Last year Xiaomi unveiled the first phone with the then new Snapdragon 888. While not quite the first, the company secured an early supply of Qualcomm’s new high-end chipset and unveiled two “upcoming” models, plus a budget option with the SD 870.
The Xiaomi 12 is smaller than its predecessors dating back to the Mi 8 – the 6.28 “display is a welcome change from the 6.81” screen which was the Mi 11‘s display. For those who prefer a larger display large, there is the Pro model. This panel is an OLED with 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision and HDR10 + support and Gorilla Glass Victus.
The Xiaomi 12 is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and has a relatively small 6.28 “OLED display
This year, Xiaomi abandoned the 108MP (1 / 1.33 “) sensor and opted for the 50MP IMX766 (1 / 1.56” with 1.0 µm of pixels), while retaining its OIS. A 13 MP ultra-wide camera and 5 MP tele-macro join it.
Charging is slightly faster than last year – bringing the 4,500mAh battery to 100% takes 39 minutes, while the Mi 11 took 45 minutes to fully charge its 4,600mAh battery. Not a huge difference and the 50W wireless charging is the same.
Switching to the Xiaomi 12 Pro, it will launch this year alongside its vanilla brother, instead of being delayed for a few months. This brings a bigger screen, 6.73 “. Compared to the 12, it has a higher resolution (1440p + vs. 1080p +) and a better panel – an AMOLED LTPO, which gives it a variable refresh rate of 1. -120 Hz. It is also brighter, peaking at 1,500 nits (compared to 1,100 nits).
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is the first to use the Sony IMX707 50 MP sensor
The camera has a 50MP triple configuration. The 50 MP main sensor (the first IMX707) is larger than that of the vanilla model at 1 / 1.28 “, but not as large as the Mi 11 Pro (1 / 1.12”). However, the new Pro beats both with a 50MP (115º) ultra-wide camera.
Then we come to the telephoto module, the 5x periscope is replaced by a 48mm lens (2x magnification), but it is supported by the larger and higher resolution 50MP sensor (instead of 8MP). The two 12-series models are also upgrading to a 32MP selfie camera (down from 20MP).
The 12 Pro also flaunts Xiaomi’s Surge P1 chip, which provides 120W fast charging – it can fill the 4,600mAh battery in just 18 minutes. 50W wireless charging is also supported.
Before looking at the competition, let’s take a quick look at the Xiaomi 12X. A quick comparison reveals that this is a cheaper Xiaomi 12 that uses the Snapdragon 870 chipset instead (it also loses 50W wireless charging). How much cheaper? We only have the prices for China as Xiaomi has yet to detail its plans for a global rollout.
The XIaomi 12X uses a Snapdragon 870, but is otherwise identical to the 12
The Xiaomi 12 Pro starts at CNY 4,700, the Vanilla Xiaomi 12 at CNY 3,700, and the 12X at CNY 3,200 (all with the same base storage of 8/128 GB).
What else can you buy for that kind of money? The Motorola Edge X30, the first phone powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, starts at CNY 3,200 (8/128 GB). The 6.7-inch 144Hz OLED display has a higher refresh rate than the 12 Pro, although it isn’t as bright or crisp (it has a resolution of 1080p +). The camera and battery aren’t quite on par with the 12 Pro with a 50MP + 50MP + 2MP camera setup (which doesn’t have the telephoto module) and a larger 5,000mAh battery that requires 35 minutes to charge (at 68W).
However, a fairer comparison would be the Edge X30 versus the Xiaomi 12 or 12X. Then the screen is a plus (if you don’t mind the size), as is this higher resolution ultra-wide camera. Then there’s the Motorola Edge S30, which starts at just 2,000 CNY (6/128 GB). Unlike the 12X, it’s powered by the faster Snapdragon 888+. Plus, its 144Hz display is an LCD screen, whether it’s a plus or a minus is up to you. The trio of cameras on the back has a 108MP + 13MP + 2MP setup.
Motorola Edge X30 • Motorola Edge S30
Other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones are also coming, like the Realme GT 2 Pro, which will be unveiled in early January. Its Samsung-made AMOLED LTPO has already gotten an A + from DisplayMate – it’s a 6.7-inch 1440p + panel with a refresh rate of 1-120Hz and 1000Hz touch sampling. Realme boasts already the widest ultra-wide camera on a phone to date – a 150º lens coupled. The main camera will have a 50MP sensor (the same IMX766 with OIS) and by the sound of it there will be a tele-macro module instead of a suitable tele module. The price is to be determined, however.
Realme GT 2 Pro
A OnePlus 10 Pro is in the works, as is Honor’s first foldable, which will also use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but their announcements are more distant, so we don’t have many official details on them.
So how do you like the Xiaomi 12 series – which one is your favorite or do you think there are better flagships on the way?
If you’re having trouble voting in the built-in survey above, try voting here. Below is an infographic comparing the three models: