Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 1 April 2023.

Old Android 12 with new MIUI 14

The Redmi Note 12 Pro is running the company's latest MIUI 14 on top of the older Android 12. The team behind MIUI 14 updated the system architecture on the Android Kernel level with CPU, GPU and memory resource scheduling, lighter system firmware size and decreased memory usage.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review

Let's quickly go over the new things. Only eight system apps cannot be uninstalled, which is a major leap from past MIUI releases. Other neat optimizations include automatic compression for apps that are not actively used and a toggle to turn off permanent notifications.

Going over the list of expected new additions to MIUI 14 from its official release, we oddly found a lot of teh user-facing features still missing on our Redmi Note 12 Pro unit. Perhaps some of the new features will be delivered later with updates. Our unit lacks the new animated character widgets, for one, but it does have the new style of enlarged folders.

Enlarged folders - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Enlarged folders - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Enlarged folders - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Enlarged folders

We also didn't find the duplicate file merger, Xiaomi wireless accessory cross-device switching controls, nor the new family account features. The improved text recognition and extraction from images in the gallery were not present, too.

Other than these few changes, MIUI hasn't morphed in any major way, and users will feel right at home.

The split between a notification shade and Control Center is enabled by default this time, and that's probably a good thing. We found it to be quite convenient, and it's a way to educate users about MIUI's unique approach to the UI. And in case you are not a fan, you can always revert back to the standard notification shade with quick toggles in one place.

Lockscreen - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Home screen - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review notification shade - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Control center - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Control center - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Lockscreen • Home screen • notification shade • Control center

The home screen, recent apps and the general settings menu are business as usual. The app drawer is also enabled by default, and we like that Xiaomi has placed the search bar at the bottom of the screen for easier reach. There are custom and preset app categories for faster navigation.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review

Unlike the standard recent apps menu, the MIUI task switcher lists the apps vertically and provides several useful shortcuts. That's where you can open up apps in floating windows. However, you can have only one floating app open at a time. In case you want a faster shortcut to apps that support free-form windows, just enable the Sidebar.

Recent apps - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Options - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Floating window - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Split screen - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Recent apps • Options • Floating window • Split screen • app drawer

Notably, the Sidebar is different depending on the scenario. In games, the Sidebar provides a couple of gaming-related features, while in video apps, the Sidebar becomes a Video toolbox. It lets you launch video apps in pop-up windows, Screenshot, Record screen, Cast, and Play Video with the screen off, including on YouTube without a Premium subscription. The only caveat is that the apps where you want the feature enabled need to be whitelisted in advance.

Sidebar and Video toolbox - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Sidebar and Video toolbox - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Sidebar and Video toolbox - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Sidebar and Video toolbox - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Sidebar and Video toolbox - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Sidebar and Video toolbox

Customization is, as always, a big part of MIUI. The system lets you choose the style of the Always-on display or the theme of the UI. Aside from the ones pre-installed on the device, there's a Themes store that gives you a wide selection. The themes themselves change not only the general appearance but also the ringtones and system icons.

Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Themes and Always-on display - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Themes and Always-on display

Moving on to privacy and security, MIUI comes with a pre-installed system Security app. Aside from the additional malware protection layer it provides, the app holds many of the app settings and privacy features in one place. It can manage your blacklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, and free up some RAM. It can also manage the permissions of your installed apps, define the battery behavior of selected apps, and apply restrictions only to certain apps.

MIUI 14 offers Memory Extension option that's active by default (you can disable it if you like). On our review unit, we could choose between 2GB, 3GB and 5GB of internal storage reserved to serve as RAM extension. Less important memory blocks should come here.

Security app - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Security app - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Memory extension - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Security app • Security app • Memory extension

Speaking of security, the side-mounted fingerprint reader is fast and reliable. And you can choose between Touch or Press as a scanning trigger.

Fingerprint settings - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Fingerprint settings

MIUI comes with its proprietary multimedia apps - there's Gallery, and Music and Mi Video (both with local and streaming options). A MIUI File manager is also on board. And, of course, there is a Mi Remote app that uses the integrated IR blaster.

Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Music - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Video - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review File manager - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Mi Remote - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Gallery • Music • Video • File manager • Mi Remote

All in all, MIUI 14 changed a little over the 13th iteration. At least on our Redmi Note 12 Pro unit, that is. It's just as snappy and customizable as ever. Xiaomi has paid special attention to the haptics on this unit, and we found the motor to be crisp, strong and accurate. There's even haptic feedback intensity adjustment if you find it obtrusive or not strong enough.

Some MIUI ROMs include ads in the default apps; it is a well-known thing. And the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ does come with baked-in ad "recommendations".

You can disable those even if it's a bit tedious to do it because you have to do it for every system app that has them. For example, if you are annoyed by the app scanner's ads, just hit the settings gear, and disable recommendations. Ads in the File Manager - Settings->About should do it. Themes - go to Settings and disable Recommendations. It's not ideal, sure, but at least you can get rid of them all. Note that some of the opt-outs are for a 30-day period, and after that, you will need to disable it again. And again.

Opt-out of ads - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Opt-out of ads - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review Opt-out of ads - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
Opt-out of ads

Performance and benchmarks

The Redmi Note 12 Pro, just like the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, is powered by the Dimensity 1080 chipset by MediaTek. It's an improved version of the Dimensity 920 inside the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ with slightly better performance, better efficiency, and beefed-up camera support. But if you are coming from the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and its Snapdragon 695 chip, this should make for quite the leap forward.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review

The most significant changes here (since the DM920) are the chip's camera capabilities. The new Dimensity 1080 can handle image data from sensors up to 200MP (previously 108MP) with the Imagiq ISP. There's mention of hardware-accelerated HDR video at up to 4K resolution, but this isn't a new feature.

This new Dimensity 1080 5G chipset gets slightly updated performance with two Cortex-A78 performance cores clocked at 2.6GHz (up from 2.5GHz), while the six Cortex-A55 remain clocked at 2.0GHz.

The GPU is the same Mali-G68, and the chipset is still built on the 6nm process. From the performance aspect, benchmark scores may not see a significant jump compared to devices running the preceding chip.

The global Redmi Note 12 Pro is available in three memory options with LPDDR4X and UFS 2.2 storage - 6GB RAM with 128GB (limited), 8GB RAM with 128GB (mainstream), and 8GB RAM with 256GB (high tier). This year the Pro models have no microSD expansion.

First, we ran the usual CPU benchmarks. As you can see, there is no difference in the CPU performance between the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ (DM920) and the Redmi Note 12 Pro (DM1080), but there is a nice improvement over the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G (SD695). The processor is not the fastest in the price bracket either but it will surely not disappoint.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco F4
    3190
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    2943
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2936
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    2790
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    2703
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    2371
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    2229
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    2225
  • Poco X5
    2088
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    2063
  • Realme 10 Pro
    2021
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    1891
  • Redmi Note 10 Pro
    1780
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    1729

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco F4
    975
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    842
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    795
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    785
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    770
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    758
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    743
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    736
  • Realme 10 Pro
    698
  • Poco X5
    693
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    688
  • Redmi Note 10 Pro
    569
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    511
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    491

GeekBench 6 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    3350
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    2797
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2434
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    2372
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    1941
  • Redmi Note 10 Pro
    1797

GeekBench 6 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    1107
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    1008
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    958
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    947
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    938
  • Redmi Note 10 Pro
    735

The GPU performance of the Mali-G68 MC4 is identical on the new Redmi Note 12 Pro and the previous Redmi Note 11 Pro+ model. But it offers between 35% and 40% boost over the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and its Snapdragon 695, which should make a big difference when it comes to gaming.

As far as competition goes, it is among the best scoring, bested by the most recent Snapdragon 7 Gen 1's GPU and the flagship-grade Snapdragon 870 (Poco F4).

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Poco F4
    49
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    40
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    33
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    29
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    25
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    22
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    22
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    21
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    19
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    17
  • Redmi Note 10 Pro
    16
  • Realme 10 Pro
    16
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    12

GFX Manhattan ES 3.0 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Poco F4
    114
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    80
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    69
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    68
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    60
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    57
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    57
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    56
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    55
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    41
  • Realme 10 Pro
    41
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    34

3DMark Wild Life Vulkan 1.1 (offscreen 1440p)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    4577
  • Poco F4
    4357
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    2969
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    2818
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    2483
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    2292
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    2255
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    2252
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    2014
  • Realme 10 Pro
    1218
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    1204
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    1101

Finally, the compound AnTuTu test puts the new Redmi Note 12 Pro among the top-scoring phones in this class, bested only by the more powerful phones like the OnePlus Nord 2T (Dimensity 1300) and Poco F4 (Snapdragon 870).

AnTuTu 9

Higher is better

  • Poco F4
    698586
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
    604467
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
    534143
  • Xiaomi 12 Lite
    528905
  • Realme 10 Pro+
    522376
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
    506678
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro
    490526
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
    437872
  • Realme 10 Pro
    401860
  • Poco X5
    400895
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
    382902
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    379313
  • Redmi Note 11 Pro
    319093

And, before we draw some conclusions, let's explore the stability and the sustained performance on the Redmi Note 12 Pro.

The CPU Throttle test returned 78% stability, but you can see that most of the time, the phone actually kept about 90% stability and for that, we give it an excellent mark for sustained performance.

The 3D Mark GPU stress test returned 99.6% stability, an outstanding result.

CPU test - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review GPU test - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review GPU test - Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro review
CPU test • GPU test

Well, the Redmi Note 12 Pro is certainly not the most powerful smartphone in its price barked, but it features adequate hardware and offers satisfying performance for the class. Both gaming and multi-tasking were fine on the Redmi Note 12 Pro, and we had no issues.

Finally, the thermals and the stability were also great across the board - the sustained performance is great, and the Redmi Note 12 Pro never became hot, just warm.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 28 Feb 2024
  • PB7

Voice call recording fecility in this phone??

  • Justin
  • 19 Jan 2024
  • 4XS

Hi are they selling real phones or just fake copy please answer

  • Anonymous
  • 01 Dec 2023
  • Dk6

Please GSMArena team takes it as a request and keeps the Indian market always in mind and suggests same price alternative phone. All phones base variants more expensive than 12 pro in India. Redmi note 12 pro 21k Poco F4 26k OnePlus Nord 2T...