Xiaomi 14 Ultra: Minor Price Hike! Meizu’s Surprise Feb 29 Event!

Xiaomi 14 Ultra Launched

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has officially been released with a starting price of 6499 yuan.

It represents Xiaomi’s most powerful imaging flagship to date, equipped with the brand-new Summilux all-star quad-camera system developed in partnership with Leica. The device boasts exceptional optical quality, with the largest light intake, the highest specification optical lenses, and the most precise optical path design in the Ultra series so far, setting a new benchmark for mobile imaging and elevating the art of capturing light and shadows to new heights.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra not only incorporates the second-generation one-inch image sensor LYT900 but also comes with the impressive IMX858 sensor, along with a 3.2x telephoto lens for portraits, and a 5x periscope telephoto lens. Its main camera supports an aperture range from f/1.63 to f/4.0.

Moreover, the device features Xiaomi’s AISP (AI Image Signal Processor) for computational photography, offers a Professional Street Photography mode 2.0, and boasts ultra-fast 0.7-second startup with instant capture without needing to focus.

In terms of industrial design, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra introduces the highly durable “Xiaomi Dragon Armor” architecture. This breakthrough structure combines a range of advanced materials and precision craftsmanship, including high-strength aluminum alloy frames, Xiaomi Dragon Glass, Kevlar, and Xiaomi Dragon Ceramic, ensuring the device’s toughness and increased resistance to falls, thus providing solid hardware support for creators.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, features a new generation 2K display from Huaxing, with a full-depth micro-curve design, and houses a 5300mAh battery.

Comparison and Feedback

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra shows significant improvement in all aspects compared to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and has been optimized for thickness and grip. User feedback suggests that the actual hand feel of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is a notable improvement over its predecessor. Despite a modest price increase, the phone now comes standard with satellite communication features. It offers the lowest price among competitors with similar specs, and the highest configuration within its price range.

However, it’s important to note that the premium imaging flagship category is not for everyone; its high price and substantial build are compromises made for optimal photography. Average users are likely better off with the slimmer, more comfortable Xiaomi 14, which also comes at a more accessible price point.

In conclusion, if you ask me whether the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is good, of course, it is! An imaging flagship with satellite communication – that’s basically the leading flagship of the moment!

Speculative News on Xiaomi

Reports from domestic media and testimony from a former early-stage employee close to Lei Jun suggest that “Lei Jun is preparing a big surprise, which may include offering a Beijing car license plate to the first buyers of Xiaomi cars without one.”

Responding to these speculations, a spokesperson for Xiaomi stated the information was completely false and that the official pricing, delivery, and sales policy for Xiaomi automobiles should be obtained from official releases.

An official from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau also commented that license plates require a lottery system and that no such notifications have been received concerning the matter.

Xiaomi Group’s PR Manager Wang Hua forwarded the relevant post, emphasizing that media outlets should confirm accurate information with official sources to avoid misleading the public.

Rumors Addressed

The credibility of this rumor is incredibly low, so there’s not much point in discussing it further. However, it’s a reminder to be cautious with media claims, especially when headlines tout exclusivity – this can be misleading and akin to exclusive rumor-mongering.

Meizu's Surprise Announcement

Today, Meizu officially announced that it will hold a special event on February 29th at 19:00, marking the brand’s first activity following its “All in AI” strategy announcement.

Significantly, Meizu generated a strategic layout map using its powerful AIGC capabilities, paying tribute to the iconic moment when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, ushering in the era of smartphones. With this “All in AI” strategy, Meizu seems poised to become a leader in the AI age.

The official teaser suggests the event will cover three main modules: LLM, Phone, and AI Device. This could mean the release of three new products or a new three-in-one product, but in any case, it aims to showcase Meizu’s AI capabilities.

The event will focus on the visual theme of “O,” symbolizing both an end and a beginning. This marks Meizu’s farewell to the conventional smartphone era and represents its bold commitment to embracing the AI era.

Meizu's Marketing Strategy

Meizu’s marketing strategy seems aimed at creating a narrative of initially suppressing, then elevating interest by hinting at a total shift towards AI, potentially cutting off their smartphone line, then suddenly announcing the Meizu 21 Pro for February 29th. Yet, given Meizu’s challenging situation, informing existing users overnight about the potential discontinuation of new products, albeit offering technical support for older models, may feel more like a shock than a surprise.

What Meizu plans to unveil on February 29th will likely become clearer over the upcoming week. However, some might argue that with the company’s current status, it might be best to cut the dramatics.

Lenovo's Financial Performance

Lenovo Group released its financial results for the third quarter ending December 31, 2023, reporting total revenues of $15.72 billion (approximately 1130.27 billion yuan), a 3% year-on-year increase.

This marks a return to growth after five consecutive quarters of decline. Lenovo Group’s Chairman and CEO, Yang Yuanqing, expects all three of the company’s business sectors to resume growth in the next fiscal quarter.

“The company will also increase investments in the smartphone business, aiming to return to the ranks of mainstream manufacturers within three years,” stated Yang.

According to the financial report, non-PC business revenue accounted for 42% of the total, with the smartphone business contributing significantly.

Yang has mentioned that Lenovo laid out a growth plan for its smartphone business earlier in the year, aiming to increase investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific, North America, and European markets.

Data suggests that Lenovo’s smartphone business grew by 250% in the Asia Pacific, 55% in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and 40% in North America during the third quarter, outpacing the average market growth rate.

Lenovo's Smartphone Brand

When we talk about Lenovo’s smartphones, we are in fact referring to the Motorola brand, which is currently the only smartphone brand available on Lenovo’s official website. Lenovo has had its share of ventures into different smartphone brands over the years, many of which have been discontinued. Of course, Motorola’s primary market is overseas, and though success there can be challenging, it’s clear that Lenovo is not giving up.

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