The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the company’s most powerful phone right now, but it’s not the one we’d recommend most people by.
Part of that is purely practical: the phone is only officially out in China, so prospective buyers will have to import the phone and fight through some additional hassle to get the software set up to work well for global tastes (it doesn’t include any Google software, including the Play Store, for example).
If you’re willing to put up with that then this is a powerful device. The Leica-branded camera is the main draw, with a 1in main sensor – the biggest around – driving detailed photos, great low-light performance, and beautiful natural bokeh.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip delivers strong performance and excellent battery life too, while the display is hard to fault either.
The downsides? Other than the Chinese exclusivity, there’s the divisive design, and the fact that for all its size, the camera arguably isn’t quite the best around – the Vivo X80 Pro still trumps in night mode, while the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains the periscopic zoom king.