The Xiaomi 12 Pro is Xiaomi’s most premium smartphone offering as we move into the early part of 2022. Xiaomi claims that it has placed a stronger focus on consistent performance while still including a sufficient amount of premium elements to justify the asking price.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G has all of the features that one would expect from a flagship smartphone, including a versatile camera system, a powerful performance, and a sleek and modern design. But, how well does it compete with other flagships? Let’s find out in this Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G review.
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The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G is available in two variants in India. The base variant costs Rs. 62,999 with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. Whereas the top variant will set you back at Rs. 66,999 with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.
The phone is available in three different colour options: Couture Blue, Noir Black and Opera Mauve. You can buy the phone directly from MI.com or other e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
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The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G comes with the following items inside the box:
- 120W power adapter
- USB cable
- SIM eject tool
- Clear soft case
- USB Type C to 3.5mm adapter
- Warranty card and User guide
Before we talk in detail about the Xiaomi 12 Pro, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.73 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
- RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM 256GB Internal Storage, 12GB RAM 256GB Internal Storage
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 50MP + 50MP + 50MP
- Selfie camera: 32 MP
- Battery: 4600 mAh
- Weight: 205 grams
- Dimensions: 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm
The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G has a very refined look and feels premium in the hand. The back and front glass curves to the edges and makes it look very thin. It has a high-end feel and is very smooth to the touch, but it is a little slippery.
A specialised coating is used by Xiaomi, which not only prevents fingerprint smudges from appearing on the back of the device but also appears to add some additional layers of durability. Although it is not the slimmest smartphone available, its 8.16mm thickness makes it easy to grip and use, even when playing games.
I was also very happy when Xiaomi sent me the Noir Black version for this review. The metal camera module that wraps around the device’s back has thin lines that visually minimise their prominence, making the device appear more modern and streamlined. The attention is going to be naturally drawn to the oversized main lens.
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At this price point, I think Xiaomi should upgrade the clear silicone case that comes standard in the package.
However, durability is a little bit of a concern. While the display uses the more robust Gorilla Glass Victus, the back uses the less durable Gorilla Glass 5. There is no sort of official IP rating for the Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G to guarantee water or dust protection.
Power and volume controls are located on the right side of the device. The button placement is perfect, and each button has a satisfying click. You’ll find the SIM card slot and the USB Type-C port on the bottom side. Finally, the phone’s quad-speaker system is accommodated by two speaker grills on the top and bottom sides.
Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G features a triple camera setup on the back. This includes a 50MP Sony IMX707 primary sensor, a 50MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 50MP telephoto lens. You get a 32MP front camera for taking selfies.
The main camera on the 12 Pro takes excellent pictures in daylight. The colours are bright and vibrant, but the tones are a little oversaturated. Images appeared crisp and detailed, with excellent dynamic range.
The dedicated 50MP mode on the primary camera may be able to capture a little bit more detail, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a noteworthy improvement. Additionally, the portrait mode had very good edge detection accuracy. The primary camera’s large sensor can create a pleasing, natural background blur if the subject is framed correctly.
The ultra-wide lens captured beautiful landscapes with decent detail (though not as much as the standard lens). The sharpness of its images is excellent in the centre and, while it decreases slightly at the edges, it is still respectable for an ultrawide.
The ultra-wide-angle camera on the Xiaomi 12 Pro does not have autofocus, so it cannot double as a macro camera. This is one of the limitations of the camera department.
The telephoto lens continues to perform at a professional level. Pictures taken with it are amazingly detailed and clear. It is possible for the colours it produces to be slightly more vivid and warmer than those produced by the primary camera.
The 32-megapixel front-facing camera takes excellent selfies. Skin tones seem to be pretty natural, even in the beauty mode. Keep in mind that the bokeh of your photos can be adjusted after taking the shots as well.
Video can be captured in 4K at 60 frames per second by all three of the rear-facing cameras, with the main camera also capable of 8K recording. However, the OIS is only functional in Full-HD resolution, which means that higher resolution videos will require some sort of external gimbal support. The majority of the videos are sharp and clear, with minimal background noise.
Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G packs a 4600mAh battery which might look a little less for some. Considering the size of the phone, Xiaomi could have easily fitted a bigger battery pack inside. The phone survived a full day of casual use during my review period.
My usage involved some social media scrolling, watching web series and of course playing games. Now if you are a heavy user, you would need to plug in the charger by the evening. However, the highlight here is not the battery but the charging speed, so you won’t have to wait long to continue your gaming sessions.
Xiaomi 12 Pro features 120W fast charging support and the best thing is that Xioami bundles the charger inside the box. The 120W fast charger can fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent in about 21 minutes. A quick charge of just 7 minutes can juice up the battery to 50 per cent.
Looking at the specifications, the Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G has many features that should provide excellent display quality. It boasts a stunning 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD+ resolution.
It features a refresh rate of 120Hz and up to 480Hz for touch sampling. Depending on the type of content you are watching, the variable refresh rate system can switch the refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz. The display features a peak brightness of 1500 nits that gets bright enough for outdoor use.
Full HD+ resolution is recommended for longer battery life, but I turned it up to its maximum resolution for this review. Because the refresh rate is dynamic, both scrolling and animations run smoothly. The phone has a wide variety of display modes, including more precise colour control and white balance than its competitors, and it displays colours accurately.
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The bezels are quite thin, and the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. You won’t notice the small hole punch cutout in the middle unless you’re specifically looking for it. Nevertheless, the Xiaomi 12 Pro has a curved display, which makes it more likely that users will have accidental touches.
Overall, the 12 Pro has one of the best displays you can see on a flagship phone.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G gets its power from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset which is seen on other similar flagships as well. It is paired with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage and also offers a Memory Extension feature. It can dedicate 3GB of its internal storage towards RAM expansion. Using the phone on a regular basis is fast and easy.
It should go without quoting that the smartphone is more than capable of dealing with routine tasks. Therefore, the phone is capable of anything you could possibly ask of it, from multitasking between a couple of apps to using its multiwindow feature to run two apps side by side.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro will function smoothly and without overheating when used for common tasks like browsing, texting, and using social media apps. However, the phone heats while recording 8K videos and when playing demanding games.
Talking about numbers, we compared the Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G with Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G and the Geekbench results were quite similar as you can see.
In my experience, the gaming performance of the Xiaomi 12 Pro was very enjoyable. Long-term gaming caused the phone to heat up, but it kept performing normally. I tried a couple of popular titles like BGMI, COD: Mobile, Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9. BGMI and Call of Duty: Mobile looked and ran well at its highest settings. Similarly, Asphalt 9: Legends ran super smooth without any lags at its highest setting.
According to Xiaomi, the phone is equipped with an advanced vapour chamber liquid cooling system, but it clearly falls short of expectations. When subjected to a constant load on the CPU, it quickly overheats and throttles.
Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G runs on MIUI 13 skin which is based on Android 12. The software includes all of the essential features that come with Android 12, such as a permissions manager, the new widgets, and the privacy dashboard.
To improve performance, MIUI 13 is designed to monitor how much memory and processing power are being used at any given time and to stop any tasks that aren’t necessary. The Smart Toolbox, formerly known as the Sidebar, has also been enhanced to make using pop-up apps while multitasking even easier.
In MIUI 13, the effect formerly known as Breathing light has been renamed “Notification Effect”. It is possible to use it either with or without the Always-on Display. This is essentially a flashier version of the standard notification LED alert that uses the display edges; whenever there are new notifications, the edges flash with different colours.
Themes have long been a part of MIUI skin, and they continue to be so in MIUI 13. You can go to the Theme store and download new wallpapers, icons, notifications and ringtones and even AoD styles.
It’s no surprise that MIUI 13 includes the usual bloatware, which includes some Xiaomi apps as well as some third-party apps. In addition to that, the GetApps store kept sending me irritating pop-up notifications that prompted me to update the apps on my phone.
Xiaomi’s new quad-speaker setup in the 12 Pro does an excellent job of delivering an immersive audio experience. Both ends of the phone feature a woofer and a tweeter that have been fine-tuned by Harman Kardon.
The four speakers produced a well-balanced sound with good bass, which was quite impressive.
Talking about connectivity, the 12 Pro has 5G support and comes with dual-SIM card functionality, as well as Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 and NFC. It supports 14 5G bands which include: n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n66, n77, n78 and n79.
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You can unlock the phone by using the in-display optical fingerprint sensor. It’s quick and accurate; I have no complaints. There’s also a Face Unlock option, but it’s not as safe as using your fingerprint.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G is indeed a premium flagship smartphone that excels in all areas and is a true all-rounder. It is good in the areas that are important to someone who buys a premium phone, such as having a fantastic display, a lovely design, a stylish build, and seamless performance. You also get a great speaker system and lightning-fast charging.
With compatibility for up to 14 different 5G bands, this device is among the most future-proof smartphones on the market. There is still some room for improvement in the rear camera system, but I’m hopeful that they can be fine-tuned in future software updates.
Users won’t be disappointed by the phone’s performance, as it can handle routine tasks without lag. Overall, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is among the very best Android smartphones, and it is unquestionably among the very best Xiaomi smartphones.