Redmi 12 5G Review: Bringing 5G To Everyone

Redmi 12 5G Review: Bringing 5G To Everyone

Despite the focus on flagship phones like the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and foldables like the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, the bottom line is that Xiaomi still leans heavily on the Redmi lineup. These entry-level and budget phones account for more of Xiaomi's sales than the 13 Ultra, and are some of the hottest devices the brand releases every year.

More than anything else, the Redmi series stands for the democratization of technology; Over the years, it has enabled hundreds of millions of people to switch to smartphones. Redmi Note 3 was a turning point in the range. it wasn't the brand's first phone with 4G support, but it was the first to offer attractive hardware at an unbelievable price, making it a de facto option for those who wanted it. Keep moving to 4G.

Seven years later, the Redmi 12 5G aims to do the same, but with 5G. Xiaomi has had a tough time recently as the brand lost its position as the leading mobile phone maker in India and lost out to its Chinese rivals in global markets. With the Redmi 12 5G, the manufacturer wants to get back on track and focus on what made it great in the first place: value.

It's this focus on value that allowed Xiaomi to sell 300,000 units of the Redmi 12 5G on launch day. So let's see what this phone has to offer and whether it will recreate the spirit of Xiaomi's success over the past few years.

Redmi 12 5G. Price and availability

Xiaomi launched the Redmi 12 in New Delhi on August 1 and the phone is now available across major online and offline stores in the country. Xiaomi sells the devices in 4G and 5G variants, with the two models sharing the same design and dimensions with some hardware differences. Only the standard 4G Redmi 12 model is powered by MediaTek's Helio G88 and has an 8MP wide-angle camera, which you won't find on the Redmi 12 5G.

The Redmi 12 starts at INR 9,999 ($120) for the 4GB/128GB variant and goes up to INR 11,499 ($138) for the 6GB/128GB model. The Redmi 12 5G is powered by Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 and is available in the country for ₹11,499 ($138) for the 4GB/128GB variant, ₹13,499 ($163) for the 6GB/128GB model and ₹9 ($15.48 GB) number. 256 GB. Considering you get more RAM and double the storage, I'd go for the 8GB/256GB variant that Xiaomi sent me for review.

Redmi 12 5G. design

The Redmi 12 5G doesn't look or feel like an entry-level phone because of the back design. The phone has a glass back and a simple aesthetic that looks really good. The dual cameras and LED flash are housed in chrome rings rather than a dedicated camera island. Xiaomi takes over the design. I like the overall look here better than the Redmi Note 12 Pro+.

Xiaomi has also done a good job with the basics. The Redmi 12 5G has a 3.5mm jack and a MicroSD slot, while important components like the IR blaster remain unchanged. There's no stereo, but the bottom speaker gets incredibly loud, and I've had no problems in that area.

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Adding to this elegant look is the matte finish on the sides that matches the phone's color and is only found on mid-range and flagship phones. The matte texture makes the phone easy to hold and use, and while I'm not a fan of smooth edges, it wasn't a big deal.

The biggest problem is the height. Xiaomi offers a large 6.79-inch display on the Redmi 12 5G, and while that's impressive, the device has large bezels on the sides, making it taller than almost any other phone I've used. For comparison, the Redmi 12 5G is 5.2mm longer than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which makes it almost impossible to use the phone with one hand.

Weight distribution is also an issue and the phone feels heavy at times. However, the build quality itself is impeccable and the device is not bulky. Xiaomi opted for a side-mounted fingerprint reader and it works flawlessly. I haven't noticed any issues with the sensor in daily use.

Redmi 12 5G. screen

As for the display, the Redmi 12 5G sports a 6.79-inch FHD+ (2460 x 1080) IPS LCD panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and 550 nits peak brightness. The screen won't win any awards, but it's pretty good considering the phone's price, and you'll get the usual customization options, though there's no Always-On mode.

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Like all Xiaomi phones, the Redmi 12 5G comes with a 60Hz refresh rate from the factory, and you need to go into the settings to change it to 90Hz. Colors are generally good and you won't have any problems streaming videos or playing games. According to Xiaomi, the display is covered with a layer of Gorilla Glass, which is said to give the device an extra layer of drop protection.

The only problem with the device was that the ambient light sensor was a bit sensitive. The brightness didn't automatically increase (or decrease) when entering or leaving a room, and I had to manually adjust the slider.

Redmi 12 5G. Performance and battery life

The Redmi 12 5G is the first phone I've used that has Snapdragon 4 Gen 2. It's a 4nm chipset that uses the standard Cortex-X78 and A55 cores along with the Adreno 613, with the main difference being that the X61 uses 5G. modem with global 5G connection.

As with most Xiaomi phones, the brand isn't using the full range of bands available for the X61, instead offering just seven for the Indian market: 1, 3, 5, 8, 28, 40 and 78. They should be more than enough. , to ensure 5G coverage with all local mobile operators, and I had no problem using the phone on Airtel's 5G network in Hyderabad.

As for the hardware itself, it's fine for day-to-day use, and while I did notice a little lag or stutter here and there, it didn't detract from the overall experience. The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 isn't specifically designed for gaming, and while it can run demanding games at low settings, it's not playable.

The Redmi 12 5G performs very well under CPU-intensive workloads and is not far behind the more expensive Redmi Note 12 Pro+, which uses the Dimensity 1080 in a similar base configuration.

However, the biggest difference is when you try to play games on the device. The Adreno 613 simply won't be available until 2023, and the Redmi 12 5G scored the slowest 3DMark results of any phone I've tested to date. This also applies to real-world usage, as the Redmi 12 5G cannot provide stable frame rates.

Other than that, there's not much to say about the hardware. The vibration motor is in line with what you'll find on other budget phones, the fact you have 8GB of RAM means multitasking won't be a problem, and although I didn't use a MicroSD card, you can store up to 1TB

Moving on to connectivity, the Redmi 12 5G features Wi-Fi AC and Bluetooth 5.3. It's a shame Xiaomi doesn't offer at least Wi-Fi 6 here. There's also no NFC, and you won't get HD audio codecs. if you're using the best wireless headphones, you're limited to SBC.

In this regard, the phone has a huge 5000 mAh battery and it easily lasts more than a day without any problems. Although it is definitely a victory. Xiaomi's budget phones have always delivered excellent battery life, the Redmi 12 5G only charges 18W, which seems like an oversight. Xiaomi comes with a 22W charger, while the brand's budget phones typically reach 33W these days.

The Redmi 12 5G's 18W coverage means it takes over two hours to fully charge the device, making it a no-brainer if you need a quick charge during the day.

Redmi 12 5G. cameras

In terms of camera, there is nothing to talk about. Clearly, this wasn't a priority for Xiaomi, as the brand wasn't adept at including a wide-angle lens on the back. Instead, you get a 50MP f/1.8 primary camera complemented by a 2MP portrait lens, and you basically get a decent camera on the device. There's no OIS, video recording is limited to 1080p, and there's noticeable shutter lag when taking photos.

The user interface itself is similar to other Xiaomi phones. At the bottom, all modes are arranged as a bar, and you can see more options using the swipe down gesture. There are switches for HDR, flash and beauty effects, and the main 50MP camera can zoom up to 10x with digital zoom (although you shouldn't use it).

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The Redmi 12 5G performs well in daylight, producing images with good dynamic range and detail. Sometimes the images are oversaturated, and sometimes it works to their advantage. Considering the hardware quality, it's understandable that the phone struggles in low light. Pictures taken in automatic mode lack detail and contain a lot of noise. This can be fixed with night mode, but even that is limited. you get rolling shots and that's it.

There's also no versatility, as you don't get a wide-angle lens or a zoom lens. The 2MP portrait lens is there purely for marketing reasons, as it doesn't do well with fragmented portrait shots. Overall, the Redmi 12 5G camera is very average, and if you want to take a lot of photos and videos, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Redmi 12 5G. software

Xiaomi has been criticized in the past for going overboard with software and advertising on its phones, and it should be noted that the brand has done a good job of addressing this issue. None of the Xiaomi phones I've tested in the last 18 months have had this problem, until now. The Redmi 12 5G comes with a lot of software installed from the factory, and while most of them can be uninstalled, they shouldn't be there.

Fortunately, I didn't receive any ads from Xiaomi services during the week of using the device, and apart from viruses, the user interface is similar to other Xiaomi phones running MIUI 14 and Android 13. The only change is that Xiaomi is enabling the default MIUI switcher. Instead of Google phone converter; Since the phone is positioned as an upgrade for those who already use a Xiaomi phone, the brand probably felt that the MIUI switch is more familiar, so it replaced the Google switch.

Surprisingly, Xiaomi does not offer its own SMS client, but uses Android Messages as the default client. Otherwise, everything works as usual. MIUI 14 offers a lot of customization options and doesn't consume a lot of resources. Although the user interface needs an overhaul, it is optimized for devices.

Xiaomi hasn't done a great job with software updates, and the Redmi 12 5G is guaranteed to get updates for both platforms. It is not known when the phone will move to Android 14. Xiaomi has made rapid progress in this area in the past and this is something that needs to be addressed.

Redmi 12 5G. competition

If you're looking for a phone under INR 20,000, check out the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. It also has an IPS LCD panel but runs at 120Hz, I like the design a bit better than the Redmi 12 5G and the phone is much more powerful thanks to the Snapdragon 695. There's also 67W charging power and cleaner software. You pay more for the device. it starts at INR 19,999 ($241), but you're getting a better phone in every way.

iQOO's Z7 is also a good contender as the device comes with MediaTek's Dimensity 920 and 90Hz AMOLED panel. There's a 64MP camera on the back that takes better photos, and the battery is smaller at 4500mAh but charges at 44W.

Redmi 12 5G. Should you buy it?

You should buy it if:

  • Do you need a cheap 5G phone?

  • You want a big screen and good hardware

  • You need a phone that can last all day, even with heavy use

  • You need a 3.5mm jack and a MicroSD slot

Do not buy it if:

  • Want a no-frills app?

  • Do you need a wide angle lens?

  • They look for regular software updates

Overall, the Redmi 12 5G is an overall good option if you're looking for a 5G phone on a budget. The device does have some caveats. the camera is pretty average, lacks Wi-Fi 6 and faster charging, and you have to fight viruses right away.

However, it boils down to the basics. You get a good design, a large screen with good color balance, all-day battery life, and a device that's reliable for everyday use. I don't see the potential for 5G yet, but if you're using an older device and thinking about switching, the Redmi 12 5G does a lot of things right, and it's the best Xiaomi phone in its class right now.

Redmi 12 5G phone

With the Redmi 12 5G, Xiaomi offers all the features you'd expect from a budget phone at a lower price than its direct competitors. If you're looking for an entry-level 5G phone, this is the one for you.

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