We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

We tried out the Xiaomi 14 Ultra at MWC 2024

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is the Chinese tech brand's answer to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, but is this flagship ready for the competition?

Image of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra's home screen at the MWC 2024 booth

We’re live on the last day of MWC 2024 in Barcelona, and it’s fair to say that few of the big smartphone brands have gone as hard as Xiaomi this year. Following the launch event for the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and base model 14 on the eve of the conference, we were expecting a fairly extravagant booth from the company, and that’s exactly what it delivered.

The star attraction at the Xiaomi booth was the 14 Ultra, one of the most impressive phones at MWC this year. The big selling point here is the cameras, again co-engineered with Leica like the last couple of Xiaomi phones, and they are truly some of the best around. The zoom quality is incredible, capable of accurately capturing small details at a distance, and the pro photography features offer a level of control and customization I’ve not experienced before on a smartphone – though they can be almost a little intimidating for those of us with little experience of fancy cameras or photography terminology.

Not to be left out in the current wave of generative AI tech across the industry, the 14 Ultra also offers an AI portrait function. Pick a selection of pictures of yourself, or in this instance, a model loaded onto the phone, pop in a prompt, and then wait around 50 seconds for the results. While it’s a slightly longer load time than some of the similar AI generation tools I’ve seen at MWC 2024, it appears to be one of the most accurate, with the results offering a representation of the model that is almost exactly as they appear in the example images.

The phone is available to pre-order with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra Photography Kit, which, in simple terms, is a fancy case that gives the phone the look and some of the functionality of a high-end digital camera. Like the phone, it’s a sleek design that steers clear of anything too outlandish, and it’s another way that the brand is reiterating its commitment to being one of, if not the best, smartphone manufacturers for those with a penchant for picture-taking.

Picture of the Photography Kit for the Xiaomi 14 Ultra MWC 2024 hands-on coverage

All-in-all, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is a smartphone well equipped to rival other Android flagships, including the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, and another of MWC 2024’s stars, the Honor Magic6 Pro. We can’t say just how good it is in terms of performance and everyday use until we get our hands on one for a decent amount of time and put together a full review, but following a quick hands-on, it seems to be worth all the hype from Xiaomi in the build-up to the launch.

Of course, the 14 and 14 Ultra weren’t the only bits of kit that Xiaomi had to offer at MWC this year, with the growing brand also showing off a string of fresh wearables, including the smart-looking Xiaomi Watch 2 and Xiaomi Watch S3, its electric car, and, get ready for it, the CyberDog 2. The bio-inspired design of the dog is pretty remarkable and one of the most futuristic bits of tech on display at this year’s conference. It’s got a slightly more canine look than the other robot dog we spotted at the event this year, TECNO’s Dynamic 1, but both are equally remarkable feats of engineering for companies that primarily make smartphones.

Picture of the CyberDog 2 on its legs at MWC 2024

There you have it, our hands-on experience with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and other highlights from the Xiaomi booth at MWC 2024. For more of our coverage from Barcelona, check out our reporting from the TECNO 2024 flagship launch and hands-on with the bendable Motorola concept phone. Or, if you’re looking for something for gaming, see what we made of the Ayaneo Pocket S.