The Xiaomi 14 Ultra camera has a six-blade mechanical iris

Xiaomi's Biggest Mobile World Congress Launch Xiaomi 14 Ultra. It is a high-end flagship Of course Not coming to the US, but available in Europe for 1,499 euros ($1,624).

Let's get into the specs: It has a 120Hz, 3200×1440 OLED, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 5000mAh battery. The proprietary 90 W wired “HyperCharge” will get the phone from 0–100 percent battery in 33 minutes, while the wireless 80 W version will charge the phone in 46 minutes.

Xiaomi is very proud of the fact that all four sides of the screen are curved. The entire screen rises from the aluminum body and the bubbles emerge. Xiaomi says the glass “Deeply curved on all four sides and corners, creating a seamlessly elegant curved shape.“All images, videos, websites and apps expect to be displayed on a flat surface, so curved displays can distort the image you're looking at, and fortunately some manufacturers are starting to abandon this idea. The display should be a big mirror. The bubble means you now have four glass corners on the front of the phone. Meaning, so don't give up on it!

As with the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, the entire rear design mimics a classic leather-wrapped 35mm camera – the camera is “Leica” branded, after all. The back is “vegan leather”, meaning specially treated plastic (hey, some of those old cameras used fake leather too!), and the camera lens is a big circle, blurring out a normal camera lens.

The photography focus returns a “Professional Camera Kit” that makes the phone look like a real camera. The kit consists of two parts; The first adds a mounting ring around the camera pump so you can attach a lens cover or camera filter to the camera pump. The other half of the kit is a clip-on camera grip attachment that adds both a 1500 mAh battery and physical camera controls, such as auto-focus, a record button, and a two-stage shutter button that can trigger two-way zoom. Lever and customizable dial. Just like last year, it makes the phone see Like a very serious camera, but it's all about looks—a significantly larger camera lens that makes a traditional camera better, and it's still a typical, very small smartphone camera lens.

Camera theaters keep up with new ones Six knives Variable aperture for the main camera. Like a traditional camera, the main lens has a tiny six-blade mechanical iris that can open and close to adjust the aperture of your photo. Last year, Xiaomi had a similar setup, but it only used two blades and could only snap between “blades open” f1.9 mode and “blades closed” f4.0 mode. With six blades, you get “stepless variable aperture” that lets you choose anywhere in the phone's f-stop range.

It's still a compact phone camera lens, so the f-stop range is quite small, from f1.63 to f4.0. On a DSLR, adjusting the f-stop changes the camera's depth of field, with a narrower aperture allowing less light in exchange for a crisper focus. A wider aperture will give brighter images with a shorter focal range, which you can use for blurred background bokeh effects. That's it on a DSLR, with a normal f-stop range of F1.4 to F22. On a smartphone camera, especially when there's a ton of software processing, f1.6 to f4 won't change your images much. Any background blur is still a fake post-processing effect, and it's hard to imagine a situation where you wouldn't want as much light as possible for your tiny smartphone lens. Samsung tried all this before on the Galaxy S9 and S10, then dropped the feature because it didn't achieve much. The six-bladed hole may be a micro-engineering triumph, but in the real world, it's a marketing bullet point.

Despite the fluff, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra still packs serious smartphone-level camera hardware. The main sensor is 1 inch, 50 MP Sony LYT-900, perhaps the biggest and best smartphone camera sensor. Smartphone images are heavily processed, with software and hardware (see: every Pixel phone), but Xiaomi's got better hardware. The other three rear cameras are 50 MP Sony IMX858 sensors with lenses for wide-angle, 3.2x telephoto and 5x telephoto.

Pre-orders are already open and the phone will ship on March 15.

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