Redmi Note 12 Review
The Redmi Note series is by far the most popular series of Redmi and there’s a reason behind it. They offered the best phones on budget with good overall performance. The same can be said for the latest Redmi Note 12.
The phone performs good for everyday activities and has a great display for content consumption. The cameras are just fine for the price and good enough for casual users. The battery life of the Redmi Note 12 is pretty good and even though the 33W fast charging support is nice, it takes a bit longer to charge the phone.
All in all, the Redmi Note 12 looks like a good deal for a starting price of 18K. I have been using the phone for a couple of days and here’s my review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12.
Redmi Note 12 Price in India and Variants
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G has been launched in two variants in India. The phone costs Rs. 17,999 for 4GB RAM +128GB internal storage and Rs. 19,999 for 6GB RAM +128GB internal storage.
The phone is available in three colour options: Frosted Green, Matte Black and Mystique Blue. You can buy the phone directly from mi.com or other online platforms like Amazon.
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Redmi Note 12 Box Contents
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 packs the following items inside the box:
- 33W Power adapter
- USB type-C cable
- SIM eject tool
- Clear soft case
- Screen protector (pre-applied on the phone)
Redmi Note 12 Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.67 inches Super AMOLED
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
- RAM & ROM: 4GB RAM 128GB Storage, 6GB RAM 128GB Storage
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 13 MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 188 grams
- Dimensions: 165.88 x 76.21 x 7.98 mm
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Redmi Note 12 Design and Build
The Redmi Note 12 comes with a fresh design language which really appeals. It’s a nice looking device and will surely catch your eye if you have the green colour variant like I have. It has a plastic back which comes with a matte finish.
It does not attract any fingerprints but it’s not the most solid material out there. You better use it with a case else it will develop scratches on it. The frame is also made of plastic and matches the same green accent of the back panel.
The phone feels quite good in hands and the slim profile enhances the overall feel. Moreover, it’s quite light, weighing just about 188 grams. Hence it’s easy to carry in your pocket and doesn’t feel heavy even after long scrolling sessions on Instagram.
The big rectangular camera module on the back houses the three lenses. The layout is different from last year but it still protrudes a bit. There is a subtle Redmi branding on the bottom left of the back panel. Lastly, the phone comes with an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance.
Talking about ports and buttons, the right side has the volume rockers along with the power button which doubles as the fingerprint scanner. The left side just has the SIM card slot. The top has a 3.5mm audio jack, secondary mic and IR blaster. While the bottom side holds the type-C port, speaker grille and primary mic.
Redmi Note 12 Camera
Cameras are not really a strong point of the Note series and the same can be said for the Redmi Note 12. I don’t mean they are bad, they will just get the job done.
It features a triple camera setup on the back which includes a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and 2MP macro lens. The front side has a 13 MP selfie camera.
The main camera takes good shots in daylight. The images were detailed and had good sharpness. The colours don’t really look vibrant but are more on the natural side. But as the light drops, the image quality also drops.
You can tell the detail in the image drops and noise enters in night photography. There’s no OIS here so better keep your hands steady or else the images come shaky in low-light situations.
The ultra-wide lens manages to take average shots in bright lighting environments. The low-resolution camera does not capture much details like the main camera. Although the colour remains pretty much the same, the sharpness vastly takes a hit.
The 2MP macro lens is just garbage. The images taken with it are poor in terms of quality and colours. Most of the time the images come out shaky. You need a pretty steady hand and bright lighting to take passable macro shots.
The front camera manages to take decent selfies. The selfies taken in bright sunlight were good and detailed. The skin tones also looked close to natural.
Talking about videos, the phone can record 1080P videos at 30fps using both the main and front cameras. The video output is average in terms of details and dynamic range. However, the footage comes out to be shaky.
Redmi Note 12 Battery and Charging
The Redmi Note 12 is backed by a big 5000mAh battery which is pretty much seen on every phone in this price range. And like other phones, the Note 12 also offers a good battery backup. It easily survives through the whole day and can even have some juice left for the second day.
I got about 5-6 hours of screen on time with casual usage. My usage involved some gaming, Instagram scrolling and taking pictures. Now of course the battery life will depend on your usage but overall I can say that the Note 12 will not disappoint you in this department.
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The 33W fast charger takes more than an hour, about 75 minutes to fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent. Half an hour of charging time will juice the battery to about 50 per cent. Yes, I know this is a bit time taking but I feel it’s still enough for most of the users.
I appreciate Xiaomi for providing the charger in the box like all the times. There is no support for wireless charging, which is not expected as well at this price.
Redmi Note 12 Display
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 boats a great display for those who spend a lot of time interacting with the screen. It features an FHD+ 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display which has a 120Hz refresh rate.
Thanks to the high refresh rate, the scrolling experience is super smooth. Be it navigating through the UI or scrolling through your feed, you feel the fluidity and responsiveness of the display. You get the option to change the refresh rate in the display settings if you wish to.
It’s an AMOLED display so the colours look really good and punchy. The text and other content on the screen appear to be crisp and sharp. The blacks are deep and you can tell that while watching videos. Moreover, the viewing angles are also great.
I watched a couple of episodes of Alice in Borderland on Netflix and I really enjoyed it on the Redmi Note 12. The colours looked great and the dark scenes were clear without any weird bleeding.
Talking about the bezels, you will see thin bezels on all sides except the bottom one. The bottom chin is a bit thicker but doesn’t spoil the experience. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Pretty old I know, but something better than nothing.
Redmi Note 12 Performance
The Redmi Note 12 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC which makes it among the first smartphones to offer this chipset. The processor is paired with up to 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 internal storage.
It’s not the latest technology but still works fine. The phone glides through casual tasks like taking pictures, making calls or chatting on WhatsApp. Even resource hungry apps like Instagram run smoothly without any issues.
I tried to play a couple of games on it to push it further. I ran Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9. Both the games ran well in medium settings. I did not face any major lags or shutters while playing. Call of Duty could also run on 60fps but you have to keep the settings on low for a lag-free experience.
So, you can play heavy games on it without any issues but just not on high settings. Not to forget that the 120Hz refresh rate further enhances the gaming experience. I did not notice any thermal throttling issues. It did get a bit warm while gaming like any other phone gets.
Redmi Note 12 Software and UI
The Redmi Note 12 runs on MIUI 13 skin which is based on Android 12. I am definitely not happy to see a phone launching in 2023 and still running on Android 12 even though the latest Android 13 has been out in the market for some time now.
Leaving that aside, the MIUI 13 has a bunch of customisation options. You can play around with different themes, icons and text sizes. The animations were smooth and the UI looks very simple and straightforward. You can swipe down from the top right to access the control centre while the swipe down from the left side brings down the notification shade.
We all know that Redmi phones come with a bunch of pre-installed apps and that is never going to go away, at least for a couple of years. The good thing is that you can uninstall all those third-party apps from the phone and even some system apps.
As usual, you will get two major software updates which will take you to Android 14 and four years of security updates.
Redmi Note 12 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
The phone has a single bottom firing speaker which delivers average sound quality. The loudness is fine and okay for watching videos. I wish there was a stereo speaker like the Note 11. The good thing is that Redmi has given 3.5mm audio jack so you can simply plug in your earphones and enjoy.
The Redmi Note 12 comes with 5G connectivity and supports 7 5G bands. These include: n1, n3, n5, n8, n28, n40 and n78. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 802.11, GPS and IR blaster.
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The Note 12 5G comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner as well as a face unlock feature to unlock your phone. Both of them work fine and quickly unlocks the phone.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 is a solid option to consider if you are thinking to buy a phone under 20K. You get decent performance, a beautiful display and 5G connectivity. On top of that, the fresh design looks nice and the lightweight build makes it easier to use for a longer duration.
The cameras are just fine and nothing spectacular, as expected at this price. However, I have to say that the battery backup is really good. But, is it the best deal out there? Well, I can’t say that upright.
There are a lot of phones in this price range that might offer you something better at the cost of others. But Redmi Note 12 shines out like a good all-rounder at this price. You might want to add a couple of extra money and get the Pro model.