April 17, 2024

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The Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra will be available globally

The Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra will be available globally

Xiaomi is using MWC to launch two of its flagship phones to a global audience – but not including the US, as usual. The Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra have already been announced in China, and today they take center stage with revised designs and front-facing camera feature sets. They're available to order starting today; The 14 Ultra will cost €1,499 (about $1,624) and the 14 starts at €999 (about $1,082).

The Xiaomi 14 covers the flagship basics, with a smaller 6.36-inch display – now a 120Hz LTPO panel for smooth scrolling and power efficiency – and comes with more modest camera specs, at least compared to the 14 Ultra's 6.73-inch, 120Hz 1440p panel and 1-inch main camera. Think big or do your best.

The 14 Ultra was officially unveiled in China just a few days ago, but at its global launch event, we gathered some additional details about what will surely be a contender for the best camera phone of 2024. The main camera uses the new 1-inch The Sony LYT-900 sensor was also seen in the Find

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra comes with two telephoto lenses for the price of one phone.

Instead of the fixed aperture used by most smartphone cameras, the 14 Ultra can open or close with 1,024 stops between f/1.63 and f/4.0. We got a demo at a pre-launch event just outside Barcelona, ​​and sure enough, you can see the little hatch stopping up and down. There seem to be very few use cases for this feature – even at its widest settings, the lens behaves more like an f/4.0 aperture on a full-frame camera in terms of depth of field. Turning it down any further seems like a pointless exercise, but I've watched the aperture move and can confirm that it works.

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The Ultra follows in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and doesn't include one but two Telephoto lenses: 3.2x and 5x, both stabilized. On the video side, it takes a cue from the iPhone 15 Pro and includes history recording. This is a very useful feature for a small percentage of people This means you can use the phone in a multi-camera shooting setup and sort the results to match the rest. You can also shoot 10-bit HDR in the log for some extra flexibility in post-processing.

I watched the hatch move

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra moves away from and embraces the curved edges of last year 2014 The hottest trend of 2024: flat edges. It's easier to hold and there's a gentle curve in the straight edge on both the front and back panels that makes it comfortable in your hand. You like to see him. Also in the What's Old and New Again category? Xiaomi's camera kit for the Ultra, which has been updated so that the grip can act as an external battery for the phone. I love an accessory that does more than one job.

The Xiaomi 14 comes with three 50-megapixel sensors in its main, wide and 3.2x telephoto cameras – an upgrade from last year's 10-megapixel chip in the telephoto camera. The square-shaped camera bump looks a little different this time around, losing the lines that divided it into four quadrants at 13.

The phone goes sideways.
Photography by Alison Johnson/The Verge

Leica The branding has been rotated 90 degrees so it looks at home in landscape orientation – the same way it does on Ultra. The back panel glass has a matte finish that looks elegant without being too smooth, or perhaps those flat edges make it feel more secure in my hand. Whatever it is, I love it.

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As usual, Xiaomi's flagship Ultra camera phone looks like an absolute unit, and as usual it's disappointing that we'll miss it in the US. While Samsung and Google have been leaning into AI camera features in their latest updates, the most interesting hardware upgrades have come from Chinese phone makers, led by Oppo and Xiaomi. If these things work in cycles — like the return of flat edges — then perhaps the smartphones we see in the US are due for some serious hardware innovation in the near future as well.

Photography by Alison Johnson/The Verge