Hands-on with Xiaomi 12 Pro – first impressions

Xiaomi launched as planned the sequel to last year’s 11 series in Europe today. The new 12-series was already presented in connection with the turn of the year, but has so far only been available in China.

The series currently includes 12 Pro (6.73 ″) and 12 (6.28 ″) and the simpler model 12X (6.28 ″). Apart from the size, the Xiaomi 12 Pro and 12 are almost identical except for the camera and battery capacity as well as the charging speed. The difference between 12 and 12X is mainly in a slightly slower system chip and the lack of wireless charging.

A little later in the year, Xiaomi is expected to unveil its most lavish flagship – the 12 Ultra – but no further details on specifications or availability are yet available.

The article below follows our first impressions of the new models with a focus on the Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Construction, design and connections

Xiaomi is one of the few manufacturers that still ships with an AC charger with virtually all models. For the Pro model, the included charger can deliver up to 120W while 12 / 12X is limited to 67W. According to Xiaomi, the 12 Pro can fully charge in just 18 minutes, while the 12 / 12X needs 39 minutes for the same feat.

In the box:

  • TPU shell in soft plastic, transparent
  • USB-C cable
  • AC charger (120W for 12 Pro, 60W for 12 / 12X)

The new models look very similar from the front with the exception of the screen size. They all have a slightly arched AMOLED panel, which in turn is covered by Corning’s more durable Victus glass and a perforated camera at the top. From the front, it is even difficult to distinguish them from the 11-series.

None of the new models have a 3.5 mm output or memory card slot, which is perhaps not so surprising as this has become rare over time. The USB-C connection is located in the base of the phones together with the SIM card slot (2 x nano-SIM) while the volume and lock buttons are placed on the right side as usual.

Remarkably, Xiaomi’s 12 series lacks eSIM support, which is almost becoming the standard for newly launched phones from other manufacturers.

Xiaomi 12 Pro has a battery capacity of 4600 mAh, which means that Xiaomi went against the trend and reduced the capacity slightly compared to 11 Pro which offered 5000 mAh. In return, the outer dimensions have decreased by one millimeter in height and 0.5 millimeters in depth (163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2 mm). The weight has also decreased from 208 grams to 204 grams.

Xiaomi 12 is more difficult to compare with its predecessor because it is a much smaller phone. The panel is 6.28 ″ against 6.81 ″ for 11, which made it possible to reduce the size of the phone to 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm. Despite the smaller size, the battery capacity amounts to 4500 mAh, which is only a reduction of 100 mAh in comparison with the 4600 mAh 11 offers. The phone also weighs in at 179 g compared to 196 g for its predecessor.

12 Pro has a metal frame that is relatively wide and as a result we also experience the phone as solid and torsionally rigid. Despite the fact that we tie the phone with some force, the chassis does not flex significantly and does not give rise to any noise. Xiaomi has also done a good job of reducing the space between the phone’s chassis components, which means that the fingers can slide freely over almost the entire chassis without us feeling the gaps.

If we turn the phone and examine the back cover, the camera above all stands out. The 12-series has a camera island that has been given a completely new design, which looks almost modular, to accommodate the new sensors and the new optics. Xiaomi has also updated the colors and all models are available in either gray, black blue or green.

Like the front, the back is covered with Corning’s Victus glass. Since the glass has a matte / frosted finish, fingerprints are not very noticeable, which we appreciate. Just like on the front, the glass around the back is curved, which means that the frame is not very visible either from the front or from behind compared to units that have a flat surface.

The monitor

Xiaomi 12 Pro has been upgraded with an LTPO 2.0 panel that can adjust the frame rate between 10 and 120 Hz as needed

12 Pro is equipped with an AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels (521 PPI) measuring 6.73 ″ with a height and width ratio of 20: 9. One of the bigger news is that Xiaomi has switched to the newer LTPO 2.0 technology that makes it possible to better adjust the frame rate to the material displayed on the screen, as the panel can go as low as 10 Hz up to 120 Hz.

The default setting for the monitor is FHD + and 120Hz, so to take advantage of the panel’s maximum resolution, the user needs to manually change from FHD + to WQHD + during the monitor settings. The reason why FHD + is configured by default is probably because Xiaomi wants to maximize battery life. Xiaomi further believes that the 12 Pros Micro Lens display can reduce power consumption by up to 9 percent compared to a traditional screen.

The panel is slightly arched, which has the advantage that the frame is minimized and that the front is used better, while the disadvantage is that shadows and reflections can occur as well as color changes on the sides of the unit due to, for example, ambient light.

Xiaomi sets the brightness to a maximum of 1500 nits in strong backlight and 1000 nits under normal conditions / in continuous use. In practice, the panel also appears to be very bright at 100% brightness and we have no idea of ​​color shifts or strongly exaggerated colors in the more neutral color mode, which Xiamoi describes as the “original color mode”. However, as usual with arched panels, we note a certain shading along the sides of the panel.

12 and 12X have an identical panel with a size of 6.28 ″, 1080 x 2400 pixels and a height and width ratio of 20: 9. The brightness is set to a maximum of 1100 nits and the panel has a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. Note that neither 12 nor 12X has an LTPO panel.

For all models, in addition to a TPU case, a factory-fitted plastic screen protector with an oleophobic surface treatment is also included, and Xiaomi also offers free screen repair for all three models from the 12-series for the first six months, should the accident occur.

The fingerprint reader is of the optical type and is located in the middle of the lower half of the display. Xiaomi does not mention whether it has been upgraded from previous readers. A quick test gives us the impression that it performs similarly to the 11-series.

The pictures above show 12 next to 12 Pro. Unlike the previous generation, there is now a noticeable size difference between the phones in the series. As the pictures show, 12 is significantly smaller than 12 Pro.

The camera

Xiaomi 12 Pro has three cameras.

12 Pro has received an upgraded primary sensor compared to its predecessor along with improved optics with greater light input. The new wide-angle camera has a 50 MP sensor with a pixel size of 1.22 µm and a lens with a fixed aperture of f / 1.9.

Xiaomi has been restrictive with the telephoto lens and the 12 Pro offers no more than 2x optical zoom along with a 50 MP sensor, while little brother is limited to a low-resolution 5MP sensor marketed as a telephoto and macro camera.

The camera island protrudes about the same amount (~ 2 mm) on both 12 Pro as well as on 12. This is not something that is unusual and for those who use a case, the camera island will probably not be noticed.

Xiaomi 12 Pro

  • Vidvinkel: 50 MP,  f/1.9, 24mm, 1/1.28″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Ultravidvinkel: 50 MP, f/2.2, 115˚
  • Telephoto (2x optical zoom): 50 MP, f / 1.9, 48mm, PDAF
  • Frontkamera: 32 MP, f/2.5, 26mm (wide), 0.7µm

Xiaomi 12

  • Vidvinkel: 50 MP, f/1.9, 26mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS
  • Ultravidvinkel: 13 MP, f/2.4, 123
  • Telephoto / Macro: 5 MP, f / 2.4, AF
  • Frontkamera: 32 MP, f/2.5, 26mm (wide), 0.7µm

Software & performance

Xiaomi ships with version 13 of the self-developed manufacturer shell MIUI, which in turn is based on Android 12. Just like Samsung and others. Xiaomi’s manufacturer shell is extensive and includes significantly more functionality than what comes with the “vanilla version” of Android, for better or worse.

In many ways, the differences between MIUI 12 and 13 are relatively small in terms of the amount of functionality, while the interface has received a certain facelift together with a minor restructuring among the settings panels.

The version we tried has 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. At first start-up, there is about 220 GB free for user data and in terms of consumption of working memory, about half is used.

Xiaomi has also chosen to enable a feature to increase the amount of RAM when needed by reserving 3GB of storage space. The function can be switched off under “additional settings-> memory expansion”.

Performance (Geekbench + 3Dmark)

Xiaomi 12 Pro is equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is Qualcomm’s latest performance chip. At first glance, the phone delivers a result that is in line with what we expect to see given the choice of system chip. The phone remained relatively cool in connection with the first runs, but how it performs in a throttling test remains to be seen.

First impressions:

Promising:

  • High build quality
  • AMOLED with LTPO 2.0 support (12 Pro)
  • Bright AMOLED panel (1500 nits in backlight)
  • Relatively compact in relation to the screen size

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks eSIM support
  • Lacks memory card slot and headphone output
  • Lower battery capacity than its predecessor (5000-> 4600 mAh)

Source: Swedroid by swedroid.se.

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