The Xiaomi 12 flagship series is finally official and they have introduced a total of 3 models – Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and the Xiaomi 12X. Besides the usual tech upgrades, Xiaomi is putting more emphasis on making a more compact device which is great for users that prefer a smaller phone with flagship-level performance. Here are 9 things you need to know about the Xiaomi 12 series.
Two sizes for Xiaomi 12 series
Similar to Apple, Xiaomi now offers two distinctive sizes for the Xiaomi 12 series. The standard 12 comes with a 6.28″ Full HD+ display while the larger Xiaomi 12 Pro gets a bigger 6.73″ Quad HD+ display. During the launch event, it is obvious that the Xiaomi 12 is taking on the iPhone 13 while the Xiaomi 12 Pro is going head-on with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
The Xiaomi 12 has a width of 69.9mm which is smaller to hold in a single hand compared to the iPhone 13 which has a width of 71.5mm. However, it is still heavier (179g) and thicker (8.16mm) compared to the iPhone 13’s 174g weight and 7.7mm thickness, and that’s partly due to its battery. Of course, the smallest flagship-class device right now is still the iPhone 13 mini which has a 5.4″ Full HD+ display and it’s only 64.2mm wide.
Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 Pro with a 6.73″ Quad HD+ display has a width of 74.6mm which is less wide compared to the 6.7″ iPhone 13 Pro Max which has a width of 78.1mm. In terms of thickness, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is still thinner at only 7.65mm versus the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s 8.16mm. Besides the dimensions, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is significantly lighter at 205g versus the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 238g.
What’s interesting to note is that the previous Mi 11 with a larger 6.81″ Quad HD+ display has the exact same 74.6mm width as the Xiaomi 12 Pro.
Latest Snapdragon 8 gen 1
Both the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro are running on Qualcomm’s latest 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip which succeeds the previous Snapdragon 888+. Both models can be configured with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. According to Xiaomi, the RAM boasts a 6400Mbps transfer rate while the new generation UFS 3.1 storage offers sequential write speeds up to 1450MB per second.
Despite its compact size, Xiaomi is still packing a comprehensive cooling system with a large 2600mm² VC plate on the 12 and a larger 2900mm² VC plate for the Pro version. They have also utilised heat-dissipating graphite sheets for improved cooling performance during intensive gaming.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has scored over a million points on Antutu which claims to be a 41% improvement over the previous Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro which scored 159,046 points.
Large image sensors despite lower 50MP resolution
In the past few Xiaomi flagships, you often find a 108MP main camera but this time Xiaomi is focusing on having larger pixels for improved photography performance. On the smaller Xiaomi 12, the device uses a 50MP Sony IMX766 1/1.56″ sensor instead of a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX 1/1.33″ sensor found on the Mi 11. The Sony IMX766 has a pixel size of 1-micron versus Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX’s 0.8-micron. With 4-in-1 pixel-binning, the IMX766 offers a larger effective pixel size of 2-microns which should translate to better performance in low light.
Xiaomi isn’t the first to use this 50MP sensor. The Sony IMX766 can be found on most new flagship devices from China which includes the Huawei P50 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, Vivo X70 Pro, and the Honor Magic 3 Pro.
The triple-camera Xiaomi 12 also gets a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5MP macro lens. It also gets a 32MP selfie camera that sits in a punch-hole on the screen.
For the 12 Pro, Xiaomi is using a 50MP Sony IMX707 for its main camera which boasts a larger 1/1.28″ sensor. In 4-in-1 pixel binning mode, it boasts a larger 2.44-micron pixel. The large 50MP main camera is also accompanied by a 50MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 50MP telephoto shooter that does 2x optical zoom. Similar to the 12, it also has a 32MP selfie shooter.
Ultra high-density battery in a compact package
The Xiaomi 12 may be small in size but it boasts a 4,500mAh battery, which is one of the densest batteries on a smartphone. As a comparison, the iPhone 13 has a 3,240mAh battery while the Asus ZenFone 8 gets a 4,000mAH battery. The direct contender would be the Sony Xperia 5 III which offers a 4,500mAh battery and it is just as thick as the Xiaomi 12 at 8.2mm.
Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 Pro features a 4,600mAh battery which is said to be the industry’s first to support 120W fast charging using a single-cell battery design. It added that the single-cell battery design offers 400mAh increased capacity without increasing the overall size versus a dual-cell battery. The device has Xiaomi’s Surge P1 integrated circuit to address concerns of fast charging with high output and capacity for a single-cell battery.
2K Quad HD+ OLED display with an improved dynamic refresh rate
Both Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro uses AMOLED displays with a high 120Hz refresh rate and touch sampling rate up to 480Hz. Both models were also awarded an A+ rating with DisplayMate. The biggest star of the show is the 12 Pro as it uses a 6.73″ Samsung’s E5 AMOLED panel pushing a 3200 x 1440 pixels resolution and supports 1500 nit peak brightness. For improved battery efficiency, the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s display can intelligently change its refresh rate between 1 to 120Hz depending on your app and interaction.
Meanwhile, the smaller 12 comes with a 6.28″ Full HD+ AMOLED display which pushes 2400×1080 pixels resolution and boasts a 1100 nit peak brightness. Both Xiaomi 12 devices also support HDR10+ and Dolby Vision with HDR.
4-piece stereo speakers
In the audio department, the top-of-the-line Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with a four-piece stereo speaker setup consisting of woofer and tweeter units on each side. Meanwhile, the smaller 12 gets a pair of stereo speakers. The speakers are tuned by Harmon Kardon with support for Dolby Atmos. As you would expect, both devices don’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack but they still come with an IR blaster.
120W fast charging
120W charging for Xiaomi isn’t new but as mentioned earlier, the Xiaomi 12 Pro uses a single-cell battery design instead of the dual-cell battery approach. You can choose to charge the device in fast mode which takes only 18 minutes or go for a “cooler” mode which takes 24 minutes to hit 100%. It also supports 50W fast wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging.
The smaller Xiaomi 12 settles for a slightly slower 67W fast wired charging but it still offers 50W fast wireless charging as well as 10W reverse wireless charging. According to Xiaomi, the device can be charged up to 100% in just 39 minutes on the cable.
Affordable Xiaomi 12X option powered by Snapdragon 870
Xiaomi has also introduced the 12X which is an affordable member of the new flagship series. It shares a lot of similarities with the Xiaomi 12 but it runs on a older but capable Snapdragon 870 chip. It still has a 6.28″ Full HD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, a 50MP main camera with Sony IMX766, 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro lens as well as a 32MP selfie camera.
The 4,500mAh battery is also retained with support for 67W fast wired charging but it loses out on wireless charging support. The Xiaomi 12 also gets stereo speakers and a 2600mm² VC plate for better thermal management. Despite being the cheaper model, it is also offered with up to 12GB RAM and up to 256GB of storage. All three Xiaomi 12 models even get Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus for better screen durability.
Pricing and availability
Here’s the official pricing of the Xiaomi 12 series in China:
- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY3,699 (about RM2,427)
- 8GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY3,999 (about RM2,624)
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY4,399 (about RM2,886)
Xiaomi 12 Pro
- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY4,699 (about RM3,083)
- 8GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY4,999 (about RM3,280)
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY5,399 (about RM3,543)
- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY3,199 (about RM2,099)
- 8GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY3,499 (about RM2,296)
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY3,799 (about RM2,493)
Consumers in mainland China can place their orders starting 8pm on 31st December 2021. The Xiaomi 12 series comes in Black, Blue and Purple with glass backs. Xiaomi is also offering the green vegan leather version for the 12 and 12 Pro.
So far there are no details yet for its international availability but we reckon that Xiaomi could make an announcement for global markets sometime in Q1 2022. For further reference, you can check out the spec sheet comparison below.