The Xiaomi 12 series got me both excited and worried – here’s why

You might have missed it, but the Xiaomi 12 series was officially unveiled in China during the holidays. However, after looking at the specs and comparing them to the most anticipated phones, I can’t help but think that Xiaomi has ditched some features and neglected to add others, which would make the 12 Series the same. advantages than the Xiaomi Mi 11 series well.

The announcement revealed the less capable Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12X to us. So that’s a range of three, or at least until the inevitable 12 Ultra arrives. That’s at least a good number of phones to choose from, but I don’t like what Xiaomi has done with the base phone.

At first glance, the 120Hz and FHD resolution screen, 67W wired charging, and the rear array of 50MP / 13MP ultralarge / 5MP main telephoto lenses offer good compromises on the breadth and quality of features for a phone of. this price. However, it’s still the phone in the lineup that I’m least sure about, since Xiaomi made the decision to make a major change, reducing the size of the 12 (and 12X) to 6.3 inches.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

When I reviewed the Xiaomi Mi 11 last year (and then named it my favorite phone of the year in December), part of my praise was for the phone’s 6.8 inch QHD screen. with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. Not only was it good for a basic flagship phone, but it was good enough to beat or match virtually all of its quality rivals, even those costing hundreds of dollars. or more books, like the OnePlus 9 Pro or the Galaxy S21 Ultra. And now that deadly advantage has been taken away.

A smaller screen can be a good thing for users who want smaller handsets to have a choice, and it gives the 12 Pro a stronger claim of its Pro title with its larger screen. But its new reduced size and resolution, the Xiaomi 12 will have to fight on a more level playing field with phones like the upcoming Galaxy S22, which would offer higher-quality cameras as well as a more familiar name to UK buyers. .

The Xiaomi 12 Pro is armed with a 6.8-inch QHD / 120 Hz panel, but its weakness may lie in its cameras. It seems to inherit the camera setup from the Mi 11 Ultra; three 50MP main sensors covering main telephoto, ultra-wide and 2x functions. That’s a lower maximum magnification and two sensors less than the S21 Ultra, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra would have. It didn’t matter last year, as the Mi 11 Ultra offered a secondary display alongside these cameras to let you take selfies with them or to help your subjects fit in. There is no such gadget on the 12 Pro.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

It’s a similar story with software. Other than Xiaomi’s details on how it improved its existing photography algorithms, there don’t appear to be any new photo or video app toys to play with. The OnePlus 10 Pro, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro, which all also offer triple rear cameras, have invested heavily in special features like special “movie” modes or advanced editing. The Xiaomi 12 Pro had better shoot stunning images and videos, otherwise it looks like it could fall behind in all aspects of photography.

Xiaomi gave the Pro model another selling point that could more easily appeal to buyers: its 120W wired charging capacity. I briefly tried this feature with the Xiaomi 11T Pro and was very impressed. This puts the 12 Pro in a good position to beat the S22 series (which is rumored to only have a 45W load) as well as the oneplud, which has just been officially confirmed to have 80W load. That’s why, despite the camera’s apparent downside on paper, I think the Xiaomi 12 Pro remains a stronger competitor in its class than the base Xiaomi 12.

There are a few other little things that could give the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro an edge. Both will use LPDDR5X RAM, the fastest standard for mobile device memory currently on offer, and will again include stereo speakers tuned by Harmon-Kardon, which provided the Mi 11 with an excellent wide soundstage effect. The entire Xiaomi 12 series also looks more appealing to me this year as well, with a more consistent camera block design.

The latest member of Xiaomi’s new lineup is the 12X, which offers an interesting new idea to create a cheaper version of the phone. It shares all of the same specs as the Xiaomi 12, except that it uses a less powerful Snapdragon 870 chipset and doesn’t offer wireless charging. I think this is a great entry point into the lineup as you can still have whatever makes the right 12.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

You don’t have to give up cameras, screen, 5G compatibility, or fast charging just because you’re not interested in getting the maximum performance or wireless charging capability that you don’t. ‘may never use. Even though it’s a much more compact handset than the Mi 11, this one might be my favorite of the three if it’s priced right, taking the Mi 11’s place as a good phone deal. of the year.

I think it’s a safe bet that one or more of these phones will be one of the best phones in the UK when they get there. However, I am not sure they will outperform the competition this year. Perhaps Xiaomi has put more effort into its smaller, lighter weight phones than it suggests, leaving them to compete more directly on quality rather than specs. But for now, I’m worried that the Xiaomi 12 may not be able to take on the best flagships.

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