The Xiaomi 12S Ultra arrived with big promises and incredible features, including a 1-inch camera sensor from Sony. This camera-centric flagship was developed with Leica and we did a dedicated camera review which was published yesterday.
In it, we explain the advantages this new camera has over its predecessors and competitors, and how it delivers arguably the best stills we’ve ever seen in a smartphone. The ultra-wide and zoom lenses also perform at least as well as last year’s Mi 11 Ultra, but we expected more in video performance.
The 12S Ultra may look like a camera, but it’s got plenty going for it – an excellent OLED display, stereo speakers and IP68 rating. It’s also the first phone on the market with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, although that doesn’t matter much since Xiaomi won’t be selling the device overseas.
In a world where charging is getting faster and faster, Xiaomi decided to stick with 67W for the 12S Ultra. The 4,860mAh battery and its charger didn’t top any charts, but still proved fast enough for power users; the stereo speakers also do a good job.
Unfortunately, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is just an exhibition device for now. Users outside of China will have a hard time getting it and even harder to set it up because of the Chinese MIUI and the pre-installed apps. The default keyboard is also in Chinese, Netflix is limited to SD (even if your friend pays for Ultra HD), and even the menus in system apps are different.
We had a lot of fun reviewing this phone and hopefully we’ll soon see its unrivaled camera on a globally available device.