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New Xiaomi phones are launching on July 4 with (hopefully) amazing cameras

Xiaomi will soon launch the first phones it has built with Leica, announcing a big launch event for Monday, July 4. The company made the announcement on its Weibo account, confirming that it would be launching the Xiaomi 12S series on that date.

Xiaomi announced a partnership with Leica earlier this year, underscoring the brand’s recent camera-centric focus. Though Xiaomi’s camera phones have not exactly been bad in the past, the company hopes it can compete more favorably with darlings from Apple, Samsung, and Google. It has also seen rivals from Vivo and OnePlus partner up with the likes of Zeiss and Hasselblad in recent years with good results.

Xiaomi's upcomign 12 Ultra

“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,” Lei Jun, founder, chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi Group said at the announcement. “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.”

Leica’s CEO shared similar comments, saying the company would help deliver “exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, [and] unrestricted creativity.” Previously, Leica had collaborated with Huawei on its flagship phones.

The Xiaomi 12S series is expected to be the first fruits of that partnership, with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra (previously leaked as the 12 Ultra) coming as the company’s premier camera phone. It is expected to feature a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and a 6.6-inch 1440p AMOLED display with a smooth refresh rate. It’s also said to come with a quad-camera setup that matches — if not exceeds — the Xiaomi 11 Ultra. We’re expecting a 50-megapixel main camera, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP periscope lens for portraits and zoom, and a mystery fourth sensor for which details remain unknown. As for the 12S and 12Pro, we’ll find out more about them when Xiaomi announces the phones on Monday.

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