Xiaomi Redmi 12 5G hands-on review
The Redmi 12 5G ships with MIUI 14 based on Android 13. Our Indian review unit has the Indian version of MIUI, which is a variation of the global version and lacks several features compared to the fully featured Chinese version. On top of that, the Redmi 12 5G also has a few visual features disabled to potentially improve performance, such as transparency effects.
The software experience on the Redmi 12 5G is lackluster. MIUI hasn't changed much in the past few years and it is starting to show. The iOS-inspired design really hasn't aged well and clashes awkwardly every time you see a native Android prompt appear on the screen.
The phone comes with a fair bit of bloatware pre-installed, most of which can fortunately be removed. Unfortunately, that still leaves a bunch of extra apps since Xiaomi likes to have its version of everything coexist alongside Google's version, so now you have two diallers, two SMS apps, two media gallery apps, two file managers, and so forth. There are even two app stores, because why wouldn't there be?
Ads and promoted content are also still very much part of the Redmi experience. You can disable most of them but not before they bother you first. And speaking of being bothered, many of the pre-installed Xiaomi apps will spam you with notifications during the course of your day until you have had enough and turn them off permanently.
The lack of polish is also often evident. So many text bubbles and icons seem to have text that they were seemingly never designed to fit, showcasing a rather unimpressive localization effort. The fact that the Calendar icon can barely fit 'Wednesday' without seemingly bursting at the seams is rather glaring. And speaking of things that are glaring, there is still no easy way to change display scaling without going into the developer settings.
One could go on but suffice to say that the UI is in desperate need of an overhaul. While MIUI may have been innovative and remarkable at one point when Android itself was in dire straits, things have changed considerably since then. The competition is now doing things just as well, if not better, while also being much more user-friendly, polished, and in coherence with the Android OS. Some appreciation for the user's time and patience would also be nice, so as to not be tempted to load the device with as much bloatware as possible while also piling on the promoted content and notifications.
The Redmi 12 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 or SM4450, which features 2x 2.2GHz Cortex-A78 derived Kryo Gold cores and 6x 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 derived Kryo Silver cores, along with the Adreno 613 GPU clocked at 955MHz.
You get a choice of 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB memory options, which can be expanded further up to 8GB using the memory extension feature. This, however, is a pagefile located on the storage and lacks the full speed of the LPDDR4X memory. The storage in question can either be 128GB or 256GB in the UFS 2.2 flavor. You can expand the storage further using microSD cards, which will require sacrificing your second SIM slot.
Unsurprisingly, the Redmi 12 5G is only a modestly powerful smartphone. This is really not much of a concern during regular smartphone activities involving calling or messaging people. Web browsing, listening to music, watching videos, etc. are all activities that work reasonably well on the device. It's only when you start doing multiple things at once can the phone slow down a bit.
This extends further to more demanding tasks like gaming. Simpler games are fine but more complex 3D titles are too much for the GPU to handle at this resolution while maintaining playable frame rates.
Truth be told, most people are neither power users nor gamers and the Redmi 12 5G has sufficient processing power to keep them happy. It will certainly age over time and we do not recommend the 4GB and 6GB memory variants, as they will vastly reduce the useable lifespan of the device, even if you are an undemanding user. The 8GB variant is really the only one you should be considering as it should be able to keep up with future OS and app updates that tend to balloon in size.
- Manhattan ES 3.1
- Manhattan ES 3.0
- Manhattan ES 3.1 1080p
- Manhattan ES 3.0 1080p
3DMark (offscreen 1440p)
- Wild Life Vulkan 1.1
- Wild Life Extreme
- 31 Jan 2024
Worst mobile. Heavy hang and back button not properly work
- 02 Jan 2024
Damn, That GPU Performance is Disaster.
- 26 Nov 2023
In some countries ( Greece ) there is no charger on the package.