Update: a new batch of claims Leaked renders show how the standard Xiaomi 12 will look more discreet than his brother Ultra.
The Xiaomi 12 Ultra could be the first Android super flagship phone of 2022, and based on the latest information on the device, it certainly seems to have the camera gear to back up such a claim.
What you see on this page are renderings published by LetsGoDigital, with art provided by Technizo concept. These, in turn, are based on alleged leaks of RODENT950, who showed two images of alleged phone cases for the 12 Ultra on Twitter.
Note that these are unofficial versions based on a case for the supposed Xiaomi phone 12, so it is good to be a bit skeptical.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the current top dog of Xiaomi’s flagship phones (excluding Xiaomi 11T Pro with alternative specs). It offers not only the largest camera by area on any smartphone today, but also a second mini screen on top of the rear camera for notifications and mirroring the viewfinder of the camera app.
The 12 Ultra does not appear to have this display. Instead, there are eight ridiculous openings on the back, based on alleged cases shown by RODENT950. They won’t all be cameras, but that’s still an indication of a well-equipped rig. The Mi 11 Ultra only featured three cameras on the back: a 50MP main camera, a 48MP ultra-wide camera, and a 48MP 5x optical zoom camera, making this look like a substantial improvement if true.
Assuming the smallest hole is for a microphone, and the long, thin sensor at the bottom center will be the flash, that leaves us with six possible sensors. LGD and RODENT950 believe that the central aperture contains the main camera, potentially a 50MP GN5 sensor from Samsung. It’s probably fair to assume that there will be ultrawide and telephoto lenses, bringing the total camera slots to three. The question arises: what could the others be?
The fourth camera (located at the 12 o’clock position on the bulge), possibly a second telephoto camera, like the one we had on the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra or the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Having two cameras with optical zoom allows for more versatility when it comes to getting mid-range subjects to fill the frame, such as when shooting portraits.
Adding this lower-powered telephoto camera to the Xiaomi 12 Ultra would be useful, but there are still two more cameras left. We’d assume one of these will be a time-of-flight or depth sensor, for more effective portrait or AR photo mode shots. As for the other, we imagine that it will be some other type of specialized sensor, perhaps for macro or video. LGD also suggests that a color temperature sensor could be an option.
In the LGD renders, you can see a red Leica logo on the camera bump as well. That is present due to a rumor that Xiaomi and Leica are the latest association between phone and camera manufacturers in the world of smartphones. These teams can have big effects on photo quality, as we saw with Hasselblad’s involvement in the OnePlus 9 series. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what Leica’s involvement entails before getting too excited about the potential.
Beyond the cameras, we would expect Xiaomi to equip the 12 series, including the 12 Ultra, with a 6.8-inch QHD screen capable of a 120Hz refresh rate, as it has been using in recent generations of flagships. Powering up the 12 Ultra may be the job of an included 120W charger, the same one used in the Xiaomi 11T Pro. Instead, the charging system for the standard Xiaomi 12 is rumored to be the 67W system used in the Mi 11 Ultra and the basic Xiaomi 11T
What we know for sure is that the Xiaomi 12 will feature the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. That has already been announced, so you can expect superior performance for this device, at least compared to other Android phones.
Xiaomi is expected to launch the 12 series before the end of December. However, it is likely just a Chinese domestic release. We will likely see a global launch in March 2022, although that won’t include the US, where the brand has yet to sell its phones.