|Incredibly fast charging||Weak optical zoom|
|One of the best screens||No IP rating|
|Very powerful||Average battery life|
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is a phone that you won't need to charge for more than a few minutes at a time, and it excels in most other areas too. There are just a few weak points that hold it back from classic status.
The challenge the Xiaomi 12 Pro – and every other phone - faces is not just to be good, but to stand out from other handsets of a similar price, and with so many smartphones launching, that’s increasingly hard to do.
The more expensive a phone is the more vital it is that it stands out from the crowd, and so with a price that puts it very near the top of the market, it’s near essential that the Xiaomi 12 Pro stands out.
Because yes, it is good – almost every aspect from its screen to its camera impresses - but does it go beyond competitors in any meaningful way? Read on to find out.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a 6.73-inch 1440 x 3200 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 521 pixels per inch, HDR10+ support, and a peak brightness of 1,500 nits.
Those are all impressive specs. While its display is slightly smaller than those of the very biggest phones, this is still a large screen, and it’s high resolution, high quality, and packs a high refresh rate, as well as being capable of getting very bright.
It also packs a variable refresh rate which can automatically adjust all the way down to 1Hz if you’re doing something that doesn’t need a high refresh rate (such as looking at a static screen), saving battery in the process.
Colours also look natural and accurate, so really there’s nothing at all to complain about with the screen. Put this side by side with any other top-end phone and – while you might notice some differences – you’re unlikely to be unimpressed by this.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a smart, understated, but undeniably stylish and premium design. The phone has a slightly curved glass back in a single block of colour, while the screen too is curved.
There’s a metal frame, a moderately large camera block jutting out of the back, and hardly any bezel. It’s a fairly conventional look overall, lacking some of the flourish found on other phones, such as the circular camera block of the Honor Magic 4 Pro or the floating lenses of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, but it looks good, and its design is likely to be less divisive than those phones.
At 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2mm it’s large but slim, and it’s not light at 204g, but that’s about right for a phone with a screen of this size.
Gorilla Glass Victus ably protects the display, but what you don’t get is an IP rating, so there’s no official water resistance here, which is a big miss for a phone of this price. That said, there are signs of water resistance in the design, so there’s probably some protection – just no guarantee of it.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro has the same chipset as most high-end Android phones from 2022, namely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The big exception to this is the Samsung Galaxy S22 range, which in the UK at least uses an Exynos 2200, but these chipsets are similarly powerful, and if anything the Snapdragon has the edge.
So it’s a very powerful chipset and the Xiaomi 12 Pro is a very powerful phone, helped along by either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. While a few phones offer as much as 16GB of RAM, you won’t feel the absence of that extra 4GB, as that’s really more than a smartphone needs.
As a result, the Xiaomi 12 Pro can easily compete with any other Android smartphone of 2022 or earlier. The iPhone 13 range has it slightly beat, but even there you won’t really notice the difference in day-to-day use.
With the Xiaomi 12 Pro you get a triple-lens rear camera, consisting of a 50MP f/1.9 wide sensor, a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide one (with a 115-degree field of view), and a 50MP f/1.9 telephoto one, offering 2x optical zoom.
So there are high megapixel counts across the board, which is something we like to see. You don’t get the sense here that only one sensor is actually of a high standard.
Performance across the cameras is strong too, though it’s a shame that only 2x optical zoom is offered. Even the standard Samsung Galaxy S22 offers 3x zoom, with most other high-end phones also offering at least that much, and a few topping out at 10x.
But that’s the only major flaw in the camera hardware, with the front-facing 32MP camera performing well too, and video topping out at an impressive 8K resolution.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro sports a few additional features that are worth highlighting, including four speakers that are tuned by Harmon Kardon. That ensures this phone offers loud, high-quality audio through its internal speakers.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro also has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and it runs Android 12, so its software is up to date.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro offers fairly average battery life. In other words you’ll likely get a day of use from it, even when interacting with it quite a lot, but you’re unlikely to get much more than that.
This is a slight disappointment, if unsurprising given the 4,600mAh battery in it, but the phone rather makes up for things through incredibly fast 120W charging. That has almost every other phone on earth beat, letting it charge from 1% to 100% in just 18 minutes, which is really remarkable. Wireless charging is fairly speedy too at 50W. That’s enough for a full charge in 42 minutes.
Memory meanwhile comes in at a choice of 128GB or 256GB (with no microSD card slot), and the phone supports 5G, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.2.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is a fantastic flagship that particularly excels when it comes to charging speeds. This is the phone’s USP, and how it stands out from rivals. So if fast charging is important to you, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is a phone you should be considering.
It doesn’t really stand out from similarly priced phones anywhere else, but it matches them for screen quality and power, while falling slightly short on optical zoom and water resistance.