REVIEW: Xiaomi 12 takes aim at SA’s biggest smartphone names


Many South Africans may not be familiar with the Chinese brand, Xiaomi, however, those who are understand that they’re known for innovative products which come with an affordable device.

The company has been making strides in the smartphone industry globally, with the introduction of, among others, faster charging devices which have record recharge times.

Of course, the ‘world’s best anything’ label should come with a hefty price tag, which contrasts with Xiaomi’s reputation for making affordable products, especially locally.

However, this doesn’t mean the company does not sell pricier devices. Xiaomi is one of the bigger names in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, meaning they sell a range of expensive tech, from vacuum robots to hoverboards, thanks to Xiaomi’s acquisition of Segway.

As the company reaches maturity, it’s only fitting that it should attempt to rank up its smartphone market share with the launch of a device like the Xiaomi 12.

While it isn’t the most expensive smartphone in the country (by a lot), the 12 certainly indicates the company’s attempts at attracting a more affluent market.

The ‘Spec’ Sheet

Off the bat, the Xiaomi 12 boasts a set of features easily comparable to that of a high-end smartphone launch, expected from manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei or Apple.

However, in terms of its camera, the 12 ditched the quad camera module expected from most manufacturers in favour of a very powerful triple camera set-up. The main camera features 50MP, 13MP and 5MP lens, capable of recording video in 8K at 24 frames per second. Meanwhile the 12 features a decent 32 MP selfie camera capable of recording video in 1080p at 30 or 60fps.

The device runs the Android 12 operating system at unboxing, powered by the sophisticated Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which is also found in scores of top devices such as the Vivo X80 Pro, Oppo Find X4 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The 12 also features 8 or 12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB storage options and all-day power with its 4500mAh battery.

To buy or not buy

At face value, the Xiaomi 12 doesn’t scream premium and while almost all Xiaomi products don’t look cheap in terms of quality, they won’t make your friends envious.

If you’re in the market for a decent smartphone at an affordable cost, slightly edging up the price when compared to Xiaomi’s previous premium devices, the 12 gets the job done.

On the plus side, watching content on the 12 makes for a premium mobile viewing experience, offering a brilliant display and an unmatched sound quality thanks to Dolby enhancement.

IOL Tech



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