Xiaomi 14 Ultra is my favorite ‘slab’ phone hardware in years | Phones

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Traditional smartphones are pretty much all the same nowadays, but every once in a while there’s something that stands out. This week at MWC 2024, I got to try out the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, which delivers the best hardware on a “slab” phone I’ve felt in years.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra is the latest flagship release from Xiaomi, having debuted in China earlier this month and globally earlier this week. The top-tier device is camera-focused and can deliver some truly stunning results, but what immediately caught my eye was its design.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has a typical aluminum build with either glass or a fake leather, but the way it’s done feels rugged in all of the best ways. The matte metal extends around the back of the device and, in the hand, it just feels stellar. Combined with the fake leather on the black and white variants, I just couldn’t get over how comfortable it was to hold with its reassuring grip.

The glass-backed blue variant is also pretty nice, but the fake leather is absolutely the one to go for.

Specifically, the white model. This one stands out and the light color makes the camera module pop and the metal side rails stand out. It’s a stunning look.

It’s almost hard to put into words, but I just love this design in person, and it’s been a while since I last wanted to gush about a smartphone design (when it doesn’t fold) quite this much.

Beyond that, I also briefly got to see the neat camera hardware for the Ultra. This includes the camera grip that adds a physical shutter button and a grip, as well as some customizable camera rings. It’s a really cool idea, and I’m hoping one that gets explored…

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