Xiaomi 12 Ultra leak points to a comically massive camera

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
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The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro have already been unveiled, but rumors suggest an even more premium phone is on the way, dubbed the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, and the latest leak details what we can expect from its cameras.

In fact, there are multiple new leaks, including a glimpse at what the Xiaomi 12 Ultra might look like, thanks to a dummy unit that’s been shared by leaker xleaks7 on tentechreview.com (opens in new tab). This is an aluminum mold of the phone, and the main detail is a huge circular camera block on the back.

The circle is housed in an even larger rectangle, which takes up more than a third of the rear, and it almost makes the camera block on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra look small.

There’s little else of note in these images, but the Xiaomi 12 Ultra looks quite thick here, and has a curved screen, while the source notes that it will also apparently have a punch-hole for the front-facing camera.

We would of course take these images with a pinch of salt, as it’s not clear where this dummy unit came from and whether or not it’s based on official information. That said, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this design leaked, so it may be accurate.

As for the specs of these ridiculous-looking cameras, leaker Digital Chat Station (opens in new tab) appears to have said (in slightly broken English) that the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will have a 50MP main camera, a high-resolution ultra-wide snapper, and a “super telephoto” camera, which we’d guess means one with long-range optical zoom of 5x or more.

That, however, would basically be the same camera setup as the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which also has a mini secondary screen on the camera block. So far there’s been no sign of such a screen on the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, despite the camera housing seemingly being even bigger, and one earlier leak suggested there would probably be more than three lenses.

So we’re skeptical of this latest leak – and even if it's accurate there might also be other lenses beyond those three. We should find out soon, as it’s rumored that the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will be unveiled in early February.


Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a huge camera block, but the results aren't as good as you might expect (Image credit: Future)

Analysis: bigger isn’t always better

The sheer scale of the leaked camera block on the Xiaomi 12 Ultra might excite photo fans, but if the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra taught us anything it’s that size isn’t everything.

While we were reasonably happy with the camera on that phone, we weren’t impressed enough for it to trouble our best camera phones rankings, and our review found that the secondary screen – which took up a lot of space on the camera block and could be used to frame selfies – was mostly a gimmick.

So hopefully Xiaomi will focus more on the quality of the camera setup for the Xiaomi 12 Ultra. If it does, then perhaps this phone could even end up giving the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra a run for its money.

Via GSMArena (opens in new tab)

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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.