The Xiaomi T-series has always been popular to Android enthusiasts. These devices offer top-caliber high-end specs without the price tag of a real flagship device. That stays the same with this year’s version, the Xiaomi 12T Pro.
With a local price of Php37,999, it’s no surprise that this handset has all the top specs you’d expect from an expensive smartphone. Today, we’ll test out all of them to see how they perform and if it is a better option for Xiaomi‘s actual flagship line. Let’s start our Xiaomi 12T Pro review.
Xiaomi 12T Pro Specs
- Android 12, MIUI 13
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.67 AMOLED display, 2712 x 1220 pixel resolution, 446ppi
- 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- 3.19GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 octa-core processor
- 12GB RAM
- Adreno 730 GPU
- 256GB UFS 3.1 internal storage, non-expandable
- 20-megapixel front camera
- 200-megapixel (HP1, f/1.7, PDAF, OIS) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide) + 2-megapixel (macro) rear cameras, dual-LED flash
- Harman Kardon stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos
- No headphone jack
- Under-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE, 5G
- WiFi 6, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.2
- GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO, NavIC, BDS
- IR blaster
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 163.1 x 75.9 x 8.6mm
- Weight: 205g
- Colors: Blue, Silver, Black
- 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 120W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
While it shares a couple of specs and features with an actual flagship device, the cheaper price means that the Xiaomi 12T Pro has a few compromises. That also shows in the design.
As you can see, it has a pretty simple, clean, and robust design, unlike the flashy and ultra-thin looks that real flagships have. Although, it does feel a bit chunky.
The device is sandwiched with glass: Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, which is a surprise downgrade from last gen’s Gorilla Glass Victus. The glass used on the back was not mentioned.
Xiaomi also used a very solid chassis and incorporated IP53 water and dust protection for extra peace of mind. It also screams utilitarian. The slightly thick build is paired with curved edges, so it’s really comfortable to hold. Meanwhile, the back panel has a frosted finish that keeps it clean from fingerprint marks.
The top left of the back panel sports a substantial camera island that matches the overall color of the device and has a text that boasts one of its key features: the 200-megapixel camera. What we have here is Black color, but you can also get it in Silver or Blue.
On the front, we have a large 6.67-inch AMOLED panel. There’s a punch-hole for the selfie camera, which allowed it to have almost uniform and ultra-thin bezels all around
The left side is clean while on the right we have the volume controls and lock/power switch. Physical buttons are fine, but we wish they were more tactile and clicky.
On the top, we have the IR blaster, a secondary microphone for noise isolation, the “Sound by Harman Kardon” branding, and the second microphone for a stereo setup.
At the bottom, we have the primary speaker, USB Type-C port, main microphone, and SIM tray that can only accommodate two nano SIM cards, and no microSD card for storage expansion.
Despite its thick size, it still didn’t get to have a headphone jack. We’re also not a big fan of the speaker placement. They are at opposing heights, so no matter which side is on top when you’re using it in landscape mode when gaming or watching videos, the mid of your index finger will still cover any of the two speakers.
Overall, the Xiaomi 12T Pro has a clean, serious look with a robust build quality. It may not be the best-looking phone around, but it sure is fine.
Display and Sound Quality
One of the key highlights of the Xiaomi 12T Pro is the display. It uses a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a high 2,712 x 1,220 pixel resolution at 446 pixels per inch. There’s also the 1920Hz PWM dimming, fast 120Hz refresh rate, and an extra sensitive 480Hz touch sampling.
Also onboard are 12-bit color, Dolby Vision, DCI-P3, and HDR10+. Widevine L1 DRM is also here to streaming platforms like Netflix can take full advantage of the display sharpness.
In simpler terms, this display is really great. It has gorgeous colors for every content, sharp resolution for reading texts, and smoothness that’s more than enough for games that supports it.
The Harman Kardon speakers with Dolby Audio are also great. It has loud volume and good clarity. Plus, since it has a large display, the two speakers are positioned far enough for audible stereo separation.
Hardware and Performance
The Xiaomi 12T Pro is powered by none other than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which is possibly the most powerful mobile chipset in the market today. It is paired with an Adreno 730 GPU, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of fast UFS 3.1 internal storage. Again, no slot for a microSD card for expansion.
Xiaomi 12T Pro benchmark scores
It goes without saying that the 12T Pro is fast, even faster thanks to its speedy display. The benchmark scores clearly show that. Taking pictures is fast, social media browsing is buttery, and it edits photos and videos without breaking a sweat.
It also handles games like nothing. Call of Duty Mobile is playable at all the highest settings with smooth frame rates. We’ve also encountered no overheating issues during our time with it.
Software and User Interface
The Xiaomi 12T Pro ships with the Android 12 operating system with MIUI 13 on top. Being a modern flagship phone, it should receive the newer Android 13 update once it’s available.
Everything looks intuitive and clean enough. Swiping down from the top left of the screen reveals the notifications tab while the opposite side shows the control center with large icons and toggles to control the WiFi, Bluetooth, screen brightness, and volume.
There’s also a space below for smart cards that provide quick controls to select apps. For one, you can instantly switch on/off lights in your Google Home app.
Thanks to its OLED screen, the Xiaomi 12T Pro has an Always-on display (AOD) feature that lets you display different themes, and show the time, date, and important notifications when the device is idle.
Notification effects are also here, which light up the edges of the screen when there’s a pending notification.
Security features include a face unlock and under-display fingerprint scanner, both worked fast and reliably during our tests. You can also unlock the device using an external Bluetooth device.
The battery app is also quite robust showing your remaining usage, battery saving modes, current battery temperature, how many times it was charged in a day, and more.
Obviously, this is a large device. If you have smaller hands, you can enable one-handed mode by swiping down the gesture icon at the bottom of the screen. This drops the interface so you can easily reach everything with a finger.
There are also tons of gesture controls that let you easily launch Google Assistant, take a screenshot, launch the camera, or touch by doing finger gestures or pressing the power button.
Another thing to like is the camera app, which has tons of features like night mode, document scanner, Pro mode, AI scene detection, adjustable long exposure duration, movie frames, and more.
One feature you’d be using a lot is the keyboard. The 12T Pro ships with the standard Google Keyboard, which is roomy and easy to get used to. It also gives quick access to gifs, animations, and other media formats that will make messaging more expressive.
These are just some of the software features that complement the good hardware of the new Xiaomi 12T Pro.
One bragging right of the Xiaomi 12T Pro is being the first from the brand, and one of the firsts in the industry, to boast a 200-megapixel main camera. It’s a 1/1.22-inch ISOCELL HP1 from Samsung with optical image stabilization and f/1.7 aperture.
It uses a Tetra2pixel technology with 16-to-1 pixel binning for smaller but better-looking 12.5-megapixel images.
The main camera is joined by the usual accomplices: an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and a 20-megapixel sensor on the front for selfies.
Image quality from the main camera is unsurprisingly great. It offers vibrant colors without being too much, the contrast is deep, the dynamic range is wide, and is very detailed — even in the standard 12.5-megapixel pixel-binning mode. In addition, the ultra-sharp sensor means you can take 2x zoom photos without losing any noticeable quality.
There’s also the 200-megapixel mode to take full advantage of the sensor’s resolution. But the difference between the standard mode — other than the drastic increase in file size (12-30MB to 40-80MB) — is negligible.
Low-light shots are also great. The shutter speed is still fast and the details are sharp. The Night mode is also pretty subtle which creates a more natural look.
The huge drop in resolution for the 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera is quite noticeable. Still, the images it takes have the right amount of detail, but obviously not as sharp. On the upside, the colors are still likable and the dynamic range is clean.
Lastly, the 20-megapixel Quad Bayer selfie camera takes great selfies with fine detail and realistic skin tones. Dynamic range is also impressive.
For videos, it can shoot up to 8K clips at 24fps. 4K 60fps is also available while the ultra-wide lens can do 1080p @ 30fps.
As a standard in 2022 high-end phones, the Xiaomi 12T Pro comes with 5G connectivity on top of 4G LTE and HSPA+ — giving you flexibility in whatever network coverage is available in your area.
It also uses the latest dual-band WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO, NAvIC, and BDS. Also onboard is the NFC for contactless payments and easy pairing with compatible accessories. Plus, an IR blaster — a standard issue to Xiaomi devices — lets you control non-smart appliances.
Battery and charging
One benefit of not caring whether a smartphone will be bulky or not is the battery. Unlike flagships, this one has a large 5,000mAh capacity.
On PCMark’s battery test, where it loops workload until the battery reaches 20%, it was able to last for 13 hours and 19 minutes. That’s with the Bluetooth and WiFi off and the screen brightness and volume set to 50%.
This means that the 12T Pro can easily last you for an entire day of heavy use like making a lot of calls, video conferencing, web browsing, and more. You can also game for hours and not worry that you have to reach for the charger immediately.
Speaking of charging, another key feature of the 12T Pro is its whopping 120W fast charging, which was able to fully charge the device from 1% in only around 20 minutes. It did get warm a little, but nothing really alarming.
So, is the Xiaomi 12T Pro a good alternative to the brand’s actual flagship? The answer is an easy “yes.” All the key features you’d expect from a proper high-end device are already here, with the benefit of a cheaper price tag.
It has a solid build and clean design, a top-notch display, a flagship-level CPU, killer fast charging and battery life, and an ultra-sharp main camera.
Honestly, it’s really hard to find anything to dislike about this handset. But if we were to nitpick, we wish the ultra-wide camera has a sharper sensor, and the speaker placement better so neither is blocked with your finger when used in landscape mode. Also, considering how thick the device already is, we hope Xiaomi didn’t have to omit the microSD card slot and headphone jack.
Still, there’s no denying that the Xiaomi 12T Pro is one of the best high-end phones you can get in the market today due to everything it already offers for a price cheaper than an actual flagship.
Xiaomi 12T Pro price and availability in the Philippines
The Xiaomi 12T Pro, with its lone 12GB/256GB model sold in the Philippines, has an SRP of Php37,999. You can also check out the vanilla Xiaomi 12T which costs much less at Php26,999.
- Clean design and solid build
- Fast and colorful display
- Flagship-level performance
- Solid battery life
- Killer main camera
- Ultra-fast charging
- Speaker placement is quite annoying when using in landscape mode
- Ultra-wide camera could be sharper
- No headphone jack, microSD card slot