Xiaomi 12: what you need to know | TechRadar Tech Radar Tech Radar

Xiaomi 12: what you need to know | TechRadar Tech Radar Tech Radar

The Xiaomi 12 is official: this is the newest super-powerful Xiaomi phone, with some top specs and features, and we'll probably see siblings and spin-offs debut all through 2022.

Launched at a Chinese event in late December, and presented alongside a Pro sibling, this will likely be one of the best phones of 2022, and it'll go up against rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S22, OnePlus 10 and iPhone 14 if it's going to win that crown.

The Xiaomi 12 follows the Mi 11 (Xiaomi dropped its 'Mi' identifier in mid-2021), and following the release pattern of that phone, we'll likely see a global launch sometime in February or March.

Thanks to its launch event, we know most of the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro's information - find out everything you need to know about each of the mobiles below.

Xiaomi 12: cut to the chase

Xiaomi 12 release date and price

The Xiaomi 12 series made its debut in China on December 28, but we'll likely have to wait until February or March until a global launch. That's according to some top leakers, anyway.

We'll have to wait until then to get the official international pricing - but we've got how much the devices will cost in China for different configurations, and we'll put that below along with conversions, but just use these as references for now.

Xiaomi 12 prices
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And these are the Xiaomi 12 Pro prices:

Xiaomi 12 Pro prices
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For reference, the Xiaomi Mi 11 launched at £749 / AU$1,099 (around $1,040), which put it roughly in line with the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 in terms of price.

That price might not convert exactly with the Xiaomi 12 series though, as the main phone is quite a bit smaller than the Mi 11, with the 12 Pro being the 11's true successor. That is to say, the Xiaomi 12 could launch for less than the Mi 11 did.

Xiaomi 12 Lite, Ultra and Mini

Before we dive into the two announced Xiaomi 12 phones, let's briefly look at the others we've heard leaks on.

Firstly, there's the Xiaomi 12 Lite, which rumors suggest could launch soon. According to early leaks, this will have a Snapdragon 700-series chipset, a 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen and three rear cameras.

We've also heard about the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, mainly in terms of its design, because leaked case information points to it having a ridiculously large camera bump, perhaps with space for up to 7 rear lenses. Some sources think there won't be an Ultra, with the aforementioned device actually being a Pro version of the Mi Mix 5 - we'll have to see.

Finally there's the Xiaomi 12 Mini, which we've seen a leaked render on, but that's not much to go on and overall we're still dubious on this phone's existence at all. We'll wait for more information before we get excited.

Xiaomi 12 design and display

The Xiaomi 12 is a rather petite thing, with a 6.28-inch display, though its Pro sibling bumps that right up to 6.73 inches. The smaller mobile has a 1080 x 2400 resolution while the bigger one goes to 1440 x 3200.

That's not the only screen difference - while the Xiaomi 12 has an OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 1100 nits max brightness, the Pro has an AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh and 1500 nits max brightness. Both support Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

Both phones look roughly the same, other than the size. The screens curve at the edge, and are broken up by a 'punch-hole' at the center-top that houses the selfie camera.

On the back, the cameras are housed in rectangular bumps with one giant and two smaller lenses - sadly, the stepped look of the Xiaomi Mi 11 has been forsaken. The devices come in black, gree, blue or pink.

Xiaomi 12 camera and battery

Both the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro have the same 50MP f/1.9 main camera and 32MP selfie snapper, but that's where the photographic similarities end.

The Xiaomi 12 gets the 5MP telemacro camera that we enjoyed on the Mi 11 for close-up pictures, as well as a 13MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera. However the Pro gets a 50MP f/1.9 telephoto camera for 2x optical zoom, and a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera too.

In total, the Xiaomi 12 gets exactly 100MP shared between its four cameras, but the Pro has a grand total of 182MP.

Battery-wise, there are fewer differences, as the Xiaomi 12 gets a 4,500mAh power pack and the Pro gets one just 100mAh bigger.

While both mobiles get 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless powering, the Xiaomi 12 Pro once again gets ahead with its super-speedy 120W wired charging - that's a spec we saw on the Xiaomi 11T Pro, allowing for incredibly quick recharges, and it's a lot quicker than the Xiaomi 12's 67W.

Xiaomi 12 specs and features

Both the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro get Qualcomm's newest super-powerful chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, paired with either 8GB or 12GB RAM as we've already explained.

How fast is this processor? Well, definitely a little faster than the older Snapdragon 888, though we haven't actually tested it in a phone just yet.

These mobiles are the latest from Xiaomi to have speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, a big name in the audio space, so sound played out loud should sound great.

The software is Android 12, with Xiaomi's MIUI 13 laid over the top - this is the latest version of MIUI and its highlights are security and user interface customization.

What other Xiaomi 12 phones are we expecting?

The Xiaomi 12X was launched alongside the two phones we've detailed - it's basically the same as the 12, but with an older chipset, and it also likely won't launch outside China.

We've heard rumors about quite a few different Xiaomi 12 phones in the family other than the two launched ones, including two Lite models and an Ultra model.

Most recently we hearda leak about a Xiaomi 12 Ultra Enhanced, an even more premium version of the top-end phone, though we don't know what distinguishes this from the other model.

Later in 2022, we'll also likely see a Xiaomi 12T series, of mid-range takes on the main-series phones.