camera also captures clear shots which are flattering and detailed.

xiaomi, review, ultra-fast-charging, android, phone, ultra

Software and performance: Google it

Switch on the Xiaomi 12s Ultra and you’re greeted by Chinese apps. After a few uninstalls and a virtual keyboard swap, though, everything starts to feel a bit less foreign to us here in the UK.

Dive into Xiaomi’s app store and download Google Play Services for AR, and you’re able to install the Google Play Store, Chrome, YouTube and every familiar app, including Google Wallet. Getting UK credit cards working didn’t require any hackery, so there’s no reason the Xiaomi 12s Ultra can’t become your regular phone.

There are still some practical niggles, like having to manually allow permissions for notifications on apps like WhatsApp. If you don’t know your way around Android, avoid taking on an import phone – but anyone comfortable with a bit of jiggery-pokery might want to research reliable importers.

Once it was suitably Googlified, the 12s Ultra became another phone running Xiaomi’s MIUI – a relatively heavy skin built on top of Android 12. That means a host of iOS-style features like a Control Center for quick toggles, and a universal search with a swipe down on your home screen. There are also loads of Xiaomi pre-installed apps, but you get a stable, smooth experience for the most part.

xiaomi, review, ultra-fast-charging, android, phone, ultra

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside, matched with either 8GB or 12GB RAM, the 12s Ultra flies, powering through all the games we ran on it, including Genshin Impact and Tower of Fantasy. It starts with 128GB of storage, but you might want to opt for a higher-capacity configuration (256GB or 512GB) as the phone misses out on microSD expansion, and shoots sizeable 8K video.

Battery life and charging: Shooting for a day

Even with a fair bit of happy snapping in your daily mix, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra is good for a day’s battery life between charges. The 4860mAh battery is slightly smaller than the 5000mAh competition, but the phone is well optimised and that CPU isn’t quite as power hungry as previous-gen chips.

Longevity isn’t far behind the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, easily making it through a full day with moderate use, and needing a charge by the early evening if you’re absolutely hammering it.

With fast, 67W wired charging and a charger in the box, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra can power up in around 45 minutes. If you’ve got a nippy Xiaomi wireless charging pad, you can take advantage of impressive 50W wireless speeds.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra Verdict

When it comes to camera sensors, bigger is better. If you want a shallow depth of field and best-in-class low-light photos and videos, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra really is top of the class.

It has more quirks and isn’t always as user-friendly as an iPhone or a Google Pixel, though, with less consistency across the primary, wide and ultrawide cameras. The extremely shallow depth of field can also throw up some practical problems.

In spite of that, photographers will likely love the 12s Ultra. It’s a seriously refined update over its predecessor, with rich design, loads of power, a great screen and ample fast charging options. Other than the 12s Ultra’s lack of availability outside China, it’s hard to seriously fault the phone.

Importing Xiaomi’s benchmark camera phone is doable if you know your way around Android OS and are prepared for some features not working, like Google’s Nearby Share. For most, though, this is one of those coveted out-of-reach smartphones that tells us more about a brand than about our next purchase.

Specifically, this phone says Xiaomi is serious about becoming the greatest camera phone maker going.

Stuff Says…

World-first tech and a Leica partnership inches Xiaomi closer to camera phone domination, but China-only availability will make the 12s Ultra an unlikely option for most.

Best-in-class camera hardware

Excellent screen and premium design

Fast wired and wireless charging

China software hard to navigate

Nuanced camera won’t be for all

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