Xiaomi may have built its reputation on offering value-for-money products. But in recent years, the Chinese tech firm has also shown its expertise at making premium flagship phones. On the flip side, these high-end phones are no longer as affordable as before. Case in point: Its latest flagship Xiaomi 12 Pro, which boasts top specs, is priced at S$1,349. While it's not as expensive as the iPhone, it's roughly in line with Samsung's top Android phones.
- 6.73-inch AMOLED screen (3,200 x 1,440 pixels), adaptive refresh rate (1Hz to 120Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
- Quad cameras: 50MP (main), 50MP (ultra-wide), 50MP (telephoto)
- 4,600mAh battery
The display is probably the phone's best feature. Like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Xiaomi's 6.73-inch AMOLED screen uses LTPO technology. This means that the refresh rate dynamically switches from 1Hz to 120Hz, which should help conserve battery life. The screen itself looks lovely — it's plenty bright, supports HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision, and is sharp with a WQHD+ resolution. It also curves gently at the sides for a near-bezel-less appearance. Coupled with a matte glass back (surprisingly resistant to fingerprints but slippery), the Xiaomi 12 Pro appears sleek, except for a rear camera bulge. Thanks to all that glass, the Xiaomi 12 Pro also has a certain heft (205g). However, the design itself is rather bland and safe.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro also has no headphone jack or microSD card expansion, which is typical for flagship phones. The in-display fingerprint sensor works fast and is accurate in my testing. But strangely for a high-end phone, the Xiaomi has no official IP rating. So I would hold off on the Infinity Pool photo-taking sessions. It does have quad speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, and they sound relatively good to me. I also really like the phone's haptics, which are tight and not too buzzy. Performance-wise, I have no complaints with its top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Navigating Xiaomi's MIUI interface is extremely smooth. Its Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 3,583 is also within the expected range for this chipset. The phone does warm up by a fair bit during extended gaming sessions, despite having three heat dissipation graphite sheets for better cooling.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with three 50MP rear cameras. The main camera, in particular, stands out with a relatively large image sensor. Unsurprisingly, photos were clear and detailed with little noise. Colours came out a tad more vibrant than the actual scene, but some users may prefer this. In low-light conditions, images turned out sharp and had relatively low noise. It's definitely one of the better cameras, even among flagship phones, for night photography. However, the Xiaomi only has 2x optical zoom, which is not as good as the competition for long-range shots. There were also some artifacts in indoor portrait shots with a backlit background. Overall, the cameras live up to the Xiaomi 12 Pro's flagship credentials — night photography, especially, is impressive.
With its 120W fast charging, the Xiaomi 12 Pro can go from 0 to 100% in around 18 minutes. This fast-charging feature makes up for the phone's relatively small 4,600mAh battery capacity. You'll probably have to charge the phone daily. In our video-loop battery test, the Xiaomi 12 Pro lasted just under 11 hours. In short, the Xiaomi 12 Pro (S$1,349) is far from perfect, though there isn't any major, deal-breaking flaws. Unfortunately, it doesn't stand out among current Android flagships either. In fact, depending on your preferences, the Google Pixel 6 Pro (S$1,299) or the Samsung Galaxy S22+ (from S$1,468) are all viable alternatives to the Xiaomi. You can order the Xiaomi 12 Pro now from Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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