Xiaomi has officially launched the new Xiaomi 12 series of flagship smartphones in China, incorporating several changes over the Mi 11 series. The Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Xiaomi 12X models are expected to boot the company’s MIUI 13 skin based on Android 12 when they go on sale. While global availability of the Xiaomi 12 series has not been announced, the MIUI 13 update will be rolling out to the outgoing Mi 11 devices and some Redmi smartphones. Here’s a close look at everything that was unveiled.
The vanilla and Pro models of the Xiaomi 12 series vary in internal specifications but share design features. Both the models are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship SoC and should easily outperform the Snapdragon 888-powered Mi 11 series.
Xiaomi touts the vanilla Xiaomi 12 as a “small” flagship smartphone compared to its contemporaries. The phone is slim and weighs just 180 grams. It is also narrower than the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21 at 69.9mm. The phone features a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 2400×1080 resolution, Gorilla Glass Victus protection, support for 12-bit colors, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 1,100 nits of peak brightness.
Calling the Xiaomi 12 a small flagship isn’t exactly marketing speak. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip mated to a large cooling plate to keep it cool. The phone supports 67W wired fast charging for its 4,500mAh battery. It also allows for 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless charging. Xiaomi claims that you can fully charge this pocket rocket in under 40 minutes.
In the camera department, the Xiaomi 12 is equipped with a 50MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a 123-degree FoV, and a macro lens with unknown specifications. The three cameras are built into a rectangular camera island on the top left-hand side of the phone. The Xiaomi 12 is advertised to have improved continuous shooting speeds and a CyberFocus feature for focus locking and subject tracking in moving scenes. The tech was reportedly borrowed from the company’s CyberDog. On the front, the Xiaomi 12 has a 32MP selfie camera nestled in a centered hole-punch cut out just like the Mi 11 series.
The Xiaomi 12X was a surprising addition to the company’s 12 series lineup. Compared to the vanilla Xiaomi 12, the model features the same screen, camera setup, battery capacity, and wired fast charging capability. The Xiaomi 12X is a considerable leap ahead of the Mi 11X that the Snapdragon 870 SoC drove because it packs the current-gen flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.
Xiaomi 12 Pro
Instead of launching an Ultra-branded model, the 12 series’ top-of-the-line model is the Xiaomi 12 Pro, at least for now. The phone packs a 6.73-inch AMOLED display with a 3200×1440 pixel resolution, support for 120Hz refresh rate, 10-bit color, and a 1,500 nit peak brightness. Like the vanilla Xiaomi 12, the Xiaomi 12 Pro also has Gorilla Glass Victus protection.
This model features an in-display fingerprint scanner and dual speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. The Xiaomi 12 Pro is also IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. It shares its processor with the vanilla Xiaomi 12 model but features a slightly larger 4,600mAh battery that supports Xiaomi’s much-hyped 120W wired charging 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless charging.
Speaking of cameras, the Xiaomi 12 Pro features a triple-camera array as well, all of which are 50MP sensors. The primary lens packs a Sony IMX707 sensor. On the front, a 32MP selfie camera is available.
Xiaomi 12 Series Pricing and Availability
The Xiaomi 12 series is only available in China at present. However, few models are expected to become globally available in due course.
The fully-loaded Xiaomi 12 Pro sports a starting price tag of CNY 4,699 ($738) for the configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The 8GB/256GB model is available for CNY 3,999 ($628), while the 12GB/256GB model will cost CNY 5,399 ($848).
The vanilla Xiaomi 12 starts at CNY 3,699 ($581) for the 8GB/128GB model, with the price going up to CNY 4,399 ($691) for the 12GB/256GB model. An intermediate 8GB/256GB model is priced at CNY 3,999 ($628).
Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12X starts at CNY 3,199 ($502) for the 8GB/128GB model and goes up to CNY 3,799 ($596) for the 12GB/256GB model.
The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro are available in black, blue, purple, and a textured wild green color. The company begins accepting pre-orders on December 30, 2021. General sales will commence in 2022.
MIUI 13 Based on Android 12
Alongside the three new Xiaomi 12 series models, the company also released the latest iteration of its custom Android skin called MIUI. The new MIUI 13 skin is based on Android 12 and should be available right out of the box on the Xiaomi 12 models when they arrive in stores next year.
Xiaomi claims that compared to the MIUI 12.5 update, MIUI 13 packs better performance, system stability, and face unlock technology. Xiaomi claims that the budget-segment devices will get the maximum performance benefit by updating to MIUI 13. The update also adds design tweaks and a slew of widgets vaguely similar to those we see on iOS 15.
Xiaomi also unveiled a variation of MIUI 13 for tablets called the MIUI 13 Pad. The update is designed to make full use of the additional screen real estate on tablets and foldable devices, focusing on productivity improvements, a new global taskbar, and improved drag-and-drop support.
MIUI 13 Device Compatibility and Release Timeline
Xiaomi has announced that the following models will receive an OTA update to MIUI 13 by the end of January 2022 in the first batch:
- Mi 11 Ultra
- Mi 11
- Mi 11i
- Mi 11X Pro
- Mi 11X
- Redmi 10
- Redmi 10 Prime
- Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE
- Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G
- Redmi Note 8 (2021)
- Xiaomi 11T Pro
- Xiaomi 11T
- Redmi Note 10 Pro
- Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
- Redmi Note 10
- Mi 11 Lite 5G
- Mi 11 Lite
- Redmi Note 10 JE
Meanwhile, the MIUI 13 Pad stable update will be pushed to the Xiaomi Pad 5 and Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro late in January 2022.
What do you think of the new Xiaomi 12 series phones and MIUI 13? Tell us in the comments section below!