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Xiaomi 12 Pro First Impressions- The Good, The Bad & The X-Factor
Xiaomi 12 Pro is the latest flagship smartphone to join the elite list of handsets powered by Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. The smartphone comes in two variants- 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM at Rs. 62,999 & 12GB RAM + 256GB ROM at Rs. 66,999. Needless to say, the handset tries to undercut Samsung's 2022 Galaxy S22-series flagships and goes head-to-head with the OnePlus 10 Pro and the iQOO 9 Pro.
In addition to the top-tier processor, the handset also flaunts a class-leading 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display and a unique rear camera setup featuring an array of three different 50MP sensors. Xiaomi's 120W fast-charging technology fuels the 4,600 mAh battery and promises to give a full recharge in just 18 minutes (Boost mode). It's been two days since we have been using the Xiaomi 12 Pro, and here's what we think about it.
Excellent Multimedia Device
- The Xiaomi 12 Pro is an excellent phone for multimedia consumption. Be it video streaming on OTT platforms, immersive gaming, or just music playback, the phone's QHD+ display and quad-stereo speakers bring the audio/visuals alive.
- The 10-bit QHD+ display supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and the Harman Kardon tuned stereo speakers (tweeter + woofer) sound crisp and pleasing; however, not impressively loud.
- The handset also has Hi-Res Wireless Audio Certification and Dolby Atmos for audio.
Android 12 Out-Of-The-Box With Three Promised Software Updates
- The Xiaomi 12 Pro offers MIUI 13 based on Android 12 out-of-the-box and comes with a promise of three-year software updates and four years of security updates. The software is lag-free and comes packed with a fair share of customization features and utilities.
- The promised software update cycle sounds good on paper; however, it is worth mentioning that Samsung is offers four years of software upgrades with its Galaxy S22-series devices.
120W Fast-Charging & 50W Wireless Charging
- The Xiaomi 12 Pro's 4,600mAh battery can be recharged from 1% to 100% in less than 27 minutes in the standard mode. With the 'boost mode', the charging time is reduced to just 19-20 minutes. Xiaomi is offers the insanely-fast 120W fast-charging brick in the box at no additional cost.
- In addition to the 120W fast-charging tech, the handset also supports 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse charging.
- Design-wise, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is a stylish-looking handset that also looks premium. It is made of aluminum and glass, and the curved QHD+ screen gets Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. The handset also offers good ergonomics. You can buy the Xiaomi 12 Pro in three color options- Blue, Purple, and Gray.
Promising Camera System
- The Xiaomi 12 Pro's camera aces sharpness and clarity. Software processing has improved and images with human subjects now show better skin textures. The primary and telephoto sensor captures an excellent dynamic range and lively colors. The camera also records crisp 4K 60fps videos and can even shoot 8K 24fps videos.
- The smartphone also features Xiaomi ProFocus mode, which brings motion tracking focus capabilities (Eye-tracking focus / Motion capture). We will talk more about this promising camera setup in our detailed review.
No Official IP rating
- Similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro and the iQOO 9 Pro, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is also vulnerable to dust and water damage. The handset lacks any sort of official IP rating, which could be a deal-breaker for consumers looking for a premium device with good durability standards. In such cases, Samsung's Galaxy S21 FE, despite a dated chipset, comes across as a viable alternative.
- Moving on, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is also marred by some heating issues, which could be attributed to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. The heating effect on the 12 Pro became quite prominent while playing graphics-intensive games at max settings and while using the camera for a longer duration under bright sunlight, which is fairly normal in peak summers in the Northern region of the country. We didn't notice any throttling issues so far but more details should surface in our detailed review.
- There's a noticeable color shift happening when you switch between the lenses.
- The wide-angle sensor does not match the dynamic range and sharpness of the other two sensors.
- The portrait sensor's output isn't quite there yet. The blur effect is often very harsh and creates unrealistic results. More on the camera output in our detailed review.
There's a long list of features that would easily qualify for the 'X-Factor' but in my opinion, it is the overall package of features, cutting-edge hardware, and performance that makes the Xiaomi 12 Pro an excellent handset. Each aspect of the smartphone is innovative, and the hardware under the hood ensures that it operates without lag.
Should You Consider Buying The Xiaomi 12 Pro?
If you are eyeing a premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone for consistent performance, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is one such handset. We will soon compare the performance with other rival handsets to bring you our detailed review. Meanwhile, you can read our reviews of the OnePlus 10 Pro, Realme GT 2 Pro, and the iQOO 9 Pro.