Xiaomi has a knack for coming up with “product category-killer” products (i.e. Mid-range killer, Flagship killer, etc.) and for the most part they have succeeded in their past releases by combining high-end specs with arguably the most competitive pricing scheme in the market. Take the Xiaomi 11T and 11T Pro as an example. Both were sporting flagship processors, the best screens the brand had at the time, hardware that you would only see on other more expensive flagship devices and yet they were able to keep the price below the Php 30,000 mark.
With the release of the Xiaomi 12 Series, however, the brand took a different approach. This time around, these devices are sporting flagship-level pricing as well with the Xiaomi 12 starting at Php 39,999 and the Xiaomi 12 Pro at Php 48,999.
That being the case, can these Xiaomi 12 series phones be still considered as “Flagship-killer” devices? That’s what this review aims to uncover. And we’re starting with the brand’s most prestigious phone in the series – their crème dela crème, the Xiaomi 12 Pro.
After the size shenanigan of the Xiaomi 11T and 11T Pro series (where it’s hard to physically discern which is which), the Xiaomi 12 Pro and the Xiaomi 12 are now of different sizes. Being slightly bigger than the base model of the series, the Xiaomi 12 Pro towers 6.44 inches x 2.94 inches and has a thickness of about x 0.32 inches (or 8.2mm). While we got ourselves the Dark Grey colorway, the Xiaomi 12 Pro also comes in Purple and a Soft Blue Hue. In sharp contrast with its predecessor, the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro has a muted matte finish yet still give off a somewhat pearlescent sheen. Personally, I love the simple yet classy design and the fact that it prevents fingerprint smudges from attaching to the back cover is a major plus.
Towards the top of the phone, a Harman Kardon branding can be seen along the top speaker grills and mic line.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a large 6.73” QuadHD+ AMOLED Display (3200×1440) with 120Hz refresh rate support (and 480Hz touch sampling rate) for crystal-clear viewing of your favorite binge-worthy shows and clips online. While we’re used to seeing flagship phones come with a standard dual stereo speaker setup, the Xiaomi 12 Pro pushes this further by squeezing 4 speakers on the phone. Yup, it has a Harman Kardon quad-speaker audio array setup for better entertainment immersion. These Dolby Atmos-supporting speakers can get particularly loud so you may want to temper the volume just a bit.
Equipped with a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, the Xiaomi 12 Pro can run any mobile app you throw at it with ease. Couple that with 12GB of RAM and a large 256GB fast storage and your phone is a computing powerhouse as it is.
We ran our usual roster of games like Mobile Legends: Bang-Bang, Asphalt 9 Legends, Apex Legends Mobile, and Genshin Impact – all on Max graphic settings. Whew!
We ran the a few benchmarks on the phone as well and we’re pretty happy with the results:
As with most Xiaomi phones, the 12 Pro has a dedicated game mode where the device prioritizes gaming above other programs running simultaneously. The performance mode highly suggests that it will overclock the system to give you more power in exchange for higher device temperature and quicker battery drain.
But even with the performance mode on, the Liquid Cooling technology on the phone helps manage the heat and protects the internal battery as well.
Still, even if you don’t choose the performance option, you should be able to play your game just fine with no noticeable frame drops.
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
Pretty much the reason for the massive upgrade, the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s highlight are its large 50MP triple camera setup and a new Sony IMX Sensor. Xiaomi 12 Pro is reportedly one of the first devices to ever use Sony’s latest IMX707 sensor. With a size of 1/1.28” the Sony IMX 707 is one of Sony’s biggest mobile camera sensors to date.
Couple this with a 50MP wide-angle shooter (f/1.9), a 50MP ultrawide shooter (f/2.2), and a 50 MP telemacro camera (48mm equivalent focal length, f/1.9), taking photos and videos are made superbly easier, regardless if you have ample lighting or not.
A great hardware needs to be paired with amazing and easy-to-use software as well, and the Xiaomi 12 Pro is packed with loads of camera filters for both still photography and video. There are a bunch of low light photography modes and even a whole Cinema Effect folder with video presets like Magic Zoom (Dolly-Zoom), Mirror Mode and Slow Shutter just to give you all the cinematic tools that you need at your disposal.
For the front-facing camera, we have a standard 32MP (f/2.45) front-facing camera that has HDR10+ recording, Ai portrait video and selfie night mode as well. It’s more than enough for your TikTok videos or perennial Zoom Calls.
One of the things that I’m excited for with the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the return of the industry-defying 120W Super Quick-Charge technology that can juice up the already large 4600mAh-powered device from 0-100% in just under 17 minutes. Seventeen! We first encountered this with the Xiaomi 11T Pro and we’re happy it’s back for their top-of-the-line device.
At max graphics and 5G turned on, I could play about 2-3 hours of nonstop Mobile Legends before the battery dips below the 25% line, after that, less than 15 mins later, my Xiaomi 12 Pro is back at 100%. It’s soo convenient and it’s going to spoil you. Mind you, you’ll need the Type-C chord and the ginormous charging block that came with the unit for this to work.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is running on MIUI version 13 riding on the Android 12. The UI is surprisingly fresh and easy to use and gives you a lot of options for customizability.
If there ever is a slight concern with the Xiaomi 12 Pro, it’s the somewhat thin screen protector that’s pre-installed on the phone. Just a day of intense ML and I found scratches on the surface of the protective cover already. And while you can easily remedy this by purchasing a better screen protector for your phone, it would have been nice if the protector that Xiaomi provided for would be sufficient already as it is.
That being said, it’s just a minor setback and not at all a deal breaker in any way.
Despite the price increase, we still believe that the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the most bang-for-buck Premium Flagship device you could buy. The specs, offering and design are just incomparable. For budding video content creators, the cameras on the Xiaomi 12 Pro are wonderfully suited to accommodate a wide range of shots. You can ditch the expensive lighting as well as the Sony IMX 707 sensor is capable enough to power through even with the most basic of lighting setup (or even in low light settings).
I’ve been personally abusing the device as well for weeks as this has become my main gaming device and I clock in an average of 3-5 hours per day on gaming and it has yet to bug down or overheat.
If you want a beast of a phone with very little compromises, the Xiaomi 12 Pro should definitely be in your radar.
Xiaomi 12 Pro Specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm)
- Adreno 730
- 12GB RAM
- 73-inch LTPO AMOLED (3200×1440) with 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support
- 256GB RAM
- 50MP f/1.9 wide SONY IMX 707 Sensor + 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 50MP f/1.9 telemacro rear camera setup (8K @24fps, 4K@30/60fps (HDR10+), 1080p @30/120/240/960fps)
- 32MP f/2.45 wide front camera (HDR10+ recording)
- Quad Speakers (Dolby Atmos) tuned by Harman Kardon
- 3G, LTE, 5G Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, under display fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
- 4600mAh battery with 120W Super Quick charge support
- Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
- Android 12 with MIUI 13
- Grey, Purple, Blue