Xiaomi 12T Pro Smartphone Review

Xiaomi 12T Pro Review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro (Hardware) Review 2
Xiaomi 12T Pro
Company: Xiaomi
Type: Smartphone
MSRP: $748
CGM Editors Choice

Xiaomi has been on a roll as of late, and the Xiaomi 12T Pro is no exception. They delivered some amazing new smartphones in both 2021 and 2022, bringing the world some great new technology in the process. From the 120W charging on the Xiaomi 12 range of devices to the incredible camera found on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, Xiaomi is a brand that likes to push the limits of what people expect with smartphones. Delivering an incremental update over what users could find on the rest of the 12 range, the Xiaomi 12T Pro is an industry first to bring a 200MP camera to a smartphone, and the results are exciting.

Xiaomi 12T Pro Smartphone Design

The Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone at first glance is very similar to the Xiaomi 12 Pro and most other phones in the 12 range of devices. The phone maintains the clean lines and large camera bump seen on the rest of the range, featuring a 120Hz 6.67″ CrystalRes AMOLED DotDisplay, that is flat against the metal frame. Around back, much like the rest of the 12 lineup of phones, you will find a fogged Anti-glare glass back, and comes in a range of three understated colours (Black, Silver, Blue) that look premium and feel great in the hand.

On the right-hand side of the phone you will find the power and volume rocker, with the top featuring one of the speaker grills and IR blaster, with the other grill, USB-C connector and SIM tray located at the bottom of the 12T Pro. Much like all major flagships released in the past few years, you won’t find a 3.5 mm audio jack on the Xiaomi 12T Pro, and you will be limited to the storage available in the device, with there being no option to increase the space with an SD card. 

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Weighing 205g, the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone matches the weight of the Xiaomi 12 Pro, with the size (163.1mm x 75.9mm x 8.6mm) feeling great in the hand. It feels like Xiaomi is making the most of the design that the 12 range brought to the table, and I am good with that. It looks premium and has a great feel for typing, holding and carrying around during the day. The screen also features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, so you should feel secure knowing nothing will happen to your phone during standard use.

Xiaomi 12T Pro Smartphone Display

The screen is a showpiece of what is possible in a sub-$1000 device and Xiaomi goes all out with the brilliantly sharp and clear 120Hz 6.67″ AMOLED screen. Much like many flagships released in 2022, including Xiaomi’s own 12 Pro, the 120Hz screen is buttery smooth, making even the most mundane tasks feel fluid and fast. It is surprising how striking the screen is, especially compared to displays that top out at 90Hz, it feels like a much more refined overall user experience.

At a ratio of 20:9 and a resolution of 2712 x 1220 with a 446 ppi, the display on the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone is vibrant and clear. With a brightness of 500nits and a contrast ratio of 5,000,000 : 1, and the inclusion of Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Adaptive HDR, movies, games and any media you choose to play on it look fantastic. It is amazing to see how far smartphone displays have come, and the screen on the Xiaomi 12T Pro is a solid example of this. 

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The Xiaomi 12T Pro also features an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and it works flawlessly. I have had problems in the past with Xiaomi phones, but apparently they have addressed it here. Even when the phone was wet due to rain, the phone unlocked quickly without needing to constantly retry to unlock. Xiaomi is leading the way with Android phones on many fronts, and it is great to see them lead the industry once again in this area which has been a pain point in the past.

The screen also features an AdaptiveSync display that can adjust from 120Hz all the way down to 30Hz depending on what you are doing to save battery. I never felt wanting while using the phone, and even when jumping onto Twitter or other social media apps, the software did a fantastic job adjusting so everything felt smooth and responsive, making the 12T Pro a joy to use as my daily driver.

Xiaomi 12T Pro Performance and Specs

Under the hood, the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 SoC running at 3.2GHz with 8 GB LPDDR5 RAM, ensuring the phone can take on anything you can throw at it. With scores of 2699 in 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme and 1286 single core and 4021 multicore scores in Geek Bench, the Xiaomi 12T hits some of our top benchmarks for non-gaming-focused phones. While the ASUS ROG Phone 6 may outclass it in raw power, it is also significantly bulkier, making it less ideal for casual phone buyers.

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In gaming, I was very impressed with how well the Xiaomi 12T Pro tackled even the most intensive experiences. From Fortnite to Genshin Impact, the strong internal specs and the buttery smooth 120Hz screen made gaming a treat. Even the performance modes felt like they pushed the experience even further, resulting in a near flawless gaming experience during our tests. I had no issues with any games I tried to run on the phone, with many of the apps I tried giving some of the best experiences I have had on a sub-$1000 flagship, all while looking and sounding fantastic.

This brings me to the next major thing that makes the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone such a media powerhouse, the dual Harman Kardon tuned speakers that feature Dolby Atmos. I never expect much from a smartphone, especially from the internal speakers, but the 12T Pro delivered with rich clear and deep sound. People that are used to what you can find on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max may not be blown away, but for everyone else, this is a major step for Android smartphones, and sounds great in media, streaming and gaming. 

This brings us to MIUI running on Android 12, and honestly, I was impressed with what Xiaomi brought to the table. I have been a critic of MIUI in the past, especially with how bloated it can feel at times, but Xiaomi has done some work and delivered an OS that feels snappy, intuitive and responsive. It has all the features you could hope for from a modern smartphone OS, and everything felt cohesive. I would still love to see some refinement overall, with some aspects and settings feeling a bit cumbersome at times, but this is a minor grip on an otherwise refined experience. 

I will say that MIUI still can feel a bit packed with unwanted apps, since the phone comes with things like AliExpress, Genshin Impact, and a host of duplicate apps coming pre-installed. These were not hard to remove, with most of them just needing a simple uninstall, but smartphone buyers should not need to spend time deleting apps the first time they turn on the phone. I hope Xiaomi reduces these in future offerings, since they do take away from the experience, especially if you don’t want any of them on your device.

Xiaomi 12T Pro Battery Performance

I was impressed with the Xiaomi 12 Pro, so it is no wonder I am also impressed by what the Xiaomi 12T Pro brings to the table in terms of battery life. The 5,000mAh is more than capable of carrying you through a day of gaming and worth without breaking a sweat. Even with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 SoC and the 6.67″ display with a 120Hz refresh rate taking their toll, you can easily achieve up to 13.5 hours of screen on top with the 12T Pro. 

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This is one area I am finding many other flagships lag behind in, offering sizable batteries but little manage to keep up with the power that is under the hood. Thankfully Xiaomi has taken this to heart, and brought a flagship with a battery made to work as hard as its users do. As if this weren’t enough, the Xiaomi 12T Pro also features 120W HyperCharging, with a powerful charger in the box that is able to charge from 0 to 100% in only around 20 minutes.

Having used the Xiaomi 12T Pro for the past two weeks, I never felt worried about running low on a charge, even when gaming. The fast charge made the daunting task of topping up my smartphone before a night out trivial, meaning I was spending more time enjoying life, and less time stressing about the battery life indicator. 

One notable absence on the Xiaomi 12T Pro is wireless charging, and I was initially annoyed to see this, but ultimately did not miss it with the inclusion of 120W HyperCharging. I like being able to set my phone on my charging pad as I work throughout the day; it makes it less of a hassle when I am heading out at a moment’s notice, but the ability to top up in minutes rather than hours makes it a bit less of a necessity. It is something I hope Xiaomi includes in future flagship devices, but for this iteration, it is getting a pass. 

Xiaomi 12T Pro Camera

The camera bump is where you will see the biggest change for the 12T, boasting a 200MP branding just under the flash, with a triple camera system that will make many budget phone companies rethink their 20MP shooter they were boasting about. The showpiece on the Xiaomi 12T is the 200MP wide angle Samsung ISOCELL HP1 based 1/1.22″ size sensor. This is paired with an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera. Around the front you will find a very capable 20MP front camera.

“With its in-sensors 2x optical zoom, the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone uses the full potential of the large 1/1.22″ image sensors…”

The main shooter is the real MVP on this phone, delivering fantastic, detailed shots that do look incredible on any screen they are viewed. While the Xiaomi 12 Pro was a solid camera, the Xiaomi 12T Pro 200MP camera is industry leading, bringing numerous features to the hands of consumers that most will never take full advantage of. 

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With its in-sensors 2x optical zoom, the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone uses the full potential of the large 1/1.22″ image sensors for perfect portrait shots. The phone is also very capable of capturing some stunning night shots thanks to the 16-in-1 super pixels at 2.56μm, 8P lens, OIS, and Xiaomi’s Night mode. The 12T Pro has advanced software algorithms which allow users to take pictures even when they’re not focused on their subjects.

While it is easy to list a bunch of specs, the Xiaomi 12T Pro manages to use these features to deliver some truly exciting and clear shots. The main shooter delivers where it needs to, capturing detail, colour and clarity that will blow away many lesser phones. I am not sure the Xiaomi image processing is quite as good as Google, Apple, or Samsung, but I am more than happy with the results I saw while testing. I was even incredibly impressed with the Night Mode, managing to deliver results where other phones only managed a muddy mess of an image. 

The 8MP ultra-wide camera and the 2MP macro camera, sadly, did not feel like they added much to the experience. When you have a main camera that delivers such clear results, the lower specked options feel shocking in comparison. I am glad Xiaomi gave a full range of options with their rear camera array; I just wish there was more consistency throughout the cameras on offer. 

On the Xiaomi 12T Pro, video recording is excellent in bright conditions, with image stabilization working effectively even in 8K resolution or 4K at 60 fps. This is a phone that feels made for creators, delivering great results on the first try. It would be a great mobile to pair with a gimbal, taking full advantage of what the 200MP camera can offer, but even without the extra hardware, the Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphone delivers where it counts in video and photo, provided you use the main camera. 

When I first saw the details about the Xiaomi 12T Pro it felt like a minor update to an already great phone, but now that I have put time into using the device, I am impressed. There are some smart updates to the device, making an already fantastic offering even better. Launching at a very attractive US$821-841, the 12T Pro is a smartphone that hits well above its weight class, and brings with it a solid flagship smartphone worthy of anyone looking for their next photo device.

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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