Xiaomi 14 Ultra review: So close to perfect

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review
Honor X9b Ad
Honor X9b Ad

Xiaomi 14 Ultra — Xiaomi’s most expensive and top-of-the-line flagship for 2024. You get a lot of innovations, some nifty cool photography kits, and a more mature overall product. After using it for the last 2 weeks, I am honestly super impressed with this phone which I will elaborate on further in this Xiaomi 14 Ultra review!

This year, Chinese smartphone manufacturers like Oppo, Vivo, Honor and even OnePlus, are doing a good job in the flagship space. They are getting seriously better and better and are closing the gap with the two giants — Samsung and Apple. But, I believe, Xiaomi is slightly ahead of its compatriots and we can see that on this phone.

But before getting into the detailed review of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, let’s skim through its specifications:

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Specifications

  • Design: Monotone design with leather, glass or titanium back, IP68 rated
  • Dimensions: 161.40 mm x 75.30 mm x 9.20 mm
  • Weight: 224.40 – 229.60 grams
  • Display: 6.73” AMOLED Panel, LTPO 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 3000 nits peak brightness, HDR10+, 68 billion colour depth, DCI-P3 colour gamut, DC dimming, 1920Hz PWM dimming, Xiaomi Shield Glass protection
  • Resolution: WQHD+ (1,440 x 3,200)
  • Chipset: Octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4nm)
  • RAM: 12GB or 16GB, LPDDR5X, 8533 Mbps
  • ROM: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB UFS 4.0
  • OS: HyperOS
  • Rear Camera: Quad Camera
    • Primary: 50MP Sony LYT-900, 1-inch, OIS, variable aperture (f/1.6 – f/4.0)
    • Ultrawide: 50MP Sony IMX858, 122º FOV
    • Telephoto: 50MP Sony IMX858, 75mm, OIS
    • Periscope: 50MP Sony IMX858, 5X, 120mm, OIS
  • Front Camera: 32MP Camera (Centre-aligned hole-punch cutout)
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh with 90W wired, 80W wireless, and reverse charging support
  • Colour Options: Black, White, Dragon Crystal Blue

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review

Design and Build

Last year’s Xiaomi 13 Ultra was already an excellent phone and what I like is, Xiaomi is not trying to change much with this year’s 14 Ultra. First, you get the same design language with a vegan leather back, this iconic camera layout, IP68 protection, and a metal frame which extends to the back of the body.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Design

Altogether, it’s a well-made device and I got used to its hefty weight pretty quickly as well. Xiaomi says they have improved the durability by including brand new aluminium frames, and a new Shield Glass protection for display that is supposedly 10 times more durable than the Gorilla Glass Victus!


Likewise, the display is something I am thoroughly impressed and wowed by, not just on this one, but on all the high-end Chinese phones lately! And the Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s screen is just incredible as well! It’s got everything from a sharp 2K panel with an LTPO refresh rate, 12-bit colour depth with amazing colours, and full DCI-P3 colour coverage. 

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Display

You also get a hardware-level low blue light filter and PWM dimming up to 1920Hz, which even the Samsung flagships and iPhones don’t offer to this date! I also found its display to cover a wide range of brightness. It gets quite dim in low light conditions and super bright for outdoor visibility. However, it does not reach the S24 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max level! So, yeah, better keep that in mind.

But this display is just too good. Interacting with it, unlocking the fingerprint sensor, scrolling through the Instagram feed, and typing on it with crisp vibration feedback is just a pure joy. Xiaomi also offers a good stereo speaker on this phone that is pretty loud and focuses on the entire frequency spectrum.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra HDR Video Playback

Moreover, this display goes hand in hand with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ videos, so I would definitely rate it as an A+!


Moving on to the performance, you get the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset — as you get on most flagships. So nothing out of the box here.  It is further coupled with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage on the base variant. Meanwhile, it can go as high as 16GB memory and a terabyte of storage.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Multitasking

On top of that, you also get a pretty big liquid cooling system, so this phone is just as fast and just as cool as — say the S24 Ultra or any other 2024 flagship for that matter. 


However, I did find the battery to not be as good as the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra though. It just endures like 10 to 15% less. But, no worries! You get super-fast charging as compensation here — wired as well as wireless. So, the phone will be up and running in very little time.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Charging


Alright, alright! What truly makes for an incredible smartphone these days is how companies can differentiate their camera hardware and optimisation. And in this area, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra truly stands out for me.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Camera

First, you get a new 1-inch Sony LTY 900 main sensor which we get on a lot of flagship phones, but Xiaomi has added a unique flair by including a variable aperture here. It’s not just the two changeable apertures like we saw on last year’s 13 Ultra, but this time you can adjust the aperture continuously throughout the whole range from f/1.63 up to f/4.0!

This is only possible in pro mode by the way, but Xiaomi also lets you choose up to four f-stops in the regular photo mode too. So, being able to switch the aperture allowed me to better control what and how much focus I needed.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Camera Casual

For example, when I click the photos of the product or a closeup subject, it captures it in either f/1.63 or f/2.0 with a shallow depth of field which looks amazing. But if you want sharper focus, you can always manually change the aperture.

Daytime and Nighttime

During the daytime as well as nighttime, I found a different kind of colour science with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra that emphasises slightly more saturation and punchy contrast that predominantly produces pleasing results. 

And because of the wider aperture and a big 1-inch sensor, I found the images to be quite bright with consistent white balance most of the time. But sometimes, the brightness does go overboard and messes up with the highlights and whites. Hopefully, that will get solved with an update!

But, this main camera has one of the best HDR processing I have seen on a smartphone. It lifts the exposure ever so slightly to bring the on-point dynamic range in even darker shadows that look excellent overall. Detail is very nicely rendered on this phone and once you zoom in, it has a natural quality to it. There’s little to no noise even in somewhat dimly lit scenes.

Leica Filters

In the camera app, there are also a lot of classic Leica filters and you can click stunning black-and-white photos like these.

3.2x Zoom

Another area where the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is streets ahead vs. the competition is its 3.2x zoom camera. It is the best I have seen on a smartphone, and produces clean, detailed images like this, both during the daytime and night.

Look at this shot of my cat, it’s amazing! although at this point, he looks unhappy that I am using his photos for camera samples without permission!

Macro Shots

Jokes aside, this zoom lens also lets you click some high-quality macro shots, which I don’t think a lot of mobile phones of 2024 can match!

5x Telephoto

The 5x telephoto lens is no slouch either! It’s quite close to what the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers. But Xiaomi still doesn’t provide you with an option to take portraits from its 5x lens, which is just weird. You can only take 1x, 1.5x, 2x, and 3x portraits.

Leica Authentic Mode

When you are clicking the portraits in the Leica Authentic mode, it demands a particular mindset to fully grasp and appreciate its outcomes! It’s simply not suited to all individuals. For instance, I found colours lacking that vividness, and skin tone just not to be natural! But, you can toggle to the “Master Portrait” mode or play with a lot of filters to get some decent results.


Apart from the portraits, I found the ultra-wide camera to be not on the same level as the S24 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max. It does have a wider field of view, but I found it to be a little bit inconsistent.


Selfies are also pretty average here. It’s not terrible, but I have seen a better selfie camera than the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. That’s for sure! 


Nevertheless, I am very happy that this phone is a capable video-camera phone! It can shoot 4K 60fps videos from all the lenses, and they have excellent stabilisation and don’t jerk while panning. The details and the dynamic range are commendable as well! Honestly, I am very surprised to see how capable its videography aspect is along with great photography power!

Camera verdict

If I have to nitpick, the Ultrawide angle lens, both photo and video-wise, isn’t that great especially during lowlights! You will notice a bit of noise and desaturation, but the 3X camera. Even the 5X zoom videos are much better than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra! 

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: Verdict

So! Overall, I truly feel like Xiaomi flagships have matured a lot over the years and have become nigh-perfect! I like how Xiaomi has also taken care of small details on the new Hyper OS! It just feels more evolved! 

But, it’s the cameras that stand out for me! And if you are a proper camera enthusiast, you can even get yourself the Photography kit worth an extra USD 200 — which opens a lot of doors for more creativity! 

Xiaomi has also done quite a good job with the pricing too! I got this unit from China at just CNY 6,499, which comes at around USD 900. And even in India, it’s priced at INR 1 lakh, which is much more affordable than the two heavy hitters! So, a good job from Xiaomi in that aspect as well!

Factoring all that into consideration, I think the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is a top-tier flagship and deserves to be in the conversation with the likes of Samsung and Apple!

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Review: Pros and Cons


  • A+ grade display
  • Uncompromised performance
  • Excellent cameras
  • Great for videography
  • Fast charging speeds


  • No 5x portrait despite having a 5x lens
  • Weaker ultrawide camera
  • Mediocre selfies
  • Battery endurance
Design and Build
Back Camera
Front Camera
Software and UI
Battery and Charging
Value for Money
xiaomi-14-ultra-reviewThe Xiaomi 14 Ultra is very close to perfection. It boasts a premium design and an A+ grade display. Its standout feature is its camera setup, featuring Sony and Leica lenses that rival the likes of Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max. While its video capabilities match its photography prowess, the ultrawide camera falls short in depth. Overall, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra leaves little room for criticism.