Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Review: Can Redmi Note 12 Pro take Note Legacy Forward?

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Redmi Note 12 Pro Review Summary:

Editor’s rating: 3.8/5

Design

Display

Performance

Battery

Camera

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Excellent screen with an adaptive refresh rate
  • Large battery life
  • Smooth performance  
  • 5G support 
  • Dolby Vision certification

Cons

  • It still runs Android 12
  • Bloatware present
  • Subpar secondary cameras

Since its introduction in 2014, the Redmi Note series has been a consistently popular choice among customers in India. The success of this series has played a significant role in Xiaomi’s rise to the top of the Indian smartphone market, a position it has maintained since 2018. Over the eight-year span of the Redmi Note series, the design, technology, and features of the phones have evolved considerably.

Recently, Xiaomi launched the latest iteration of the Redmi Note series in India, which includes the Redmi Note 12, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus. All of these phones are equipped with 5G capabilities.

We’ve already shared our initial impressions of the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, and in this review, we will focus on the Redmi Note 12 Pro.Is the Rs. 24,999 price tag on the phone justified? To find out, let’s examine the phone further in the review.

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Redmi Note 12 Pro price in India

Xiaomi is offering Redmi Note 12 Pro in three configurations. The base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs 24,999. Then there’s 8GB RAM and a 128GB ROM version retailing for Rs 26,999. The most expensive variant gets 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, and a price tag of Rs 27,999.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro lineup will go on sale in India on January 11 starting at noon. At the launch, Xiaomi announced a “Special Fan Offer,” which includes an ICICI bank offer and exchange offer, which reduces the effective cost of the base model to Rs 20,999.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Specs

SpecsRedmi Note 12 Pro
SoftwareAndroid 12 with Miui 14
Display6.67-inch AMOLED 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 1000 nits brightness, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
SoCMediaTek Dimensity 1080
RAMup to 8GB LPDDR4X
Storageup to 256GB UFS 2.2
Rear cameras50MP+8MP+2MP
Front Camera16MP
Battery5000mAh
Charging67W
Thickness7.98mm
Weight187 grams
Connectivity5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 6

Redmi Note 12 Pro Unboxing

Xiaomi ships the Redmi Note 12 Pro in a rectangular box made of recyclable material. Inside the box are: 

  •  Redmi Note 12 Pro 
  •  67W fast charger
  •  USB Type-C Cable
  •  SIM Ejector tool
  •  Clear protective case
  •  User guide

 

Redmi Note 12 Pro Review: Design

The Redmi Note 12 Pro flaunts a simple yet elegant design. The phone maintains a boxy shape with a back glass panel that looks good from all sides. The device comes in three color options: Onyx Black, Frosted Blue, and Stardust Purple. We reviewed the Frosted Blue colorway, which, as the name suggests, has a smudge-resistant frosted feel.

The back panel has a matte anti-glare coating, which deters fingerprints from the phone. While it will register some finger smudges, it is not as gruesome as we see in glossy surfaces. The rear panel has a camera island at the top left corner, with two camera sensors further protruding out. It makes the phone a little wobbly when kept on a flat surface. The glass back doesn’t have any protection on top, which makes it vulnerable to cracking if you accidentally drop it. To avoid boarding the anxiety train, we advise using a case that Xiaomi graciously included in the box.

The power button, which also functions as a fingerprint sensor, and the volume rockers are located on the phone’s right side. A 3.5mm headphone jack and IR blaster are located on the top, followed by a second microphone for noise cancellation. 

No antenna cuts are visible because the phone’s frame is polycarbonate. An X-axis linear vibration motor in the phone allows for customized vibration patterns throughout the user interface for the optimum haptic experience. The phone also boasts an IP53 rating, which is common for most phones in its price range. It will only protect it against minor sprays of water and dust.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Review: Display

The Redmi Note 12 Pro features a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The display features a touch sampling rate of up to 240Hz and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Depending on the content, the Redmi Note 10 Pro display can adjust between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz thanks to its adaptive refresh rate feature. My user experience with the display has been good, as it felt buttery smooth, especially while scrolling through the UI and gaming.

As is customary for most AMOLED panels, the Note 12 Pro display is clear and vibrant with adequate contrast levels. The Redmi Note 12 Pro’s color palette is set to “Vivid” by default. You can adjust this to suit your preferences. Since I personally prefer accurate colors, I decided to switch to the “Standard” setting for better color accuracy.

Xiaomi ensures that its Note lineup has the necessary Widevine L1 certification at the hardware level to enable HD streaming on popular OTT apps. Additionally, it supports HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision, which work on Netflix. It is something that’s missing on the rival Realme 10 Pro+.

Redmi Note 12 Pro review: Software and Performance 

Like the Plus version, the Redmi Note 12 Pro is also driven by an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC chipset. The chipset is based on a 6nm fabrication process with two performance Cortex-A78 cores ticking at up to 2.6GHz and 6 power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores clocked up to 2.0GHz. The chipset is paired with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 storage of up to 256GB. The Redmi Note 12 Pro also gets RAM expansion tech which will include up to 5GB of virtual memory. 

It runs on MIUI 13 based on Android 12 with a November 2022 security patch. Xiaomi says it will upgrade it to Android 13. The brand promises two years of software updates and four years of security updates. Several apps come preinstalled, including Amazon Shopping, Facebook, Prime Video, Netflix, LinkedIn, Zili, Spotify, and Snapchat apps preloaded on the device. Most of these apps can be removed. While Xiaomi promised to serve on system wide ads in the Redmi Note 12 Pro but you will still have to deal with Glance and Get Apps recommendations.

In day-to-day life, the phone handles most tasks with ease without sweating too much. Popular apps like Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, and others load quickly without any trouble. To put it under stress, we played several games, including Apex Legends Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile, and ran benchmark tests.

We played Call of Duty Mobile with “Medium” graphic settings and “High” frame rates, and the game ran smoothly with occasional frame drops and without any rapid battery depletion. 

We experienced similar results while playing Apex Legends Mobile and Genshin Impact. Both games were more or less smooth, with occasional frame drops. 

Coming to thermal performance, it claims to feature 3000mm² 12-layer graphite sheets with liquid cooling for heat management. So, Does the Redmi 12 Pro heats up? We tested its limit by putting it under stress by running successive tests, and we didn’t notice any overheating or system throttling. 

Coming to benchmark score, this is what Redmi Note 12 Pro scored in our tests:

Benchmark testScores
3D mark Sling Shot Extreme3817
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Stress621
AnTuTu v9442221
Geekbench 5751 (single-core)and 2268 (multi-core)
OpenGL ES 3.14138

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Review: Camera

The 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor is the main attraction of Redmi Note 12 Pro’s rear camera. It’s the same sensor that we saw last year in Oppo Reno 8 (review), OnePlus 10T (review), and Nothing Phone (1) (review). The setup also includes an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. A 16-megapixel camera on the front is used for selfies. The camera app UI remains unchanged so if you have used any Xiaomi phone in the past you will feel comfortable clicking images and shooting videos on the phone.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro’s primary rear camera captured well-exposed shots with crisp details. The photos turn out colorful but tend to lean toward warmer tones. We also noticed over-sharpness in some instances. The Dynamic range is also good, as it handles tricky conditions well enough. While taking close-ups, the primary rear camera does well to deliver a shallow depth effect.

In low light conditions, it performs well enough. Xiaomi has a dedicated night mode that uses an extended exposure technique to allow the sensor to capture more light to produce good pictures. The combination of long exposure Optical Image stabilization and long exposure allows the Redmi Note 12 Pro to capture a good amount of details and colors, even in low light.

Switch to the ultra-wide camera, and you will instantly notice the change in color temperature and details compared to the primary camera. The 8-megapixel sensor is far off from the Sony sensor in terms of color accuracy and sharpness. Daylight shots are decent but with limited dynamic range. The 2MP Marco sensor is useless and Xiaomi could have perhaps saved some bucks by avoiding this altogether.

The 16MP selfie camera isn’t much praiseworthy, either. In good lighting, it captures merely passable images, but the image quality dips sharply even with a slight fall in natural light.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review: Battery life

Like most modern-day phones, the Redmi Note 12 Pro also packs a large 5,000mAh battery. During our testing, we never faced any battery anxiety. We could use it for hours while working about running out of battery. We got a little over six hours of screen on time with this device while keeping the screen refresh rate set to 120Hz and connected 4G LTE network. While using the phone on Jio 5G, I saw battery drop at a noticeably faster pace. Xiaomi bundles a 67W charger in the box, which charges the phone about 45 percent in just 15 minutes. It takes a little over an hour to go zero to hundred percent.

Verdict: Should you buy Redmi Note 12 Pro?

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro boasts impressive hardware, including a high-quality 120Hz AMOLED display with advanced features like variable refresh rate and Dolby Vision support, which are not commonly found in this price range. The MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC provides strong performance without any overheating issues, and the 50MP primary camera performs well in most situations. Additionally, the phone offers excellent battery life and charging speeds. While the price has increased from its predecessor (as is true for just about everything these days), Xiaomi has also removed advertisements from the device software. Overall, the Redmi Note 12 Pro is a solid option for Rs 24,999, but unlike its predecessor, it may no longer be the best value buy that you can get.

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent screen with an adaptive refresh rate
  • Large battery life
  • Smooth performance  
  • 5G support
  • Dolby Vision certification

Reasons to not buy

  • It still runs Android 12
  • Bloatware present
  • Subpar secondary cameras
Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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Sathish Mechy
Anonymous
1 year ago

Awesome work 👌

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