After some earlier rumors, today Xiaomi finally confirmed its "long-term strategic cooperation" with Leica, and that they've been co-developing a flagship smartphone ahead of its July 2022 launch. This will be the German camera firm's latest mobile imaging collaboration after Sharp, Huawei and Panasonic.
Xiaomi isn't the first Chinese phone maker to leverage the photography know-how from a renowned camera brand. In late 2020, Vivo followed the footsteps of Sony plus Nokia and joined forces with Zeiss, with the latest release being the X80 series. More recently, Oppo and OnePlus started releasing handsets that were jointly developed with Hasselblad, including the Find X5 series and the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Xiaomi hasn't shared much else about this upcoming product, but our money's on Qualcomm's brand new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, along with the usual classic imaging aesthetics and filters from Leica's side. Name-wise, it'll either be "Xiaomi 12 Ultra" or possibly kickstarting a "Xiaomi 13" series. In the press release, CEO Lei Jun added that "this cooperation will provide a strong boost to Xiaomi's imaging strategy." We shall find out more in July.