Xiaomi and Leica Camera have announced a strategic cooperation where both the companies work towards enhancing mobile imaging. This partnership will result in the production of the first "imaging flagship" smartphone, possibly Xiaomi 12 Ultra, set to launch in July 2022.
Previously, the German imaging specialist also partnered with Huawei with a dual-camera Huawei P9 smartphone coming out of the first cooperation. Leica cameras have been incorporated in Huawei Mate 9, Mate 10, and Huawei P10 smartphones. Now, with Xiaomi, Leica marks its second long-term cooperation.
Xiaomi's founder, chairman, and CEO, Lei Jun commented on the collaboration, stating:
Xiaomi focuses on creating the ultimate user experience, and has always hoped to explore the capabilities of smartphone photography to the extreme. Xiaomi and Leica agree with each other's pursuits and ideas and appreciate each other's advantages and industry. This cooperation will provide a strong boost to Xiaomi's imaging strategy. During the cooperation, from optical design to tuning aesthetic orientations, the innovative technologies, product philosophies and imaging preferences of both parties have experienced unprecedented in-depth collision and fusion.
Xiaomi says that its photography experiences such as snapshots, night scenes, and portraits result from its deep understanding of mobile photography and expertise in lens optics, chips, algorithms, and more. Its partner for mobile imaging, Leica Camera, has also been investing its technical resources and craftsmanship to develop lightweight cameras and optical lenses.
Regarding its strategic cooperation with Xiaomi, Leica Camera AG's CEO, Matthias Harsch mentioned:
It is an honor to announce the long-term strategic cooperation with Xiaomi today. Leica and Xiaomi are both global premium brands and during this unprecedented deep cooperation process, both parties have successively worked on the goal of providing customers a new era of mobile photography. We are convinced that the first jointly developed imaging flagship smartphone makes the pioneering progress of both companies visible. We will provide consumers in the field of mobile photography exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unrestricted creativity, and will open a new era of mobile imaging.
In a separate tweet, leaker Ice Universe has speculated that the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will feature the imaging tech and boast results closest to a DSLR:
Xiaomi 12 Ultra's photographic effect will be the closest smartphone camera ever to DSLR— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) May 23, 2022
Meanwhile, another leaker Sam has outed the purported specs for the Xiaomi 12 Ultra flagship, and you can see them below:
Xiaomi 12 Ultra Concept Images & Leaked Specs 🎩— Sam (@Shadow_Leak) March 8, 2022
• 6.73" 2K 120Hz E5 AMOLED Display, LTPO 2.0, 10bit
• Snapdragon 8 Gen1
• 50MP+50MP(IMX766,UW)+16MP(Portrait)+48MP(IMX586,Tele) Rear
• Android 12
• Stereo Speakers
• IP68#Xiaomi #Xiaomi12Ultra #12Ultra pic.twitter.com/4uABGYS3c9
While this relationship brings an opportunity for Xiaomi to enhance its cameras for its customers through Leica's expertise in this particular area, the latter will also benefit from the partnership in terms of brand showcasing, and more.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to add some speculation about the Xiaomi 12 Ultra from leakers.
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