XIAOMI 12 PRO 5G | Spacing up to take the flagship

A few years ago, getting the best Android phone in India powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series must mean high price tag. The phone that changed it was the OnePlus One in 2014, then the forgotten OnePlus Two in 2015 and the successful OnePlus 3 in 2016. But many may not remember that Xiaomi tried something similar. The Mi 5 was supposed to be an ‘affordable’ flagship starting at Rs 24,999, designed to carry the OnePlus 3. It did not succeed.

Cut to 2022, OnePlus and Xiaomi have come a long way. Although OnePlus is now a serious player in India’s ultra premium segment, Xiaomi is still waiting for a big break in this segment. The Xiaomi 12 Pro is the latest and probably the most refined effort of a flagship. Here is my review.

Design and display

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a much more polished design than last year’s Mi 11 Ultra, which had a huge camera island. This time, the camera island is stuck in one corner, although the main 50MP wide-angle lens stands out clearly. It has quad speakers, one set at the top and the other at the bottom next to the USB-C port.

Using the phone’s 6.73-inch 2K display is very enjoyable, and you will definitely enjoy watching your TV shows etc. on it. For better battery life you are advised to keep the resolution in full HD +, although I have cranked it completely for review purposes.

Performance and battery

Performance problems at this price were not expected, and that was basically the case. What bothered me was the heat management of the device. The phone gets very hot during the gaming session. A 4600 mAh battery may suffice for a medium day if you do not make maximum use of the settings. The advantage though is the 120W fast charging.

The camera

What Xiaomi is focusing on is the camera. This is a 50MP + 50MP + 50MP setup with a wide-angle, ultra-wide and telephoto lens. All three cameras support Night Mode, also have a lot of software magic on hand, Xiaomi has added features like Motion Tracking, Motion Capture and Eye Tracking Focus. The camera delivers well regardless of subject or light. My only complaint is with the saturation level in some photos, especially pink, red etc.

Judgment

There is no doubt that Xiaomi 12 Pro is a very capable device. It has all the features and attributes to be considered as ‘premium’. But Xiaomi knows it’s not enough. It is competing against serious players. The top target is the OnePlus 10 Pro, which packs a very unique camera setup with Hasselblad branding. Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus and iPhone 13 also have very capable cameras and potential competitors.

So has Xiaomi done enough to deal with them? In a sense, yes. Design, camera and performance are the expectations of a premium user. The battery seems to be a weak point, but 120W fast charging helps it fill up quickly.

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