Xiaomi 12 review: Bang-for-buck flagship

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Xiaomi has always been known to release bang-for-buck devices, offering a good balance between powerful features and an affordable price tag. This time around, their latest flagship, the Xiaomi 12, charged out of the gate offering that and more.

For those looking for a flagship, the Xiaomi 12 features a 120Hz AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 50MP camera, and support for 67W fast charging. But is this the right phone for you? Let’s find out.

Inside the Box

The Xiaomi 12 comes in a clean white box. There’s nothing special about it, but it does look better than the average Xiaomi package.

Xiaomi 12 review

The phone comes with the usual set of accessories, including a 67W fast charger. Unfortunately, there’s no USB-C dongle for the headphone jack. Aside from that, everything else checks out.

  • Xiaomi 12 unit
  • Pre-installed screen protector
  • Silicone case
  • 67W fast charger
  • USB-C cable
  • SIM eject tool
  • Documentation

Design and Display

The Xiaomi 12 also features a sleek body with symmetrical curves on the front and back edges. By today’s standards, it is considered a compact phone, despite the 6.28-inch display. It measures 152.7 x 69.9 x 8.1mm and weighs only 180g.

Thanks to its size, the buttons are within easy reach, and navigating the phone in one hand is not at all a struggle.

Xiaomi 12 review

The Xiaomi 12 has a glass and metal construction. Oddly enough, the back feels like it’s made of plastic, despite the glass panel. Still, it feels good in the hand with a solid build.

The phone has dedicated speaker grills for each of the stereo speakers. It has an IR port at the top, while the SIM tray is at the bottom. Both the volume rocker and power button are on the right side.

At the back, the camera island is rectangular shaped with a huge bump. The main camera takes up most of the real estate with a large prominent lens. It’s aesthetically pleasing and looks very premium.

Xiaomi 12 review

At the front, there’s a 6.28-inch AMOLED DotDisplay with a 20:9 aspect ratio, a 2400 x 1080 resolution, a DCI-P3 color gamut, and Gorilla Glass Victus protection. It has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, along with an up to 480Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and up to 1100 nits of brightness.

The display is curved at the sides. Oftentimes, there are issues with accidental touches with my palm. Thankfully, you can adjust how big the rejection areas are on the display’s edges. To change this, just go to Settings> Additional settings> Ignore accidental touches on the edges and choose a size that works for you.

Xiaomi 12 review

It is a great display with good contrast and saturation, and decent viewing angles. In fact, DisplayMate gave it a rating of A+, the highest score they can give. Moreover, the Original color scheme, in particular, earned high praise for color accuracy.

Performance and Battery

The Xiaomi 12 is powered by the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm’s most powerful chipset. It has eight cores with a clock speed of up to 3GHz. Our review unit has 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. It also runs on MIUI 12 on top of Android 12.

It also has a Memory Expansion feature which adds 3GB virtual RAM from unused storage and LiquidCool Technology to manage heat.

Xiaomi 12 review

With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Xiaomi 12 can power through any app or game. Navigating the phone is a great experience, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate and the X-axis Linear Motor for haptic feedback. What’s more, the stereo speakers sound good which further adds to the experience.

Also Read: POCO F4 5G review

Meanwhile, graphics-heavy games run without issues. There are no lags and they open quickly. Gaming does make the phone hot at times, so take the necessary precautions.


All that power usually comes at a cost of battery life, but the phone’s 4500mAh capacity actually is okay, able last a full day. As for charging, the 67W charger can top up the phone to full in less than 50 minutes. Meanwhile, a quick 30-minute charge will give you almost 85%.


At the back, the phone has a triple camera setup with a 50MP main camera with a 1/1.56” sensor size, an f/1.88 lens, and OIS, alongside a 13MP ultra-wide with a 123-degree field of view and a 5MP telemacro with an AF from 3cm to 7cm. It also has a 32MP punch-hole selfie camera which can shoot up to 1080p at 60fps videos.

The main camera features Xiaomi’s ProFocus which offers motion tracking focus, eye tracking focus, and motion capture in photography. It can also shoot 8K at 24fps and up to 4K at 60fps videos, as well as HDR and HDR10+ formats.

Xiaomi 12 review

Pictures taken with the main camera look good, exhibiting a lot of detail with vibrant colors. The contrast and dynamic range are also impressive.

The telemacro lens offers good macro shots as well, which is great for those who like to take snaps of food, toys, and plants. The ultra-wide camera, on the other hand, is good, if not unexceptional. The colors though are not as deep as the main camera’s.

Also Read: vivo X80 Pro review: First class cameras, powerful performance

The handset doesn’t have an optical zoom, relying only on a digital crop. Images are fine on 2x, but slowly loses details and sharpness with added grain the further you zoom in.

Check out the sample photos below.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to bang-for-buck, the Xiaomi 12 ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a powerful phone that has a compact design filled with a myriad of premium features, including a 120Hz AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, and a set of very capable cameras. Add to that the 67W fast charging and you have a winner. All that for only P39,999.

Price and Availability

The Xiaomi 12 is priced at P39,999 and is now available in stores nationwide. The Xiaomi 12 Pro is also out for P48,999.

Xiaomi 12 specs

  • Display: 6.28-inch FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 3GHz octa-core
  • RAM/Storage: 8GB+256GB, LPDDR5, UFS 3.1
  • Rear Cameras: 50MP main + 13MP ultra-wide + 5MP telemacro
  • Front Camera: 32MP
  • Network: 5G, 4G LTE, dual SIM
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6/6E dual-band, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC
  • Others: In-display fingerprint scanner, USB-C, symmetrical stereo speakers, Harman Kardon, Dolby Atmos, No Headphone Jack, X-axis Linear Vibration Motor, LiquidCool Cooling Technology
  • OS: MIUI 13, Android 12
  • Colors: Gray, purple, blue
  • Battery: 4500mAh battery, 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging, 10W reverse charging

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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