Xiaomi and Leica have jointly announced a long-term strategic partnership that aims to bring Xiaomi’s mobile photography experience to the next level. This comes after Huawei and Leica ended their co-engineering partnership which produces several impressive photography-centric smartphones ranging from the Huawei P9 to the P50 Pro.
According to Xiaomi, their first imaging flagship smartphone jointly developed with Leica Camera will officially launch in July this year. It added that both companies share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging and are eager to continuously explore the optical performance and photographic experience in mobile imaging through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.
The device with Leica collaboration has been long rumoured to be the upcoming Xiaomi 12 Ultra. The next flagship smartphone is also expected to run on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ chipset which was announced recently.
Excited to announce our next flagship smartphone will be among the first to feature the new Snapdragon® 8+ Gen 1. We’ve been working closely with @Qualcomm to ensure a class-leading product experience, achieving breakthroughs in both performance and power consumption. pic.twitter.com/lSrr2xWYBw— leijun (@leijun) May 20, 2022
Commenting on the partnership, Xiaomi Group founder and CEO Lei Jun said, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Leica Camera AG CEO Matthias Harsch said, “It is an honor 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. We are convinced that the first jointly developed imaging flagship smartphone makes the pioneering progress of both companies visible. We will provide consumers in the field of mobile photography exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unrestricted creativity, and will open a new era of mobile imaging.”
Xiaomi’s partnership with a reputable camera maker is expected to give them the edge it needed to stand out from the crowd which has been dominated by photography-centric smartphones. Prior to the US trade restrictions, Huawei has risen to the top thanks to its mobile photography innovations with Leica which brought several firsts including a dedicated monochrome camera sensor, incredible Night Mode, and the insane 50x Super Zoom with “Moon Mode”. The last Huawei device to carry the “LEICA” branding is the Huawei P50 Pro.
It would be definitely exciting to see what’s next for mobile photography with the Xiaomi x Leica partnership. Besides the signature Leica shutter sound, what else would you like to see from the new flagship smartphone?