Xiaomi And Leica Partner On A New Smartphone: Here's What We Know

Xiaomi has just shared an exciting announcement on its Twitter page — it's teaming up with Leica to create a brand-new smartphone, set to release in July 2022. The collaboration between the smart device maker and the photography giant spells good news for the fans of having a quality smartphone and a good camera rolled into one. At a time when most of us no longer bring a separate camera when we go on vacation and we simply rely on our smartphones to do the job, boosting Xiaomi's camera capabilities with Leica powers is certainly a good idea — but which smartphone is Xiaomi talking about?

Both Xiaomi and Leica shared two separate posts, but the companies remain fairly tight-lipped about what we can expect from this smart-photo prodigy. However, reading through Leica's announcement reveals an unsurprising, but significant detail — the phone in question is going to be a new Xiaomi flagship. Leica refers to it as the "first imagining flagship smartphone" developed by the Xiaomi and Leica duo. Leica also highlights that both companies are eager to keep exploring the optical performance and photo-snapping experience provided by mobile devices. As the cherry on top of the announcement, the companies promise to deliver a combination of exceptional image quality combined with classic Leica aesthetics in a smartphone good enough to usher in the new era of mobile photography.

While it all sounds exciting, we haven't been given much to go on with this announcement, but the fact that the phone is going to be a flagship, as well as the timing, coincides with previous leaks. Recently, the mobile rumor mill has been buzzing with news about the Xiaomi Ultra 12. Could that be what Xiaomi and Leica are so mysteriously hinting at?

Xiaomi 12 Ultra makes perfect sense

Previous leaks have already shown us renders of the upcoming Xiaomi 12 Ultra, featuring an enormous camera at the back of the phone with a small Leica logo in the corner. It doesn't get much clearer than that. Putting two and two together strongly points to the new Xiaomi and Leica collaboration being the next-gen flagship Ultra 12. What remains to be seen, (provided this is confirmed, of course), is whether the previously-leaked design will stay the same as on the rendered images.

Although there's very little doubt as to the power of the enormous camera showcased above, it's a little hard to shake off the thought that for a smartphone, it just might be too big and too bumpy. Assuming the camera sticks out a fair bit (which it does on the rendered image), the phone might be unable to lie fully flat. On the other hand, the potential for greatness is apparent in what looks to be a four-camera setup. 

In our initial coverage of this leak, we noted that the camera might also come with a 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor and a color temperature sensor. Intrepid leaker of insider information Ice Universe suggested that this new device would deliver "the closest smartphone camera ever to DSLR."

For those who love taking pictures with their phones, the rumored Xiaomi 12 Ultra might be a dream come true, even if it does end up a little too bulky for the current aesthetic trends. After all, if Leica's words prove to be accurate, it just might become the best smartphone camera on the market.