Now with out the ‘Mi’ branding, the Xiaomi 12 sequence has been given a world launch and the common mannequin is now smaller and extra aligned with Samsung’s Galaxy S vary than earlier than. Can Xiaomi win the flagship Android race, although?
Just like the Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 provides a way more compact possibility, leaving the 12 Professional for people who need one thing larger – and with extra spectacular specs.
Beginning at US$749, the Xiaomi 12 has so much going for it together with its show, efficiency, speedy charging and, to an extent, its pictures abilities. Nonetheless, some large downsides akin to battery life, lack of waterproofing and software program peeves imply a rival could be a better option.
Design & construct
No IP score
The Xiaomi 12 is tiny. Properly, by trendy requirements anyway, and particularly after I’ve grow to be accustomed to the hefty dimension of the Pixel 6. Even so, it’s like leaping right into a time machine to 2017 and the discharge of the Galaxy S8.
These two telephones have so much in widespread and I’m not simply speaking concerning the footprint of the handset, though they’re very comparable. The Xiaomi 12 has the same steel body that tapers right down to a skinny strip on the edges to accommodate the curved show.
It’s 2022 so the screen-to-body ratio is clearly significantly better and issues like a triple rear digicam array make it heavier.
I’ll cease evaluating two telephones which might be 5 years aside now, however my level is that the Xiaomi 12 is small, so much smaller than the Xiaomi Mi 11 and, actually, most telephones in the marketplace. It’s refreshing contemplating the shortage of choices for individuals who want a extra compact handset – in case you don’t need an iPhone 13 mini or iPhone SE, that’s.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the obvious rival for a equally compact flagship. It’s solely 7.6mm and 168g so much more spectacular than the Xiaomi 12. It’s a good bit shorter as properly, due to a smaller 6.1in display.
A sizeable digicam bump is a transparent signal that this cellphone isn’t from 2017 and it even has two ranges to account for the big principal lens.
Whereas the construct high quality is great, with Gorilla Glass Victus over the show and Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear, Xiaomi continues to provide its flagship units with none IP score for mud and waterproofing. I’m positive it is going to survive in case you get caught in a rain bathe however a cellphone at this worth with no correct IP score is disappointing. The S22, for comparability, is IP68.
I’ve taken a have a look at the purple mannequin which to me is extra like a light-weight pink. From some angles, it has a flat matte end and from others, it sparkles with a glittery impact. If that doesn’t sound interesting, there are additionally gray and blue colors.
Whereas the rear is created from glass, the frosted texture provides it an inexpensive plastic really feel that I’m personally not eager on, though it’s good at repelling fingerprints.
Xiaomi supplies a transparent silicon case within the field so you may eradicate this price until you need one thing fancier.
Display & audio system
120Hz with AdaptiveSync
A 6.28in display is sort of small for 2022 and though it’s not a lot smaller than the Pixel 6’s 6.4in show, the cellphone is massively smaller and simpler to deal with. As talked about earlier, the S22’s show is even smaller at 6.1in so the Xiaomi 12 will not be distinctive.
Its curved edges on both aspect are extra uncommon for as we speak’s market and can seemingly divide the group. I don’t thoughts it, however equally wouldn’t be sad if the show was flat. They’ve little benefit, though I do like the way in which they gentle up for notifications, making it extra apparent when the cellphone is face down.
By way of specs and efficiency, the Xiaomi 12 largely delivers the sort of expertise you anticipate from a flagship. The AMOLED show has a Full HD+ decision and assist for issues like low blue gentle certification, HDR10+ and even Dolby Imaginative and prescient.
The refresh price is 120Hz, it has a 480Hz contact sampling price and in line with Xiaomi, it may well hit a peak brightness of 1100 nits. I measured it in direct daylight at 772 nits and 500 nits with automated adjustment off and set to most.
One factor lacking in comparison with the 12 Professional is AdaptiveSync Professional, which means its bigger brother can dynamically modify its refresh price all the way in which right down to 1Hz to avoid wasting on battery.
The Xiaomi 12 is clean in operation however can solely swap between 60Hz and 120Hz as a substitute. General, although, it’s a stable expertise if the dimensions and curved model are to your liking.
The show additionally homes the fingerprint scanner and it’s among the finest I’ve used offering quick and correct scans of various fingers.
For audio, the cellphone has stereo audio system with one on both finish of the chassis (the Professional has a quad array). These are tuned by Harman Kardon and there’s additionally assist for Dolby Atmos.
I discovered the audio system to be first rate, providing a superb stage of quantity and customarily good efficiency, although the bass is missing. I additionally discover Dolby Atmos to make issues worse – notably when listening to music – sounding like a foul EQ setting. Like most telephones, there’s no headphone jack and neither is there a USB-C to three.5mm adapter within the field.
Specs & efficiency
Snapdragon Eight Gen 1
As much as 12GB RAM
As much as 256GB storage
The Xiaomi 12 comes with a Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 which is Qualcomm’s newest flagship chipset. That is one thing the cellphone has in widespread with the 12 Professional, whereas the cheaper 12X has a Snapdragon 870.
There are three SKUs to select from, combining Eight or 12GB of RAM together with 128 or 256GB of storage, which is not expandable.
The RAM is LPDDR5 and the storage is UFS 3.1 so each are fast. The mannequin I’ve examined is the middle-spec and it is no large shock that benchmarks are spectacular (see under). The cellphone additionally coped with something I might throw at it.
The Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 will get you 5G assist (with dual-SIM 5G standby assist) and Xiaomi has loaded the cellphone with loads of different trendy specs together with Bluetooth 5.2 and, in some markets, Wi-Fi 6E.
50Mp principal digicam
32Mp selfie digicam
Final yr’s Mi 11 got here with a 108Mp principal digicam however the agency has dropped to 50Mp this yr with the Xiaomi 12 getting an IMX766, Sony’s standard sensor. That is your principal digicam however there’s a 13Mp ultrawide and 5Mp telemacro on the again as properly.
That’s the same setup to final yr’s Mi 11, so these wanting extra spectacular shooters ought to look to the 12 Professional which has three 50Mp cameras: a barely higher IMX707 sensor for the primary digicam, plus each an ultrawide and a 2x telephoto.
The primary digicam nonetheless provides glorious level and shoot ends in a spread of situations due to competent publicity, color accuracy and restricted noise – even in decrease gentle conditions. The evening mode is excellent with the latter in a position to make one thing out of what was basically pitch black to my eyes. For portrait photographs, I’ve seen significantly better edge detection.
Like many telephones, the cellphone pixel bins right down to a extra manageable 12Mp picture however you need to use the total 50Mp in case you like and also you may need to with the shortage of a telephoto, though I’d solely suggest doing so in good gentle.
There’s not an enormous drop in high quality shifting to the ultrawide and in contrast to we discovered with the OnePlus 9 sequence, the colors are properly constant in comparison with the primary digicam.
For some time, I wasn’t positive what the third digicam even was, because the cellphone doesn’t make it clear. The ‘tremendous macro’ mode is tucked away within the menu with the side ratio, timer and different settings like gridlines as a substitute of beneath ‘extra’ with the likes of Evening and Sluggish movement.
Like most macro lenses on telephones, it’s difficult to make use of as you’ve acquired to be the proper distance from the topic for it to be in focus even with the assistance of auto focus. You will get some first rate photographs when you’ve got some endurance, however the query is whether or not you need to. I do know many individuals would like to have a telephoto lens.
Again to the primary digicam and video high quality is great with loads of element at each 1080p and 4K resolutions, wealthy colors and the OIS (optical picture stabilization) protecting issues gimbal-like clean even when chasing my canine around the backyard.
Final however not least is the 32Mp selfie digicam which is stable providing glorious element and the portrait mode, like the primary digicam, additionally provides a slider to regulate the extent of blur.
Battery & charging
67W wired charging
50W wi-fi charging
Contemplating its compact dimension, the Xiaomi 12 has a fairly sized battery at 4500mAh. What’s fascinating right here is that regardless of the 12 Professional being considerably larger it solely has a further 100mAh so that you’re not likely lacking out a lot on capability.
In my expertise, the 12 can final a day of standard utilization although in case you’re gaming for prolonged durations at 120Hz with the brightness up you might be unlikely to make it via. In our typical PCMark for Android battery take a look at, the Xiaomi 12 lasted simply 9 hours and 32 minutes.
Battery life is middling then so it’s a superb job the charging may be very quick right here.
The 67W charger can get the Xiaomi 12 to 57% with a 15-minute cost and to 90% in 30-minutes. The Xiaomi 12 Professional comes with a 120W charger for even sooner topping up however the velocity of the common 12 needs to be sufficient for most individuals.
Both means, you get 50W wi-fi charging, too, which might reverse wi-fi cost at 10W.
Like some rivals together with the Pixel 6, there’s additionally adaptive charging which might study your in a single day habits and trickle cost the cellphone when you’re asleep, guaranteeing it hits 100% earlier than you stand up.
Software program & updates
I don’t have an enormous quantity to say on the software program aspect that we haven’t mentioned in varied latest Xiaomi cellphone evaluations.
That’s to say that you simply get Android 12, which is the newest model, however paired with Xiaomi’s MIUI, which continues to be not our favorite pores and skin. It’s actually so much higher than it was and is completely useable after you get to comprehend it.
Whereas Xiaomi has moved it nearer to inventory Android, it nonetheless has a considerably infantile look and there are pre-loaded apps akin to Fb, Amazon Procuring, Spotify, and Joom. You may change the feel and appear considerably with the Themes app, thankfully.
You might also must get use to the notifications and fast settings panels being separate, positioned both aspect of the punch gap digicam. I don’t thoughts it and anybody coming from an iPhone shall be at dwelling however you may’t merely pull the opposite one down if one is already there, it should be retracted first.
Fortunately, you may mix them within the settings in case you want however that is one other space the place MIUI simply isn’t pretty much as good as rivals – the menu is oddly complicated and even looking for particular issues generally is a ache.
The Xiaomi 12 ought to obtain three years of Android updates and a fourth of safety patches, which might see the cellphone get Android 13, 14, and 15. That’s typical for high-end Android telephones, although lags behind Samsung’s promise of 4 years of updates for its telephones, or Apple’s market-leading long-term assist.
Worth & availability
Xiaomi is steadily rolling out data on worth and availability, however for now, we all know that the Xiaomi 12 begins at US$749 and can arrive in April. This may get you the entry-level 8/128GB mannequin however there are two extra accessible:
We’ll replace with extra particular data after we can, together with the very best Xiaomi 12 offers, nevertheless it’s clear the Xiaomi 12 takes purpose on the £769/$799 Galaxy S22 and the £779/$799 iPhone 13.
There are cheaper options although, such because the £599/$599 Google Pixel 6 and loads of even cheaper mid-range telephones that may get you fairly near the expertise of the Xiaomi 12.
Check out our greatest cellphone and greatest mid-range cellphone charts for extra choices, or the very best Xiaomi cellphone rating for extra from the identical firm.
The Xiaomi 12 is a compelling flagship smartphone in numerous methods. For starters, its new compact kind issue will attraction to those that don’t need an enormous handset and total, the design seems to be and feels nice.
You additionally get an honest assortment of high-end specs such because the Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 chip, AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh price, and speedy 67W charging. It’s additionally acquired a stable principal digicam together with a superb ultrawide, however few consumers shall be excited by a telemacro lens.
Whereas there’s heaps to love concerning the Xiaomi 12, it nonetheless has no waterproofing, battery life is nothing particular, and MIUI continues to lag behind rivals. Contemplating the asking worth right here, it’s barely robust for it to face out in comparison with handsets just like the Galaxy S22 and cheaper choices just like the Pixel 6.
Xiaomi 12: Specs
Android 12 w/ MIUI 13
6.28in FHD+ AMOLED 120Hz curved show, 20:9, 480Hz contact sampling, HDR10+, Dolby Imaginative and prescient
In-display fingerprint sensor
Gorilla Glass Victus
4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon Eight Gen 1
8/12GB RAM LPDDR5
128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 non-expandable storage
50Mp, f/1.88, principal digicam with OIS
13Mp, f/2.four ultrawide digicam
5Mp, telemacro digicam with auto focus
32Mp, f/2.54 front-facing digicam
Stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos
WiFi 6/6E (market dependent)
67W quick charging
50W wi-fi charging
10W reverse wi-fi charging
152.7 x 69.9 x 8.16mm
Launch colors: Grey, Purple, Blue