Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro: Too good to ignore

Chinese smartphone makers have – for as long as we can remember at least – chosen to offer well made smartphones with all the things you need and none of the guff you don’t at an affordable price.

However, in recent years these manufacturers have been offering premium tier experiences at a mid-tier price point and the subject of today’s review, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro is such a smartphone.

While there is a 5G equivalent of this handset, today we’re taking a look at the 4G iteration. Thankfully, even though there is no 5G present here, Xiaomi has created an incredibly attractive smartphone that is very capable of meeting your needs whether you’re a road warrior or a wannabe influencer.

Spec sheet inspection

Let’s start, as always by taking a look under the hood of the Note 12 Pro.

Driving this smartphone is Qualcomm’s SM7150 Snapdragon 732G, which features an octa-core processor split into two clusters with two Kryo 470 Gold cores running at 2.2GHz and six Kryo 470 Silver cores running at 1.8GHz. When needed the chipset can reach peaks of 2.3GHz and there is 8GB RAM to draw on. For storage there is 256GB available for apps, photos and videos.

You are going to need that storage (and maybe even the microSDXC in the SIM tray) because this smartphone features a monstrous 108MP snapper. There are more reasonable 8MP and 2MP sensors as well, but more on that later.

For connectivity there is WiFi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac for the stalwarts in the audience) Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and USB Type C with On the Go functionality. There is even a 3.5mm jack which is a rarity in the modern tech space.

Powering the smartphone is a 5 000mAh LiPo battery that is juiced up with the 67W charger in the box.

Finally, the AMOLED display measures 6.67 inches, sports a resolution of 1080×2400 and runs at a max refresh rate of 120Hz. There is also a pinhole selfie-camera up front and a fingerprint scanner on the right side of the handset.

Overall, this is a rather well appointed smartphone. In use, opening apps is snappy with little to no lag thanks to the 8GB of memory and the eight monstrous CPU cores.

In benchmarking we noted a Multi-core score of 1271 in Geekbench 6 while the single core only scored 755. This isn’t as good as Samsung’s A54 5G, but, the Redmi is far cheaper so lower performance figures are to be expected.

In gaming, Slingshot benchmarks kicked out a score of 3817 with an average frame rate of 24fps. This is fine for a few games of PUBG Mobile or Subway Surfer but if you’re serious about mobile gaming you may want to invest more money than the Redmi retails for.

Overall performance is beyond what we’d anticipate at this price point and we were impressed with how well the Redmi Note 12 runs.

Regarding battery life the Redmi Note 12 performed exceptionally only requiring a charge every 30 hours or so. A charge with that 67W juicer takes little over an hour although 30 minutes of charging will take you from 0 percent capacity to 60 percent capacity. This is great for those moments when you forget that loadshedding is taking place in 55 minutes.

You can hone the battery life a bit by dropping the maximum refresh rate to 60Hz and dropping the brightness of course.

The unlock button has an embedded biometric scanner.

Succulent snapper

As mentioned earlier, the Redmi Note 12 Pro sports four sensors at the rear with two 2MP sensors, one 8MP sensor and the massive 108MP sensor. When the 108MP snapper isn’t active (you have to switch to the sensor which is great given the size of the images it produces) the other three sensors work together to produce some wonderfully vibrant and detailed photos. Shooting from dark into light conditions yields some rather nice looking shots with little to no over exposure.

You can of course enable the Pro camera mode which allows you to tweak settings for the perfect shot but the presets do a very good job of capturing incredible photos without tweaks.

When you do enable the 108MP snapper though, the Redmi produces images that dropped our jaw. One could easily print these photos out on a canvas and display them in your home and nobody would know that you snapped the photo on your smartphone.

When it comes to video you are able to capture 4K video at 30fps, but if you drop the resolution down to 1080p you can get footage running at 60fps.

We’ve embedded a gallery of snaps below, note we haven’t included 108MP snaps as these images measure 12000x9000px.

Bloated but not badly

As this is an Android smartphone running MIUI 14 atop Android 11, the Redmi Note 12 ships with the expected Google Suite of software. Unfortunately Xiaomi has also opted to include a large degree of other suggested applications that are preinstalled on the smartphone.

We understand that this is the norm for many manufacturers who have agreements to pre-install some apps but we, and many others, would prefer a clean experience from the outset.

The MIUI experience is good but you will need to take a few hours to become accustomed with certain elements of the UI such as swiping down, and then left to access quick settings such as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Thankfully Xiaomi hasn’t taken the general Chinese smartphone manufacturer route and there are soft buttons to go back, access the home menu and access a list of active applications.


At R6 299 it’s tough to fault a smartphone like this that offers a premium experience that often costs three times what the Redmi retails for. While a lack of 5G connectivity is notable, unlike the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, this is an omission we can handle given the price point of the Redmi, its ability to run Android and its overall performance.

The battery performance is fantastic, the display is simply lovely and the camera is going to impress you with how stunning your snaps look.

It’s incredibly hard to find fault with this handset and we’ve spent the better part of three weeks trying to find some. The worst thing we can say is that the pre-installed apps are a bit annoying but that comes down to our preference, some buyer may appreciate that TikTok is preinstalled on the handset.

Overall, the Redmi Note 12 Pro is a worthwhile consideration, especially if you’re looking for an excellent performer on a budget.


DISCLAIMER: The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 was sent to Hypertext for review, it will be returned to the distributor.


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