Xiaomi’s next smartphone will be taking a great leap to woo mobile shutterbugs, targeting perhaps one of the biggest segments of the smartphone market. The company’s chosen design for the upcoming Xiaomi 12 Ultra clearly wants to call attention to the model’s cameras, though it might not have the exact effect on consumers the company anticipates. Going beyond just specs, Xiaomi seems to be putting a lot of focus on marketing the upcoming Ultra, especially now that it has confirmed the famed camera maker Leica is on board.
That may also go beyond just flowery words in marketing materials, as the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is now expected to have something that no other third-party smartphone has ever sported: Leica’s logo. This isn’t the first time Leica has lent its name to a smartphone brand, of course. In fact, prior to this, it had an exclusive partnership with Huawei, which forced other smartphone brands to team up with other optics companies instead, like Hasselblad for Oppo and Zeiss for Vivo. That period of exclusivity is now over, however, and Leica has revealed that its new partner is Xiaomi.
It seems Leica is lending more than just its expertise and its name to the phone. According to tipster Digital Chat Station in a post on the Chinese social media website Weibo, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will bear Leica’s iconic red “Coke” logo somewhere on its back. No smartphone other than Leica’s own Leitz 1 model has been allowed to display that iconic symbol, suggesting there might be more to this partnership between Xiaomi and Leica than previous collaborations.
Xiaomi 12 Ultra: It’s all about the cameras
To say that Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship is camera-centric is probably an understatement. The camera bump on its back is ginormous and already elicits some negative feedback. The risk is actually bigger for Leica since its brand is associated with high-quality designs and materials. Conversely, sporting the camera maker’s logo will pretty much be a rubber stamp for the phone, suggesting that the marque approves of its quirky design.
That said, Xiaomi is also reportedly aiming for some luxurious details to further elevate the phone’s status. The same tipster claims the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will come in two styles: one will be all business with a black leather rear cover, while another will reportedly be classy and stylish with white ceramic material and texture.
As for the cameras themselves, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is expected to have only three lenses despite the large bump on its back. The camera island reportedly includes a 50MP main shooter, a 48MP periscope-style telephoto camera, and a 48MP ultrawide module. There seem to be plenty of sensors involved as well, but nothing immediately stands out as noteworthy. Leica’s branding, however, might suggest that it is far more involved in the development of these cameras and might even have developed special lenses that would justify the use of its logo. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will fare and if it will be able to claim the top spot in mobile photography benchmarks with Leica’s help.