Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
Xiaomi’s Ultra series showcases some of the best mobile technology around. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Xiaomi 12 Ultra, fascinated with the 2021 Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. That said, the phone had a few tricks and was very expensive at launch, so there is definitely room for improvement for the next generation.
We weren’t so fascinated by the 2022 Xiaomi 12 Pro, which we felt was a little out of competition. Perhaps the larger and more expensive Ultra can show us what the company is really capable of? Here’s what we’re hoping for from the Xiaomi 12 Ultra in the coming months.
Read more: Xiaomi 12 Pro Review – Power Over Polish
A refined camera package
Luke Polak / Android Authority
The Mi 11 Ultra’s camera package is already one of the best, but there’s always room for improvement. The phone has a large 1 / 1.12 Samsung Isocell GN2 primary sensor and excellent low light capability and a powerful 5x zoom lens that works wonders up to about 20x with excellent digital upscaling. So more, please, Xiaomi. However, with the distorted ultraviolet capabilities of the phone and the relatively weak selfie camera we sold less. We would love to solve those problems to make the Xiaomi 12 Ultra the best camera you can buy.
See also: 2021 Smartphone Mega Camera Shootout
There are rumors to be some improvement work. The 12 Ultra, apparently, will be shipped with a new and even larger 50MP 1 / 1.1-inch Sony IMX707 sensor. If true, the best could be better. Similar reports indicate unchanged features from the predecessor for ultraviolet and zoom image sensors, so we don’t expect wholesale changes in the rear camera section.
That said, with a new lens the ultraviolet camera will be at the top of my list in terms of distortion and visual dominance. There is such a thing as too spacious, and no one wants to distort their image. Similarly, an advanced selfie camera is required, although you can use the secondary screen to frame selfies with the rear camera.
More use for secondary display, or drop it
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
Speaking of which, if the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is stuck with the secondary rear display setup, it needs to be more efficient than the first iteration. The Mi 11 Ultra lets you preview selfies using a 1.1-inch AMOLED screen, display time and battery life, skip music tracks, and monitor incoming calls while the phone’s face is down. All neat features but not exactly a game changer for your everyday experience.
There were lots of problems too. For example, you could not use the secondary screen and capture the video initially, which is addressed to something like Xiaomi but still, it only works with video for 15 seconds. The display is also quite low resolution and rather dim, which makes the experience somewhat brighter. After all, it’s not a great place to interact with apps, and what is supported is very limited. A step counter, a quick reply to a message, a calendar reminder, or a tap for Google Assistant, the ideas at the top of my head that make this secondary display more meaningful.
How: I found the perfect use case for Wear OS, but it’s not a watch
That said, I will skip the second screen altogether. It’s just the extra bulk that already makes a huge phone more unrealistic. Plus, it’s not that the front of the phone is out of reach anyway.
Control the heat of the processor
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The Xiaomi 12 Ultra will have Qualcomm’s Powerhouse Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, but that’s for sure. It’s all right from a performance standpoint, but the chip has become a little too hot to handle. So much so that brands had to resort to pairing pack performance to control heat and power consumption.
Last year’s MI11 Ultra prioritized the highest performance, as you expected, and was quite heated. We’ve seen the same thing from this year’s more affordable Xiaomi 12 series handsets. The Pro model we reviewed runs hotter than other 8 Gen 1 phones, even with its graphite cooling solution. We didn’t even sell the battery life of the handset.
Next up: There is a good reason why your phones are throttling your apps
No one likes the word “throttling”, but maintaining a balance of performance as opposed to battery life is now essential for powerhouse phones to make it into a full day of medium to heavy use. Xiaomi would do well to reign in its ambition for maximum performance and ensure that the phone runs cold and lasts more than a day on a single charge.
A more light design
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
By definition, Ultra smartphones pack into everything except the kitchen sink, but it almost always comes at the expense of extra heavy handsets. The Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max share this problem, as in Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra 234g.
I do not recommend choosing a compact form factor with Xiaomi 12 Ultra. After all, the phone’s large camera sensor and huge battery need to fit somewhere. Also, we chose the fit and finish of last year’s model. But there is an art to making a phone that seems smaller than that. The camera will go a long way in ditching the sharp edges of the island, smoothing out some curves and balancing the weight in the center. The Oppo Find X5 Pro, for example, is only a millimeter smaller than the Mi 11 Ultra, but still looks pretty good to hold.
Undercuts to the big players in the West
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
The price on each preferred list is less hanging fruit, but there is some discrepancy in Xiaomi’s global pricing strategy for the Ultra series. In India, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was retailed at the same price as the OnePlus 9 Pro (Rs. 69,999, ~ 50 950), which was hundreds of dollars less than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra cost at the time. However, the phone sold for পে 1,199 in Europe, making it the equivalent of a top-of-the-line iPhone or Galaxy.
Yes, the upcoming phone will be a technological powerhouse and hopefully see the same three year OS and four year security update as the Xiaomi 12 series. But 1,199 is too expensive for a Western audience. Xiaomi 12 Ultra should be cheap to transfer the unit.
To read: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Review Revisited
Let’s face it, Apple and Samsung recognize a particular brand and believe that is the reason for their high price. As great as Xiaomi’s hardware may be, the brand doesn’t have the same effect in the West. Xiaomi 12 Ultra could create a loyal fanbase for next year by reducing the competition to just 100 100.
Which of the following would you prefer from Xiaomi 12 Ultra?
From the Xiaomi 12 Ultra to make it a must have smartphone we want to see. Would you like to see more when the handset launches later this year? Let us know in the comments below to let us know what you’re looking for and vote in our poll.