If you are excited about Xiaomi’s new partnership with Leica, then make sure to keep reading. While only the Xiaomi 12S Pro and Ultra will sport Leica’s branding on the camera, it seems that the extracted Camera APK from the Xiaomi 12S Ultra will give you all the Leica goodies, without you splurging on a Xiaomi 12S Pro/Ultra.
I tested with a POCO F2 Pro, and I managed to get the APK to install as an update to the built-in Camera app, and utilize the Leica filters as well as the Leica watermark. It seems that the app only works with MIUI 13 devices or something, as my POCO F1 running MIUI 12 was unable to have the camera app installed. Overall the UI seems a bit more streamlined with a more Leica-ish font, although they removed the option to customize the colors in the Camera app.
The Leica watermark here is quite excessive, and I doubt many will use it except for novelty’s sake. This literally makes HUAWEI’s comically long Leica watermark looks tiny by comparison. On the plus side, you get the model name, date, time, camera parameters and even the GPS coordinates along with the all-important Leica emblem.
For those seeking a more functional addition, you get all the usual Leica filters, that will seem all too familiar if you have used a HUAWEI device with Leica. There’s the Leica Vivid, Leica Natural, as well as the usual B&W modes that were popularized by the HUAWEI P9, that made the Leica features a mainstay of HUAWEI device, before, well… Trump happened. In terms of image quality, I didn’t really see much of of an improvement coming from the previous stock camera app, but that might be due to the fact that the POCO F2 Pro is a 2-year old device by now.
Now it is also worth mentioning that the Xiaomi 12S Pro and Ultra are likely to never make their way out of Malaysia, so this might be the only way to get some of that Leica goodness on your Xiaomi smartphone. If you are interested, you can head over to Xiaomiui to download the Leica Camera APK. Obviously, this is to be done at your own risk.