Xiaomi 14 Ultra arrives to give the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra a run for its money

Could the Xiaomi 14 Ultra be the camera phone of the year?

Xiaomi 14 Ultra
(Image credit: Xiaomi)
Quick Summary

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra boasts a 1-inch main camera sensor and impressive specs, potentially rivalling Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

However, its global availability remains uncertain, particularly in the UK.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has been announced, revealing a packed spec sheet, topped by a 1-inch camera sensor promising to capture more light to give you even better photos. The reveal of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra in China comes days before the global launch of the Xiaomi 14 Series at Mobile World Congress.

We were seriously impressed with the camera when we saw the Xiaomi 13 Ultra in 2023 and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is shaping up to offer much the same experience. The new phone offers a quad camera system, with the main sensor a 50-megapxiel, 1-inch Sony sensor fronted with a Leica lens. It's the main sensor here that lifts the Ultra over the Xiaomi 14 Pro.

There are then three more 50-megapixel cameras offering ultra-wide and two zoom lengths. It's getting pretty common to have two telephoto lenses, one for distance (120mm, 5x) and another for closer work (75mm, 3.2x), like portraits. Like the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, there's also a camera grip case available to basically turn your phone into a camera.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra camera grip

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

There's a 6.73-inch AMOLED display with 3200 x 1440 pixel resolution, but I'm really impressed with the 3000 nits brightness, which makes the Xiaomi 14 Ultra one of the brightest phones you can buy. It supports Dolby Vision too, so that peak brightness will help that HDR punch.

The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but there's also a 5300mAh battery,  which is huge, along with 90W wired charging and 80W wireless charging.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has an aluminium frame, but there is a special edition titanium model, so it can really take the fight to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra could be the best phone you never buy

Xiaomi's launch cycle is well out of sync globally, with the company focusing on speedy launches for the domestic Chinese market and leaving the rest of the world patiently waiting. The Xiaomi 14 was announced as one of the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 devices back in October 2023, with the Ultra taking its time to join the line-up.

The Xiaomi 14 Series will be announced at Mobile World Congress on 25 February and that will signal global availability of the series. That line-up will include the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Pro, which is close in specification to the newly-announced Xiaomi 14 Ultra.

The bad news is that we might never see the Xiaomi 14 Ultra in the UK. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra didn't make it to the UK, but did make it to other parts of Europe. Priced at €1,499, that's probably the best indicator we have of the expected pricing for Europe.

We'll wait with anticipation around that UK launch because the previous model was really impressive - and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra could have one of the best phone cameras of the year.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.