Since the early days, the Redmi Note series has delivered on the price-to-performance ratio for every buyer. The Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus was an iterative upgrade over the predecessor, but it looks like the company has come for the competition with all guns blazing this time around. The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus sports a 200MP camera, features a big AMOLED display, supports 120W fast charging – all packed into a gorgeous design. It seems like a complete package on paper, but is it the phone you should go for?
The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus features a flat frame, much like the trending design – thanks to the iPhones. But this mid-range phone is much more comfortable to hold in the hand than my iPhone 14 Pro Max because of the subtle curves on the back around the edges. I could reach the top of the screen with a single hand, which is not possible for many phones with a 6.5-inch+ screen. Ipad 12.9 Screen Protector
On the front, you get a 6.6-inch display that lies under the protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. In my 10 days of usage I’ve dropped the phone once (I’m a clumsy person) out of my pocket, and it survived, so I’d say the Gorilla Glass is doing its job well.
I have the Arctic White color variant, and I must admit, it brings a fresh perspective to the white color on a smartphone. The last time I liked a white color phone, it was the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition. But unlike the OnePlus smartphone, you get a smooth back with no texture on the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus. The back can get greesy but you’ll not notice any bothersome fingerprints. In fact, I’d recommend you to rock it without a case.
Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus camera module
On the back, you’ll find the famous Pikachu face meme-esque camera module (if you look at it horizontally). It isn’t the best of camera module designs of the recent past but it blends well with the overall color and dimensions.
On the right edge lies the fingerprint sensor. I’m one of those niche people who like their biometric sensor on the frame of the device rather than within the display. Although, most people might not agree with me and prefer an in-display fingerprint sensor. However, the current implementation could be cost-saving, and I’m all in for such cost-reducing tactics because the sensor works well, and is reliable to use. It unlocks the phone 10 out of 10 times, so no complaints here.
Above the biometric sensor, you get the volume rockers, which are easy to reach with one hand. I didn’t have to perform finger gymnastics to control the music playback volume.
And what’s a Redmi Note if it doesn’t have some differentiating features. It’s 2023, and the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, is one of the last of its species to sport a 3.5mm headphone jack. I’m in favor of wired music playback because it offers better audio experience, but with the advancements in Bluetooth earbuds, you might hardly notice a difference. However, having being able to connect my AKG K371BT headphones with the 3.5mm jack to the phone was refreshing.
Another such feature is the presence of an IR blaster. From my experience, it comes in handy when you are in a cafe out on a date and the music is too loud. You can turn the volume down using your phone. Trust me, this is a very underrated hardware addition, which I last found on the Huawei P50 Pro.
Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus display
The latest Redmi Note features a 6.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED display that offers a 1080 x 2400-pixel resolution. I found the display experience to be similar to the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, that is to say it was easily legible in direct sunlight, and has good viewing angles. The colors are bright, 120Hz refresh rate is smooth and reading my Kindle ebooks was a joyful experience.
The display supports HD formats and Dolby Vision across OTT applications, so you can enjoy your favorite TV shows in high quality. I liked watching Modern Love Season 1 (it’s a lovely series) on it, especially because of the dual speaker setup. If you are watching stuff in your room, you can drop your earbuds and rely on the speakers because they are loud enough and clear (not recommended for NSFW content, obviously. But do what you prefer, guys).
Combine all of this with a 4,980 mAh battery that supports 120W fast charging, and you are looking at a media consumption powerhouse. If you are running low on battery in the morning before work, you can plug in your Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, and charge from 10% to 100% within 25 minutes. You’ll be able to get through an entire day on normal usage but could struggle on heavy-usage days where you are on LTE, navigating across the city and playing music simultaneously, which is understandable.
The new Redmi smartphone is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 1080 chipset, which is the same as the Realme 10 Pro Plus. My review unit has 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. There are two more options of 8GB RAM with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM with 256 gigs of storage.
I am not a gamer but for this review I played Call of Duty and Asphalt 9 on the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, and both the games ran well. I played the former in high quality graphic settings and very high frame rate, and didn’t feel the phone getting warm to a point where I couldn’t use it, which could be because of the Delhi winters.
As for the software, it comes with MIUI 13, based on Android 12. I’d have complained about it not running Android 13 but the MIUI is packed with features, and you don’t miss out on much. However, the Realme 10 Pro Plus ships with Android 13, so we can expect it to last a year longer than the Redmi counterpart.
Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus cameras
Coming to the optics, the 200MP primary camera is the USP of the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus. By default, you get 50MP images but you can change it in settings to get full 200MP resolution pictures, which capture a lot of details, and they are retained when you crop the image.
The camera performance in bright daylight was really good. It captured accurate colors, and the shutter speed was fast enough to capture stills from a moving vehicle. The primary camera is coated with a layer of “atomic deposition.” In practical usage, I noticed that it helps in reducing glares at night – much like what Vivo X80 Pro accomplished with the Tstar coating in association with Zeiss.
In artificial lighting too, the images were above average. For the price, you are getting an excellent primary camera, especially when you consider the portrait performance. I was impressed by the edge detection in portrait shots.
The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus starts falling when you come to the other to cameras. The 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor isn’t the best out there. There is a difference in color accuracy when compared to the main camera, and it is average in daylight. It’s not much useful in artificial lighting or low-light conditions.
I found the 2MP macro sensor to be average as well, with low details. It will forever remain a mystery to me why did Redmi forgo the 5MP macro camera from the Redmi Note 10 Pro Plus – it was one of their stronger parts. If the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus had the 5MP macro sensor of the Note 10 Pro Plus, it would make the smartphone a complete package, in my opinion.
You can record 4K videos up to 30fps but due to my shaky hands the footage wasn’t smooth. However, bring a tripod into the mix, and you can easily use it for making Reels and other shortform videos for your social media because the audio from inbuilt microphone is impressive as well. On the front lies a 16MP selfie shooter, which seems like it hasn’t been worked upon from the predecessor, and is average.
The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is a good-looking phone that is packed to the brim with features. With an amazing 120Hz AMOLED display, 200MP primary camera, 120W fast charging and an all-day battery life, the latest Redmi Note smartphone is a winner – despite the lackluster 8MP ultrawide camera and the 2MP macro sensor.
Dome Glass S21 Ultra At Rs 29,999, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus faces tough competition from the Google Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone (1) in India. It can be easily recommended over the former but the Nothing Phone (1) stands out with its design, wireless charging and a better selfie shooter. However, if you are looking for a smartphone for media consumption and an amazing primary camera, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is an easy recommendation.