Redmi Note 12 5G Review: A Value Proposition That Carries The Legacy Forward

Redmi Note 12 5G Review: A Value Proposition That Carries The Legacy Forward

The Redmi Note 12 is the cheapest smartphone in the Note series this year. The phone was launched in India alongside the Redmi Note 12 Pro and the Note 12 Pro+. We've already reviewed the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, and now it's time to take a look at the vanilla Redmi Note 12 5G to see if it's worth it. The phone comes with the country's first Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC. The phone features a 120Hz refresh rate screen, a powerful 5000mAh battery, a 48MP triple rear camera and more. Here is my review of the Redmi Note 12 5G after some use.

The rule

Redmi Note 12 5G has many advantages. First, the phone has an attractive design, followed by great performance, long battery life, a clear screen, and great daylight photography. The software is good too, but I wish it wasn't so dated.


  • The Redmi Note 12 5G follows the same design language as its big brother, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+. The phone has a curved back and is covered with frosted polycarbonate glass that fits comfortably in the hand. Glass is not resistant to smudges and fingerprints, but hides them well. In addition, the Redmi smartphone is available in matte black, mystic blue and frost green colors. The frosty green device was sent for inspection, which immediately made the shower glow. The color is delicate and attractive. Also, the glossy camera island over the matte back gives the phone a nice look.
  • Redmi Note 12 5G weighs 188 grams. This, together with the thin bezels, makes the phone comfortable for long-term movie or gaming viewing. The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, located on the right below the volume rocker. For I/O, a USB Type-C port sits along the bottom edge along the speaker grille, while the top edge of the phone houses an infrared blaster and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right is the SIM tray, which contains the microSD card combo slot. In addition, the device is protected against light splashes and dust according to IP53.
  • The Redmi Note 12 5G features a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution (1080p), a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a brightness of 1200 nits. It is a good screen for viewing and using content or gaming indoors and outdoors. The color reproduction is spot on and the viewing angles are convincing. The phone allows users to change the color of the screen according to their preferences. Since there's no HDR, the phone's sunlight readability isn't as impressive, but the content is still readable. The screen is Widevine L1 certified and can stream content from Netflix, Hotstar and other streaming platforms in Full HD. The screen refresh rate is locked at 60Hz by default, but can be boosted to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and animations. The phone lacks an auto mode that can intelligently switch the refresh rate between 60Hz and 120Hz depending on the content playing on the screen. This could save battery life.
  • Speaking of the battery, the Redmi Note 12 packs a 5000mAh battery that can last up to a day on a single charge. The phone returned 16 hours and 21 minutes on the PCMark battery test. Battery life may decrease when 120Hz refresh rate and 5G are used together. However, the Redmi smartphone has a 33W fast charging solution that takes just over an hour to charge the device from 0 to 100%. The phone then runs MIUI 13 based on Android 12 out of the box. It's a shame not to see the latest version of Android 13 on smartphones. I also spotted my Redmi device in the November security patch at the time of writing this article. Despite this, the performance is flat while the software fails to install. The software also has the ability to remove some system apps and replace them with Google. While this is a nice custom theme for Android, I wish MIUI 13 had blur effects and more app launch animations as well.
  • The Redmi Note 12 5G is powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor with 4GB/6GB RAM and 128GB user-expandable storage. According to the CPU Controls test application, the performance of the chipset is limited to 92% of the maximum performance for half an hour with 20 threads. In Geekbench and AnTuTu, the phone scored 1,991 multi-core and 366,146, respectively. ​​​​​​While these synthetic results look good for a mid-range smartphone, PUBG New State crashed several times on the phone. I had to switch the graphics to medium in order to run the game on the device. However, the phone handles almost everything with ease. Multitasking with multiple programs running in the background wasn't a problem. The phone's side-mounted fingerprint scanner also performed very well. It was accurate and unlocked the device in no time.
  • The Redmi Note 12 5G has three rear cameras, including a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. The 48-megapixel sensor takes 12-megapixel photos by default, but the camera app also offers an option for a high-resolution 48-megapixel mode. Daylight sensor recordings are acceptable. Images have enough detail while colors generally look accurate, but for some reason the camera shows a red rose on top of a pink one. I tried enabling/disabling HDR but the result was the same. Since it's an 8MP wide sensor, it takes decent photos in sunshine with lots of detail in the center of the frame. However, the corner detail of the wide-angle sensor could be better. The 2-megapixel macro sensor is average at best. I didn't find much use for the sensor because it took a very steady hand to get a good close-up of a subject.
  • For selfies and video calls, the Redmi Note 12 5G uses a 13-megapixel punch-hole camera. The camera has options like beauty mode, filters and HDR. Selfies have accurate skin tones and good facial detail. Both the front and rear cameras can take excellent portrait photos with clear focus selection and a natural depth of field effect between the foreground and background. However, low-light and indoor photos on the Redmi Note 12 5G are not convincing, but the results are usable. The camera, especially the main 48-megapixel sensor, didn't take long to focus and process images. The colors were also closer to reality. This camera also features a night mode that helps reduce graininess or noise in images clicked in low light.
  • The Redmi Note 12 5G comes with a mono speaker, which is very good. The phone supports SA and NSA bands including N1, N3, N5, N8, N41, N77 and N78 in India and offers dual SIM with 5G standby. This means that the Redmi Note 12 5G can run Airtel 5G and Jio 5G simulators at the same time.

The Final Verdict

The Redmi Note 12 5G is not cheap. The base variant of the phone with 4GB RAM + 128GB storage costs £17,999 in India, which is 25% more expensive than its predecessor, the Redmi Note 11. This compares the phone to other recent smartphones like the OPPO A78 ( review ) and Realme 10 Pro 5G. ( Review ) which costs Rs 18,999 and runs on the latest Android 13 operating system. Also, the Realme 10 Pro 5G has a better chipset and main camera than the Redmi smartphone.

Finally, the Redmi Note 12 5G is the best smartphone for the price. Aside from low-light photos and a few software glitches, there's not much to complain about here. The phone performs well in almost every aspect, be it design, display, performance or battery life. To sweeten the deal, Redmi is offering a Rs. 1,500 cashback with the ICICI bank card and an additional Rs. 1,000 bonus when exchanging old Redmi and Mi smartphones. The Redmi Note 12 5G smartphone costs 15,499 rupees.

Editor's Rating: 3.5/5


  • good screen
  • Good performance and battery life
  • Great design and build quality
  • Good photo in daylight


  • It comes with Android 12 and an outdated security patch
  • Preinstalled programs
  • Low light shots could have been better

Competitors Xiaomi Redmi Note 12

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