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Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: A Smartphone Masterpiece

Xiaomi was all over the headlines when the company announced it’s latest Xiaomi 14 series flagship series in the global market earlier this year. While we already had the chance to review the vanilla Xiaomi 14 5G two months ago, it’s only now that we finally have the opportunity to lay our hands on the top-tier model – Xiaomi 14 Ultra. Without further ado, here’s my quick review of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra after spending almost two weeks with the device during my recent trip to South Korea.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Design -1

Xiaomi 14 Ultra: Design

At first glance, you probably won’t be able to tell the Xiaomi 14 Ultra apart from last year’s 13 Ultra as the phone retains pretty much the same good old design characterized by a humongous circle-shaped camera island at the back of the phone.

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Although design like this may not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that the phone exudes premium quality. The golden chamfer surrounding the camera module adds an extra touch of opulence, while the adoption of faux leather for the back panel makes the phone feels very much like a ”branded” phone on hand.

@playfuldroid Xiaomi 14 Ultra full unboxing ? #Xiaomi14Ultra #Xiaomi14 #Xiaomi #Smartphone ? Iron Man – Paul Velchev

Measuring 161.4 x 75.3 x 9.2 mm, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is by no means a compact device. But for someone like myself with a medium sized hand, I still find it manageable to use the phone with one hand most of the time. In fact, you might be surprised that the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is actually lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (Review) and iPhone 15 Pro Max at just 220 grams.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Design -4 (1)

Over on the front side, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra boasts a 6.73” curved display that provides plenty of screen estate for work and play. The display itself is based on a high-end LTPO AMOLED panel which not only looks bright and vibrant, but also offers one of the sharpest viewing experience as it supports an ultra-sharp WQHD+ screen resolution.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Design -5

Aside from that, it also impresses with its buttery-smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh rate which switches between 1Hz to 120Hz automatically based on the screen’s content to help preserve battery life. Likewise, it also features a commendable 3,000 nits peak brightness that makes it one of the brightest smartphone screen in the market.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra: Performance & Battery Life

Like any other Android flagship phones that were launched this year, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset which literally gives the phone all the power it needs to handle any task you threw at it. This translates to a smooth and stable performance even when working on more resource-intensive tasks like mobile gaming or video editing.

To keep its lights on, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is backed by a respectable 5,000mAh battery that’s able to survive a typical workday with around 25% to 30% battery remaining at the end of the day. Charging-wise, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s 90W HyperCharge wired charging technology is able to deliver a full charge in merely 33 minutes under boost mode (a feature that needs to be enabled manually from the phone settings since its turned off by default).

Also, those who ain’t a fan of wired charging will be glad to know that the Xiaomi 14 Ultra supports 80W wireless charging too. Though not as quick, but its still able to recharge a completely drained battery from 0 to 100% in around 46 minutes. That’s really fast compared to majority of the flagship phones in the market which easily take more than twice the duration to recharge wirelessly.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra: Cameras

Now, onto the main highlight of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra – its groundbreaking quad-camera system co-developed with German optics giant Leica. These cameras include a 50MP main camera that uses a brand new 1” Sony LYT-900 imaging sensor which features a stepless variable aperture between F1.63 – F4.0, a 50MP (f/1.8 aperture) floating telephoto camera, a 50 megapixels (f/2.5 aperture) periscope camera as well as a 50 megapixels (f/1.8 aperture) ultra-wide camera.

This impressive setup pan out well in terms of real life usage. Photos taken by the main camera are very much comparable to those captured by expensive DSLR cameras which eliminates the need to bring along a bulky DSLR for your next holiday trip. What’s even better is the fact that these photos are taken using auto shooting mode, meaning even amateur photographers are able to capture DSLR-equivalent photos on the convenience of a smartphone.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Camera Sample -6
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Like any other Xiaomi smartphones with Leica co-developed camera system, you can choose to shoot with either Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic modes from the camera’s setting. Leica Vibrant, as you can probably tell from its name, favors a more vivid image profile that allows photographers to perfectly capture the emotion of the moment. Leica Authentic on the other hand delivers an iconic “Leica Image Look” that focuses on aesthetically pleasing and natural colour reproduction, well-drawn shadows, realistic local contrasts and excellent reproduction of fine details and a moderate amount of sharpening.

Like I mentioned in my past reviews, I personally prefer to shoot with Leica Vibrant mode as I find myself liking the color science it brought along which has the ability to make photos look really spectacular especially for landscape photography. However, that’s not to say that I don’t shoot using Leica Authentic mode at all. In fact, most of my portrait shots were taken using Leica Authentic mode since I’m quite a fan of the “vintage” look that comes along with it.

@playfuldroid Xiaomi 14 Ultra zoom test ? Check out its amazing 80x zoom result at the end! #Xiaomi14Ultra #Xiaomi14Series #Xiaomi #Smartphone #Mobile ? Iron Man – Paul Velchev

Apart from the usual wide and ultra-wide angle shots, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra also performs remarkably well when it comes to zoomed shots. For short range zoom, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra supports an impressive 3.2x and 5x optical zoom that’s able to capture photos that look consistent with those taken by the main camera in terms of details and dynamic range. And in case you wish to take things further, the camera system also supports up to 120x zoom by combining the power of different lenses to deliver exceptional results even at the maximum zoom level (check out the video above to have a real feel of its performance).

Verdict

As a Xiaomi smartphone user for the past two years, I can certainly vouch on the quality of Xiaomi smartphones. The new Xiaomi 14 Ultra is no exception in this regard as the phone continues to deliver top-notch mobile experience across every aspects regardless whether you’re talking about heavy multi-tasking, mobile gaming or photography. As such, its easily to recommend this phone to anyone looking for capable smartphone that checks all the boxes.

In Singapore, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is priced at S$1,699 for the 16GB+512GB model which is slightly more affordable than other top-tier devices in the market such as the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. If you’re interested, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is available for purchase through Authorized Xiaomi Stores, partner stores and Shopee.

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