Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G review. Unlock the Pros and Cons.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G: Unveiling the Pros and Cons in Our Comprehensive Review!


  • Android 12 w/ MIUI 14    
  • 6.67in Full HD+ (1080×2400) OLED display, 120Hz refresh rate 
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor   
  • Gorilla Glass 3 (front only)  
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 
  • 4GB RAM   
  • 128GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable up to 1TB) 
  • 48Mp, f/1.8 main camera 
  • 8Mp, f/2.2 118˚ ultrawide camera    
  • 2Mp, f/2.4 macro camera   
  • 13Mp, f/2.45 front-facing camera    
  • Single speaker 
  • 3.5mm audio jack 
  • Dual-SIM    
  • 5G    


  • Great performance
  • Excellent display
  • Good battery life


  • Poorly built


If your phone budget is limited to £300/€300, the Note 12 5G presents an excellent option. Nonetheless, you can access notable hardware and software upgrades.

Within Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 12 lineup, there are a total of eight distinct models; however, only half of them have been introduced to the European market.

Among these options, the Note 12 5G stands as the second most budget-friendly choice. Though its price tag of £279/€299 positions it as pricier than the average budget phone.

Compared to pricier models, compromises impact performance, cameras, and charging in Note 12 5G. Core experience remains impressive.

Does it qualify as your next phone? That depends on budget flexibility and tolerating shortcomings. Read our review;

The Redmi Note 12 5G is a remarkable smartphone that stands out in the competitive market. Its impressive features make it a worthy contender against its sibling, the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G.

While the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G offers 4G connectivity, the Note 12 5G comes with the advanced capability of 5G, ensuring faster data speeds and connectivity.

The inclusion of a 33W fast charging feature further enhances the appeal of the Redmi Note 12 5G, allowing users to recharge their devices. This smartphone offers excellent value at its price point. This provides a balance between performance and affordability.

The Redmi Note 12 5G offers a versatile photography experience, including a powerful night mode that enhances low-light shots. In addition to its imaging prowess, the phone also retains the convenience of a 3.5mm headphone jack, catering to users who prefer wired audio options.

Its expandable storage through a microSD slot ensures ample space for multimedia content. The Redmi Note 12 5G’s sleek design incorporates a glass back, providing a premium look and feel that complements its impressive features.

Build and Design

The Note 12 5G’s major downgrade is its design, replacing the glass with plastic, unlike the 12 Pro models.

Losing the premium build is disappointing, though anticipated given the price. Unlike pricier models, the design differs.

While not a dealbreaker, the Note 12 5G feels inexpensive in use, instantly reflecting its budget nature.

Xiaomi skillfully imparts an upscale appearance to the device, using a matte coating that prevents smudges while enhancing shimmer under light.

The Forest Green model shifts between turquoise and dark green, standing out; Onyx Gray and Ice Blue offer subtler options.

The finish is seen through the slight glass camera module, ensuring comfort without needing a case. While a transparent silicone case is included, it’s not very appealing or protective.

Using a case can impact the fingerprint sensor on the power button, leading to more failed attempts. However, with no case, the issue is mostly resolved, and the sensor unlocks swiftly.

Opting out of glass enhances durability, despite potential design compromise. The phone’s back won’t shatter easily; it feels sturdy enough to withstand drops from 1-2 meters.

Avoid water exposure; it has an IP53 rating for dust and splashes, not submersion. Exercise caution near water.

Speakers and Screen

Unless a curved screen is a must the Note 12 5G’s display is uncompromised. Its 6.67-inch OLED panel features a 1080×2400 resolution, matching pricier models.

While some high-end phones sport 1440p screens, it’s unnecessary at this device size. OLED ensures clear visuals, deep blacks, and vibrant colors, ideal for browsing, video, and social media.

Combined with a 120Hz refresh rate, navigation on the phone feels incredibly fluid and responsive, enhancing enjoyment. This rate is typically reserved for pricier flagships, making its inclusion impressive.

Not present is a dynamic refresh speed, exclusive to LTPO tech. Choose between fixed 60Hz or 120Hz; opt for the latter unless battery conservation is crucial.

The absence of HDR10+ and Dolby Vision goes unnoticed due to the excellent display quality at this price.

The display sits in slim bezels, occupying 86% of the front panel, yet a purposeless, sizable chin remains.

Audio falls short; the lone downward-firing speaker is obstructed by fingers in landscape mode.

Performance and Specs

Unlike most Redmi phones, Xiaomi chose Qualcomm over MediaTek, using the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chipset. Designed for mid-range devices, it also supports built-in 5G, aligning with the phone’s name.

Performance is modest with 4GB RAM in the sole UK/Europe model. Suitable for daily tasks, not demanding apps.

I relied on Note 12 5G as my primary phone for weeks; the experience was satisfactory. Activities like web browsing, messaging, YouTube, and photography are smooth, yet occasional sluggishness occurs.

App transitions often show hesitation and stuttering; more RAM could alleviate this issue. Patience is key, especially over time.


External to China, storage is capped at 128GB; but, there’s a silver lining. MicroSD expansion, up to 1TB, is supported. Counted cost, yet reasonably priced.

Besides 5G, the phone offers Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. While not the newest, they maintained reliable connections during testing.

Video and Camera

As with many modern phones, the Note 12 5G boasts triple rear cameras. The 48MP, f/1.8 lens captures higher-quality photos than the 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro lenses. It delivers notably impressive results.

Architecture benefits from the phone’s focus and balanced exposure, highlighting subjects without overexposing backgrounds. Cloudy days yield atmospheric shots.

Colors appear accurate, yet change under sunlight. Aggressive processing boosts contrast and saturation, making shots visually pleasing but unrealistic.

The lens performs well for landscapes, handling shadows and foreground details adeptly. Zooming reveals a limited dynamic range.

On the flip side, the 8MP ultrawide provides a 118-degree view, offering flexibility. However, quality drops noticeably—details, color accuracy, and exposure suffer. I found it better to step back and use the main camera.

The 2MP macro lens excels in close-ups of flowers and plants, maintaining subject detail and background blur.

I expected similar results in portrait mode, software-based due to the lack of a depth sensor. However, edge detection poses challenges, demanding trial and error for good outcomes.

The latter mirrors the overall rear camera experience: patience and experimentation yield excellent photos.

The 13MP front camera impresses with vibrant, detailed selfies, avoiding background sky blowout. Portrait mode excels too.

The Note 12 5G records 1080p/30fps video, suitable for most. Shaky footage without OIS affects usability.

Charging and Battery

Sporting a commendable 5000mAh battery, the Note 12 5G matches contemporary standards and offers above-average endurance.

Even with a 120Hz display, high brightness, and location enabled, I consistently had charge left at day’s end. You can confidently use this phone all day without battery anxiety.

During lighter home days, I stretched beyond 48 hours between charges. Candidly impressive endurance.

PCMark battery test clocks 10 hours 25 minutes, a decent result. However, the actual screen-on time is about half.

Updates and Software

Running MIUI 14 over Android 12, Note 12 5G will soon be outdated, with Android 13’s arrival uncertain.

Software changes won’t fundamentally alter the experience; MIUI differs considerably from stock Android, an acquired taste.

Google apps remain, but Xiaomi adds its own: an image gallery, file manager, calculator, alarm clock, etc. Some are irremovable bloatware, a downside of MIUI.

In a ‘More apps’ folder, random selections suggested by Xiaomi are present. A separate ‘Games’ folder adds more clutter. MIUI can feel overwhelming due to excessive content.

Mainly, you can streamline desired apps; certain design elements are fixed. Notifications and quick settings split based on swipe origin.

The settings app and icons have new designs, bright icons, and widgets that need adjustment. It’s not a setup-and-go phone.

Xiaomi promises three years of Android updates with four years of security for most phones. While not confirmed for Note 12 5G, it’s expected. Expect Android 15 and security patches till 2027 if upheld.

Availability and Price

In Europe, only one Redmi Note 12 5G version is available. It features 4GB RAM, and 128GB storage, and costs £279/€299 from Xiaomi.

The phone isn’t offered on contract by networks, but pairing with a SIM-only deal offers choices in the UK.

The main rival is the slightly pricier Redmi Note 12 Pro, offering premium additions. Alternatives include Nokia G60 5G, Poco M4 Pro 5G, and discounted Google Pixel 6a.


The standard Redmi Note 12 Series 5G model often goes unnoticed, yet it holds many advantages.

The Redmi Note 12 5G sets a new standard for versatility in smartphones. With the option to expand storage using a microSD card, it addresses one of the common limitations faced by users across different models.

In comparison to its predecessor, the Redmi Note 11, the Redmi Note 12 5G presents an upgraded experience that aligns with the demands of today’s tech-savvy consumers.

The retaining 120Hz OLED display at this price is impressive. If it is paired with good battery life and a strong selfie camera.

Performance isn’t top-notch, but Note 12 5G handles common apps and multitasking well. Rear cameras and plastic build have limitations.

Your choice depends on tolerating Xiaomi’s Android skin. It’d steer me away, but your opinion might differ.

The Redmi Note 12 5G continues the legacy of excellence set by its predecessors in the Redmi Note series. Building upon the success of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, the Redmi Note 12 5G raises the bar with its advanced features and cutting-edge technology.