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Xiaomi to partner with Leica Camera, new flagship phone will launch in July

The first imaging flagship smartphone jointly developed by Leica and Xiaomi will launch in July this year. It will likely be called the Xiaomi 12 Ultra.

Xiaomi Leica, Xiaomi Leica partnershipXiaomi is getting ready to launch a new flagship phone in July with a Leica branded camera at the back. (Image source: Reuters)

Xiaomi has announced a partnership with Leica Camera, the renowned German camera brand. In a press statement, Xiaomi said that “the first imaging flagship smartphone jointly developed by the two companies will be officially launched in July this year.”

The phone will likely be the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, which will offer a more advanced camera experience compared to the current flagship, the Xiaomi 12 Pro. However, Xiaomi has not confirmed the name of the upcoming device.

Xiaomi is not the first smartphone brand to announce such a partnership. Vivo already has a similar deal with the Zeiss group–the well-known German lens and camera brand, while rival Oppo and OnePlus have a deal with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad.

For smartphone companies teaming up with the camera brands is one of the ways to significantly boost the existing performance. Xiaomi will be hoping to achieve a similar level of success with the Leica branding. Previously, the Leica branding was seen on Huawei’s flagship P series and the Mate series.

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Leica Camera is a German-based branding and known for its world-class lenses and cameras. The cameras from Leica often come with a ‘red dot’ branding, which makes them stand apart from other brands. With the Xiaomi partnership, the brand will extend its expertise and experience to mobile imaging. While photography on smartphones has improved over the years, thanks to software and computational enhancements, it still has a long way to go, when compared to say traditional cameras. Xiaomi will be hoping to overcome more of these with the Leica partnership.

“This cooperation (with Leica) 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,” Lei Jun, founder, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Group said in a press statement.

“It is an honour 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,” Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG said.

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Xiaomi and Leica have announced a new partnership and the future device with Leica camera branding will launch in July. (Image: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi’s upcoming Leica camera phone: What can we expect?

As noted above, the new phone will be available in July and likely called the Xiaomi 12 Ultra. The phone will also be powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor that Qualcomm just announced. Qualcomm’s press statement mentioned Xiaomi in the list of brands expected to release a device with the new processor.

But all eyes will be on the camera of this future Xiaomi device. The camera is one aspect that traditionally sets premium brands apart. While brands like Vivo and Oppo have managed to make make significant gains in this particular department, Xiaomi’s breakthrough moment is still awaited. Will the Leica camera partnership be able to ensure this? We will have to wait and see.

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First published on: 23-05-2022 at 10:01:19 am
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