Is the Xiaomi 14 Ultra a better buy than the Xiaomi 14? I already knowon June 17, 2024 at 15:12 Tech Advisor

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While many of the current flagship smartphones compete for your attention with AI features, Xiaomi steps onto the stage with its 2024 lineup focused mainly on photography, featuring the Xiaomi 14 and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. 

While the absence of the Pro model might raise eyebrows, the Xiaomi 14 emerges as a standout device in its own right. Priced at £849 in the UK, it offers a compelling proposition, boasting an impressive array of features. 

However, its £1,299 14 Ultra counterpart grabbed all the spotlight and emerged as the ultimate choice during their launch. But is it really worth the extra money for you? 

We have tested and compared both phones to see which will prove to be the better buy for you.

Differences between the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Design & Build

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra showcase impressive design and build quality. 

The Xiaomi 14 maintains a compact size, making it one of the most pocket-friendly flagships of 2024. Its premium design features minimal bezel and luxurious texturing around the camera module, although it tends to attract fingerprints easily. 

Despite feeling solid with Gorilla Glass Civtus on the front, it exhibits a slight hollowness at the back and requires frequent cleaning. 

Xiaomi 14

Chris Martin / Foundry

On the other hand, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra embraces a larger form factor, resembling traditional cameras with its circular module and nano vegan leather textured cover. Despite its size, it offers a comfortable grip and the camera module serves as a natural finger rest. It just won’t work so well in clothing pockets. 

Both models boast IP68 water and dust resistance, but while the Xiaomi 14 includes a silicone case, the 14 Ultra comes with a hard plastic case. The larger phone also features more impressive Xiaomi Shield glass on the front. 

Overall, both devices offer similarly solid durability, so it’s the size that’s most important here. 

Screen & Speakers 

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra offer impressive display technologies and audio experiences. 

The Xiaomi 14 features a 6.36-inch AMOLED display with LTPO panel technology, enabling a variable 1-120Hz refresh rate for improved battery efficiency. With a Full HD+ resolution and a peak brightness of 3000 nits, it delivers stunning visuals even in bright conditions. 

The display supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, providing a high-quality viewing experience, while the under-display optical fingerprint scanner ensures accurate biometric authentication. Despite lacking a headphone jack, its stereo speakers offer decent audio quality. 

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Chris Martin / Foundry

On the other hand, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra boasts a distinctive “all-around liquid display,” featuring curved glass on all sides but a flat display underneath. With a larger WQHD+ 6.73-inch AMOLED panel and top specs including Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, it offers exceptional visual performance. The use of LPTO technology also allows for dynamic 1-120Hz refresh rate adjustment, balancing smooth performance and power efficiency. 

With the same peak brightness of 3000 nits and a high pixel density, it ensures excellent visibility in various lighting conditions. However, the embedded fingerprint scanner is positioned higher for improved usability. 

Despite also lacking a headphone jack, it supports various high-end audio codecs, delivering immersive audio through quality stereo speakers. 

Overall, both devices provide premium display and audio experiences, with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra showcasing innovative design elements and a higher resolution screen. Size is critical to your choice here.

Specs & Performance 

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra offer high-endperformance and a comprehensive feature set. 

The Xiaomi 14 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and 12GB of RAM, providing smooth navigation and app loading. It offers options for 256GB or 512GB of storage. 

Gaming on the Xiaomi 14 is impressive, supported by Xiaomi’s ‘IceLoop’ cooling system.  

Xiaomi 14

Chris Martin / Foundry

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra also features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, but goes ahead with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. 

It handles various tasks effortlessly, including gaming at high settings, thanks to its robust performance and ‘Dual-Channel IceLoop System’ for efficient cooling.  

Core specs of both phones include Bluetooth 5.4, Wi-Fi 7, GPS, NFC, an IR blaster, 5G connectivity and dual-SIM support. However, they doesn’t have a microSD card slot. 

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Chris Martin / Foundry

In our Geekbench 5 multi-core test, the Xiaomi 14 scored 6611 points, while the Xiaomi 14 Ultra scored 6675 points. It’s a small difference, but the higher RAM on the Xiaomi 14 Ultra gives a slight edge. 

In summary, both devices offer top-tier performance and a wide range of features, making them ideal choices for power users – other areas are more important when choosing between the two.

Cameras & Video 

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra elevate smartphone photography with their impressive camera setups co-developed with Leica. 

The Xiaomi 14 features a trio of 50Mp rear-facing cameras, including a main camera with a large 1-inch sensor and wide aperture, alongside ultrawide and telephoto lenses, delivering exceptional image quality reminiscent of DSLR-level performance. 

The camera app offers advanced features like RAW shooting and Pro mode, while the front-facing 32Mp selfie camera provides good detail and various modes. 

Video capabilities extend up to 8K/24fps, with excellent performance at 4K with Dolby Vision HDR. 

Xiaomi 14

Chris Martin / Foundry

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra takes photography to the next level with four 50Mp rear cameras, including a main camera with OIS and also a large 1-inch sensor with a variable aperture, an ultrawide, a floating telescope at 3.2x and a periscope camera for 5x optical zoom. 

The same camera app also offers advanced customisation options and the device supports up to 8K/30fps recording at the rear and 4K/60fps at the front. 

Additionally, the optional £179 Photography Kit enhances the photography experience with extra features like a camera grip attachment and filter compatibility. 

Overall, both devices deliver exceptional image quality and set new standards for smartphone photography. However, the 14 Ultra sets itself apart from the regular model with its additional rear camera and Photography Kit accessory if you want the best possible hardware. 

Battery Life & Charging

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra offer strong battery performance and fast charging.

The Xiaomi 14 has a 4610mAh battery lasting a day with 50% remaining, supports 90W wired and 50W wireless charging, and includes a 90W adapter. It charges to 43% in 15 minutes and 82% in 30 minutes, lasting 12 hours 43 minutes in PCMark tests.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Chris Martin / Foundry

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra features a 5000mAh battery lasting a day and a half, with similar charging capabilities, including 80W wireless charging. It charges to 52% in 15 minutes and 88% in 30 minutes, lasting 12 hours 25 minutes in PCMark tests. However, the camera bump may affect wireless charging compatibility.

Both phones offer similar battery life, but the Ultra’s larger capacity will be better for extended use. 

Software & Apps 

Both the Xiaomi 14 and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra run on HyperOS, essentially a rebranded version of MIUI, operating on Android 14

While both offer familiar features, such as split notification and quick settings panels, they also come with drawbacks, like the absence of a main settings menu shortcut. However, they both include useful features like GameTurbo mode and floating apps. 

Xiaomi 14

Chris Martin / Foundry

Bloatware is present in both versions but is less severe in the 14 Ultra. Xiaomi promises four years of OS updates and five years of security patches for both models. 

Additionally, upcoming AI features are expected for both devices, offering innovative functionalities.

Price & Availability

The Xiaomi 14 is priced at £849 in the UK for the 256GB model, with an option to upgrade to 512GB for £899. The availability of the 512GB model is limited to black from the official store due to an exclusive deal with Amazon for the Jade Green variant. However, it’s not officially available in the US.

While Xiaomi offers various deals on the official Mi store, you can get it from other retailers in our full guide on where to buy the Xiaomi 14 in the UK.

However, it’s not available on contract, so you’ll have to pair it with a SIM-only deal.

Xiaomi 14


Price When Reviewed:


From £849

In contrast, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is priced at £1,299 for the 16/512GB model in the UK, with no alternative configurations.

Customers can choose between black or white colour options when purchasing from the official Mi store, which also provides various incentives like £150 trade-in, 6-months of 100GB Google storage, and 3-months of YouTube Premium.

Alternatively, it can be bought from Amazon, although it’s not officially available in the US.

You can check out our guide on where to buy the Xiaomi 14 in the UK or our roundup of the best smartphones you can buy to see more options.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra


Price When Reviewed:


£1,299

Verdict

Both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra offer impressive features, but choosing between them depends on personal preferences.

The Xiaomi 14 is a solid option for those seeking compact design and solid performance, while the Xiaomi 14 Ultra is ideal for media consumers and photography enthusiasts willing to invest in premium features.

While the Xiaomi 14 Ultra certainly offers more, the best choice for most will be the standard Xiaomi 14, which offers almost identical (and, as our tests showed, sometimes even better) performance to the 14 Ultra for a much lower price.

Specs

Xiaomi 14:

Android 14 w/ HyperOS 1.0

6.36in FHD+ AMOLED 1-120Hz display, 240Hz touch sampling, HDR10+, Dolby Vision

In-display fingerprint sensor

Corning Gorilla Glass Victus front

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

12GB RAM LPDDR5X

256/512GB UFS 4.0 non-expandable storage

50Mp, f/1.6, main camera with OIS

50Mp, f/2.2 wide-angle camera

50Mp, f/2 telephoto camera with OIS

32Mp, f/2.0 front-facing camera

Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos

5G

WiFi 7

Bluetooth 5.4

USB-C port

IR blaster

Dual-SIM

4610mAh battery

90W fast charging

50W wireless charging

10W reverse wireless charging

152.8 x 71.5 x 8.2mm

193g

Launch colours: Black, White, Jade Green

Xiaomi 14 Ultra:

Android 14 w/ HyperOS 1.0

6.7in WQHD+ AMOLED 1-120Hz display, 240Hz touch sampling, Dolby Vision, HDR10+

In-display fingerprint sensor

Xiaomi Shield glass front

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

16GB RAM LPDDR5X

512GB UFS 4.0 non-expandable storage

50Mp, f/1.63-4.0, main camera with OIS

50Mp, f/2.2 wide-angle camera

50Mp, f/2 telephoto 3.2x camera with OIS

50Mp, f/2.5 periscope 5x cameras with OIS

32Mp, f/2.0 front-facing camera

Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos

5G

WiFi 7

Bluetooth 5.4

USB-C port

IR blaster

NFC

Dual-SIM

5000mAh battery

90W fast charging

80W wireless charging

10W reverse wireless charging

161.4 x 75.3 x 9.2mm

219.8g

Launch colours: Black, White

Smartphones

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