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Hands-on with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12

The new Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 series is here. And with it, we get a value-packed, affordable smartphone lineup built for multimedia lovers. This Redmi Note 12 phone, specifically, gets a few key upgrades that might prove decisive if you’ve been eyeing its predecessor. Let’s talk about those key areas here.

Display upgrade

The Redmi Note 12’s most significant change is its improved display. It gets a larger 6.67-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate upgrade, DCI-P3 wide color gamut support, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. With an AMOLED screen, it’s an enjoyable experience to watch shows and movies on this smartphone. So, if I’m watching a film with dark settings I’m still able to see the “hidden” details. And with Widevine L1 certification, this phone supports Full HD streaming on services like Netflix.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 display

You can enjoy using Redmi Note 12 outdoors with a high brightness mode that typically reaches up to 700 nits. Xiaomi hasn’t mentioned the touch sampling rate, but the improved refresh rate should make it enjoyable for scrolling through social media or gaming. Now, I just wish this phone retained the dual speaker setup to make it an enjoyable watching or listening experience without earbuds. But if you want to listen to music or watch shows with earbuds, you have the option to go wired or wireless here.

Refreshing design

The Redmi Note 12 series maintains a cohesive look, even with this entry-level model. And the review unit we were sent comes in a refreshing Ice Blue color that’s very easy on the eyes. Xiaomi also offers the phone in Onyx Gray and Mint Green. But I’m more partial to this blue-colored option. If you prefer a flat-edged design for your smartphone, I’m happy to report that you get that here. The bezels are a bit too thick at the bottom of the display for my liking, though. This phone is IP53-rated, which should allow it to handle a drizzle. But it isn’t meant to be used in the rain.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 back

Let’s talk about the Redmi Note 12’s performance

Xiaomi equipped the Redmi Note 12 with the new 4G Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 chipset, which has been capable to handle multitasking fairly easily. I think many users wouldn’t have a problem using this as their daily driver. I’m not much for gaming, but if you play games like Asphalt 9, it’s still possible to do so in the highest graphics setting, especially if you have the 8GB RAM model.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 display

That’s one of the new things about this phone. There are more memory options available depending on how demanding you are with your device. You can now choose between 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB of RAM. All three variants support 128GB of storage. Plus, an option to expand that further by 1TB through the dedicated microSD slot.

If you like taking a lot of photos and videos on your smartphone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 has decent camera hardware for you. It comes equipped with a 50-megapixel main camera paired with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 2-megapixel macro camera. In front, it also retains a 13-megapixel selfie camera. This setup is pretty much similar to the previous generation.

I’ve been taking pictures of a lot of plants and flowers with it, and it’s surprisingly been enjoyable to use the portrait mode this way. There is a slight color improvement when compared to how the subjects look in real life. But then it’s not too excessive to draw away from what you actually see.

I’m still not a big fan of obligatory 2-megapixel macro sensors. So, the best thing you can do to get up close is probably just to zoom in by 2x. That will give you a better-quality image. If you want to see more in low light, you’ll definitely have to use Night mode or tinker around with the Pro mode.

Video recording is only up to 1080p at 30 frames per second, which I’ve come to expect from devices at its price point. I plan to shoot more videos with it at tonight’s Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 launch, so expect me to update this post with the result.

Goes on and on

The Redmi Note 12 has been a pretty efficient device for me. It can easily last over a day and a half or more, if I just spend a lot of time listening to music, watching content on YouTube and Netflix, or browsing social media. So if you’re not really that demanding on your phone, this device can be ready to last longer for you.

It retains the 5,000mAh battery and 33-watt wired charging of its predecessor. Don’t expect any wireless charging here, though. But I’m happy to tell you that the 33-watt charging brick comes in the box. Charging time from zero to 100% is typically under an hour and a half for me.

Final thoughts on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12

Multimedia lovers are going to enjoy using the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12. I still wish the phone had a dual-speaker setup, though. But it has made it easy to connect third-party accessories to improve audio quality. Depending on the variant you get, gaming could also be an enjoyable experience here. If you can afford to go up to 8GB, I’d recommend you do so.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 display

The Redmi Note 12 enters a crowded, budget-friendly midrange market, so it won’t be easy for this phone to stand out. But if its main features are what you look for in the phone, you really won’t be disappointed with what you get.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12: Price and availability

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 retails for:

  • 4GB – PHP 8,999 (around USD 163)
  • 6GB – PHP 9,999 (~USD 181)
  • 8GB – PHP 10,999 (~USD 199)

During the pre-order period (April 15 to 21), you get a free Xiaomi 22.5W 10,000mAh power bank worth PHP 1,299 (~USD 24).

What do you think about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12? Let us know on social media!