The Redmi 12 series by Xiaomi recently introduced its smartphones, with the 5G variant grabbing headlines. However, there's also a 4G variant available, starting at Rs. 9,999 and going up to Rs. 11,499 for the higher model. Does the phone offer enough to be a reliable budget option? Let's find out.
The phone boasts a 6.79-inch display covered by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. It features a glass back that resists smudges and fingerprints. The rear accommodates a triple camera system with an LED flash and Redmi branding. The phone's edges have a curved design, with polycarbonate framing along the sides. Volume buttons and the power/lock key are on the right side (requiring decent pressure to press), while the left side houses the dual SIM card + microSD card hybrid slot tray. The top includes an infrared port and a 3.5mm audio jack, while the bottom has the USB Type-C port, primary microphone, and loudspeaker. Weighing just under 200 grams, the phone feels comfortable in hand with a sturdy build. It's also IP53 rated, offering resistance to dust and water splashes. Although the bezels around the display are somewhat thick and uneven (especially the chin), the design and build quality stand out as the best aspects of the Redmi 12.
The phone features a 6.79-inch Full HD+ (2460x1080) LCD display with support for up to 90Hz refresh rates. It's reasonably bright for outdoor use, especially at higher brightness settings. While the display panel is not exceptional, it performs adequately in reproducing colors for Full HD videos and high-resolution images. Viewing angles are somewhat limited, which is expected in this price range. The display provides decent contrast and sharpness for watching videos on YouTube.
The back houses a triple camera system, including a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera, an 8MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP (f/2.4) macro camera. The camera app is quick and stable for regular usage, which is impressive for a low-end smartphone. Photos appear relatively detailed considering the price, capturing sufficient light and maintaining focus in good lighting conditions. However, in darker conditions or with moving subjects, the camera can produce shaky and grainy shots. The 8MP (f/2.1) front-facing camera takes usable shots for social media use, with adjustments needed for beauty mode and filters.
Performance and Software Experience:
Powered by MediaTek's Helio G88 chipset, with up to a 2GHz octa-core processor and Mali-G52 MC2 GPU, paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC 5.1 storage, the phone's internal hardware aligns with its price. It can handle 6-7 open apps simultaneously, although media-heavy apps like YouTube and Instagram might take a few seconds to open. Stuttering can occur when viewing multiple videos in a tab. Starting a Full HD video on YouTube might lead to a choppy initial experience. It can handle tasks like calls, texting, messaging apps, and checking Discord with ease, but fluid switching between apps might not be seamless. MIUI 14.0.2, based on Android 13, runs on the phone, featuring customization options and some pre-installed third-party apps that can mostly be uninstalled. The phone supports double-tap to wake and lock the display on the lock screen.
With a 5,000mAh battery, the phone lasts consistently for a day of usage. It charges from 1% to full in about 110 minutes using the included 22.5-watt charger. The phone heats up slightly while charging, but it's not a cause for concern.
Call quality is satisfactory, with good network reception over 4G LTE and VoWiFi calling indoors. The single loudspeaker is adequately loud, though not as impactful as a dual stereo setup. Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS performance are reliable without glitches.
The Redmi 12 4G, an Android 13 low-end device, excels in battery life, build quality, and design. It offers decent performance and camera capabilities for its price range. While the 5G variant with a slightly better chipset and storage is available for a higher price, if you're content with 4G and basic tasks like messaging, calling, and light app usage, the Redmi 12 4G stands as a reasonable option for its price.