Xiaomi 14 Ultra review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has the best camera package of any phone today; the quartet of 50MP cameras at the back take magnificent photos and videos in any situation. The Xiaomi 14 isn’t far behind either, and it has a smaller form factor that’s ideal if you need a compact device.

The Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra are now on sale globally, and it looks like both devices have issues with condensation getting inside the camera housing, fogging up the lenses and making it difficult to take photos or videos. There are several threads on Reddit detailing the issue, and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s Amazon UK listing is littered with customers having the same problem.

This doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident either, with last year’s Xiaomi 13T Pro also seeing similar issues. For what it’s worth, my Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra don’t have this issue, and I used both devices extensively. It looks like the problem is particularly noticeable in European markets, and it doesn’t seem to affect other regions as much. That’s understandable; condensation tends to form in situations where there’s a rapid difference in temperature, so users in colder countries tend to be affected.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

That said, it shouldn’t occur on $1,000 phones; both the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra have IP68 ingress protection, so they should have seals to prevent water ingress into any part of the phone. What makes this situation annoying is that Xiaomi doesn’t seem to think there is an issue with its flagship devices getting lens condensation, noting that it is not a “product quality issue” and that it is a “natural phenomenon.”

In a statement to Android Central, Xiaomi said:

“Xiaomi 14 Series are tested in our labs to deliver dust ingress and water spray protection.”

“We reassure it is not a product quality issue. Instead, it is a natural phenomenon to encounter camera lens fog-up due to temperature differences between the lens and the surrounding air under some specific user environment. This is more common in situations where ambient temperature switches rapidly from high temperature to low temperature, long exposure to high temperature with high humidity, or water damage.”

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“If you experience lens fog, we recommend you leave your device in a dry area with airflow to help alleviate moisture.”

Xiaomi 14 Ultra review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Xiaomi’s solution to use the device in a dry area doesn’t do anything; I got a faulty OnePlus Nord 2 that had a similar issue with the inside of the camera lens fogging up, and no matter what I did, it would return after a few days. The only thing that worked was getting a new unit.

If you bought a Xiaomi 14 or 14 Ultra that has lens condensation and are trying to get a refund because of the lens fogging up, there’s a good chance it won’t work — Xiaomi needs to acknowledge that there’s an issue in the first place. But if you’re able to, you should turn in the device and get another unit.

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site’s coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

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