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HomeTechnologyXiaomi’s back with another big photography-focused smartphone

Xiaomi’s back with another big photography-focused smartphone

Xiaomi’s phone lineup has a new leader. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has just launched in China and features a range of impressive photography specs including a main camera with a large one-inch-type sensor (specifically the Sony LYT-900) and a variable aperture with 1,024 stops between f/1.63 and f/4.0. Prices start at ¥6,499 (around $904) for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, rising to ¥7,799 (around $1,084) for 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage when the phone goes on sale on February 27th. There’s also a special-edition titanium model that’ll retail for ¥8,799 (around $1,224). 

Although Xiaomi only shared Chinese release details of the 14 Ultra today, it won’t be long before the phone’s international launch. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has said that the phone will make an appearance at the company’s presentation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, where it’ll appear alongside the Xiaomi 14 that launched in China last October. Expect the handsets to be made available in Europe but not in an official capacity in the US.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra held in the hand with camera grip and shutter button.
Xiaomi 14 Ultra with its photography kit attached.
Image: Xiaomi

Emphasizing the phone’s photography credentials, Xiaomi is bringing back its photography kit for the 14 Ultra, which adds a camera grip and shutter release button to the handset. (You can read my colleague Allison Johnson’s impressions of the 13 Ultra’s photography kit in her piece from last year.) Android Authority reports that the grip connects via USB-C and includes an additional 1,500mAh battery and customizable controls that can be used to adjust aperture, shutter speed, or ISO.

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But the accessory isn’t as important as what’s going on in the phone itself, where, alongside the main 50-megapixel one-inch-type sensor, you’ll also find three additional 50-megapixel cameras: a telephoto with a 3.2x optical zoom; a periscope with a 5x optical zoom; and an ultrawide with a 122-degree field of view. These cameras are housed within a large circular camera bump, rather than the square bump of the 14 and 14 Pro.

Like the 14 and 14 Pro before it, the 14 Ultra is also powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, and its screen specs are also the same as the 14 Pro’s. It’s 6.73 inches in size, 1440p in resolution, and has a maximum refresh rate and peak brightness of 120Hz and 3,000 nits, respectively. The whole device is IP68 rated for dust and water resistance.

Where the 14 Ultra does have an advantage over the 14 Pro is in battery capacity. The 14 Ultra’s capacity is rated at 5,300mAh rather than 4,880mAh, although, interestingly, its maximum fast charging speed is listed at 90W rather than 120W for the 14 Pro. That said, I’d expect the actual marginal charging time differences between such high wattages to be relatively minor in practice. The 14 Ultra can also be fast-charged wirelessly at up to 80W. 

Expect to see and hear a lot more about the phone in a few days’ time when Xiaomi launches it internationally at MWC.



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