The Xiaomi 12T doesn’t snap the trend of Xiaomi’s T series, which focuses on flagship performance at less-than-flagship prices. It should be a great phone for gamers thanks to the powerful MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Ultra processor.
A snappy 120Hz AMOLED display, a sizable 5,000mAh battery, and quick 120W fast charging support only add to the excitement. It has all the requirements to be a solid flagship killer with its competitive pricing and strong specs.
But we know that specs are not everything, So how well does it perform in day to day life? Let’s find out in this Xiaomi 12T review.
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The Xiaomi 12T has been launched globally in two different storage variants. The base variant comes at a starting price of EUR 599 (approx Rs 49,500) for 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. While the price of 8GB RAM with 256GB internal storage has yet to be revealed.
The phone comes in three colour options: Black, Blue, and Silver. The phone is yet to launch in India.
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The Xiaomi 12T packs the following items inside the box:
- 120W Adapter
- USB Type-C Cable
- SIM Eject Tool
- Protective Case
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
Before we talk in detail about the Xiaomi 12T, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.67 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Ultra
- RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM 128GB Storage, 8GB RAM 256GB Storage
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 20 MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 202 grams
- Dimensions: 163.1 x 75.9 x 8.6 mm
The Xiaomi 12T retains the familiar design of the Xiaomi 12 lineup without getting any significant changes. There is no denying that the Xiaomi 12T is a big smartphone. It looks almost identical to the Xiaomi 12 Pro 5G.
The Xiaomi 12T has a sturdy and familiar build; it’s a dual-glass smartphone with a flat display protected by Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and curved matte glass on the back. Like it was before, the curved glass incites the frame to be slimmer on the longer sides. It is still made of chunky plastic, has a matte finish, and is still fairly flat.
The phone is available in different colour options, as one might expect. These are black, silver, and blue. I am reviewing the Black colour model, which is fairly sleek. Additionally, the phone is comfortable to hold, though many people will still wish to purchase a case for it.
The Xiaomi 12T has a good grip owing to its rugged frame, but the back glass panel is pretty slippery. The 12T is not a small phone by any means; it is heavy at 202 grams and thick, but it is not a brick. It fits comfortably in the hand and is suitable for most pockets. You can even use it with a single hand if you have used a big phone earlier.
Talking about buttons and port placements, the right side has the power button along with volume rockers. The left side is totally clean. The top has the IR blaster with a secondary speaker, while the bottom has the primary speaker, mic, SIM card slot and type-C port.
Xiaomi misses out on an IP rating, so be careful while using it near water or in the rain. Overall, the Xiaomi 12T is an excellent phone with sturdy build and straightforward design. The metal frame of the Xiaomi 11T is something I did miss because the plastic frame doesn’t feel much premium in my hands.
If you want numbers, Xiaomi has got them for you. It packs a triple camera setup on the back featuring a 108MP primary lens. The other two lenses include an 8MP ultrawide lens and a 2MP macro. The front side has a 20MP camera for taking selfies.
The main camera, as expected, is the best one among the three, delivering good quality, detailed photos with a nice dynamic range. The camera produces photos at 12MP by default, but you can always change that to 108MP. When you enable 108MP mode (Ultra HD mode), the detail level improves but only slightly.
Even though there seems to be no dedicated telephoto sensor, the portrait shots I took with the primary camera are quite appealing. The blur is impressive, and the subject was well-exposed and detailed, with vibrant colours that were free of noise. Low-light images were also quite nice.
It’s disappointing to see a 2MP camera lens here. It’s dull, low-quality, and essentially just a way for manufacturers to claim that their smartphones have a triple camera setup. You probably won’t use it much.
Thankfully, the 8MP ultrawide lens is quite good. The images taken have excellent details, accurate colours, good contrast, and a wide dynamic range.
A 20-megapixel camera is located on the front, and yet again, it can take selfies that are both high-resolution and reasonably detailed. The subjects were well-lit and had natural skin tones. Portrait selfies were decent as well, with slightly stronger exposure but paler colours. Both the background separation and the blur were done nicely.
Coming over to video recording, the Xiaomi 12T can record 4K videos at 30fps. The ultra-wide lens and front camera can record videos at 1080p, while the macro lens can only go up to 720p. You get OIS support on the main camera, so the videos come pretty stable and detailed.
The Xiaomi 12T packs a big 5000 mAh battery, the same as seen on the 12T Pro, which offers a decent battery backup. It will easily last you a full day of heavy use, even with the high refresh rate turned on. For a casual user like me, you can expect one and a half day of battery life.
My usage involved some Instagram scrolling, watching videos on YouTube, taking pictures and playing games. I got about 6 hours of screen on time, which is nice. But what’s better is the 120W fast charging support.
What I really appreciate about Xiaomi is that they bundle the fast charger in the box and you don’t have to spend a couple thousand extra to get one. The 120W charger takes less than 30 minutes to fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent. A quick charge of just 12 minutes will juice up the battery to about 50 per cent. Now, this is what I call fast.
The charging speed of the Xiaomi 12T leaves everyone behind easily. However, one thing that disappointed me is the lack of wireless charging. For a premium phone in this price range, I was expecting wireless charging support.
Xiaomi 12T features a big 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,712 x 1,220 pixels. It comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 900 nits. Moreover, it has a 480Hz touch sampling rate, which makes the display really responsive.
You can select from two refresh rate options: 60Hz or 120Hz. The display adjusts the refresh rate dynamically when it’s set to 120Hz. It can switch automatically between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, depending on the app. You can also play games at 90Hz if they support it. Definitely an excellent news for gamers.
The display gets plenty bright for both indoor and outdoor use. I had no issues even while using the phone under direct sunlight. Each and every icon was visible along with the texts.
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Talking about the display quality, there’s nothing to complain about. It’s crisp, sharp and vibrant with deep blacks. Thanks to the AMOLED display, everything appears bright and vivid and the viewing angles were great as well.
I watched a couple of videos on YouTube along with some movies on Netflix and my experience was just great, combined with the stereo speakers (more on that later in the review). It also supports HDR10+, so you can watch HDR content on OTT platforms.
Xiaomi has made sure to stay caught up in the performance race. It does not have the flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 but still packs a powerful MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Ultra. It is paired with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage. To be honest, it’s a pretty good specs combination.
Talking about day to day performance, you won’t notice any lag or shutter while using the phone. It can handle any task you throw at it. The RAM management was good, and the apps stayed in the background for a long time. Multitasking was not an issue at all.
Activities like browsing and scrolling are super smooth on the phone. In order to push the phone further, I tried some graphic intensive games like Apex Legends Mobile, CoD mobile and Asphalt 9. All the games could run at high settings smoothly.
I played a couple of team deathmatch matches on CoD mobile and I didn’t notice any kind of lags or frame drops. The performance was super smooth and didn’t take a hit even after playing for an hour.
Thanks to the vapour chamber cooling system, the temperature of the phone is kept in control even under load. Yes, the phone does get a bit warm, but not to a level where it feels uncomfortable to hold.
Overall, the Xiaomi 12T offers not only great performance but also good stability. Again, it’s not the best performer but surely among the best in the segment.
The Xiaomi 12T runs on MIUI 13 which is based on Android 12. It owls have been good to see Android 13 as it’s been out for a while now, but Xiaomi still went with Android 12, which is a bummer. Other than that, I personally love MIUI for its wide range of features and customisation options.
There’s a customisable Always-on display mode. You can set it to always show or show for 10 seconds after a tap. You can also choose from various AOD themes from the settings. The Notification effect is also supported by the Xiaomi 12T. It illuminates the display’s edges when a new notification arrives.
Similarly, you can change the animation for the fingerprint scanner. The Sidebar is a well-known feature: a small noticeable mark on the display’s edge that pops up into a menu whenever you swipe on it. From here, you run applications in pop-up windows.
The bloatware is, without a doubt, the most annoying aspect of MIUI. Xiaomi pre-installs a lot of apps on its phones, some of which cannot be uninstalled. On the 12T, you’ll find apps from the company for themes, music, security, file management, video, weather, and a few more.
Xiaomi promises two years of major OS updates and three years of security updates. You can expect an Android 13 update soon which means it will only get one more major Android update.
Speakers are where most of the smartphones compromise in this price range. However, Xiaomi has decided not to hold back at all. The Xiaomi 12T packs a stereo speaker setup, one speaker located at the bottom while the other on the top. The result is a crisp, clear and loud audio experience.
The audio doesn’t distort even at high volume levels; however, I feel like the bass could have been better.
The Xiaomi 12T comes with 5G connectivity and support for 13 5G bands. These include – n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n40/n41/n66/n77/n78. Other connectivity options are Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS and NFC.
The phone features an in-display fingerprint scanner. The sensor isn’t the best available, but it gets the job done just about all the time. It’s fast, reliable and pretty accurate most of the time. Alternatively, you can also use the face unlock feature, which works equally good but is not very secure.
The Xiaomi 12T exceeded my expectations and can be called an excellent all-arounder at a reasonable price. The Dimensity 8100 Ultra performs admirably, and the big 6.67-inch AMOLED display looks fantastic.
The 108Mp main camera, along with a 5,000 mAh battery and a 120W fast charger, is more than enough for everyday use. On the other hand, the plastic frame is underwhelming along with the average selfie camera performance.
That being said, if you’re a gamer looking for a large-screen smartphone with stereo speakers, plenty of storage, and plenty of power, the Xiaomi 12T could be the right phone for you.