Xiaomi’s Redmi 12 5G is the brand’s recent 5G budget offering, after it launched the 4G variant in India. The smartphone starts at a price of Rs. 11,999 for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Going over the specs, keep in mind that this phone is focused on consumers looking to get 5G on a budget. I’ve been using the top variant which has 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage, which is priced at Rs. 15,499. Does Xiaomi succeed in delivering the claimed experience? Let’s find out, in this review.
Redmi 12 5G: Price in India
The Redmi 12 5G comes in two more variants: 4GB of RAM with 128GB of storage for Rs. 11,999, and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage that is priced at Rs. 13,499. It is available in three colour options, Moon-stone Silver, Jade Black and Pastel Blue. It is good to see a 256GB storage option on a budget smartphone, however this also puts it close to the Redmi Note 12 5G which features a Super AMOLED display, a 120Hz refresh rate, and faster charging speed.
Redmi 12 5G sports a 6.79-inch display with a 1080 x 2460 pixel resolution
Redmi 12 5G: Design
The Redmi 12 5G sports a polycarbonate chassis with a glass back panel, which is quite a bonus at this price point. The chrome rings around the camera lenses also look good. It comes equipped with a USB Type-C port for charging and the phone keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack. The smartphone uses a hybrid slot for either dual-5G nano SIM cards or a single SIM card and a microSD card.
The matte-finished side rails do not catch fingerprints, but the back panel can get messy with fingerprints and smudges easily if used without a case. The Redmi 12 5G does feel well-balanced despite the big display. It weighs 199g and is 8.17mm thick, which is fairly thin for a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery. The smartphone does feel a little uncomfortable to hold for longer durations due to its flat sides.
Redmi 12 5G: Display
The Redmi 12 5G sports a large 6.79-inch Full-HD+ LCD display which has a refresh rate of 90Hz. It is smooth enough to be used for basic tasks like scrolling through social media or just going through the UI, but as soon as you start watching content on it, you will miss having an AMOLED screen. The display gets the job done; it is bright enough to be used indoors with a peak brightness of up to 550 nits, and watching content on it is decent, but as soon as you move outdoors, the display isn’t very legible.
Redmi 12 5G: Cameras
The phone sports a dual-rear camera setup that includes the primary 50-megapixel camera. This does a decent job when provided enough light but as soon as you shoot in low light, this is when the camera is not able to perform well. To my surprise, it did not over-sharpen the images too much.
Redmi 12 5G daylight (left), low-light (right) primary camera samples (tap to see full size)
Other than this primary camera, it also uses a 2-megapixel depth camera, and there is no ultra-wide which is a bummer. For selfies, the smartphone has an 8-megapixel camera which captures pretty detailed images in daylight.
Redmi 12 5G selfie camera samples (tap to see full size)
Redmi 12 5G can record videos at up to 1080p 30fps, which has good details. The front camera too can record videos at up to 1080p 30fps but captures slightly softer videos.
Redmi 12 5G: Battery & charging
This is one of the strongest points for this smartphone. The 5,000mAh battery is pretty good for all the day-to-day tasks and even content consumption. In our rigorous battery test, the smartphone performed well. If battery life matters to you the most, this might be a great option to go for. 18W charging does feel slow and you will have to sit around for a while until it charges to 100 percent. The phone ran for 17 hours, 49 minutes in our battery loop test, which is a good time.
Redmi 12 5G supports up to 18W of fast charging
Redmi 12 5G: Performance
The Redmi 12 5G uses a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 SoC, which is decently capable of running most apps without any lag, but competitive gaming is not one of its strong suits. I did edit a 30-second 1080p video on VN using this smartphone and it handled that just fine. When I tried playing games on it, Subway Surfers worked fine but other games like BGMI and Call of Duty did lag and could not deliver a pleasing gaming experience.
The smartphone returned average scores benchmark tests. 5G performance was decently good, I reached a pretty high downloading speed with a Jio connection in Delhi. The Redmi 12 5G comes loaded with MIUI 14 which is based on Android 13 and still has a couple of preinstalled apps which can be removed for the most part. This can be annoying for some people, but the user experience was surprisingly smooth.
The Redmi 12 5G is a good budget offering from the brand that checks most of the basic boxes, including a large battery, 5G connectivity, a decent display, and a conventional design. Remember that this smartphone is priced starting at Rs. 11,999, and it does get the job done. People looking for an entry-level 5G smartphone can opt for this model but if display and cameras are very important to you, the Redmi Note 12 5G would make a lot more sense for a bit more money.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.
Catch the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, at our CES 2024 hub.