Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: The Best Camera Phone I've Ever Used
Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: The Best Camera Phone I've Ever Used
7:38

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: The Best Camera Phone I've Ever Used

Phones
Speaker 1: The Xmi 14 Ultra is the best camera phone I have ever used. Seriously. Speaker 1: The 14 Ultra is Xiaomi's brand new flagship phone, and while it comes with everything you'd expect from a top flagship phone, including a powerful Qualcomm processor and a glorious display, it also comes with an incredible camera setup. And really the cameras are the entire point of this [00:00:30] phone. So let's dive in and take a closer look. The main camera is the hero of the bunch, as it packs a much larger image sensor than you will find on almost any other phone, including the iPhone 15 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S 24 Ultra. Now, a bigger image sensor means more light can be captured, and that results in better looking shots with a wider dynamic range. And that sensor has been paired with a variable aperture lens, which can go from F1 0.6 at [00:01:00] its widest, but can also stop down to F four. Jami has also partnered with legendary camera maker Liker, who has lent some of its expertise in the lens elements as well, all of which makes this phone capable of taking some absolutely stunning images. Speaker 1: So far, I have shot thousands of images with this thing all around Edinburgh and around London. I have been genuinely blown away by some of the shots that I've been able to take. So here's how I use it. I shoot most of my images [00:01:30] using the phone's pro mode, which allows for raw image capture. I have it set to shoot both raw and JPEGs, and I use like a high contrast black and white filter for a punchy monochrome look. By shooting both JPEG and raw, I get that original JPEG file, but I still have the raw file that I can revert to color if I want to. So it gives me the best of both worlds. But actually I've been seriously impressed with the JPEG images straight out of camera. The shots you're seeing now are all untouched JPEGs, [00:02:00] and I think they've got a great look to them in both black and white and in color. Speaker 1: Although personally, it's the black and white imagery where I think this phone really excels. But then I do still have the DNG raw files, which allows for a much deeper level of editing in apps like Adobe Lightroom. And again, I've been really impressed by the depth of editing possible on these files. There's a huge dynamic range and that gives me so much latitude for pulling back highlights or lifting shadows so I can edit these photos [00:02:30] exactly the same way that I would do on my regular camera straight out of camera. This shot of a roller skater is quite underexposed, but I've been able to bring up a lot of detail while still maintaining a good exposure in the bright sky. While this shot of people queuing at a food stall had some very overexposed highlights that have again been able to rescue and post to create this great looking shot with beautiful shadows, same thing in this shot, which I assumed would be irreparably blown out in the highlights, but actually gave me plenty [00:03:00] of room to bring the shot back to exactly where I wanted it to make it even more of a fully fledged camera. Speaker 1: Xmi sells what it calls the photography kit. Now that comes with the case that you can see right here, which also features a mount for putting on screw in professional photo filters. It also has this grip attachment, which simply just slots into place on the end of the phone. So with the grip attached, you can hold it and operate it just like a regular camera. It's got some controls on the top, including a shatter button [00:03:30] that lets you half press the focus or fully press to take the photo. Again, just like a regular compact camera. And if that's not enough, it's also got a small battery inside to help give you a little bit more time out there shooting. I loved using this camera grip when I was out and about in London as it just feels like a much more natural way to take photos. Speaker 1: It even makes it just look like a regular camera. And something about that that helps me engage more with my photography in a way that I just don't think I do when [00:04:00] I'm simply holding up a phone and tapping on a screen. Needless to say, then the photography kit is a must buy. If you are buying this phone for its camera skills, you'll also find 3.2 times and five times optical zoom lenses, both of which have 50 megapixel sensors and both of which are capable of taking great looking shots with spot on colors and exposure. And of course, there's an ultra wide two, again with a 50 megapixel sensor, and that does a similarly good job of [00:04:30] getting your snaps is great at night, as well as that big sensor and wide aperture lets it capture a lot of light in dark situations. But for even better looking night photos, I actually have preferred taking manual control and stopping the aperture down to about F three. Speaker 1: As a result, I get these amazing looking starbursts on points of light, which isn't something I've ever been able to achieve on a phone camera before. And again, I found shooting in a punchy high contrast black and [00:05:00] white mode works really well for night scenes, but I've also found that the DNG raw files gives so much scope for lifting and image and getting exactly the look that I want to achieve. So yes, it is fair to say that I am suitably impressed with the camera skills of the Jami 14 Ultra and can comfortably say that it is the best camera phone I have ever used. So what about the rest of the phone? Well, it also ticks all of the boxes you would expect from a flagship phone in 2024. [00:05:30] It's packing the latest Qualcomm eight Gen three processor, which delivered blistering scores on our benchmark tests and makes this phone a breeze to use. Speaker 1: Navigating around the Android 14 interface is swift and stutter free while playing demanding games like Asphalt Nine or genian Impact at max settings is no problem at all. A 6.73 inch display is bright, vibrant, and pin sharp, and the Android software is easy to use, although there are quite a few [00:06:00] pre-installed apps from both xmi and third party companies like AliExpress, which does make the phone feel quite cluttered. Battery life is one of the only places where this phone isn't earning my praise. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely fine and it will probably get you through a full day of mixed use. It's just not top of the class in this regard, but nor is it at the bottom. It's just fine. The other area that's a bit of a disappointment for me is in the software support period where Xmi has [00:06:30] committed to providing four years of Android updates and an additional fifth year of security updates. Speaker 1: And again, that's not bad, but it does now fall behind the seven years that both Google and Samsung have committed to with their top phones. So is this a phone you should actually buy well seen purely as a phone. The Jami 14 Ultra is pretty much on par with any other flagship phone you can buy right now. It's got solid all round performance and a great screen, and battery [00:07:00] life is fine. If all you really want is just a decent all round Android phone, then you should probably look elsewhere maybe at the Pixel eight line, which offers solid performance across the board and at a more approachable price. But this is a phone to look towards if you are a photographer and what you want is the best imaging possible from your phone in that respect, the Jami 14 Ultra is top of the class capable of taking images that have truly blown me away. It's finally a phone where I don't need [00:07:30] to consider taking a proper camera with me on day trips. I can just take this phone knowing that I'm still going to get beautiful looking shots.

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