To celebrate its tenth birthday, Xiaomi has dropped a new addition to the Mi 10 family – and it’s an ultra phone looking to throw shade on all other manufacturers’ recent attempts.
Most recent launches have pushed the specs really hard, whipping fans into a frenzy and there’s no shortage of numbers appended to the Mi 10 Ultra – 120W charging, 120Hz refresh rate, 120x zoom, 5G, 16GB RAM… the list goes on and on, making it very clear that Xiaomi wants this to be seen as the best phone on the market.
While the overall look of the phone is similar to the other Mi 10 devices we’ve seen this year, the size of the camera array on the rear is almost laughable – there’s no way you’re going to miss the brutality of the camera offering.
Like Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, Xiaomi is pushing the telephoto hard, claiming a 120x magnification from its periscope lens. Like Samsung, once you get over 15x zoom you’ll get a preview window so you can see what you’re actually zooming in on. We suspect that this numbers play will end up the same way that Samsung’s did – with a zoom so extreme it’s hard to use – but we’ll be happy to be proved wrong.
The main camera is a 48-megapixel sensor, but it’s a large unit, pushing the pixels to 1.2µm rather than the puny 0.8µm that many 48-megapixel sensors offer. It again uses pixel combining claiming that it will deliver in all situations. Xiaomi has been pretty strong in recent times, so this could be a great experience.
It’s supported by an ultra-wide camera and dedicated portrait lens. Naturally you get 8K video recording, while HDR10 video capture is also offered.
Moving on, the hardware gets a little more familiar, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 powering things – although it appears it’s not the G or Plus variant – but the options for RAM run from 8GB up to 16GB. Storage starts at 128GB and tops out at 512GB.
But what Xiaomi really wants you to pay attention to is the charging setup, as this phone will support 120W wired charging. That means you can get a 41 per cent charge in 5 minutes. It’s all carefully managed, with a lot of safety systems in place, but it’s not only rapid wired charging you get – it also supports 50W wireless charging.
That means it will charge wirelessly faster than most mainstream phones will when plugged in. It is, however a 4500mAh battery, so you might be using the fast charging more frequently than you expect.
One thing that might keep things in check on the battery front is the display. It’s a 6.67-inch OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate – all the rage these days – but Xiaomi is sticking to Full HD+ (probably 2340 x 1080 pixels like the Mi 10 Pro). It’s an HDR display, promising plenty of brightness, so we suspect the lack of resolution won’t be an issue.
The Mi 10 Ultra will come in Obsidian Black, Mercury Silver and in the Transparent Edition that we’ve seen before from Xiaomi.
All in all, there are some mind-boggling specs going into this phone and we can’t wait to give it a closer inspection if it ever makes it out of China, which we expect it to. In that regard, the Mi 10 Ultra will start at RMB5299 (about £580/$760/€646) in China, where it will be available from 16 August.