As smartphone manufacturers continue to face a drop in global demand, Xiaomi isn’t ready to give up yet as it recently unveiled a remarkable camera feature showing the world that it is still in the game.
As flagships go, Xiaomi has taken a step further to redesign its smartphones and is now adding a detachable camera to remind people that it has a compelling camera inside its latest models. The Chinese company has added a detachable Leica camera giving its 12S Ultra a considerable boost.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept features a removable lens from Leica Camera AG, the company’s famous photography partner, and an additional sensor. Although the concept itself won’t go on sale, Xiaomi hopes consumers will seek out a device with more traditional lenses, the 12S Ultra phone, which features a large one-inch sensor developed with Leica.
The smartphone market has seen a great shift over the years where consumers are more interested in having phones with powerful cameras given the influence of social media and the need to share what is happening in their lives on a daily. Still, there are those who need these high-spec phones for video-related work such as streaming and much more.
The added Leica lens displaces the previous ultra-wide camera, which has been moved off to the side, replacing the regular Ultra’s periscopic telephoto shooter. Unlike the two other cameras with smartphone-sized lenses, the second sensor sits naked save for a sapphire crystal cover to protect against dust and scratches. Its raison d’être becomes clear once you remove the outer camera bump ring, revealing an ultra-thin bayonet lens mount.
Xiaomi has done some serious reengineering of the phone to be able to fit the second sensor and withstand the weight of the external lenses. The company optimised the circuitry around the sensor and stacked the two one-inch units atop each other, allowing the 12S Ultra Concept to maintain the original main camera.
It also made an alloy base that’s attached directly to the middle frame of the phone, ensuring that the weight of the lens is transmitted evenly across the entire device. Underneath sits a conductive metal sheet to dissipate the extra heat coming from the cameras.
Unfortunately, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is just a concept
Those wondering about where to buy this beast will be disappointed. Unfortunately, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept is just as it says, a concept and there are no solid plans on putting it on sale anytime soon.
Of course, this isn’t the first time companies are putting interchangeable lenses on smartphones. Companies have been making adapters for years, and even Apple filed a patent for a bayonet lens mount on a phone back in 2014. But this is the first concerted effort from a first-party phone maker.
Xiaomi, once China’s largest smartphone brand, has been hit hard by the global recession, as factors such as rising interest rates and inflation have negatively affected consumer demand. At the same time, the company faces stiff competition and a bleak consumer outlook in China. The company’s second-quarter profit fell more than expected, by 83%,
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