Xiaomi 12T review: imperfection at an attractive price

Xiaomi 12T review: imperfection at an attractive price

The Xiaomi 12T Pro is making headlines for its sweet 200-megapixel main camera and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. But did you know that there is a cheaper version of the Xiaomi 12T Pro? It’s called the Xiaomi 12T, and while it doesn’t offer those headline-making features, it still offers the majority of what makes the Xiaomi 12T Pro a great phone.

Does it get close enough? Well, for some people, certainly, especially at this price. you’ll still get a Okay camera, Okay performance, and a great display.

I’ve been using the Xiaomi 12T to find out how close it is to the Xiaomi 12T Pro, and whether or not you should save your money and buy it instead of its more expensive sibling.

Xiaomi 12T

Rating: 4 stars

BGR may receive a commission

BGR may receive a commission

advantage

  • Good performance
  • Cheap
  • Solid main chamber
  • Big screen

cons

  • 2MP macro camera is not good

Xiaomi 12T Design

There’s really no difference in design between this phone and the 12T Pro, but that’s not necessarily a big deal. The phone looks good and while it’s not that unique, those looking for a stripped down approach to phone design will appreciate what’s on offer here.

Xiaomi 12T USB-CImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Up front, you’ll get a 6.67-inch display with a hole-punch cutout for the front camera. On the back you will find the Xiaomi logo and the rectangular camera module. On the right side, you will get a power button and a volume rocker. At the bottom, there is the USB-C port and the SIM tray.

Unsurprisingly, you can get the phone in a few different colors. It comes in black, silver and blue. We’re looking at the Black model, which is relatively stylish. And the phone feels pretty good in the hand, although many will still want to buy a case for it.

Xiaomi 12T Screen

Thankfully, there’s no real difference in display between the standard 12T and 12T Pro. Considering the fact that the 12T Pro’s display is excellent, that’s great news. The device has a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1220 x 2712 and a refresh rate of 12 Hz, and it’s a great screen.

Overall, the display is sharp and detailed, providing a brilliant viewing experience, even in bright environments such as outdoors. And, the high refresh rate ensures the display is smooth, responsive, and natural-feeling.

Xiaomi 12T frontImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Under the screen, you will get a fingerprint sensor. The sensor isn’t the best out there, but it gets the job done most of the time. It usually took a few seconds and wasn’t always accurate, but again most of the time it worked fine.

Xiaomi 12T Performance

Performance is one of the two main areas that set the Xiaomi 12T and 12T Pro apart. While the Pro model comes with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the standard 12T offers a MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Ultra. That’s paired with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage.

While the device certainly doesn’t perform as well as the Pro model, it can still handle most daily tasks with ease. The device was good for multitasking and great for mobile gaming. I never experienced a freeze or stutter.

The difference in performance will probably begin to be noticeable after about a year of using the phone. For now, it mostly just means you have to wait another split second for games to load.

These are the benchmark results we achieved with the Xiaomi 12T.

  • Geek Bench 5: 905 single core, 3758 multi core
  • 3DMark Wildlife Extreme: 1561

These results were noticeably worse than the 12T Pro, but they weren’t bad overall. Most will be perfectly satisfied with the performance levels offered by the Xiaomi 12T.

Xiaomi 12T battery and charging

The Xiaomi 12T comes with a 5000mAh battery, and I found that it could easily handle a full day even with relatively heavy use. Even the heaviest mobile gamers should get through one day of use and get through the next day.

Even when the battery eventually runs out, it can charge extremely fast. The 12T supports Xiaomi’s 120W charging technology, which means you can charge it from 0 to 100% in less than 30 minutes. That’s pretty incredible and puts the fast-charging tech in this phone ahead of pretty much everyone else. And it also supports wireless charging, so if you’re just charging it overnight, you can do it more conveniently.

Xiaomi 12T Camera

Xiaomi 12T CameraImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Performance is one difference between the Xiaomi 12T and 12T Pro, and the other big difference is in the camera. While the 12T Pro offers Xiaomi’s 200-megapixel main camera, the standard 12T has a 108-megapixel sensor. That’s paired with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera.

It’s frustrating to see the 2-megapixel macro camera here. It’s boring, low-quality, and basically just a way for companies to say they have a triple camera on their phones. You won’t find yourself using it much.

The ultrawide camera, thankfully, is pretty good. It’s not as detailed as other ultrawide cameras and hopefully Xiaomi will upgrade to a better sensor next time. But it still produced relatively vibrant images with decent detail. By default, the camera outputs images at 12 megapixels, but you can change it to 108 megapixels and you’ll still get great results. Low-light images look great too, which is always helpful.

There may not be a telephoto camera here, but the camera can deliver 12-megapixel 2X zoom photos that look relatively natural and detailed.

On the front, there’s a 20-megapixel camera, and again, it’s able to capture high-quality, relatively detailed images.

Xiaomi 12T Program

Xiaomi 12T SoftwareImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 comes preloaded on the phone and is built on Android 12. MIUI 13 is quite similar to previous iterations of the interface, and while it looks quite different from stock Android, everything is still mostly where you’d expect. In general, I prefer a stock Android approach, but I don’t hate the approach Xiaomi takes with its software.

Conclusions

BGR Gold Award 2022

The Xiaomi 12T has a lot going for it, with a sleek design, a good display, and a solid main camera. It’s not perfect though: the non-main cameras are fine at best, and some won’t appreciate how Xiaomi approaches the software. Still, though, at this price, the 12T is a great option for anyone who wants a high-end phone.

the competition

The Xiaomi 12T is not without competition. The top-end Xiaomi 12T Pro is worth considering if you’re willing to spend a little more money, and you should take a look at the new OnePlus 10T, which also has a great camera and good performance.

Should I buy the Xiaomi 12T?

Yes. It is an excellent phone at a good price.

Xiaomi 12T

Rating: 4 stars

BGR may receive a commission

BGR may receive a commission

advantage

  • Good performance
  • Cheap
  • Solid main chamber
  • Big screen

cons

  • 2MP macro camera is not good

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