The smartphone camera megapixel race has a new leader. With its huge 200 megapixel camera, Xiaomi 12T Pro, announced in September, took the lead. It has a 1/1.22-inch sensor made by Samsung, making it one of the highest resolution camera sensors available on any phone. And today, we are here with our Xiaomi 12T Pro review.
Xiaomi has always equipped its phones with large cameras, but more megapixels do not always mean better photo quality. In my experience, this was true, but the 12T still takes impressive photos for a phone at its price point.
Apart from the eye-catching camera module, the Xiaomi 12T Pro has all the hallmarks of a 2022 flagship. It includes a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen, a fast Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, a large 5000mAh battery, 120W super fast charging and 5G compatibility. However, some features are missing, such as wireless charging and an official IP rating. The Xiaomi 12T Pro launched in the UK earlier this fall for £699, which is roughly $780 and AU$1,230.
Xiaomi 12T Pro review: Design
When we reviewed the Xiaomi Mi 11, we liked how it looked. It was nice, with bold but refined color choices; most importantly, the phone looked good. After a year, Xiaomi has brought back the frosted finish, but has taken the 12 series in a much more premium direction. The chipmunk camera frame has been replaced with a more mature rounded rectangle; the frosted backing has been transformed into a rich silky finish that is lustrous, velvety to the touch and highly resistant to fingerprints; and the color options have been reduced.
Available in blue, gray and purple, none of the colors are flashy or bright, and each is slightly muted. This may look boring, but it looks refined and ultimately mature, even in the most ‘out’ color, purple. Regardless of the color, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is a curved glass and metal phone. The screen is Gorilla Glass Victus, and the frame is a matte brushed metal that matches the color of the phone’s back panel.
Xiaomi 12T Pro review: Display
Xiaomi has reduced screen sizes across its 12 series. The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a 6.73-inch screen, while the Mi 11 had a 6.81-inch screen last year. The screen of the Xiaomi 12 is even smaller at 6.28 inches. However, smaller does not imply lower quality.
The 12 Pro has a Samsung LTPO AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The variable refresh rate, according to Xiaomi, ranges from 1 to 120Hz, which should deliver power savings compared to phones like the Galaxy S22. Plus, whose screen drops to 48 Hz on the low end. In fact, scrolling through the user interface and scrolling through Twitter is a smooth operation that compares to the best of the rest.
The screen of the Xiaomi 12 Pro is also sharp, with a pixel density of 521PPI, higher than that of the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus; And with a peak brightness of 1,500 nits, HDR10+ videos look great, and outdoor visibility isn’t a problem.
Compared to some of the best phones on the market, the Xiaomi 12 Pro shines brightly during video playback, with shiny elements that shine brightly. Colors are displayed accurately and the phone has a variety of display modes, including more granular control over color and white balance than most competitors.
The Xiaomi 12T Pro software is MIUI 13 which is based on Android 12. I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of this software because it comes with a lot of pre-installed bloatware.
Many apps that we are not interested in are already installed on the device, which is a bit annoying. However, I was a bit shocked to see a pop-up notification informing me that image metadata and locations would be turned off by default when sharing an image, indicating that users’ privacy had been taken into account.
hardware and performance
The 200-megapixel main camera captures 12.5-megapixel images through pixel binning, which combines 16 pixels into a single “larger” one for better low-light shots. Samsung, Apple and Google use similar techniques to get more performance out of their phones’ tiny camera sensors. The 12T Pro’s camera takes 12.5-megapixel photos by default, but you can switch to 50-megapixel or 200-megapixel mode. This allows you to retain finer details when cropping and zooming, and works best in brighter conditions, such as outdoors on a sunny day.
The camera performance in our Xiaomi 12T Pro review could be a worthwhile upgrade for those upgrading from a phone released in 2020 or earlier. But since it wasn’t perfect, we’ll need more testing to be sure. Color accuracy was an issue and a 200-megapixel sensor couldn’t fix it. It’s yet another reminder that high-megapixel phone cameras don’t always produce proportionally better photos. The iPhone 12 Pro Max took photos that looked more realistic.
Xiaomi 12T Pro review: Camera
In addition to the camera, the Xiaomi 12T Pro has a high-end 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen. CrystalRes refers to its higher-than-usual resolution of 1220 x 2712 pixels and an extra-sharp 446 dpi. The screen is also Dolby Vision and HDR10+ certified. It doesn’t have the LTPO panel found on some Xiaomi 12 and 12S models, but it’s still a fantastic piece of hardware.
Other highlights of the 12T Pro include stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon with Dolby Atmos support and a large 5000mAh battery with 120W HyperCharge.
In our Xiaomi 12T Pro review, we found the battery capacity here to be very encouraging, measuring 5000mAh. That’s a substantial size, and Android phones with such a cell typically offer good battery life. Of course, there’s no guarantee, and we’ll have to use this device as our daily driver for a few days before we can tell you how it performs in practice. It stands out as being larger than the 4600mAh battery found in the Xiaomi 12 Pro.
The charging capabilities of this phone are at least as impressive as the battery capacity. Rated at 120W, Xiaomi claims that the phone can charge from 0% to 100% in just 19 minutes, which is an incredible rate that puts the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S22 series to shame. This feature is useful when you need to quickly charge your phone before going out, especially if you forgot to charge it overnight. However, this advantage is offset by the fact that the Xiaomi 12T Pro does not support wireless charging.
Price and availability
The 8GB/128GB version of the 12T Pro starts at €750. At first glance, it appears to be reasonably priced. However, upon closer inspection, the price splits the difference between the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. For a bit more, we’d say the Pixel 7 Pro offers a better display, better software smarts, and a better overall camera experience. .
And if you want to save some money, don’t overlook the base Pixel 7 if it’s available in your country. Alternatively, the Xiaomi 12 Pro from earlier this year may still be available for purchase at a comparable price. That device provides a better overall viewing, audio, and camera experience.
Xiaomi’s top-of-the-line non-folding smartphone for 2022 is the 12S Ultra, but the 12 Pro is the highest-end smartphone for 2022 that can be officially purchased outside of China. That’s a strange situation, to say the least, especially given that the Mi 11 Pro, its predecessor, was only available in China last year, while the Mi 11 Ultra was not.
It’s hard to deduce the reasoning behind these moves from afar, but as the saying goes, it is what it is. We were obviously curious to see how the company’s international leader would fare if we used it as our only smartphone for an extended period of time, and our thoughts on that are presented in this Xiaomi 12 Pro long-term review.