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Redmi Note 12 Review: an eye candy with mid-range features and entry-level price

With ₦204,000 or less, everything might just be possible on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 entry-level phone.

Redmi Note 12 Review: an eye candy with mid-range features and entry-level price
Redmi Note 12

Key Specs of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12

  • Display: 6.67 inches AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Weight: 183.5 g
  • OS: Android 13, upgradable to Android 14, HyperOS
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 (6 nm)
  • RAM: Options of 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB
  • Storage: Available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, expandable via microSDXC
  • Main Camera: Triple - 50MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 2MP (macro)
  • Selfie Camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 5000mAh with 33W fast charging
  • Other Features: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, NFC (market/region dependent), 3.5mm jack, USB Type-C 2.0
  • Colours: Onyx Gray, Mint Green, Ice Blue

Xiaomi recently made a splash with its Redmi Note 12 Series, offering a range of options for budget-conscious smartphone users in March of 2023. The most affordable option is the Redmi Note 12 4G, standing out for its impressive features at a competitive price point. In Nigeria, the 256GB variant starts at around ₦204,000/$159. This solidifies the Redmi Note 12 4G's position as Xiaomi's most affordable Note-series phone in 2023.

Let’s look at the features of the Redmi Note 12 smartphone:

Design: Let's start with the phone's design. Despite its slim profile, Xiaomi manages to pack in a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual SIM support – features often missing in today's sleek smartphones. While the inclusion of a microSD card slot for expandable storage is a plus, the single speaker setup feels like a step back from the Redmi Note 11's stereo speakers.

Xiaomi Redi Note 12 features minimal bezels and a hole-punch camera

Display: Moving on to the display, the Redmi Note 12 boasts a stunning 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay with a 2400 x 1080 resolution. The real stars of the show, however, are the 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. This combination of smooth visuals and responsive touch is a rarity in the sub-P10,000 smartphone segment. 

Adding to the display's appeal are accurate colours thanks to DCI-P3 colour gamut support and a peak brightness of up to 1200 nits, making visuals truly pop. While the bottom bezel might seem a bit chunky, the overall display quality easily outweighs this minor design choice.

Camera: The standard Redmi Note 12 offers a capable camera system, but the true highlight is the Note 12 Discovery Edition with its eye-catching 200MP HPX main camera. 

This versatile camera allows you to capture stunning 200MP shots, detailed 50MP pixel-binned images, or space-saving 12.5MP snaps. The phone is further equipped with an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro lens, providing a well-rounded camera experience.

Xiaomi Redi Note 12 in Ice Blue: back view + display

Performance: The performance limitations of the Snapdragon 680 used in the Redmi Note 11 were a major pain point. Thankfully, the Redmi Note 12 steps up with the Snapdragon 685 processor, an overclocked (faster) version offering improved performance. While various storage options are available, the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is recommended for a smoother user experience. Xiaomi's inclusion of 2GB of RAM expansion also helps those looking for extra breathing room, especially on models with lower base RAM configurations.

Xiaomi Redi Note 12 features

Pros

  • Excellent Display: The device features a bright 120Hz OLED panel that offers a superior viewing experience.
  • Long Battery Life: It is equipped with a large battery that supports sufficiently fast charging.
  • Solid Build: The phone has a good design and build quality, making it durable.
  • Decent Camera Performance: For its price bracket, the camera performance is fairly decent, especially in daylight.

Cons

  • No NFC: The absence of NFC might be a deal-breaker for some users, especially those who rely on contactless payments.
  • No Stereo Speakers: The stereo speakers have been removed, which could affect the audio experience.
  • Performance: While adequate, the performance may not satisfy heavy users.
  • Bloatware: The presence of bloatware (unwanted software) can detract from the user experience.

No final verdict today, but the Redmi Note 12 is a bit of a mixed experience. It has a lot of bloatware and the camera can be unpredictable, but it's still an interesting phone. This could be a downside for most users, but Redmi is also encouraging you to try out the phone and see what it can do.

Even with its flaws, the Note 12 strives to deliver. It could be better but it compensates with reliability where it counts at this price point.

See Also: Redmi Note 13 series: What’s different from the Note 12 series?

Pricing and Availability in Nigeria

You can get the Redmi Note 12 in Xiaomi stores, authorised retailers nationwide, Jumia, Konga, and Slot stores have the two variants available in Nigeria. The 128GB variant retails for ₦195,950 ($152) and the 256GB variant retails for ₦204,000 ($159).

Additionally, the Redmi Note 12 4G phone has the following retail prices in other countries:

  • Pakistan: Rs. 45,499
  • Kenya: Ksh. 25,000
  • Ghana: GHS 1,935
  • South Africa: ZAR 4,250

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