Xiaomi 12S Ultra launched with a 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor

This is the Ultimate Camera Flagship from Xiaomi!

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Release Date
July 4, 2022
Starting Price
¥5999 (~$895)

We are pretty sure that you remember Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra. It was an absolute beast of a phone as per the on-paper specifications that included features such as 120W fast charging, 120X zoom, a large Samsung GN2 sensor, 8K video recording on all three rear cameras, a Quad-HD+ E4 AMOLED, IP68 rating, and more. Today, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra went official in China, and this is the successor to the Mi 11 Ultra. Just like the Mi 11 Ultra, the 12S Ultra has a crazy spec sheet.

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First, speaking of the design, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a massive circular camera module on the back that, in turn, sits inside a rectangular module. There is no secondary display on the rear this time like the Mi 11 Ultra, but that was more of a gimmick. For the back panel, Xiaomi went for the environmentally friendly Silicon Leather, which makes it the first phone to feature this material. This gives you a leather-like feel, and the 12S Ultra is also IP68 dust and water-resistant.

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On the front, Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a display that is curved on the sides and has a hole-punch cutout in the center. This is a 6.73-inch Samsung E5 AMOLED panel with LTPO 2.0 (1-120Hz), HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 1500 nits peak brightness, and a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels. The fingerprint scanner sits under the display.

Since it is a flagship phone, it is not a surprise that it is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SOC. Xiaomi says the phone has a 3D cooling system that utilizes a unique liquid-return pipeline, allowing condensed liquid to be pumped back more quickly than a VC liquid cooling system. Xiaomi claims a 100% improvement in thermal conductivity.

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Perhaps the biggest highlight of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the camera. There are three cameras on the rear, and the primary camera has a massive 1-inch sensor. This is the Sony IMX989 sensor, and it is also the largest camera sensor ever by Sony for smartphones. This sensor outputs 50MP photos, and the 4-in-1 pixel binning results in 3.2-micron individual pixel size. There is also OIS for this camera sensor. There is an 8P lens with an f/1.9 aperture.

The sheer size of this camera sensor is evident from that huge camera lens in the middle of the camera module.

Speaking of the other two cameras, there is a 48 Megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor for ultrawide/macro photos & another 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with a periscope lens that offers 5X optical zoom. This periscope camera has OIS too.

You can shoot Dolby Vision HDR videos with the camera, and this is something that only iPhones have for now. There was no Android smartphone offering this feature.

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Xiaomi 12S Ultra comes with two image styles you can access while taking photos via the camera app – LEICA Authentic & LEICA Vibrant. On top of that, you can access some built-in LEICA filters too. The phone can shoot 8-bit high-efficiency HEIFs and 10-bit DNG RAW images.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a 4,860mAH battery and supports 67W fast wired charging along with 50W fast wireless charging. The phone also has Xiaomi’s charging chipsets named Surge P1 & Surge G1. They help in extending the battery life and improve the overall battery performance.

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Finally, here is the pricing for the Chinese market –

  • 8GB + 256GB – ¥5999 (~$895)
  • 12GB + 256GB – ¥6499 (~$970)
  • 12GB + 512GB – ¥6999 (~$1,045)

While it may come as a surprise, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is reportedly not launching outside China.

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