(Bloomberg) -- Xiaomi Corp.’s latest smartphone launch caught early customer attention in Southeast Asia as the company seeks to reclaim ground lost to other top players including Samsung Electronics Co. and Chinese peer Transsion.

The global launch of the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Ultra devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona pushed Xiaomi’s name into the top 10 of online trending lists in Malaysia and the Philippines. While Apple Inc.’s iPhone dominates interest in Southeast Asia as it does globally, Xiaomi took second place from Samsung in Indonesia a year ago with the launch of its earlier generation.

The Beijing-based phone maker has made a big bet on leading with camera technology, partnering with Germany’s Leica Camera on lens technology and using Sony Group Corp.’s large LYT-900 image sensor for the main camera in its Ultra model.

Xiaomi made a strong recovery in most markets in the region in the last quarter of 2023, bouncing back from double-digit declines a year ago, according to Kiranjeet Kaur, research director at IDC.

“In Southeast Asia, while some of this can be attributed to the recovery in consumer demand, efforts to streamline its portfolio, sort out its channel issues and focus on a new product portfolio helped Xiaomi to gain traction,” Kaur said.

In the long run, Xiaomi is locked in a fight with rivals such as Samsung and Transsion in Southeast Asian markets as demand remains weak in China. The region’s smartphone shipments are expected to grow 7% this year after recording a moderate 4% growth in the final quarter of 2023, according to research firm Canalys.

--With assistance from Soo Jin Kim.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.