Xiaomi has announced that it is teaming up with camera maker Leica to release a new jointly developed smartphone.
The phone will launch this July, though neither brand has revealed much about design, specs, features, or even what camera sensors it will be packing.
According to Xiaomi Group Founder, Chairman and CEO Lei Jun, Xiaomi has always hoped to further explore the possibilities of smartphone photography.
In the past, the brand has used a combination of lens optics, chips, and algorithms to enhance portraits, night scenes, and shots on its phones.
“This collaboration will give a strong boost to Xiaomi’s imaging strategy,” Jun said.
“During the collaboration, from optical design to customization of aesthetic orientations, the innovative technology, product philosophy and imaging preferences of both sides experienced an unprecedented deep collision and fusion.”
Similarly, Leica called it an honor to partner with Xiaomi, explaining that both brands are working to entice consumers into a new era of mobile photography.
“We are convinced that the first jointly developed flagship smartphone with imaging capability marks the groundbreaking progress of both companies,” said CEO Matthias Harsch.
“We will provide mobile photography consumers with exceptional image quality, classic Leica aesthetics, unlimited creativity, and usher in a new era of mobile imaging.”
The mention of the Leica aesthetic means we can probably expect phones to produce photos that mimic the look of a Leica photo. This could be done with filters (or “color modes”) that were available on phones from Huawei’s collaboration with Leica.
Xiaomi called its relationship with the camera brand a long-term strategic collaboration in a recent press release, implying that this won’t be the last smartphone we’ll see from the two giants in their respective industries.
As mentioned, Xiaomi is not the first smartphone manufacturer to team up with Leica. Up until 2021, Leica collaborated with Huawei on phones like the P50 Pro.
Manufacturers such as OnePlus and Oppo, meanwhile, are partnering with camera giant Hasselblad to improve their own camera technology in their flagship smartphones.
Luckily, the release is scheduled for July, and we won’t have to wait long to see if the Xiaomi and Leica collaboration will offer photography skills powerful enough to become one of our best camera phones.