Xiaomi Pushes Optics in New Leica Smartphone Collab

Co-developing improvements in smartphone photography tech

Electronics manufacturer Xiaomi Corporation has announced a partnership with camera manufacturer Leica to create a new photo-focused smartphone.

Details are still sparse, but Xiaomi's announcement explains a couple of basic concepts the two companies plan to follow with their new collaboration. It'll be a hybrid of Xiaomi's smartphone development know-how and Leica's camera and photography prowess. This isn't Leica's first attempt at a joint smartphone venture, but Xiaomi will likely make for a more universally alluring partner than Sharp.

Xiaomi 12 Pro smartphones


According to Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG, "We will provide consumers in the field of mobile photography exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unrestricted creativity, and will open a new era of mobile imaging."

And Lei Jun, founder, chairman, and CEO of Xiaomi Group confirmed that "During the cooperation, from optical design to tuning aesthetic orientations, the innovative technologies, product philosophies and imaging preferences of both parties have experienced unprecedented in-depth collision and fusion."

Teaser image for the new Xiaomi + Leica smartphone


The plan appears to be to utilize Leica's camera expertise to push Xiaomi's mobile photography experience to "boost Xiaomi's imaging strategy." And it may not end with this first attempt, either. The announcement states that both Xiaomi and Leica are prepared to continuously see what kinds of performance and technological breakthroughs they can discover together—implying that they don't intend to stop at just one device and call it a success.

This "imaging flagship smartphone" collaborative project will be launching in July, According to Xiaomi. Pricing has not been revealed just yet, but if the new device is anything like its previous smartphone releases, it should be fairly affordable.

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