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Xiaomi’s new Ultra 12 phone could have a huge camera bump

Xiaomi is preparing to launch the Xiaomi 12 series, and a new set of renders from the Dutch site Let’s Go Digital may give us an early look at one of next year’s Android superphones. The renders are backed up by a case leak of the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, showing off what appears to be a massive camera bump on the rear.

We can see that a camera enclosure covers nearly half of the phone’s rear, but that design could be justified based on hardware needs. The Mi 11 Ultra also had a beefy camera layout with a 50-megapixel main lens, a 48MP camera with up to 120x zoom, and another 48MP ultrawide camera. Combined with an earlier report that the company could ship a 200MP main camera, that sets a baseline for what we can expect from Xiaomi’s next phone.

A render showcasing a potential design for Xiaomi's 12 Ultra based off a case leak.
Let's Go Digital

Smartphone camera bumps have evolved over the years to become prominent. Though they were once an object of ridicule — see the Lumia 1020 and its then-obnoxious camera protrusion — it’s now common to see phones sporting a visor, a square, or a circle at the rear housing a multitude of sensors.

Xiaomi, in particular, has gone a little over the top with its bumps, especially with the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. With that model, the company went as far as adding a small touchscreen on the rear of the device. It was ridiculously impractical, but the kind of innovation that we’ve grown to expect from Xiaomi.

Despite its impressive specs, the overall camera experience of the Mi 11 Ultra didn’t blow us away when we reviewed it. Our reviewer, Andy Boxall, praised the camera, but had issues with focusing. Hopefully, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra iterates on that and puts all that hardware to better use than its last attempt.

Camera aside, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is also going to be one of the first phones that launch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. A release in December is expected, with the company’s MIUI 13 (Android 12) also likely to make a debut then.

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