The Xiaomi 13 Ultra could rival the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for cameras

A photo of the Xiaomi 12s Ultra smartphone
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / TechRadar)

The Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro are expected to launch imminently, but it looks like a Xiaomi 13 Ultra could arrive before long too, and this might be worth holding out for, as the latest leak suggests it could rival the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for photography.

According to Digital Chat Station – a leaker with a good track record – posting on Chinese site Weibo (via NotebookCheck), the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will have four cameras on the back. So that’s more than most phones and in line with the Galaxy S22 Ultra – and what we’re expecting from the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

One of these cameras will apparently use a large one-inch sensor – like the impressive Xiaomi 12S Ultra – which isn’t something Samsung is likely to match. While sensor size isn’t the only consideration in cameras, it can have a huge impact on image quality.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra will apparently also sport an “anti-shake module” according to a machine translated version of the post, which some sites have interpreted as meaning gimbal stabilization. In short though, it sounds like this phone will offer better image stabilization than most handsets.

We don’t know much else about the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, but it probably won’t land until after the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro, as those two have both been teased by Xiaomi itself, and were expected to land on December 1, before the launch was delayed.

As for when they might launch now, NotebookCheck claims December 7 and 8 have been leaked as possible dates, though it’s not clear where that information came from.

We certainly won’t be waiting long though, as Xiaomi has even listed the two phones on its Tmall website. Seemingly there was imagery briefly too, spotted by @TechnoAnkit1, though that appears to have since been removed.

See more

There are a few additional details worth mentioning, with Xiaomi having reportedly confirmed that the standard Xiaomi 13 will have a 1080p AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, while PriceBaba claims that both models will be available with a choice of 8GB of RAM with 128GB or 256GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM, along with 256GB or 512GB of storage.

Analysis: a trio of phones to challenge Samsung

Xiaomi’s upcoming smartphone line could provide some direct competition to Samsung, with the Xiaomi 13 likely positioned as a Galaxy S23 rival, the 13 Pro as a rival to the S23 Plus, and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra set to rival the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Xiaomi even has the advantage of launching at least some of these phones ahead of Samsung, as we’re not expecting to see the Galaxy S23 line until around February 2023.

That said, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra sounds by far to be the most exciting of the three, and we’re not sure when that will launch. Plus, even the other two models are only imminently landing in China – so a global launch may not happen until after the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is on shelves.

Still, with all of these handsets probably landing before too long we could be entering another exciting period for phones, as these all sound like contenders for our best phones list, with the Ultra models in both lines likely to make our best camera phones list too.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.