We expected the Xiaomi 12 to be the first 2022 Android phone to feature Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 System-on-Chip (SoC). Qualcomm’s new processor should compete with the A15 Bionic that Apple included in the iPhone 13 series. Like every year, Xiaomi launched its next-gen Android flagship a lot earlier than rivals, but not early enough. Lenovo’s Motorola Edge X30 is the world’s first phone with a Snapdragon 8 SoC onboard. That doesn’t make the Xiaomi 12 series any less exciting, however. Xiaomi has two Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagships out, including the Xiaomi 12 Pro which rivals the iPhone 13 Pro.
Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12 design
The two Xiaomi 12 phones are nearly identical. The design is similar for both handsets. We’re looking at hole-punch displays with small bezels, built-in fingerprint sensors, and triple-lens cameras on the back.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro features a 6.73-inch LTPO OLED display with 3200 x 1440 resolution, 1,500 nit peak brightness, and support for 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+. The Xiaomi 12 comes with a smaller 6.28-inch OLED screen with 2400 x 1800 resolution, 1100 nit peak brightness, and 120Hz refresh rate.
Battery size is another differentiating factor between the two Xiaomi 12 handsets. The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a 4,600 mAh battery pack. It’s also the industry’s first single-cell battery to recharge at speeds of up to 120W. The Xiaomi 12 has a smaller 4,500 mAh battery. The company did not mention charging speeds for the smaller, cheaper flagship in the announcement.
The specs and features
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC delivers 30% faster graphics and 25% efficiency gains, Xiaomi says. Furthermore, the new 7th-gen AI engine is 5 times faster than the previous version, while the new 3-circuit ISP should deliver 18-bit data processing.
The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro feature either 8GB or 12GB of fast LPDDR5 RAM that supports transfer rates of up to 6,400 Mbps. The UFS 3.1 storage comes in two versions, 128GB or 256GB, supporting sequential write speeds of up to 1,450 Mbps.
Keeping things cool is a combination of vapor chamber cooling and graphene heat dissipation. Xiaomi says the Xiaomi 12 features “an extra-large” 2,600 square-mm vapor chamber and a 10,000 square-mm graphite layer. Additionally, the antenna has a graphene cover of its own. The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a larger vapor chamber and three large heat dissipation graphite sheets.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro delivers the better camera experience
Both handsets feature triple-lens cameras on the back, although the Xiaomi 12 Pro has the better hardware.
The Xiaomi 12 comes with a Sony IMX766 primary camera with a 1/1.56″ sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, and a 5-megapixel “telemacro” camera.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro features three 50-megapixel cameras. The primary shooter comes with the new Sony IMX707 1/1.28″ sensor that supports 2.44μm 4-in-1 pixel-binning tech. The two other cameras feature 50-megapixel JN1 sensors. We’re looking at a wide-angle camera with a 115-degree field of view and a 2x telephoto camera. Interestingly, all three cameras support Night Mode.
Price and release dates
Both the Xiaomi 12 and the Xiaomi 12 Pro will be available in three memory and storage combinations: 8GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB, and 12GB+256GB. The handsets come in black, blue, or purple glass. A green vegan leather option is also available.
Xiaomi 12 prices are 3,699 yuan ($581), 3,999 yuan ($628), and 4,399 yuan ($691), respectively. The Xiaomi 12 Pro are more expensive at 4,699 yuan ($738), 4,999 yuan ($785), and 5,399 yuan ($848).
The two handsets will be available in Mainland China at 8:00 p.m. local time on December 31st.
A cheaper Xiaomi 12X version featuring a Snapdragon 870 SoC will also be available in the country, starting at 3,199 yuan ($502).