We recently reported on Xiaomi releasing the Xiaomi 12S series, which are extremely photo-centric thanks to a partnership with camera experts Leica. But just how good are the cameras packed in this series, and what else do the three devices, Xiaomi 12S, Xiaomi 12S Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra offer?
Xiaomi 12S and Xiaomi 12S Pro
There is only one place to start, and that is the camera setup. Both the Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro have 1/1.28” sensors in their main cameras, which are very large, but the 12S Ultra has an even bigger sensor.
The sensor used on the Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro is the same IMX707 sensor that is also used on the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro, with the difference being Leica co-engineered the ones that have been packed in the 12S series.
Leica playing a part in the 12S series’ sensors comes with some advantages, including the three 12S series phones have Leica Summicron lenses and support for Leica imaging profiles.
When taking pictures with the 12S series, users also get to choose between the Leica Authentic Look which recreates the natural look that Leica is known for or the Leica Vibrant Look which has been tuned by both Xiaomi and Leica to create a blend of the two companies’ style.
For the photo experts, the two phones support 10-bit RAW image capture, which Xiaomi says was calibrated by Adobe Labs.
Aside from the main 50 MP main sensor that is on both the Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro, the 12S also has a 13 MP sensor for ultrawide shots and another 5 MP sensor for macro. The Xiaomi 12S Pro on the other hand has a beefier set-up consisting of two other 50 MP sensors for Macro and Ultrawide shots.
Moving to the internals, both the 12S and 12S Pro get the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset that runs cooler and performs better than the previous Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
On matters of battery and charging, the 12S Pro with a battery capacity of 4,600 mAh supports 120W wired fast charging and 50 W wireless while the 12S has a battery capacity of 4,500 mAh and supports 67W wired fast charging and 50 W wirelessly.
Both phones have similar RAM/storage configurations of 8 GB/128 GB, 8 GB/256 GB, 12 GB/ 256 GB, 12 GB/ 512 GB
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
The Xiaomi 12S and 12S Pro have impressive cameras, but the 12 Ultra tops the lot by a mile.
The phone pioneers Sony’s flagship 1-inch IMX989 sensor which is the largest snapper on any smartphone, and it brings the largest individual pixels at 3.2 µm in its 4-in-1 binned 12.5 MP mode.
Leica takes charge of the software side, including adding the two presets I mentioned above to ensure your photos are true to life as they can be. There are also added filters in the 12S Ultra including Leica Vivid, Leica Natural, Leica BW Natural, and Leica BW High Contrast.
The rest of the rear camera set-up includes the 48 MP Sony IMX586 1/2.0-inch sensor (periscope telephoto) that was also used in the Mi 11 Ultra, while for the ultrawide shots, you get a 48 MP 13 mm f/2.2 with autofocus and macro abilities.
The 12S Ultra also becomes the first Android phone with the capability of supporting Dolby Vision HDR recording. This can be done in both 4K quality and Full HD (1080p).
Moving on to charging, interestingly, the 12S Ultra has a lower charging speed than the 12S Pro at 67 W while being equal at wireless charging at 50 W. The 12S Ultra however has a slightly bigger battery at 4860 mAh.
The 12S Ultra also rocks the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with having a RAM/Storage configuration that is similar to that of the 12S and 12S Pro, with the only exception being the 12S Ultra does not have a 128 GB model.
By choosing the 12S Ultra, you also get stereo speakers that have been tuned by Harman Kardon with support for Dolby Atmos
Price and Availability
At the time of writing, the three Xiaomi 12S series devices are only available in the Chinese market. Whether they will be available in the global market is a matter of waiting and seeing.
Here are the retail prices for the Xiaomi 12S Series in China for comparison purposes if they ever make their way to the Kenyan market;
- Xiaomi 12S 8 GB/128 GB – Ksh 70,300
- Xiaomi 12S 8 GB/256 GB – Ksh 75,600
- Xiaomi 12S 12 GB/256 GB – Ksh 82,700
- Xiaomi 12S 12 GB/512 GB – Ksh 91500
Xiaomi 12S Pro
- Xiaomi 12S Pro 8 GB/128 GB – Ksh 82,700
- Xiaomi 12S Pro 8 GB/256 GB – Ksh 87,900
- Xiaomi 12S Pro 12 GB/256 GB – Ksh 95,000
- Xiaomi 12S Pro 12 GB/512 GB – Ksh 103,800
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
- Xiaomi 12S Ultra 8 GB/256 GB – Ksh 105,500
- Xiaomi 12S Ultra 12 GB/256 GB – Ksh 114,300
- Xiaomi 12S Ultra 12 GB/512 GB – Ksh 123,100