This is the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, the brand’s new ultimate flagship and camera phone. Today, we’ll be talking about this phone’s high end features. I’m Nuco for Cliqmydeal. And this is our Xiaomi 12S Ultra Review.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G with Kryo 585 Octa-core; 7nm process; Up to 3.2GHz clock speed; Liquidcool technology
- Camera: 48 MP Triple Rear camera with 8MP Ultra-wide and 5MP Super macro | 20 MP Front camera
- Display: 120Hz high refresh rate FHD+ (1080×2400) AMOLED Dot display; 16.9 centimeters (6.67 inch); 2.76mm ultra tiny punch hole; HDR 10+ support; 360Hz touch sampling, MEMC technology
- Battery: 4520 mAH large battery with 33W fast charger in-box and Type-C connectivity
- Hands-Free access to Alexa: Alexa on your phone lets you make phone calls, open apps, control smart home devices, access the library of Alexa skills, and more using just your voice while on-the-go. Download the Alexa app and complete hands-free setup to get started. Just ask – and Alexa will respond instantly
- 5G Bands SA: N77 | N78; NSA: N77 | N78
The Xiaomi 12 S Ultra is a breathtaking flagship that, at least camera wise, pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved on a smartphone. The catch? It’s only available in China for now. Still, we’ll eventually see this tech in the Western markets, either as a full global release or repackaged into future devices. The design of the 12 s ultra is quite interesting.(Xiaomi 12S Ultra Review)
The curved back panel has a soft textured, leather like surface which you don’t see very often. The surface is nice to touch and doesn’t pick up fingerprints. And coupled with a huge circular camera bump and lack of branding, the 12 S Ultra looks and feels less like a typical smartphone and more like a real camera. Plus, just like last year’s Mi 11 Ultra, there’s IP 68 rated protection against water and dust. On the front is a curved 6.73 inch LTPO Gen two AMOLED display with a QHD resolution and a 120 Hz refresh rate.
This makes movement on screen like swiping much smoother to the eye and their support for high frame rate gaming too. Plus, the refresh rate is very adaptive when you’re not interacting with the screen, it can dial down to ten hurt to save energy, and if the current brightness level is high enough, it can even achieve 1 Hz. The brightness itself is excellent here too. We measured around 510 nits when you max out the manual brightness slider, and this can boost up to 1060 nits if you have auto mode on in bright conditions. Besides that, this display looks great and comes with plenty of bells and whistles.
The picture is sharp with deep blacks, and you get support for ten bit color as well. Plus, there are plenty of options to tweak the colors with, and you can achieve pretty good color accuracy here. Our only complaint, which is tied to this phone’s Chinese origins is that while there is support for HDR Ten and Dolby Vision, we weren’t able to stream this sort of content everywhere. For audio, the Xiaomi 12 S Ultra has a pair of stereo speakers with harman, card and branding. They earned a score of very good in our loudness test, and the sound quality here is great, with pleasing vocals and respectable loads.
To wake up and unlock the Xiaomi 12 S Ultra, you can use the under display fingerprint reader. It’s well placed and very responsive. The 12 best Ultra comes with either 256 or 512 gigs of storage on board. This isn’t expandable though the interface of the phone is Xiaomi’s typical MiUI 13 on top of Android 12, but it’s the chinese version of the software. Out of the box.
There are Chinese apps and default keyboard, but these can be uninstalled. But even after that, it’s organized a bit differently than the global Xiaomi phone. You still get the core features though. The Xiaomi 12 S Ultra is one of the first flagships that is running on the new top Android silicon, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen One.
The difference compared to the nonplus version is that it’s made using a more power efficient fabrication process, and there are slightly higher clock speeds on its CPU and GPU cores. As expected, performance is excellent here. The 12 S Ultra tops the CPU charts only, falling short of dedicated gaming phones which use advanced cooling solutions. It does fall down in the rankings when it comes to GPU performance, though, because it has surrender on a higher res display. In some of those tests, it’s more comparable to this year’s earlier flagships.(Xiaomi 12S Ultra Review)
Another issue is that just like his predecessor, the new chipset runs hot and when under stress, the 12 S Ultra displayed severe thermal throttling that is an ideal for long heavy gaming sessions. Battery life here is pretty decent, comparable to last year’s model, even though this time around the capacity is a little smaller. At 4860 mah, the 12 S Ultra was able to score an endurance rating of 93 hours in our proprietary tests. Unlike some other flagships, this phone comes bundled with a charging adapter and it’s rated at 67 watts. Charging speed is slower than last year for some reason, but still solid.
We were able to go from zero to 73% in half an hour. There’s also support for wireless charging here and reverse wireless charging. Finally, we are on to the cameras. The main attraction here is the main camera, which features a huge one inch type sensor, 30% larger than last year. The other two cameras haven’t changed much since the Mi 11 Ultra overall, there’s the 50.3 megapixel main camera, which has dual pixel autofocus and OAS.
Then there’s a 48 megapixel five times telephoto and a 48 megapixel Ultrawide cam. And there’s a 3D TOF camera too. The partnership with Leica is something new this year, and it comes with more than just branding and aesthetics on the camera menus. When you shoot, you can choose from one of two Leica color palettes leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic. You can also skip this and shoot in Raw format and do your own color corrections in post.
Here we’ll have an overview of the camera quality, but we won’t just leave it there. You can check out our indepth analysis in our separate camera review. Photos from the main camera are some of the best we’ve seen from a smartphone. In the leica vibrant mode. You get lovely colors, great detail with a natural rendition and balance, sharpening dynamic range is wide as well.
There is sort of a signature contrasting look going on here. One of the great things about having a huge sensor on the main camp is that you get a naturally blurred background behind closer subjects and the bokeh effect looks really nice even at night. The main cam continues to deliver. There’s auto night mode processing added by default and the results are excellent. These are sharp and saturated with color and the dynamic range is great.(Xiaomi 12S Ultra Review)
The photos from both the Ultra wide camera and the five time zoom camera are excellent as well. The quality is very similar to what we saw in last year’s Mi 11 Ultra although the color rendition is of course a bit different this time around and these are more contrasting. Both cameras perform admirably at night as well. The telephoto cam is a bit quirky, but when you get the phone to shoot with it rather than cropping from the main cam, the quality is solid. So the Xiaomi 12 best Ultra is still picture quality blows pretty much everyone out of the water, but video recording is a bit of a different story.
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You can shoot video in up to 8K with all of the phones for your cameras. In general, the quality of the footage hasn’t improved since last year’s Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. The only real positive change is with the livelier colors. The quality here is still competitive, but not a slam dunk like with the still photos. So that’s the Xiaomi 12 s ultra.
You get a full flagship package here, complete with the latest chipset, waterproofing, stereo speakers, solid battery life and cutting edge tech both on the screen and the main camera. Our only nitpicks are that the camera quality for videos hasn’t really improved since last year and the Chinese build of MIUI is tricky to work with, especially when the phone first comes out of the box. But the thing is, we’re not sure who is going to run into that problem because outside of China, this phone won’t be easy to get your hands on. As it stands now, for us Western consumers, the 12 S Ultra exists as more of a showcase of what Xiaomi is capable of and in that regard it is excellent and we can’t wait for something similar to come out in our neck of the woods. Thanks for watching guys.
Stay safe and see you on the next one.