It's safe to say I'm pretty excited by the Xiaomi 13 Ultra. Following on from the immensely powerful Xiaomi 13 Pro, the 13 Ultra looks nailed on to be a strong contender for best Android phone this year.
That's a bold statement to make. We've already seen a host of brilliant phones this year – the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra marks a return to form for the Korean giants, while the Google Pixel 7 Pro brought Google phones to the masses.
But it's also a well-founded claim. According to leaked specs, the 13 Ultra will pack a flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and a monumental camera array, featuring four rear 50MP sensors.
And the camera is clearly where Xiaomi think this handset will really take off. Leaked images on Weibo show off an accessory for the 13 Ultra which acts as a camera grip. It's hard to make out details from the dark image, but it appears to only feature a shutter button, with no other controls on offer.
Still, it's a huge upgrade. Recently, we saw a similar idea offered on Samsung phones with the Camera Grip Stand. It's the kind of accessory which could drastically improve the photography prowess of a handset.
When I tried the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept – which allows users to mount a Leica lens to the camera mount – I said that something like this would have improved the experience, which felt hard to manage with its uneven weight distribution. And while it's unlikely that the 13 Ultra will allow users to do that, it should still make it easier to snap photos without fatigue.
I think this is a brilliant addition. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is clearly going all in on camera performance, and this should dramatically improve the user experience. It will be interesting to see whether this is included as standard, or comes as an optional extra. Given that the device is expected to sit right at the top-end in terms of price, it would be nice to see it included.
We'll know for sure soon. The 13 Ultra is set for release in Asia on the 18th of April, which should give us a better insight into what the handset will look like.