Xiaomi 12 series rear panel angled

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Xiaomi launched its 12 series flagships globally on March 15, almost three months after appearing in China. Nevertheless, the new Xiaomi phones bring a slew of notable upgrades over the previous Mi 11 line. The batch of 2022 devices includes the Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Xiaomi 12X. There is no Ultra model in the mix, but one is rumored to launch later in the year.

This year, the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro are the true-blue Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagships. The Pro model, specifically, brings a buffed-up camera setup and almost double the charging speed compared to last year’s Mi 11 Ultra. The Xiaomi 12X is also a powerful device with the same hardware as the Xiaomi 12, albeit with a Snapdragon 870 chip at the helm.

Xiaomi 12 series: At a glance

Xiaomi 12 Pro display in hand

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Xiaomi 12 Pro screen

The Xiaomi 12 family is a part of the Chinese manufacturer’s flagship phone series that launches in the first quarter of each year. Offering premium hardware at affordable prices has always been Xiaomi’s modus operandi. However, the company has started charging as much as the competition over the last couple of years.

Xiaomi usually sells its flagship phones in Europe, China, and India. The Xiaomi 12 series will be no different. If you’re in the US and want to get your hands on one of the 12-series flagships, you would have to import an international variant.

Also read: Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro hands-on

All the Xiaomi 12 series devices get a 50MP primary camera. The vanilla model and the Xiaomi 12X get the Sony IMX766 camera sensor also found on other flagships from Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 Pro debuts Sony’s new IMX707 sensor. The company claims it improves light capture by 120% compared to the Mi 11 generation.

Fast charging is another standout feature of the Xiaomi 12 series. The Xiaomi 12 Pro tops up with the manufacturer’s 120W HyperCharge solution. The standard 12 and 12X models borrow 67W wired charging from last year’s Mi 11 Ultra.

Add 120Hz AMOLED displays and sizeable batteries to the mix, and you’ve got three full-featured phones asking for your attention.

Is the Xiaomi 12 series worth buying?

Xiaomi 12 series on table cascaded

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12 series is meant for those who don’t want to spend upwards of $1,000 on a flagship phone. At about $749, the Xiaomi 12 is way below the four-figure price tag. It’s also a bit cheaper than the Mi 11 from last year and undercuts the Samsung Galaxy S22, which starts at $799. If you were expecting an affordable flagship, that’s precisely what you get with the Xiaomi 12.

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the best phone the company offers right now. At $999, it’s aimed straight at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus. The phone’s specs can also go shoulder-to-shoulder with other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagships out there. If a full-featured, high-end phone is what you’re after, the Xiaomi 12 Pro should not disappoint. However, we will reserve our final judgment for when we review the phone and thoroughly test its performance, cameras, and other aspects.

If a value-for-money phone is what you’re looking for, the Xiaomi 12X might not be the best you can get.

At $649, the Xiaomi 12X is the most budget-focussed handset in the line. You will have to compromise with Android 11 and a less powerful Snapdragon 870 chip. However, it still carries the same fast charging speeds, camera hardware, battery capacity, and high refresh rate display as the Xiaomi 12. That said, the Pixel 6 comes in cheaper at $599 and brings with it a no-nonsense Android experience, great cameras, a newer chip, as well as the promise of longer software updates. So if a value-for-money phone is what you’re looking for, the Xiaomi 12X might not be the best you can get.

Moreover, none of the Xiaomi 12 series phones carry an official IP rating for water and dust protection. The 12 Pro also tops out at 256GB of storage which is not expandable, pushing it way behind the 512GB and 1TB options offered by competitors. These and some more factors may make it hard for the new Xiaomi flagships to compete with other high-end devices in the market.

What reviewers are saying about the Xiaomi 12 series

Xiaomi 12 series stacked

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Our own Eric Zeman spent some time with the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro. He hasn’t finished reviewing the phones but noted in his early impressions that they have an attractive design and impressive haptics.

In his short time with the devices, Eric noticed something worrying.

The AMOLED displays on the phones have good indoor visibility. However, they don’t fare so well outdoors under the sun. That said, in his short time with the devices, Eric noticed something worrying. When set side-by-side, the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s screen looked a bit red, while Xiaomi 12’s screen skewed a bit yellow. Eric also felt that the red hue of the 12 Pro’s display was splotchy and that the viewing angles of both the flagships aren’t great.

What reviewers around the web are saying about the Xiaomi 12 series

Reviews of the Xiaomi 12 series are far and few right now, but here’s what we’ve found on the web till now.

Notebookcheck reckoned that the build quality of the Xiaomi 12 Pro is very good and the choice of materials is premium. However, the lack of IP certification is disappointing. The publication also notes that Xiaomi exaggerates both contrast and sharpness on the main camera, which leads to dim pictures with an unnecessarily limited dynamic range. The telephoto camera’s 20x digital zoom is also not impressive and produces low-quality results. However, the outlet found that the ultrawide camera works well. Elsewhere, the outlet says that the cooling of the smartphone warrants criticism: Overheating is an issue during demanding stress tests and while gaming.

What AA readers think of the Xiaomi 12 series

We ran a poll when the Xiaomi 12 series was unveiled for the first time in China, and our readers cast nearly 1,000 votes. Here’s how they voted.

86% of the polled readers thought that the Xiaomi 12 series is hot, compared to 14% of the readers who didn’t like what Xiaomi has to offer. The poll occurred before the international launch of the phones when their global prices weren’t known.

Xiaomi 12 series specs

SpecsXiaomi 12XXiaomi 12Xiaomi 12 ProSpecs

Display

Xiaomi 12X

6.28-inch AMOLED display
FHD+, 2,400 x 1,080
120Hz refresh rate
480Hz touch sampling rate
Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ support

Xiaomi 12

6.28-inch AMOLED display
FHD+, 2,400 x 1,080
120Hz refresh rate
480Hz touch sampling rate
Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ support

Xiaomi 12 Pro

6.73-inch AMOLED display
WQHD+, 3,200 x 1,080
120Hz refresh rate
480Hz touch sampling rate
Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ support

Specs

Processor

Xiaomi 12X

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870

Xiaomi 12

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Specs

Memory

Xiaomi 12X

8GB

Xiaomi 12

8GB
12GB

Xiaomi 12 Pro

12GB
8GB

Specs

Storage

Xiaomi 12X

256GB

Xiaomi 12

128GB
256GB

Xiaomi 12 Pro

256GB

Specs

Battery

Xiaomi 12X

4,500mAh
67W wired turbo charging
50W wireless turbo charging
10W reverse wireless charging

Xiaomi 12

4,500mAh
67W wired turbo charging
50W wireless turbo charging
10W reverse wireless charging

Xiaomi 12 Pro

4,600mAh
120W wired turbo charging
50W wireless turbo charging
10W reverse wireless charging

Specs

Camera

Xiaomi 12XRear:
-50MP main camera f/1.88, 6P lens, 2µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel
-13 MP ultra-wide camera
123˚ FOV, f/2.4
-5MP telemacro camera
50mm equivalent focal length, Auto Focus

Front:
-32MP selfie camera
f/2.45, 1.4µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel

Xiaomi 12Rear:
-50MP main camera f/1.88, 6P lens, 2µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel
-13 MP ultrawide camera
123˚ FOV, f/2.4
-5MP telemacro camera
50mm equivalent focal length, Auto Focus

Front:
-32MP selfie camera
f/2.45, 1.4µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel

Xiaomi 12 ProRear:
-50MP main camera
f/1.9
1/1.28-inch 7P lens
2.44 μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel
-50MP ultrawide camera
115° FOV, f/2.2
-50MP telephoto camera
48mm equivalent focal length, f/1.9

Front:
-32MP selfie camera
f/2.45, 1.4µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel

Specs

Video

Xiaomi 12X

4K recording
8K recording

Xiaomi 12

4K HDR 10+ recording
8K recording

Xiaomi 12 Pro

4K HDR 10+ recording
8K recording

Specs

Connectivity

Xiaomi 12X

Dual SIM
Dual 5G standby
NFC
Bluetooth 5.1
Wi-Fi 6

Xiaomi 12

Dual SIM
Dual 5G standby
NFC
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6/Wi-Fi 6E (Based on regions)

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Dual SIM
Dual 5G standby
NFC
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6/Wi-Fi 6E (Based on regions)

Specs

Ports

Xiaomi 12X

USB-C

Xiaomi 12

USB-C

Xiaomi 12 Pro

USB-C

Specs

Durability

Xiaomi 12X

Gorilla Glass Victus

Xiaomi 12

Gorilla Glass Victus

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Gorilla Glass Victus

Specs

Operating system

Xiaomi 12X

MIUI 13 with Android 11

Xiaomi 12

MIUI 13 with Android 12

Xiaomi 12 Pro

MIUI 13 with Android 12

Specs

Dimensions

Xiaomi 12X

152.70mm x 69.90mm x 8.16mm

Xiaomi 12

152.70mm x 69.90mm x 8.16mm

Xiaomi 12 Pro

163.60mm x 74.60mm x 8.16mm

Specs

Weight

Xiaomi 12X

176g

Xiaomi 12

180g

Xiaomi 12 Pro

205g

Specs

Colors

Xiaomi 12X

Gray
Purple
Blue

Xiaomi 12

Gray
Purple
Blue

Xiaomi 12 Pro

Gray
Purple
Blue

How are the cameras on the Xiaomi 12 series?

Xiaomi 12 series camera modules closeup

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12 Pro is king amongst the trio when it comes to photography. It accommodates three 50MP camera sensors in a traditional wide, ultrawide, and telephoto arrangement. Xiaomi calls it the “pro-grade triple camera array.”

The main 50MP sensor is the one to talk about here. It is the new Sony IMX707 and the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the only phone that has it right now. The sensor is a minor upgrade to the existing Sony IMX700. It has the same 1/1.28-inches size and 50MP output with individual pixels sized at 1.22-microns. The sensor also uses pixel binning to get results equivalent to 2.44-micron pixels, apparently increasing the light intake by 49% compared to the older sensor. Xiaomi claims a 120% improvement in light capture compared to its previous flagships.

More reading: Want a phone with a great camera? Here’s what to look for

Meanwhile, the other two 50MP cameras use the much smaller Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor that delivers a 1/2.76-inch size combined with 0.64-micron pixels. It’s a step down from the Mi 11 Ultra’s 48MP telephoto and ultrawide cameras, let alone the 50MP GN2 main camera sensor.

The 50MP ultrawide lens is also not as crazy as the one on last year’s top model. It gets a 115-degree field of view (FoV) compared to the Mi 11 Ultra’s 128-degree FoV camera.

Lastly, the 50MP telephoto shooter offers 2x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom.

The company has notably moved away from Samsung sensors for the main cameras in favor of Sony snappers.

The Xiaomi 12 also uses a 50MP camera main sensor. However, it’s the IMX766 at work here. A 13MP ultrawide camera with a 123-degree FoV and a 5MP macro sensor completes the offering. You’ll find the same setup on the Xiaomi 12X too.

The company has notably moved away from Samsung sensors in favor of Sony snappers for the main sensors. The previous Xiaomi flagships all got Samsung sensors as primary shooters.

On the front, all the phones share a 32MP selfie camera.

Beyond the specs, Xiaomi also wants you to know that it’s using advanced AI algorithms to capture better low-light images and reduce motion blur. However, we would have to test all these claims to see if they land. Last year, Xiaomi did a good job with the cameras on the Mi 11 Ultra, but not so much the vanilla Mi 11, which had a similar main + ultrawide + macro arrangement as the Xiaomi 12.

We’ll update this article when we’re done testing the Xiaomi 12 series flagships with our thoughts on camera performance as well as image samples.

How is the battery life on the Xiaomi 12 series phones?

Xiaomi 12 series bottom edges

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12 Pro packs a 4,600mAh battery, while the Xiaomi 12 and 12X both get 4,500mAh cells. The Pro model is also the only one in the line that gets 120W wired fast charging. Xiaomi claims that it can fully charge the phone in just 18 minutes using the Boost Mode.

All the phones ship with their fast chargers in the box.

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 and 12X support 67W wired charging. All the phones get 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse charging. The good news is that all the phones ship with their fast chargers in the box — something rare to find in premium phones these days.

How is the performance of the Xiaomi 12 series?

Xiaomi 12 Pro rear panel right profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

We haven’t fully tested the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro yet, but on paper, they feature the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. While parallels can be drawn to other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S22 series or the Oppo Find X5 Pro that have the same processor, the actual performance of the phones will also depend on other factors like software optimization.

Nevertheless, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 boasts several performance and feature improvements over its predecessor. It’s the first Qualcomm processor with Armv9 CPU cores, while also offering a great image signal processor (ISP) and impressive machine learning smarts. The silicon offers the traditional 1+3+4 tri-cluster arrangement, including a single Cortex-X2 core, two Cortex-A710 cores, and four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 cores.

The chip has performed quite well in all the premium phones we’ve tested so far. So ideally, the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro should be able to multitask without a hitch. However, we’ll update this article when we’ve concluded our performance tests on the phones.

Coming to the Xiaomi 12X, the phone comes bearing the Snapdragon 870 chip. The octa-core processor was announced last year and powered the Mi 11X amongst other phones like the OnePlus 9R, Motorola Edge 20 Pro, and more. With the 870, you essentially get a slightly faster SoC than the Snapdragon 865 Plus. It’s not the best performing chip on the market, but it’s still plenty fast to get you through the day without issues.

Phone software and updates

Xiaomi 12x display on orange

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro bring MIUI 13 based on Android 12 out of the box. That means you get all the latest software features Xiaomi has to offer, including Liquid Storage, Atomized Memory, Smart Balance, and more. You can read about all those in detail via the aforementioned MIUI 13 link.

Sadly, the Xiaomi 12X still comes with Android 11 out of the box. However, it also features MIUI 13 on board. So while you’ll be able to enjoy the key features of Xiaomi’s new skin, some of the main attributes of Google’s latest OS will be missing from the phone. That said, we expect the device to get the Android 12 update in the future.

Xiaomi recently extended its Android update policy to three major OS upgrades and four years of security updates. The Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro will benefit from that approach.

Xiaomi 12 series vs. Mi 11 series: What’s new?

Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12 front panels

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Xiaomi has swapped out almost all of the old hardware for new digs in the Xiaomi 12 series. The design of the three phones has completely changed, especially the main camera module. However, if you put all the three Xiaomi 12 series models together, they look alike and are difficult to tell apart.

Specs of the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro are also brand new, including Qualcomm’s top processor, updated camera sensors, the latest software, and more. One notable change in the vanilla Xiaomi 12 is the smaller screen size. Xiaomi’s standard flagship is now more compact with a 6.28-inch footprint compared to the Mi 11’s 6.8-inch screen.

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12X is not a big leap away from last year’s Mi 11X. The two phones have the same processor at heart, so the core experience of using them should be pretty much the same. They also feature Android 11, even though the 12X comes with the new MIUI 13 build compared to MIUI 12 on the Mi 11X. The cameras get a bump up, though. The Mi 11X got a 48MP + 8MP + 5MP setup, while the 12X upgrades to a 50MP + 13MP + 5MP configuration. That said, it’s still a wide + ultrawide + macro camera arrangement.

What are some good Xiaomi 12 series alternatives?

Xiaomi 12 series on table spread

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Check out some alternatives to the Xiaomi 12, 12 Pro, and 12X below.

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus ($699 — $999): The Xiaomi 12 Pro goes head-to-head with Samsung’s S22 Plus, while the vanilla Xiaomi 12 competes with the Galaxy S22. Samsung offers solid flagships with great cameras and the most reliable software updates in the business. The Galaxy phones are also more premium and get IP68 certifications for protection against dust and water. The price difference is also negligible, making the Galaxies tough competition for Xiaomi’s phones.
Pixel 6 and 6 Pro ($599 — $899): At $599 and $899, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are also excellent devices to consider. As mentioned before, Google’s phone will give you a great camera experience, Android updates for years, and speedy performance. They also have a more striking design compared to Xiaomi’s conservative 12 series devices.
Realme GT 2 and GT 2 Pro (€449 — €849): The Realme GT 2 Pro starts at €649 (~$712) and also offers premium hardware, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a 120Hz OLED display, the same 50MP main camera as the Xiaomi 12, a 150-degree FoV ultrawide camera, up to 512GB of storage, and a bigger 5,000mAh battery. If you want something cheaper, you should consider the standard GT 2, which starts at €449 (~$501) and gets the more recent Snapdragon 888 processor compared to the Xiaomi 12X’ Snapdragon 870 chip.
Oppo Find X5 (€999 — €1,299): The Oppo Find X5 and Find X5 Pro are slightly more expensive but feature an elegant design, flagship processors, 120Hz displays, custom cameras great for low-light images, and fast wired as well as wireless charging.

Where to buy the Xiaomi 12 series

Xiaomi 12 Pro display profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Xiaomi 12 Pro (8/256GB): $999
Xiaomi 12 (8/128GB): $749
Xiaomi 12X (8/128GB): $649

Aside from the base variants mentioned above, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is also available in a 12GB + 256GB option and the Xiaomi 12 gets additional 8GB + 256GB and 12GB + 256GB variants. The 12X tops out with an 8GB + 256GB version. We’ll add prices for those when Xiaomi announces them.

Xiaomi 12 series customers will receive up to three months of YouTube Premium free of charge.

The phones will be available in Xiaomi’s international markets, including but not limited to Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

FAQs

Xiaomi 12x rear panel

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Q:  Do the Xiaomi 12 series phones have a charger in the box?
A: Yes, you’re getting a 120W charger in the Xiaomi 12 Pro box, while the Xiaomi 12 and 12X get a 67W charger in the box.

Q: Do these phones have an IP rating?
A: No, none of the Xiaomi 12 series flagships have an official IP rating.

Q: Do these phones offer a microSD card slot?
A: No, the Xiaomi 12, 12 Pro, and 12X come with fixed, non-expandable storage.

Q: What kind of speakers can you expect?
A: The Xiaomi 12 Pro has quad speakers with sound designed by Harmon Kardon. The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12X have dual speakers with Harmon Kardon audio.

Q: What color options are available for the Xiaomi 12 series?
A: All three Xiaomi 12 series phones come in Gray, Purple, and Blue colorways.

Q: Do these phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack?
A: No, none of the Xiaomi 12 series phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Q: Are the phones available in the US?
A: Neither phone is available in the US. However, you can import the devices through third-party websites.

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