Smartphone cameras are big business these days, and a handful of companies have decided that a 200Mp main lens is the way to go.
This include Xiaomi, who put a 200Mp sensor in its 12T Pro flagship handset in 2022. Now the firm has repeated the trick on the more affordable Redmi Note 12 Pro+, one of four new Redmi phones which are launching in Europe.
With a starting price of £449/€499, The Note 12 Pro+ is one of the most affordable 200Mp phones yet. Getting such a premium feature in a mid-range handset is genuinely impressive.
It’s worth noting that you probably won’t be taking many shots at 200Mp. While possible, the large file size means the 256GB of on-device storage will quickly be filled up, and this can’t be expanded via microSD.
Instead, the default 12.5Mp photos will be a better pick for most people. They use a process called pixel binning, which merges 16 separate shots into one with greater detail. From some brief testing, stills from the 12 Pro+’s main lens are impressive, but not quite class-leading.
I am concerned about the quality of the other two lenses, even though this is a mid-range device. There’s a huge drop-off in quality when using the 8Mp ultrawide (with 119° field of view) and 2Mp macro lenses, to the extent that I’d be reluctant to use them. These were among the key weaknesses of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+, so it’s a shame they haven’t been addressed.
The 16Mp front-facing camera is solid, though, while the display is one of the highlights. It’s is a 6.67in, 2400X1080 OLED panel, complete with a 120Hz refresh rate and 900 nits of advertised max brightness. At this price point, you’ll struggle to find a better screen.
But there’s no in-display fingerprint sensor, with Xiaomi opting for the side-mounted physical version instead. There’s a face unlock option too – both are fast and reliable.
Processing power comes from MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080, a chip specifically designed for mid-range phones. Alongside 8GB of RAM, the Note 12 Pro+ can handle all everyday situations with ease. Only the most demanding apps and games will be a challenge.
A 5000mAh battery is fairly standard these days, but it’s the 120W fast charging that’s more exciting. Xiaomi claims you can get a full charge in 19 mins, but there’s no wireless charging built in.
Like all the latest Xiaomi phones, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ runs the company’s MIUI 14 software. This is based on Android 13, but has a very different look and feel to the version on Pixel phones. Xiaomi now offers three years of Android updates and four years of security updates to most of its phones, and the 12 Pro+ is expected to be among them.
Redmi Note 12 Pro
While the regular Redmi Note 12 Pro has a lot in common with the Plus version, there are downgrades in some key areas.
The main rear camera is the most obvious, although its 50Mp lens will hopefully still perform. The 8Mp ultrawide and 2Mp macro sensors remain, as does the 16Mp selfie camera.
Charging drops to 67W, while cheaper models reduce RAM to 6GB and storage to 128GB. It’s also significantly lighter at 187g (as opposed to 210g), but the same phone in all other areas – including processor and display.
The £339/€399 starting price means it compares favourably with many of the best mid-range phones.
Redmi Note 12 and Note 12 5G
Not content with two new phones, Xiaomi has two more if you’re looking for something even more affordable. Impressively, the new Note 12 (£219/€249) and 12 5G (£279/€299) retain the same 120Hz OLED displays as the Pro+, but there are compromises in other key areas.
Among the most notable are the cameras, with a 50Mp main lens on the regular model and 48Mp on the 5G version. The latter is powered by the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, while the standard Note 12 moves to the more capable Snapdragon 685 but ditches 5G support.
The 4G version of the Redmi Note 12
Both phones also only have 33W charging and a 13Mp front-facing camera. However, at these affordable prices, they look set to be competitive budget phones.
Xiaomi has also announced the European launch of the Redmi Watch 3, its latest budget smartwatch. It features a 1.75in OLED touchscreen, extensive workout tracking and claims of up to 12 days of battery life. For £99.99/€119, it looks to be a decent all-rounder.
The Redmi Note 12, 12 5G, 12 Pro+ and Watch 3 will all be available on 24 March, both via Xiaomi and some third-party retailers. But the Redmi Note 12 Pro’s release date is yet to be confirmed.