Xiaomi and Leica announce a partnership, a first smartphone expected in July

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If OnePlus and Oppo have Hasselblad, Xiaomi now has Leica. The two companies have announced a long-term partnership that would greatly improve the photo experience on the Chinese manufacturer’s next flagship.

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The announcement confirms a rumor from March last year that evokes a possible partnership between Xiaomi and Leica. This strategic partnership is now official and its first fruit will be a smartphone whose presentation is scheduled for July.

The German photography company is no newcomer to mobile photography. Leica has been Huawei’s preferred partner on high-end Chinese smartphones for many years – since 20216 and its P9 series – with more than convincing results. The company’s flagships with red petals have in fact presented themselves several times as photo phones of excellent quality, among the best on the market. But since the spring of 2019, when it was not possible to use Google’s services, Huawei has lost ground in the mobile market, and its partnership with Leica has officially ended with the release of the P50s. The field was therefore free for Xiaomi, which therefore took over from one of the main competitors of the past.

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, assures that the two devices share the same values ​​and ambitions in terms of mobile photo quality. Leica’s contribution will therefore be on a par with software management, the man states that his “Collaboration will boost Xiaomi’s image processing strategy”. We can therefore expect to see Xiaomi adopt a new tone and to see a new rendering in the images offered by its future smartphones. But the German company will also bring its expertise and know-how hardware. Leica will also participate in “optical design”and even to “the development of aesthetic orientations”.

© Xiaomi

If neither Xiaomi nor Leica currently state the exact duration, it is, in Lei Jun’s words, a partnership “long term”, just like Hasselblad with OnePlus and now Oppo. The two partners confirm that a first model integrating Leica’s know-how will arrive in July, without specifying the exact reference; however, it is a sure bet that the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, the flagship of the Chinese manufacturer, will be the first recipient.

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