Xiaomi is working with leica on camera for its next flagship, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, and has further shared that the new phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor. Previously, Leica shared a successful partnership with Huawei, but this has now come to an end with the announcement of the new deal.
“Xiaomi focuses on creating the best user experience, and has always hoped to explore the capabilities of smartphone photography to the extreme. Xiaomi and Leica agree with each other’s activities and ideas and appreciate each other’s advantages and industry. This cooperation will provide a strong boost to Xiaomi’s imaging strategy.” said Lei Jun, founder, president and CEO of Xiaomi Group. “During the cooperation, from optical design to adjusting aesthetic directions, the innovative technologies, product philosophies and image preferences of both parties have undergone unprecedented in-depth collision and merging.”
Xiaomi will join other manufacturers like OnePlus and Vivo who have teamed up with notable camera brands to further push their imaging prowess. As Samsung, Apple, and Google have shown, it’s not always necessary.
Xiaomi’s Ultra phones have been photography powerhouses in the past, offering big cameras and big screens to use them. And the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro they are good enough. Still, the last true Xiaomi camera phone was the 11 Ultra, which comes with a huge camera bump, a 50-megapixel main camera, a 48MP wide-angle lens, and a 48MP telephoto lens.
I know rumors Xiaomi is reusing the same camera setup as the 11 Ultra, albeit swapping Samsung’s main sensor for a Sony one. With that change and the partnership with Leica, hopefully the company can fix the focus issues that we found so problematic.
Xiaomi is taking a leaf from one of its rivals, or in this case, it is taking the whole book. With Xiaomi’s 12 Ultra, Huawei will no longer be the only company to use the Leica brand. Huawei has worked with Leica on its flagship phones since the Huawei P9 in 2016. Since then Huawei had been restricted from selling its phones in the US, with Google Play Services being stripped away for the rest of the world.
Huawei has confirmed that its partnership with Leica has ended, making the Huawei P50 the latest Huawei phone to pack Leica’s expertise into the camera system. While the camera experience is still spectacular and comparable to the best from Apple, Samsung and Google, the restrictions placed on Huawei by the US government have probably made the partnership unattractive for both parties.