They say that not all that glitters is gold, and in this first impression, we aim to ascertain if the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G lives up to its aesthetic appeal. Xiaomi put some thought into the design, maintaining the same look and feel across all variants, from the 4G and 5G to the Pro models. However, sacrifices were made and whether these compromises are a deal-breaker is up to the reader to discern.
The Redmi Note 12 5G boasts some key features that make it stand out from the competition. For starters, the 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate is a joy to behold. The color interpretation is spot on, and the images look stunning. The rendering of deep blacks is mesmerizing, making it perfect for watching YouTube videos. Next-gen 5G connectivity and an all-day 5,000mAh Li-Poly battery make it a reliable device for heavy usage.
Design & Build
The design and build of the Redmi Note 12 5G exude premium vibes on paper, with a frosty back that closely imitates the glass on the Pro variants. However, that illusion is quickly shattered on picking up the device, which feels plasticky although the device isn’t that easy to shatter itself.
I’d have to say that the boxy design is a bit uncomfortable, but Redmi deserves praise for retaining the 3.5mm audio jack, IR blaster, and expandable storage, though the latter is via a hybrid SIM tray. The side-mounted power button cum fingerprint reader design is fast and responsive, with a trick or two up its sleeve.
The triple-camera setup includes a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The selfie camera is a 13MP shooter. From our initial sample shots, we can say that the main and ultrawide cameras perform well, although the macro camera is not that useful.
Fromw what we can see, it’s a hit and miss affair. Some images do appear washed out and they don’t often stand up to close scrutiny. However, we will leave our verdict open for now. We plan to conduct more tests to show the full extent of the camera chops.
In terms of performance, the Redmi Note 12 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, built on the 6nm process. It’s paired with either 4GB or 6GB RAM (our variant has 4GB). The overall performance is decent, but it’s no slacker either. But that said, what we have been doing is just child’s play. We are yet to take it through the paces and the stress tests, and that will give us a more concrete verdict as far as performance is concerned.
Here’s one thing I feel rather strongly about from the get-go. The bundled software in MIUI 14 is bloated and sends annoying notifications from various apps such as Music, Themes, GetApps, and Clock. My phone can’t have a moment of peace and tranquility. I’d say that the main culpit of the GetApps app which just keeps busy day and night.
Luckily, most of these bundled apps can be uninstalled entirely. It doesn’t make it any less annoying though.
On the bright side, Redmi still includes the power brick which is a nice addition. The 33W power brick gives you Turbo Charge fast charging for your device.
The 5000mAh battery is humongous and can last an entire day of usage. However, it loses charge quickly due to the constant 120Hz AMOLED display and 5G connectivity. We are yet to carry out more tests to determine the battery’s longevity and durability.
Price and where to buy
The Redmi Note 12 5G retails for Rs 17,999 for the 4GB+128GB variant and Rs 19,000 for the 6GB+128GB version on Mi.com, Amazon India and UGX 1,050,000 on Jumia Uganda for the 6GB+128GB variant.
In conclusion, the Redmi Note 12 5G is a mixed bag. While the aesthetic is appealing, the plasticky feel is a bit lacking in the satisfaction department. Nonetheless, the AMOLED screen, the addition of the power brick, the 3.5mm audio jack, and the IR blaster are features that cannot be understated. Whether the compromises in price are a deal-breaker is up to the reader to decide. Stay tuned for more in-depth testing.