Over the years. Xiaomi’s T series smartphones have never failed to impress us with amazing hardware performance and capable camera system despite costing just a fraction of what other top-end devices would entail. This make them extremely popular among the South-East Asian markets including Singapore and Malaysia.
To strengthen the company’s foothold in the upper mid-range segment, Xiaomi recently announced the new 12T Pro smartphone which features a series of enticing upgrades that include the latest 200MP ISOCELL HP1 imaging sensor as well as the next-generation’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ chipset.
However, the catch is that the phone is now $300 more expensive than last year’s Xiaomi 11T Pro (Review). This brings us to the question whether the new Xiaomi 12T Pro is worth the extra cash. To find out, read on our full review of the Xiaomi 12T Pro!
The overall design of the Xiaomi 12T Pro isn’t exactly a huge departure from it’s predecessor. Still, you easily differentiate between the two devices from the redesigned camera module which now looks neater in my opinion.
Despite an influx in smartphones with flat edge design recently, the Xiaomi 12T Pro still sticks to a dual-curve rear design due to it’s ergonomic benefits where a curve back arguably feels more comfortable to hold especially when using the phone single-handedly.
Speaking of this, it does offers a pretty nice grip around the edges so you doesn’t need worry about the phone sliding off your hand whenever you’re using or holding the phone with one hand. Of course, I’ll greatly appreciate if the phone could be slightly lighter.
Just like the Xiaomi 11T Pro, the new 12T Pro also features a glass back which certainly feels more premium than those that are made of plastic materials. For the review unit I have on hand, it comes in a chic-looking silver colorway furnished with a matte-like finish which does a decent job in stamping out fingerprints and smudges.
Durability-wise, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is also IP53 rated for dust and water resistance. That means the phone will have no issue surviving minor splash of water or even light drizzle.
Moving on to the front side, the Xiaomi 12T Pro greets us with a spacious 6.67” AMOLED display which looks sharp and vibrant from all angles. It’s still a flat panel which some users may prefer as it typically offers an improved viewing angle and is also less prone to false touches as compared to curved display.
In terms of specifics, the front display has an overall resolution of 1220 x 2712 pixels (FHD+ equivalent) and supports up to 120Hz refresh rate which allows you enjoy silky-smooth animations and a jitter-free experience when scrolling through your favorite social media apps.
To sweeten up the deal, the front display also supports other high-end features such as an impressive 12-bit color depth, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio, DCI-P3 color gamut coverage as well as HDR10+ support for a realistic and immersive viewing experience.
Most importantly, the screen has no issue getting sufficiently bright thanks to it’s peak brightness that goes all the way up to 900 nits. This helps to ensure the screen remains visible when you happen to use the phone directly under the sun.
To protect the screen against accidental drop or scratches, the front display also has an additional layer of Gorilla Glass 5 which is actually a small step back from last year’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the 11T Pro. Nonetheless, it’ll still provide a good amount of protection.
Under the hood, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset which is found in most of the recent flagship phones including the ROG Phone 6 (Review) gaming beast. In fact, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is one of the very few smartphones in this price range to be powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile platform which is definitely a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 888 chipset used in the preceding model.
Therefore, you can expect an amazing performance when multi-tasking or editing your next video for Instagram reels. Likewise, it also performs amicably well in more resource-consuming game titles like Fornite and PUBG Mobile by putting up a fairly consistent frame rate.
Touching on this, the phone also has an intuitive Game Turbo app which offers a myriad of settings to further enhance your game play. For instance, the app allows you to pick between different GPU settings depending on whether you want to prioritize battery life or picture quality. This can come in handy when your battery life fall below the 20% mark and you’re hoping to squeeze out every bit of battery life for another one or two games.
The model we have in Singapore features a hefty 12GB+256GB configuration which provides more than sufficient memory for all your multi-tasking needs as well as adequate storage for dozens of apps and photos.
Moving on to the imaging side of things, the Xiaomi 12T Pro relies on a triple rear camera system headlined by a 200 megapixels ISOCELL HP1 main camera which features a large 1/1.22” sensor size and a bright f/1.69 aperture. This will be accompanied by an 8 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera and a 2 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) macro camera for close-up shots.
No doubt, the new 200MP ISOCELL HP1 imaging sensor is a nice upgrade over the 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 unit on last year’s Xiaomi 11T Pro. One of the most obvious improvement is the boost in image quality when you crop into photos or enlarge it to the size of your monitor screen.
Apart from that, the camera is also able to capture photos with excellent dynamic range and color reproduction which allow photos to look more natural and realistic – just like what we see with our own eyes. Those who love to take portrait photos would definitely appreciates it’s capable autofocus system which has the ability to lock onto human subjects almost instantaneously.
Likewise, low-light performance had also received a slight boost thanks to a brighter aperture and a larger sensor size which results in shaper-looking photos and lower image noise in low-light scenes. As always, the phone also has a remarkable night mode feature that helps to enhance shadow details and improve overall exposure of photos.
Coming to it’s ultra-wide camera, although it may not be able to deliver the same image quality as the main camera, but you can still expect to get some highly usable photos with acceptably good details and dynamic range.
Last but not the least, the phone also has a 2MP macro camera to help with close-up photography. Like most other smartphones, this camera may not yield as good result as using 2x/ 3x digital zoom via the main camera which tends to capture sharper and clearer-looking photos than the dedicated macro camera.
Battery & Charging
The Xiaomi 12T Pro’s 5,000mAh battery is able to support slightly more than a day’s worth of usage on a single charge. This includes around 8 hours of screen time with 2 hours of gaming in between. These numbers are pretty similar to what we’d gotten on last year’s Xiaomi 11T Pro.
In fact, their similarities extend to the same 120W wired charging speed which allows the phone to achieve a full charge from 0 to 100% in just 25 minutes. That’s insanely fast if we compare it to any other flagship phones in the market be it the new iPhone 14 or the Galaxy S22 series devices.
More importantly, the phone will be shipped with a bundled 120W charging brick which would otherwise cost you another $40 to $50.
At $1,099, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is a phone with plenty to love about. For the price you pay, you not only get yourself the most powerful chipset among Android smartphones, but also a whopping 200MP camera capable of standing toe-to-toe with some of the best smartphone cameras. That’s not forgetting that it’s blazing-fast charging speed is also unmatchable by any of the devices in the segment.
As such, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is certainly a great option for those looking for a smartphone with good gaming performance and photography capabilities.
Pricing & Availability
In Singapore, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is available in a single 12GB+256GB memory configuration which will be priced at $1,099. Those who’re interested can purchase the device via Xiaomi’s official store on Shopee.