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Review: Xiaomi 12 (8GB+256GB)
Review: Xiaomi 12 (8GB+256GB)

Review: Xiaomi 12 (8GB+256GB)

A couple of weeks back, we did our unboxing and first impressions on the recently released Xiaomi 12. For a quick recap, the Xiaomi 12 gets a compact form factor with a 6.28-inches AMOLED display, latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, triple camera setup, large storage capacity and 4,500mAh battery.

During the review the Xiaomi 12 gave us a really good impression and here are our thoughts about it.

But before we go directly with the review here’s the full specifications of the Xiaomi 12:

  • Price: PHP39,999
  • Colors: Gray, Blue, Purple
  • Display: FHD 6.28-inches AMOLED Display
  • Resolution: 2400 x 1080px / 419ppi
  • Aspect Ratio: 20:9
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 5,000,000 : 1
  • Touch Sampling Rate: Up to 480Hz
  • Video Technology: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 360 Ambient Light Sensor
  • Display Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • GPU: Qualcomm Adreno
  • Storage & RAM: 8GB+256GB (LPDDR5 RAM + UFS 3.1 Storage)
  • OS: MIUI 13 based on Android 12
  • Camera Rear: 50MP f/1.88 Wide Angle Camera + 13MP f/2.4 Ultra-wide Angle Camera + 5MP f/2.4 Telemacro Camera
  • Camera Front: 32MP f/2.5 In-display Selfie Camera
  • Video: 8K, 4K, 1080p and 720p
  • Battery: 4500mAh + 67W Wired Turbo Charging
  • Charging Port: USB Type-C
  • Charging Features: 50W Wireless Turbo Charging, 10W Reverse Wireless Charging, Xiaomi Adaptive Charge
  • Cooling System: LiquidCool Technology
  • Security: In-screen Fingerprint Sensor, AI Face Unlock
  • Network & Connectivity: Dual SIM, 5G/4G/3G/2G Network Bands
  • Wireless Networks: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 6 / Wi-Fi 6E
  • Audio: Dual Speakers, Dolby Atmos, Sound by Harman Kardon
  • Dimensions: 8.16mm Thickness x 152.7mm Height x 69.9mm Width
  • Weight: 180g
  • Sensors: Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compass, Linear motor, IR blaster, Flicker sensor
  • Package Contents: Xiaomi 12 unit, USB Type-C cable, Power Adaptor, SIM Eject Tool, Protective Case, Documentations (Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Safety Information) and Screen Protector (Pre-applied)

Design 

The Xiaomi 12 feels solid and well-built as expected on any flagship phone. Its weight and compact form factor holds comfortably and operates much easier singlehandedly.

We have the purple color for our review but you can still choose from two more colorways available either in gray or blue. The purple gets a subtle light pink color when shifted from different angles with a little cool glittery effect.

The Xiaomi 12 has a nice curved-edge display protected with Gorilla Glass Victus that curves into the sides of the phone between a thin metal frame going to the back panel made of plastic with glass covered in Gorilla Glass 5. With both rear and front panels covered in Gorilla Glass it provides more resistance to drops and scratches. Overall, the Xiaomi 12 looks more premium and stylish.

The rear panel has a frosted texture effect or the kind of a smooth flat matte finish that helps repel fingerprint smudges. On the top left you have a rectangular-shaped camera module that holds a triple camera setup with LED light and the Xiaomi brand at the bottom left corner.

There’s a slight protrusion on the camera module but it only wobbles when you press on the top left of the front display when laid flat on a surface. With the included clear protective case it will solve the unsteadily movement from side to side.

On front you have slim bezels all around the screen that are barely noticeable, but they still clearly show where the screen stops. The front camera gets a simple punch hole design located at the top-center of the display.

Buttons on the right side are the sleep/power button and volume rockers while the left has no buttons whatsoever. On the top you have a speaker grill with a Harman Kardon logo beside it, IR blaster and microphone while the USB Type-C charging port, microphone, SIM card slot and another speaker grille are located at the bottom.

Display

As we’ve mentioned, the Xiaomi 12’s display has a diagonal diameter of 6.28-inches. For others it might be too small but we know that things don’t have to be large to be good, it offers much more as expected on any flagship phone. Xiaomi integrated more features and video technology in their screens.

Turning it on, you’ll notice immediately that Xiaomi 12 is equipped with an AMOLED panel providing incredible vibrant colors, sharp details and impressive contrast on its display.

It has Full HD+ resolution at 2400 x 1080 pixels, manually switch to either 60hz or 120Hz refresh rate, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio and maximum brightness of 1100 nits to be sufficient enough in using the Xiaomi 12 during outdoors or direct sunlight.

Located at the bottom-center of the display also houses the fingerprint scanner which is fast and accurate.

For mobile gaming enthusiasts, the Xiaomi 12 offers a 480Hz touch sampling rate for a more responsive gaming experience.

The display supports the industry’s leading video format the Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Both formats produced better color accuracy and picture quality available on streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Amazon Video, Apple TV and more.

DisplayMate, an industry standard for evaluating all types of displays, awarded the Xiaomi 12 as an Excellent Top Tier World Class Smartphone Display with an A+ rating.

With all the said features found on the display of the Xiaomi 12, it makes an even striking phone to look at and view your favorite content on.

Software & Performance

The Xiaomi 12 runs with MIUI 13 based on Android 12. The MIUI 13 comes with some few pre-installed apps like Netflix, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, 92, Amazon Shopping plus Xiaomi’s very own programs.

The latest software has some bunch of cool wallpapers, tons of widgets, manage privacy settings, optimization features, and a security scan powered by Avast. The MIUI 13 has special features which I found it to be helpful such as the heart rate monitor, sidebar, front camera assistant and second space that allows you to have two different account using one phone either for personal or work.

In general, the MIUI 13 is smooth, fast, stable and well customizable.

The Xiaomi 12 packs some upright flagship specs, it is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile chipset paired with a Qualcomm Adreno for its GPU. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is one of Qualcomm’s advanced chipsets that focuses on the device’s performance and power efficiency.

The processor works alongside with an 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and a massive 256GB UFS 3.1 storage enough to store more photos, videos and install apps especially games. The only drawback will be there’s no MicroSD card expansion.

Xiaomi placed a cooling technology that contains extra-large VC LiquidCool board to dissipate heat and reduce temperature in case the phone will be put in prolonged stress.

It is designed to support two nano SIM cards with 5G standby support as well as for other network band provisions for 2G, 3G, and 4G. Other connectivity features on the Xiaomi 12 includes a Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

We made some 5G network speed test using the 5G Mark app with a 5G Globe Prepaid SIM to measure how fast will be the upload and download rate of the Xiaomi 12. The test was done outdoors, we got a total score of 50,601 with download bitrate at 66.0 Mbps and upload bitrate at 30.8 Mbps. No lag occurred during the stream playback test then it took an average time of 0.97 seconds to load a web page while Facebook page at 1.31 seconds.

We wanted to do one more test with Speedtest by Ookla using Google Chrome. The speed test gave us a download speeds of 183.50 Mbps. In general, we’re happy the 5G network speed was able to provide a fast and seamless connection.

Here are our benchmark scores on the Xiaomi 12.

  • Geekbench 5 – 1184 Single Core / 3306 Multi-Core Score
  • PC Mark – 10,576 Work 3.0 Performance Score
  • 3D Mark Wild Life – 8226 (Average frame rate – fps: 49.30)
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme – 2554 (Average frame rate – fps: 15.30)
  • A1 SD Bench – Read 1,454.51MB/s and Write 656.92MB/s

Xiaomi’s audio features Dolby Atmos and dual speaker system positioned at the top and bottom of the chassis tuned by audio equipment maker Harmon/Kardon. We like that they placed two speaker grills on each end to even out the sound that pops-out from the phone.

The sound quality is impressive, a bit more full with more bass, enhanced vocals and good tonal balance.

Camera

At the back, you’ll come across a triple camera setup that boasts of a 50MP f/1.9 wide angle camera using Sony’s IMX766 sensor; 13MP f/2.4 ultra-wide angle camera (123-degree field of view); and 5MP f/2.4 telemacro lens.

The camera is also equipped with its all-new focusing technology called ProFocus assisting you in capturing moving subjects clearly.

The native camera app on the Xiaomi 12 is easy to use. Opening it you’ll have four default shooting modes available the PRO, video, photo and portrait mode. Aside from that you have additional shooting modes like night mode, 50MP, Short Video, Panorama, Documents, vlog, slow motion, time-lapse, movie-effects, long exposure, dual video and clone to make your shots more creative. You have zoom capabilities such as a ready 2x digital zoom and a 10x hybrid zoom which usually tends to make your photos be likely to get more noise or muddy.

The front camera has a 32MP with a f/2.5 aperture for your selfies. There’s also a color and beauty filter for those who want to enhance your appearance like slimming your face, smoother skin or even fixing your hairline found on the camera app.

Shots on the Xiaomi 12 are outstanding specifically on the main camera and the focus are spot on even on face detection. We got lots of details, vibrant colors, good auto exposure, less noise and the contrast adds more quality on your photos.

We obtained some great looking selfies on the Xiaomi 12 which are decently sharp, natural bokeh without too much blur that separates the subject nicely against the background, and facial features not getting too skin-smoothing effect.

Here are our sample photos captured on the Xiaomi 12.

Ultrawide – Outdoor

Ultrawide – Indoor

Telemacro – Outdoor

Ultrawide – Outdoor

1x – Outdoor

2x – Outdoor

10x – Outdoor

Night mode – Low Light

Night mode – Selfie – Indoor

Portrait mode – Selfie – Outdoor

For videos, rear camera on the Xiaomi 12 can record with the following available resolutions:

  • 8K at 24fps
  • 4K at 30fps/60fps
  • 1080p at 30fps/60fps
  • 720p at 30fps

Meanwhile the front camera can only record 1080p at 30fps/60fps and 720p at 30fps only. You also get a heap of creative features including beautify, bokeh, movie filters, movie frame, optical image stabilization and object tracking.

The recorded videos we took are sharp, colors are accurate and a bit of noise that is present even during bright conditions.

Battery Life 

Even with this compact size, the Xiaomi 12 is equipped with a 4500mAh battery that can last you throughout the day or possibly into the next day if you’re a light user. But if you’re going to batter the phone with binge-watching your favorite videos, music playback or play games it would probably last for half of the day.

But don’t worry because you can easily juice up the Xiaomi 12 very quickly as it comes with a 67W wired charging feature thru a USB Type-C charging port. We were able to get it to 100% capacity in just 47 minutes during our test. We were amazed with the result, a 5-minute charge will get a 12% increase on your battery then after 15 minutes it goes up at 50%. This will really power the Xiaomi 12 back up to full in no time.

There’s also a 50W wireless charging and a 10W reverse wireless charging feature that forms the Xiaomi 12 as a charging pad to power other wireless devices.

Wireless Charging

Reverse Wireless Charging

Swipe down on the right side to bring down your control center to turn on reverse wireless charging

What We Like

  • AMOLED Display
  • Build Quality and Design
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Sound Quality
  • Hardware Specs (Processor, RAM and Storage)
  • Great Camera
  • Charging Technology (Wired, Wireless and Reverse)
  • 5G Ready
  • User Interface
  • Competitive Pricing

What We Want

  • 5mm Headphone Jack
  • Larger Battery

Final Thoughts

The Xiaomi 12 is really a great flagship smartphone. It’s one of the best ultra-compact phones we’ve tested and users will be interested on this phone if they don’t want a bigger display or prefer a comfortable form factor.

The Xiaomi 12 offers a gorgeous AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, stunning design, nice camera, powerful on-board hardware, remarkable sound quality and with fast charging technology.

It has a solid main camera along with a good ultrawide and telemacro lens with picture quality of the rear and front cameras looking so good with nice details and colors are vibrant. You get an array of shooting modes to help you to be more evenly creative in your shots.

We loved how it performed very well on what we can throw at the Xiaomi 12 such as watching various multimedia content, playing games, listening to music or scrolling thru our social media. We did not experience any lag or error during these activities.

Still there will be some drawbacks on the phone but if it’s not a big deal for you then by all means buy the Xiaomi 12.

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About The Author

Raymund Ravanera is an accomplished and experienced graphic designer with almost 20 years of creative expertise working in the graphic design industry. He loves the latest gadgets, food and movies. Currently, he owns and manages megabites.com.ph, an online technology and lifestyle blog since 2015.

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