We expected the Xiaomi 12 would compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S22, but it doesn’t. Instead, it’s a message from the unexpectedly booming Chinese employer to its sturdy Korean rival: “this is how you are manufacturing a small-form flagship cellphone.”
This phone debuted alongside the Xiaomi 12 Pro and is Xiaomi’s first significant gadget to abandon its “larger is better” philosophy. To be healthy, the 12 has tiny size and low specifications. The Pro’s giant screen, efficient camera array, and fast charging do all the work.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 is a compact alternative to its Plus and Ultra siblings, offering high specs in a phone you won’t want to strain to use. They’re priced similarly.
Despite this, Xiaomi outperforms Samsung. The Xiaomi 12’s battery is more extensive, its charging speed is faster than the S22, and its curved display makes it easier to hold.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect—the phone had a few issues during our checkout process.
Xiaomi has funny camera modes, like SkySky boosting, which lets you digitally alter the SkySky in photos, and a terrific macro way for close-ups. However, it lacks a telephoto lens for zooming. This leaves the camera app’s best digital or “cropping” zoom, which isn’t great for closing an image.
Xiaomi is one of the few phone brands that only offer zoom cameras on its most expensive models, so it’s a shame this one doesn’t. Unfortunately, the smartphone has a few issues that don’t seem like capabilities, but at least that one is deliberate.
The chipset and Android 12
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could be mighty, making it extraordinary for obligations that need masses of energy. However, it has a common problem with all the gadgets we’ve examined: they can get warm and speedy. The device warmed as much as a substantive quantity when taking the Xiaomi 12 through some short video games of Call of Duty: Mobile or PUBG Mobile. That also became the case when we first booted up the cellphone or charged it.
Xiaomi 12 runs Android with MIUI, a contentious software, on top. While it offers many personalization and security features, we found apps could often close without our input, gesture navigation became extremely sensitive, and a safety scan when a new app is installed always puts an overlay over whatever you were doing.
This isn’t the Xiaomi Mi eleven’s replacement, despite the moniker. That phone got more extensive and had a high-res display, which the Xiaomi 12 Pro features, but it costs more. The new Xiaomi fees are identical to the old ones while being smaller and having a lower-res display. The 2021 flagship may be better for your needs.
Since Xiaomi moved its flagship line away from its mid-range beginnings to a more premium market segment, it’s been making good phones, but nothing that stunned us like the Mi 9 or Mi Note 10.
The Xiaomi 12 is equal: it’s a first-rate smartphone with many valuable features and a great rival to many similar-priced mobiles. In truth, it’s one of the first-class Android telephones and sincerely one of the pleasant Xiaomi telephones. But you’re getting what you pay for and not a drop extra.
Xiaomi 12 fee and availability
The Xiaomi 12 starting offer at $749 / £749 (roughly AU$1,320). That’s if you want 8GB RAM and 128GB garage – you can bump it as much as 256GB for $849 / £849 (around AU$1,500), and power customers would possibly prefer that latter alternative.
Fair warning for Americans: regardless of the fact we have a charge in US greenbacks, Xiaomi would not promote telephones inside the US, so this handset might not move on sale within the States. Given its recognizable forex, the dollar rate is possibly only a guiding principle.
Why do we have to compare the Xiaomi 12 so regularly to the Samsung Galaxy S22? Well, that handset expenses $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 for 128GB storage, so it’s enormously near in fee. If you have extra money, the Xiaomi 12 Pro starts offering at £1,099 / £1,049 (about AU$1,850).
The reputable pre-order date turned into a shaggy dog story of a preference – literally – because it was April 1, or April Fools’ Day, before a ‘right’ release of April 15.
The Xiaomi 12 is one of the maximum compact telephones we’ve seen from the agency – we’re the usage of ‘compact’ within the 2022 sense of the word, which remains pretty significant given how quickly the average size of smartphones is jumping up.
With dimensions of 152.7 x 69. Nine x eight.1mm, and with a weight of 180g, this smartphone isn’t going to stretch your palm or give your wrist a workout. Nevertheless, we observed it clean to get our digits around it and touch the power button and volume rocker at the good side.
Helping that cute ‘hand feel’ are two essential elements. First, there’s the curved-area display which guarantees the tool settles appropriately in opposition to your hand. Second is the smooth textured glass on the lower back of the device that is a treat on your arms.
This rear is a treat for the eyes, too. At least the red model we tested is. There also are grey and blue variations. But, again, we recommend looking for a telephone save wherein you can check out those devices in actual lifestyles rather than counting on pictures.
The digital camera bump stands proud an honest way from the handset, so you’ll be placed with a shaky smartphone if you lay it flat on a table.
Regarding connectivity, the cellphone has a USB-C port but no 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also an IR Blaster, which helps you to use the cellphone as a far-off to your TV or intelligent domestic functions, but this calls for compatible gadgets.
Xiaomi didn’t provide an IP score for its phone, so we’d advocate attempting now not to drop it inside the bath or get it too dusty to be safe.
With a diagonal diameter of 6.28 inches, the Xiaomi 12’s display is lots smaller than we’re used to for the business enterprise.
The resolution is FHD+, or 1080 x 2400 – this is general for most Android phones. Only top-notch-top rate or outstanding-budget handsets have answered above or below this, even though it’s well worth stating that both the Mi eleven and 12 Pro beat it.
It’s an AMOLED panel, so the colourings’ appearance is vibrant, and there’s incredible assessment. However, the max brightness of 1100 nits could be sufficiently blinding whether you’re interior or in direct daylight.
There’s a refresh rate of 120Hz, so the display refreshes one hundred twenty times consistent with a second, which makes a motion (from gaming or just scrolling social media) look easy. Xiaomi additionally boasts that the show helps sixty-eight billion colourings, with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ aid; however, you’re no longer going to work those functions in case you’re simply streaming a 90s sitcom over shaky 4G.
Curved-facet displays can be quite a divisive function amongst phone fanatics. The fact that the Xiaomi 12 has one and the Galaxy S22 doesn’t is an essential figuring-out point for consumers. We determined that Xiaomi prevented unintentional touches efficiently, though. A small punch-hole display also damages the screen at the pinnacle middle.
Xiaomi 12’s rear cameras include 50MP f/1.9 main, 13MP f/2.4 ultra-large, and 5MP telephoto macro. Xiaomi downgraded the Mi 11’s 108MP to 50MP.
Xiaomi’s 108MP-to-50MP reduction may improve photos due to sensor length.
The primary camera captures bright, crisp images. Landscapes and portraits.
AI scene optimization in the camera app had a peculiar issue. Some pictures were oversaturated and had crushed faces. On the other hand, dramatic profile images work well.
Tele macro camera returns from Xiaomi. Unfortunately, cheap phones don’t have hundreds of 2MP macro cameras.
Xiaomi’s tele macro lens catches close-ups. Flora, food, and textures were captured.
Birthday parties need ultrawide cameras. This camera took bright, non-distorted pictures.
This smartphone doesn’t have a telephoto camera; therefore, you use digital zoom in the camera app (essentially cropping snaps from the principle digital camera). As a result, grit becomes obvious at 5x and 10x.
Without a telephoto or periscope lens, the smartphone’s photography is limited.
Five 32MP f/2 front-facing cameras. Portraits were vibrant, balancing stress and background with accurate history blur.
Serious photographers may not like this phone because its camera modes are fun and quirky.
Modified sky. in Gallery. Retouching and skyboxes give photographs life (an orange hue at sundown, a darker tone at night, etc.).
Vlog lets you film short videos that automatically cut into a montage; Clone enables you to record one video, then another, then layer them (thus “clone”); and Movie Effects helps you color grade and digitally reproduce editing tricks like dolly zoom.
Set up a solid Wi-Fi connection before snapping images because installing these camera app settings takes time.
“Everyday” movies can be shot at 8K and 24 Fps or 4K at 60 Fps with HDR, stabilization, simulated bokeh, or simple color filters. 1080p records at 960fps while slow-mo is 1920fps (which continues to be sluggish).
Performance and specifications
The Xiaomi 12 proves that high-end chipsets cause more difficulties than they solve. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip here is powerful, but only some customers can tell the difference between it and a mid-range chip, and its primary issue is evident.
Geekbench five gave the gadget a multi-core score of 3401. The OnePlus eight Pro scored precisely that, the OnePlus nine scored 3654, the Xiaomi Mi 11 scored 3569, and the Realme GT scored 3508. The 8 Pro was the only phone without the Gen 1 chipset. Oppo Find X5 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, two phones with the new chip, scored 3270 and 3417.
Thus, what? The Xiaomi 12 is one of the most effective Android phones we’ve tested. Still, it has yet to offer significant improvements over its one-year-old and two-year-old predecessors (save for battery optimization).
Most mobile games are intended to perform well on specific phones, so any score in the low 2000s is suitable for any brand.
With low latency and fast loading times, Xiaomi 12 gaming was great. However, like its predecessors, the Snapdragon eight Gen 1 heats quickly under heavy use, including gaming. PUBG: New State heated the phone soon, so we paused rounds to keep it cool.
This overheating issue will bother avid mobile gamers, especially since mid-range Snapdragon seven-hundred series processors don’t have it, and gaming isn’t much different on them.
The phone has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, 8GB/256GB, or 12GB/256GB. This is a 5G phone, so you can connect to the faster mobile network if available in your area, but as with any phone, your speeds will depend more on your network and location than your phone.
The Xiaomi 12’s Harman Kardon-tuned speakers sound good at low volumes, but at high volumes, they sound tinny.
Xiaomi’s Android derivative, MIUI, runs over Android 12 and is often problematic and full of bloatware.
Both difficulties are here, but they’ve diminished. There are few stressful pre-loaded programs, so it didn’t take long to erase extras like Joom or TikTok off our home screen, but strangely there are icons for “pre-mounted” apps that haven’t been connected up.
Tap to download. While we appreciate Xiaomi not immediately placing those on the phone, the fact that they still take up space on the smartphone’s menu undoes the problem.
The Xiaomi 12’s software has mostly had insect-related and purposeful feature difficulties. For instance, when you install an app on your smartphone, a security scanner warns you that it’s safe, even if you’re watching a movie.
Bugs exist. We found that apps often closed without our permission. Even social media and word-taking apps crashed. The gesture navigation was so delicate that even a slight side swipe might return you to a page.
MIUI is good for customizing, and we appreciate the pre-set backgrounds and always-on-show themes. We also understand the iOS-style swipe-down menus, where alerts are in one panel (which you can enter by swiping from the left side of the screen) and short settings are in another (on the right side) instead of being packed together as in standard Android. While this takes some getting accustomed to, it makes switching capabilities or checking who’s been texting you much more accessible.
The always-on display lets you set an image in a window so you can view it, the date, time, and battery percentage even when you’re not using the phone. Use this for a photo of a pet, loved one, or favorite place—or, if you’re like us, yourself.
The Xiaomi 12 has a significant quantity of lasting power, given how many functions are all clawing away at its precious energy.
We generally check a smartphone with all of the bells and whistles engaged – we’re usually related to 5G if it’s to be had, we turn on the continually-on display, lock the show decision to complete, hold background processes running, preserve 120Hz refresh price enabled, and so forth. Of course, these functions drain battery lifestyles, but despite being allowed, the cellphone lasted a full day of use via many of our trying out duration.
That consists of whilst we had been gaming, taking masses of snapshots, or using maps all the time. The cellphone’s 4,500mAh power per cent is more than sufficient, though the tiny display enables it too.
Charging is accomplished at 67W in case you use a wired charger, and that’s lovely and fast, getting the handset powered from empty to complete in less than 40 mins if you use an excellent enough charger. Sure, it’s now not the 120W of its Pro sibling or even the 80W of the OnePlus 10 Pro or Oppo Find X5 Pro, but it’s lots faster than the 25W of the Samsung Galaxy S22.
There’s additionally 50W wi-fi powering, which is also snappy, mainly given that manufacturers usually don’t offer cable-unfastened powering that goes as rapid as its stressed alternative. Expect a complete fee in under an hour with this.
Finally, there’s reverse wi-fi charging at 10W, which helps you to energy up any other tool using the Xiaomi 12 as a charging pad. However, we’ve observed this method of electricity-sharing is notably inefficient so that we wouldn’t recommend it.