The Xiaomi 12 series finally arrived in the West! The Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Xiaomi 12X were already announced in China in December. And now it is time for the global launch of the Xiaomi flagships with MIUI 13. We present you with a direct comparison of the three models and explain all the differences.
Xiaomi 12 Pro, Xiaomi 12, and Xiaomi 12X side-by-side
The Xiaomi 12 Pro leads the Chinese flagship lineup and brings strong specs: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, triple cam with three 50 MP sensors, and quick charging with 120 watts are absolutely impressive. However, the smaller models - the base model Xiaomi 12 and the cheaper Xiaomi 12X - are also exciting devices that we now want to take a look at. As always, we will start with our table, where you can find the most important specs.
On paper, some differences become quickly apparent here. Nevertheless, the two cheaper variants also offer fast quick-charging, AMOLED displays with refresh rates of 120 Hertz and fast SoCs. Let's now get into the details!
- Display and casing
- Performance and connectivity
- Battery and quick charging
- Price and availability
Xiaomi relies on AMOLED for all three smartphones and all three also offer us a refresh rate of 120 hertz. They are all curved displays as well, which is admittedly a matter of taste. At 6.73 inches, the Pro is significantly larger than its two 6.28-inch siblings. Furthermore, the panel also offers 1440p instead of FullHD+ resolution and the refresh rate is adaptive (1-120 Hz).
The display of the Xiaomi 12 Pro is very bright with 1,500 nits, but the other two devices also deliver an impressive 1,100 nits. The touch sampling rate of 480 hertz is identical for all three. Furthermore, the Xiaomi 12 series supports Dolby Vision and HDR 10+.
All three smartphones are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. Unfortunately, Xiaomi does without an IP certification for this. The three cameras on the back are combined in an island, which protrudes on all three models. The punch hole for the selfie camera is in the center of the upper display's front.
Xiaomi offers four color options, one of which is green with a leatherette back. However, we still have to verify whether all of them will make it to the US and Europe. Apart from the leatherette version, Xiaomi also relies on glass at the back.
Currently, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is Qualcomm's flagship SoC, so we are not surprised that the part is used in both the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro. The Xiaomi 12X is also equipped with the still very capable Snapdragon 870.
The RAM is either 8 or 12 GB in all three. You can choose between 128 and 256 GB of (non-expandable) storage. That is pretty standard for 2022, but a 512 GB variant would have looked good on the Pro model. All three smartphones use the 5G network and support Wi-Fi 6 and NFC. However, the 12X has a small disadvantage in terms of connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 instead of 5.2.
The main sensors are (almost) identical in all three Xiaomis. You get 50 megapixels each with f/1.9 aperture and OIS. However, the Xiaomi 12 Pro already relies on Sony's IMX707, while the other two use the well-known Sony IMX766. The ultra-wide-angle camera and the telephoto camera in the Pro model also shine with 50 MP.
This is the moment where both the Xiaomi 12 and 12X fall short in terms of quality: There we see a combination of 13-MP ultra-wide and 5-MP macro installed instead. The three devices rely on 32 MP selfie shooters in the front.
As always, our full review will have to prove what the cameras are actually capable of. As soon as we are back from the Xiaomi launch event in Berlin, you will find first hands-on impressions of the devices on NextPit!
All three smartphones come with identical software. In the case of the 12-series, we have known for a while that we can expect MIUI 13. It was initially disappointing that this was based on Android 11. However, Xiaomi has now been rolling out MIUI 13 based on Android 12 for a few days. Thus, you can not only look forward to MIUI 13 but also to an up-to-date Android! By the way, we recently compiled a list of tips and tricks for MIUI - the Xiaomi overlay is not without reason the most popular Android version on the market.
- On the topic of MIUI, read Zois' commentary on the dark mode dilemma on Xiaomi smartphones.
How does Xiaomi fare with updates? Compared to Samsung, you can probably deduct a year here. This means that you can expect three major Android updates and four years of support for security updates.
Xiaomi is a bit of a quick-charge king and is always ahead when it comes to high charging speeds. This is also true here: The Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with a 4,600 mAh battery that can be recharged at up to 120 watts. The Pro is the only model in the Xiaomi 12 series that can also handle reverse wireless charging. Wireless charging both Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12 goes up to a very snappy 50 watts!
The Xiaomi 12 and 12X are significantly slower than the Pro with 67 watts, but they are still in the top range and easily leave the competition like Samsung behind. By the way, the capacity of both phones is only slightly lower than that of the top model at 4,500 mAh.
Again, we will have to wait for the tests to get an idea of how efficiently the devices work. But we can already tell you one thing: The chargers are once again included in the box for all three models, just like in previous generations.
As already mentioned, the three smartphones were already introduced in China in December. For the global launch, Xiaomi announced reference pricing in US dollars, but as of press time, doesn't have plans for selling the devices in North America:
- Xiaomi 12 Pro - starting at $999
- Xiaomi 12 - starting at $749
- Xiaomi 12x - starting at $649
Even though the headline says "Conclusion": We haven't tested the devices yet, so this is a first assessment based on the spec sheets! And on this basis, it will also have become clear to you that the Pro leaves the other models behind in terms of camera, fast charging, and adaptive refresh rate of the display.
However, the vanilla model also comes with the best SoC, charges very quickly with 67 watts just like the 12X, and we also find the 120 Hz AMOLED display on both models. In general, the base model and the 12X are almost twins. The 12X only lags behind in terms of SoC and wireless charging. So you should keep that in mind if you find the Pro too expensive and have to choose one of the two cheaper alternatives.
You should also consider that Xiaomi might also release a Xiaomi 12 Ultra, which would then be Xiaomi's actual flagship spearhead.
What do you think? Were you hoping for other devices? How satisfied are you with the specs? Let's discuss it in the comments.