After a long wait, the Xiaomi 14 global launch finally took place today live in Barcelona, with the company also introducing the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, its latest high-end handset to rival the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max. We were lucky enough to get invited to the event and see the big reveal for ourselves.
The Xiaomi 14 global launch presentation began with an introduction from Xiaomi’s President, William Lu, sharing the news that the company was the third most popular smartphone brand of 2023, behind only Apple and Samsung. It’s not just the smartphone market the company is looking to solidify its position in, though, with the tech giant having recently revealed its first electronic car. Still, we’re a mobile site, so let’s get into the phones, shall we?
While the brand unveiled the Xiaomi 14 in China late last year, followed by the 14 Ultra just a few days ago, this is the first we’ve seen of the fresh flagship Xiaomi phones in the West. The new devices see a continuation of the innovative partnership between Xiaomi and Leica, with the 14 Ultra boasting a quad-camera set-up that includes a one-inch 50MP main lens with a stepless variable aperture, as well as 50MP floating telephoto, 50MP periscope, and 50MP ultra-wide lenses.
In contrast, the 14’s triple camera layout misses out on the periscope lens, and its 50MP main lens isn’t the same one-inch as the 14 Ultra. However, it shares the same 32MP selfie shooter and also comes with Leica photography modes and Dolby Vision for shooting film. It’s clear that Xiaomi is leaning into its cameras as a big selling point, and we can see why with some of the incredible photo examples offered.
The Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra utilize the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset for top-tier performance, promising a 32% CPU performance boost on the Xiaomi 13. In a surprising turn, Qualcomm’s CEO Cristiano Amon was on hand to spread the gospel of the latest Snapdragon processors’ AI, 5G, and Wi-Fi capabilities while praising Xiaomi for the use of state-of-the-art technology.
In terms of other specs, the 6.36-inch LTPO AMOLED of the 14 and the 6.73-inch WQHD+ AMOLED of the 14 Ultra are capable of up to a whopping peak brightness of 3,000 nits and have dynamic 1-120Hz refresh rates. Both also promise incredible battery life, Xiaomi’s best so far, capable of 15 hours of continuous use and lightning-quick 90W HyperCharge charging speeds. Put simply, both the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra are true premium flagships, offering improvements in nearly all areas on last year’s models.
HyperOS is a big deal for the company, leaving the MIUI operating system behind in an attempt to create a new software infrastructure that stretches across its phones, home tech, and cars. As you might expect for 2024, the upgrade to HyperOS includes some new AI capabilities. One of these new AI features is AI Portrait, where you can feed the software pictures of yourself before putting in a text prompt that places a digital version of yourself in any given situation. There’s also AI Extension, which does what it says on the tin and extends a photo on your phone outside its bounds.
If you’re looking to pick up one of the latest Xiaomi handsets yourself, both the 14 and the 14 Ultra are now available to pre-order in Europe and the U.K. The Xiaomi 14 is available in Black, White, or Jade Green colorways and retails at £849/€999 for the 12+256GB version or £899/€1099 for the 12+512GB version. The 16+512GB Xiaomi 14 Ultra comes in either Black or White, with a recommended retail price of £1299/€1499.
Unfortunately, there’s still no official update on Xiaomi’s availability in the US, so if one of these new flagships is tempting you, you may have to look at importing one from the U.K. or Europe. If you get either the 14 or 14 Ultra, you can be confident it’ll stay relevant for a while, with the company promising four generations of OS updates and five years of security patches.
The unveiling of the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra wasn’t all we got from Xiaomi today, with the tech company also revealing its latest tablet, the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4, a bigger and faster tablet than we’ve seen from the company before with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and flabbergasting 120W HyperCharge technology. We also saw a string of new wearables, including the Xiaomi Watch S3, Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro, and Xiaomi Watch 2, with each offering some impressive technology for devices under €200.
There you have it, all the need-to-know details from the Xiaomi 14 global launch. For more of the newest smartphones, see our coverage of the Honor 2024 global launch, or check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review and Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR review.