Xiaomi 12 Review: Competently Compact

Now with out the ‘Mi’ branding, the Xiaomi 12 sequence has been given a world release and the common fashion is now smaller and extra aligned with Samsung’s Galaxy S differ than ahead of. Can Xiaomi win the flagship Android race, although?

Like the Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 gives a a lot more compact choice, leaving the 12 Pro for those who need one thing larger – and with extra spectacular specifications.

Starting at US$749, the Xiaomi 12 has so much going for it together with its show, efficiency, rapid charging and, to an extent, its images abilities. However, some giant downsides similar to battery existence, loss of waterproofing and device peeves imply a rival may well be a more sensible choice.

Design & construct

  • 8.16mm thick
  • 180g 
  • No IP score

The Xiaomi 12 is tiny. Well, by way of fashionable requirements anyway, and particularly after I’ve turn into aware of the hefty measurement of the Pixel 6. Even so, it’s like leaping right into a time system to 2017 and the discharge of the Galaxy S8.

These two telephones have so much in commonplace and I’m now not simply speaking concerning the footprint of the handset, even supposing they’re very identical. The Xiaomi 12 has a identical steel body that tapers right down to a skinny strip at the aspects to house the curved show.

It’s 2022 so the screen-to-body ratio is clearly significantly better and such things as a triple rear digicam array make it heavier.

Xiaomi 12 design

I’ll prevent evaluating two telephones which are 5 years aside now, however my level is that the Xiaomi 12 is small, so much smaller than the Xiaomi Mi 11 and, truly, maximum telephones in the marketplace. It’s refreshing making an allowance for the loss of choices for many who desire a extra compact handset – when you don’t need an iPhone 13 mini or iPhone SE, this is.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the obvious rival for a in a similar way compact flagship. It’s simplest 7.6mm and 168g so much more spectacular than the Xiaomi 12. It’s a good bit shorter as smartly, due to a smaller 6.1in display screen.

A sizeable digicam bump is a transparent signal that this phone isn’t from 2017 and it even has two ranges to account for the massive major lens.

While the construct high quality is superb, with Gorilla Glass Victus over the show and Gorilla Glass 5 at the rear, Xiaomi continues to provide its flagship gadgets with none IP score for mud and waterproofing. I’m certain it is going to live to tell the tale when you get stuck in a rain bathe however a phone at this value with out a right kind IP score is disappointing. The S22, for comparability, is IP68.

Xiaomi 12

I’ve taken a take a look at the pink fashion which to me is extra like a mild purple. From some angles, it has a flat matte end and from others, it glints with a sparkly impact. If that doesn’t sound interesting, there also are gray and blue colors.

While the rear is constructed from glass, the frosted texture provides it an affordable plastic really feel that I’m for my part now not curious about, even supposing it’s just right at repelling fingerprints.

Xiaomi supplies a transparent silicon case within the field so you’ll get rid of this price except you need one thing fancier.

Screen & audio system 

  • 6.28in AMOLED 
  • Full HD+ 
  • 120Hz with AdaptiveSync 

A 6.28in display screen is slightly small for 2022 and even supposing it’s now not a lot smaller than the Pixel 6’s 6.4in show, the phone is vastly smaller and more straightforward to take care of. As discussed previous, the S22’s show is even smaller at 6.1in so the Xiaomi 12 isn’t distinctive. 

Its curved edges on all sides are extra ordinary for lately’s marketplace and can most likely divide the gang. I don’t thoughts it, however similarly wouldn’t be unsatisfied if the show was once flat. They have little merit, even supposing I do like the way in which they remove darkness from for notifications, making it extra evident when the phone is face down. 

Xiaomi 12 screen

In phrases of specifications and function, the Xiaomi 12 in large part delivers the type of enjoy you are expecting from a flagship. The AMOLED show has a Full HD+ solution and reinforce for such things as low blue gentle certification, HDR10+ or even Dolby Vision. 

The refresh price is 120Hz, it has a 480Hz contact sampling price and in step with Xiaomi, it will probably hit a top brightness of 1100 nits. I measured it in direct daylight at 772 nits and 500 nits with computerized adjustment off and set to most. 

One factor lacking in comparison to the 12 Pro is AdaptiveSync Pro, that means its higher brother can dynamically alter its refresh price all of the approach right down to 1Hz to save lots of on battery. 

The Xiaomi 12 is easy in operation however can simplest change between 60Hz and 120Hz as a substitute. Overall, although, it’s a forged enjoy if the dimensions and curved taste are for your liking. 

The show additionally properties the fingerprint scanner and it’s one of the crucial highest I’ve used offering rapid and correct scans of various hands. 

Xiaomi 12 screen

For audio, the phone has stereo audio system with one on both finish of the chassis (the Pro has a quad array). These are tuned by way of Harman Kardon and there’s additionally reinforce for Dolby Atmos. 

I discovered the audio system to be respectable, providing a just right point of quantity and normally just right efficiency, although the bass is missing. I additionally in finding Dolby Atmos to make issues worse – specifically when paying attention to tune – sounding like a foul EQ surroundings. Like maximum telephones, there’s no headphone jack and neither is there a USB-C to three.5mm adapter within the field. 

Specs & efficiency 

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 
  • Up to 12GB RAM 
  • Up to 256GB garage 

The Xiaomi 12 comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which is Qualcomm’s newest flagship chipset. This is one thing the phone has in commonplace with the 12 Pro, whilst the inexpensive 12X has a Snapdragon 870. 

There are 3 SKUs to make a choice from, combining 8 or 12GB of RAM together with 128 or 256GB of garage, which is not expandable.

The RAM is LPDDR5 and the garage is UFS 3.1 so each are fast. The fashion I’ve examined is the middle-spec and it is no giant wonder that benchmarks are spectacular (see beneath). The phone additionally coped with anything else I may throw at it.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will get you 5G reinforce (with dual-SIM 5G standby reinforce) and Xiaomi has loaded the phone with quite a lot of different fashionable specifications together with Bluetooth 5.2 and, in some markets, Wi-Fi 6E. 


  • 50Mp major digicam 
  • 13Mp ultrawide 
  • 5Mp telemacro 
  • 32Mp selfie digicam 

Last yr’s Mi 11 got here with a 108Mp major digicam however the company has dropped to 50Mp this yr with the Xiaomi 12 getting an IMX766, Sony’s fashionable sensor. This is your major digicam however there’s a 13Mp ultrawide and 5Mp telemacro at the again as smartly. 

That’s a identical setup to remaining yr’s Mi 11, so the ones in need of extra spectacular shooters will have to glance to the 12 Pro which has 3 50Mp cameras: a fairly higher IMX707 sensor for the principle digicam, plus each an ultrawide and a 2x telephoto. 

Xiaomi 12 cameras

The major digicam nonetheless gives very good level and shoot ends up in a variety of prerequisites due to competent publicity, color accuracy and restricted noise – even in decrease gentle eventualities. The night time mode is superb with the latter in a position to make one thing out of what was once necessarily pitch black to my eyes. For portrait photographs, I’ve observed significantly better edge detection.

Like many telephones, the phone pixel boxes right down to a extra manageable 12Mp photograph however you’ll use the whole 50Mp when you like and chances are you’ll wish to with the loss of a telephoto, even supposing I’d simplest counsel doing so in just right gentle. 

There’s now not a large drop in high quality transferring to the ultrawide and in contrast to we discovered with the OnePlus 9 sequence, the colors are well constant in comparison to the principle digicam. 

For some time, I wasn’t certain what the 3rd digicam even was once, because the phone doesn’t make it transparent. The ‘tremendous macro’ mode is tucked away within the menu with the facet ratio, timer and different settings like gridlines as a substitute of below ‘extra’ with the likes of Night and Slow movement. 

Xiaomi 12 camera test

Like maximum macro lenses on telephones, it’s difficult to make use of as you’ve were given to be the right kind distance from the topic for it to be in center of attention even with the assistance of auto center of attention. You can get some respectable photographs when you’ve got some endurance, however the query is whether or not you need to. I do know many of us would favor to have a telephoto lens. 

Back to the principle digicam and video high quality is superb with quite a lot of element at each 1080p and 4K resolutions, wealthy colors and the OIS (optical symbol stabilization) maintaining issues gimbal-like easy even if chasing my canine around the lawn. 

Last however now not least is the 32Mp selfie digicam which is forged providing very good element and the portrait mode, like the principle digicam, additionally gives a slider to regulate the extent of blur. 

Battery & charging 

  • 4500mAh 
  • 67W stressed out charging 
  • 50W wi-fi charging 

Considering its compact measurement, the Xiaomi 12 has a rather sized battery at 4500mAh. What’s attention-grabbing here’s that in spite of the 12 Pro being considerably larger it simplest has an extra 100mAh so that you’re now not truly lacking out a lot on capability. 

In my enjoy, the 12 can remaining an afternoon of normal utilization although when you’re gaming for prolonged classes at 120Hz with the brightness up you might be not likely to make it thru. In our same old PCMark for Android battery check, the Xiaomi 12 lasted simply 9 hours and 32 mins. 

Battery existence is middling then so it’s a just right activity the charging may be very rapid right here. 

Xiaomi 12 battery life and charging

The 67W charger can get the Xiaomi 12 to 57% with a 15-minute price and to 90% in 30-minutes. The Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with a 120W charger for even sooner topping up however the pace of the common 12 will have to be sufficient for most of the people. 

Either approach, you get 50W wi-fi charging, too, which will opposite wi-fi price at 10W.  

Like some competitors together with the Pixel 6, there’s additionally adaptive charging which will be told your in a single day behavior and trickle price the phone whilst you’re asleep, making sure it hits 100% ahead of you stand up. 

Software & updates 

I don’t have an enormous quantity to mention at the device aspect that we haven’t stated in more than a few contemporary Xiaomi phone critiques.  

That is to mention that you simply get Android 12, which is the newest model, however paired with Xiaomi’s MIUI, which continues to be now not our favorite pores and skin. It’s without a doubt significantly better than it was and is completely useable after you get to understand it. 

While Xiaomi has moved it nearer to inventory Android, it nonetheless has a rather infantile glance and there are pre-loaded apps similar to Facebook, Amazon Shopping, Spotify, and Joom. You can alternate the appear and feel rather with the Themes app, thankfully. 

Xiaomi 12 software

You might also need to get use to the notifications and fast settings panels being separate, located all sides of the punch hollow digicam. I don’t thoughts it and any individual coming from an iPhone will likely be at house however you’ll’t merely pull the opposite one down if one is already there, it will have to be retracted first. 

Luckily, you’ll mix them within the settings when you choose however that is any other house the place MIUI simply isn’t as just right as competitors – the menu is oddly complicated or even looking for explicit issues is usually a ache. 

The Xiaomi 12 will have to obtain 3 years of Android updates and a fourth of safety patches, which might see the phone get Android 13, 14, and 15. That’s conventional for high-end Android telephones, although lags in the back of Samsung’s promise of 4 years of updates for its telephones, or Apple’s market-leading long-term reinforce.

Price & availability

Xiaomi is steadily rolling out data on value and availability, however for now, we all know that the Xiaomi 12 begins at US$749 and can arrive in April. This gets you the entry-level 8/128GB fashion however there are two extra to be had: 

  • 8/128GB 
  • 8/256GB 
  • 12/256GB 

We’ll replace with extra explicit data when we will, together with the most efficient Xiaomi 12 offers, however it’s transparent the Xiaomi 12 takes goal on the £769/$799 Galaxy S22 and the £779/$799 iPhone 13.  

There are inexpensive possible choices although, such because the £599/$599 Google Pixel 6 and quite a lot of even inexpensive mid-range telephones that may get you lovely with reference to the enjoy of the Xiaomi 12. 

Take a take a look at our highest phone and highest mid-range phone charts for extra choices, or the most efficient Xiaomi phone rating for extra from the similar corporate.


The Xiaomi 12 is a compelling flagship smartphone in quite a few techniques. For starters, its new compact shape issue will attraction to those that don’t need an enormous handset and general, the design appears and feels nice. 

You additionally get a good assortment of top of the range specifications such because the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, AMOLED display screen with 120Hz refresh price, and rapid 67W charging. It’s additionally were given a forged major digicam together with a just right ultrawide, however few patrons will likely be fascinated with a telemacro lens. 

While there’s rather a lot to love concerning the Xiaomi 12, it nonetheless has no waterproofing, battery existence is not anything particular, and MIUI continues to lag in the back of competitors. Considering the asking value right here, it’s fairly difficult for it to face out in comparison to handsets just like the Galaxy S22 and less expensive 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 Vision
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
  • 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 8/12GB RAM LPDDR5
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 non-expandable garage
  • 50Mp, f/1.88, major digicam with OIS
  • 13Mp, f/2.4 ultrawide digicam
  • 5Mp, telemacro digicam with auto center of attention
  • 32Mp, f/2.54 front-facing digicam
  • Stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos
  • Dual-SIM
  • 5G
  • WiFi 6/6E (marketplace dependent)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • USB-C port
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 67W rapid charging
  • 50W wi-fi charging
  • 10W opposite wi-fi charging
  • 152.7 x 69.9 x 8.16mm
  • 180g
  • Launch colors: Gray, Purple, Blue

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