Xiaomi 12 review - finally a compact flagship!
Hi friends! At the end of 2021, Xiaomi presented not only the latest MIUI 13 firmware, but also a line of new flagships from the twelfth series: Xiaomi 12, 12X and 12 Pro. At the moment, these are the top-end smartphones, so, you see, it is very interesting to look at them. Today's review will focus on the base model - Xiaomi 12. According to the manufacturer, it should be an ideal flagship with a powerful processor, stylish design, cool cameras and support for innovative technologies. Is this really so - let's figure it out.
Xiaomi 12 smartphone review - finally an affordable flagship!
Additional display options:
120Hz refresh rate, 1100 nits peak brightness, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, 1 billion colors, 419 ppi pixel density
152.7x69.9x8.2mm, weight 179g
Glass body and aluminum frames
Purple, blue, black, green
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 4nm with Adreno 730 GPU
One Cortex-X2 core @ 3.00GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores @ 2.50GHz, and four Cortex-A510 cores @ 1.80GHz
8/128 GB, 8/256 GB, 12/256 GB
Main module: 50 MP, 26 mm, aperture f/1.9, matrix size 1/1.56", pixel size 1.0µm, phase detection autofocus and optical stabilization;
Ultra-wide module: 13 MP, 12 mm, aperture f/2.4, viewing angle 123˚, matrix size 1/3.06", pixel size 1.12µm;
Telephoto macro module: 5 MP, 50 mm, autofocus;
Optional: dual LED dual-color flash, support for HDR and Panorama modes; maximum quality video recording at 8K@24fps with HDR10 enabled and 4K@30fps with HDR10+ mode, electronic stabilization for video
32 MP, 26 mm, pixel size 0.7µm, support for HDR and "Panorama", video recording at maximum quality 1080p@60fps
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, infrared, navigation services A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS, NavIC
MIUI 13 based on Android 12
Stereo speakers from Harman Kardon
Supports Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge 4+, 67W fast wired charging, 50W fast wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging
8/128 GB - $580, 8/256 GB - $629, 12/256 GB - $690 (Chinese market)
In terms of technical characteristics, Xiaomi 12 is quite good. It's compact, has a 120Hz refresh rate OLED screen, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 processor, a 50MP triple camera, and 67W fast charging. I would like to immediately note the affordable price for a flagship. The smartphone makes a good first impression, but let's dig deeper.
Xiaomi 12 comes in a minimalistic white box. No unnecessary details and images, only the number 12 in the center, the company logo in the upper right corner and the full model name at the bottom of the package. All inscriptions are gold in color, which adds zest and premium.
The Xiaomi 12 package itself is incredibly pleasing, since the manufacturer finally deigned to add a charging box and a USB Type-C cable to the package. Recall that the flagship of the previous generation Mi 11 was deprived of these elements. The power supply immediately goes to 67 W, for which a separate plus. The kit includes boring documentation and a paperclip to open the SIM tray. A transparent silicone case was also put in, but its quality, as always, is disgusting. I would like the company to learn from OnePlus how to create high-quality cases. The phone itself has a protective film on it. There is nothing more interesting to say about the configuration.
Let's get down to the design of Xiaomi 12, and here the manufacturer did not disappoint. Finally we have a more or less compact phone! Phone dimensions are 152.7x69.9x8.2 mm and weighs 179 grams. By modern standards, this is a small and light device. The frames are very thin. The edges are rounded, not flat, like the Redmi Note 11 Pro , so Xiaomi 12 fits comfortably in the hand and does not cut into the skin.
The back panel of Xiaomi 12 is made of frosted glass. Yes, fingerprints remain on it, but they are almost invisible. Aluminum frames. There are no complaints about the case materials, since glass and aluminum are ideal for a flagship. Xiaomi 12 is offered in purple, blue, green and black colors. All colors are very gentle, harmonious and discreet.
The block of the main camera is made neatly and does not contain any extra elements and inscriptions. On the right side there is a power button and volume control, on the bottom there is a SIM tray, a Type-C connector, a main microphone and speaker, on the top there is an infrared port, a second speaker and a microphone. The left side is completely empty. The fingerprint scanner is placed under the screen.
On the front panel in the center is a module for the front camera. It cannot be said that the cutout is tiny, as it is very conspicuous. But this is better than under-screen technology, which has not yet been brought to mind. The working area occupies 89.2% of the entire front panel. Xiaomi 12 is protected by tempered glass Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, but there is no moisture and dust protection.
Appearance, build quality and materials Xiaomi 12 leave a pleasant impression. Design-wise, this is a great compact flagship. Now it's time to check the screen.
Xiaomi 12 received a 6.28-inch OLED display. The resolution is 1080 by 2400 pixels, which is a standard setting for most flagships. Let's go over the specifications a little more: the pixel density is 419 ppi, the screen ratio is 20:9, HDR10 + and Dolby Vision are supported, and the peak brightness reaches 1100 nits. The maximum refresh rate is 120Hz, but you can also set it to 60Hz. You cannot select 90 Hz in the settings. If the frequency of exactly 90 Hz is important to you, check out this article .
But let's drop the boring specs and see the screen quality live. The display is really high quality, with good viewing angles and natural color reproduction. The images are contrasting and juicy, the maximum brightness is enough for comfortable use even in direct sunlight.
But, since this is an OLED matrix, we do not forget about such an unpleasant moment as PWM . The PWM level in Xiaomi 12 is quite acceptable, but at a certain brightness it still exceeds 20%, and this can cause some people to feel worse. The DC Dimming feature doesn't really help the situation. Below you can see the levels of brightness and, accordingly, harmful flicker:
Without DC Dimming:
- 100% - 18%;
- 80% - 18%;
- 60% - 18.5%;
- 50% - 20%;
- 40% - 30%;
- 20% - 21%;
- 0% - 18%.
With DC Dimming:
- 100% - 18%;
- 80% - 18%;
- 60% - 18%;
- 50% - 19%;
- 40% - 19.5%;
- 20% - 22%;
- 0% - 21%.
In terms of display, Xiaomi 12 gets a solid five. Everything is fine here, as a flagship should be. PWM spoils the picture a little, but for the sake of the OLED matrix, you will have to put up with it.
The most interesting thing is ahead of us - the performance test. The Xiaomi 12 is equipped with a new top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chip, made using a 4-nanometer process technology. The updated graphics accelerator Adreno 730 is responsible for the graphics. The maximum clock frequency is 3.00 GHz. All these parameters look pretty impressive, but did the manufacturer manage to cope with the main problem? Yes, yes, with excessive heat. Let's not give false hopes and say right away that we failed to curb the Dragon again. We all remember how the Snapdragon 888 and 888 Plus got warm. It would be foolish to hope that the most powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen1 will fix this problem.
While playing Genshin Impact, the average frame rate was 42fps, and the temperature reached 55°C after 20 minutes of play. Other demanding games such as PUBG MOBILE, Call of Duty Mobile, Shadowgun Legends were also in the 50°C range. And these are very sad indicators, because it is simply impossible to play normally with such heating. Xiaomi 12 throttles noticeably: in the throttling test, the average value was 263GIPS. In AnTuTu, Xiaomi 12 scores about 929 thousand points, but in real use it becomes clear that these are just useless numbers. Due to overheating, the processor loses up to 40% of its power, and as a result, we get a manufacturer worse than that of smartphones for $300-400.
Yes, Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is a very powerful processor, but the developers failed to unleash its potential. The allegedly cool cooling system, which was talked about at the presentation, turned out to be ineffective. Why, then, is such a powerful chip needed if, due to heating, it cannot cope with difficult tasks? Performance is lost not only during games, but also when shooting video in high quality. All in all, a total disappointment.
With memory options, everything is fine. There are three modifications to choose from: 8/128 GB, 8/256 GB and 12/256 GB. The type of RAM used is LPDDR5, and the permanent memory is UFS 3.1. A memory card is not supported, but 256 gigabytes should be enough for all day to day tasks.
The Xiaomi 12 main camera consists of three modules: a 50MP Sony IMX766 main module, a 13MP ultra-wide and a 5MP telephoto macro. The phone takes good pictures, but don't expect miracles. I would like to see a full-fledged telephoto lens, and the photo quality when shooting at night is rather average.
Video recording is possible at 8K @ 24fps, but switching from the main sensor to ultrawide will only work at 4K @ 30fps and below, and the moment of switching will be very noticeable. There is optical stabilization, which works quite well. The front camera is 32 megapixels, and the quality of the selfie pleases. You can record video on the front camera in 1080p@60fps quality.
Let's make a small summary of all of the above: Xiaomi 12 received normal cameras, but this is definitely not the best solution on the market. I would like to get better photos from the flagship both in the daytime and at night. Moreover, some users note that images sometimes turn out blurry. This is a clear firmware bug, and in the next updates it will be eliminated with a 90% probability, but still an unpleasant moment.
Xiaomi 12 received the latest MIUI 13 with Android 12. We won’t dwell on the chips and innovations of the shell for a long time, since we have a detailed review of the thirteenth Miyuai . The phone works smoothly and quickly, for several days of use no significant freezes and bugs were noticed. The functionality of the new firmware is fully revealed on Xiaomi 12, but do not forget that this is still the Chinese version. On the global, some functions will be cut.
The new flagship from Xiaomi boasts excellent sound. The specifications indicate that Xiaomi 12 received sound from Harman Kardon, but this is a marketing ploy. The smartphone simply produces a loud and rich sound due to high-quality stereo speakers. The proximity sensor works correctly in most cases, but sometimes the screen does not immediately light up if you sharply remove the smartphone from your ear.
Xiaomi 12 supports the fifth generation network. This will come in handy in the future, but for now it's just a useless tick in the list of benefits. There are no problems with 4G, the network “does not fall off” even with poor coverage. Of course, Xiaomi 12 is equipped with wireless technologies such as Bluetooth 5.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi 6. There is also a full range of navigation services.
Xiaomi 12 is equipped with a 4500 mAh battery. A huge plus is support for 50W wireless charging, which will fully feed the battery in 53 minutes. There is also 67W wired fast charging. The manufacturer claims that with the help of wireless charging, the battery can be charged up to 100% in just 39 minutes. In reality, it takes about 45 minutes, which is also a good indicator. There is also a reverse 10-watt charger.
The autonomy of Xiaomi 12 remains at about the same level as that of the previous flagship. To increase battery life, you will have to reduce the screen refresh rate. But even at 120 Hz, the charge will easily last for a day.
Finally, we will discuss the cost of Xiaomi 12 and the approximate entry into the international market. So far, only the Chinese version of the novelty can be purchased. The base 8/128 GB version is priced at around $580. The average modification for 8/256 GB costs 629 dollars, and the top version for 12/256 GB will cost 690 bucks. This price list is for China. In other countries, the phone will be available only in the spring. Insiders suggest that the global presentation will take place in early March. European prices, of course, will differ from Chinese ones.
Xiaomi 12 is a worthy flagship at an affordable price. It will definitely appeal to users who are looking for a compact mobile device. If you do not play resource-intensive games and do not heavily load the processor, you can not be afraid of overheating. Design and screen do not cause any complaints. With all everyday tasks, the smartphone will cope perfectly. Camera capabilities are also enough to create good photos and videos. Of course, it is not advisable to purchase the Chinese version now. Wait for the global release, and if the cost of a smartphone does not exceed 600-650 dollars for a basic modification, you should take a closer look at this purchase.
- high-quality OLED display;
- screen refresh rate 120 Hz;
- compact size and light weight;
- glass body with aluminum edges;
- nice colors;
- protection by tempered glass Corning Gorilla Glass Victus;
- excellent front camera;
- high-quality stereo sound;
- support for all the latest wireless technologies;
- new MIUI 13 with Android 12;
- support for fast wired and wireless charging;
- low price, considering that this is a flagship.
- strong heating of the processor;
- medium main camera without periscope telephoto;
- no slot for memory card and audio jack;
- high PWM level;
- no protection against moisture and dust.
As always, leave your opinion about the new product in the comments. See you!