Xiaomi 12T Pro hands-on: 200 freaking megapixels

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Kuala Lumpur — I'm here in Malaysia's capital city for the launch of Xiaomi's newest flagship phone, the Xiaomi 12T Pro, and this S$1,099 phone packs quite a punch for its price. For starters, it comes loaded with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, 120Hz 6.67-inch AMOLED display, and a 200MP camera. You read that right, 200MP. As far as camera hardware goes, it basically blows competitors such as the Vivo X80 Pro 5G out of the water.

Quick specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • 200MP wide angle, 1/1.22-inch sensor, 85 degrees FOV, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 20MP front
  • 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, 500 nits brightness, Dolby Vision and HDR10+
  • 12GB RAM+256GB storage

The 200MP camera may sound gimmicky — but it's actually not. My early tests with the phone showed that there's a lot more detail. You can zoom all the way down, and while generally clean, you'll start seeing some tolerable muddiness and noise. You're better off using the Ultra HD mode, which gives you a slightly cleaner 50MP image, but without the same level of zoom. I also don't recommend shooting at 200MP unless you have lots of light. File size will also be an issue — a 200MP shot is 50MB or so. An Ultra HD shot is around 15MB to 20MB. A regular shot is 4MB. And while the phone has a Pro mode that lets you shoot in RAW, it's only up to 50MP.

Xiaomi 12T Pro
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

The 12T Pro's ordinary shots use 16-to-1 pixel binning. Most smartphone cameras, such as the one in the iPhone 14 Pro Max, combine 4 pixels to 1. In theory, this should result in better low-light and night shots, too. One thing cool about shooting photos in Ultra HD and above resolutions is the Xiaomi ProCut feature, which helps to automatically crop and reframe your images. I prefer to do that myself, but it will help photography novices get that perfect shot. Other camera features include 8K/24fps video, steady shot, HDR recording, and slow motion shots of up to 1,920fps at 720p. You'll need a lot of light for that, though.

Xiaomi 12T Pro
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Other features include a 120W charger that comes bundled with a cable as well. This fast charger replenishes the phone's 5,000mAh battery from 0 to 50% in just 13 minutes. I haven't had time to test this yet, but will do so in our upcoming review. The 6.67-inch display is bright and vibrant, and watching Netflix on this will be a treat. The phone is running Android 12 underneath Xiaomi's MIUI 13 user interface. It's a pretty polished UI, with plenty of customisation to suit your taste.

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Xiaomi 12T Pro
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

At S$1,099, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is a phone that's ridiculously competitively priced. But if that's still too expensive, there's the S$749 Xiaomi 12T, which uses the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Ultra and a 108MP camera system instead. Check back soon for our full review. You can pre-order the 12T Pro from Oct 5 to 12 from Shopee or Lazada. Likewise, the Xiaomi 12T is also available for pre-order on both Shopee and Lazada.

Note: Hands-on unit provided by Xiaomi. Can Buy or Not attended the launch at Xiaomi's invite.

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