Hands-on: Xiaomi Redmi Note 12

Xiaomi Philippines officially launched the Redmi Note 12 Series and consumers now have another three smartphones (Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and the Redmi Note 12 in their next purchase list. The Redmi Note 12, which I had a hands-on experience with, offer value for your money.

Design and Display

Xiaomi opted to retain the minimalist design and it paid off. The ice blue variant was a pleasant surprise that elicited an “oooh” from the members of the household during the unboxing. The Redmi Note 12 ice blue achieved its objective of making the design refreshing to look at. The all-flat design with very minimal curves on the edges made it easy to hold and is not slippery even when holding multiple items on one hand. 

Redmi Note 12 is also available in Mint Green and Onyx Gray. 

Xiaomi launches the Redmi Note 12 Series

Xiaomi extends the display of the Redmi Note 12 to a larger 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display (with Corning Gorilla Glass 3) compared to its predecessor which measures 6.43. It may not seem much but it offers a much larger refresh rate of 120Hz, an upgrade from the previous series of 90Hz. It makes for a smooth gaming experience, and most especially when just scrolling mindlessly on image- and video-intensive Instagram and TikTok.

This phone is also IP53-rated meaning it can handle a bit, emphasize a bit, of a spritz.

But this upgrade on refresh rate has the most use when watching Netflix, at least for me. Redmi Note 12 carries a Netflix HD certification which made my anime binge-watching remained uninterrupted (and gave me so much joy).

Built with DCI-P3, this new smartphone offers a wide color gamut that provides users with a more immersive experience especially when playing graphics-intensive mobile games. Its peak brightness reaches up to 1200 nits and normal usually goes up to 700 nits, which means that you can still the graphics or photos clearly when outdoors.


Xiaomi equipped the Redmi Note 12 with the flagship-level 6nm Snapdragon 685. The phone’s CPU is up to 2.8GHz Octacore. Graphics is powered by Qualcomm AdrenoTM 610, which is intended mostly for mid-range devices. 

To test its maximum performance, we tried playing Mobile Legends as many hours as possible in ultragraphics setting in one day. Impressed not only of the crisp color of the images but also of the speed of movement. It felt like a premium phone, but the unit is new so we cannot really say if it would still be the same in the long run.

For non-gamers, this one is a value for money for the usually daily use such as calls, messages, emails, watching videos, and social media use. 

OS is MIUI 14 based on Android 13, so you are assured of the latest software updates.

If you are a snapshooter and like taking pictures wherever and whenever you are, Redmi Note has 128GB of storage with a microSD slot that can expand memory to up to 1TB. You can shoot as many safety shots as you want.

In terms of RAM, Xiaomi provides consumers with options of 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB, depending on their device and lifestyle requirements.


Sometimes (always?) the camera is the deciding factor when it comes to buying a mobile device. 

The triple camera system features a high-resolution main lens (50MP), an ultra-wide lens (8MP), and a dedicated macro lens (2MP). So, basically, this one got you (or your images) covered. The front camera for selfies is 13MP.

The 50MP camera can give pretty decent landscape and outdoor shots (as most cameraphones do, I guess). On sunny days, the colors are as natural as they could get but on overcast days, you have to do some quick adjustments to the settings. If you are an SOOC-kind of shooter, make the most of the 50MP on bright days because you can never go wrong.

Night shots or low light is always the most challenging setting (the crosses-my-fingers moment) to take photos. Redmi Note 12, however, churned out some really good images with colors as vibrant as I could hope for.

However, and it is a big however, the zoom capabilities are quite a letdown. While shooting we saw sparrows perched on a tree within the mall. While zoom was quick to adjust, the output is blurry.

If you want to shoot using the manual settings, make sure to explore the PRO feature, which is at the first option in the shooting modes. The PRO settings lift the load of carrying bulky cameras which produce the same output.

For your Reels and TikTok videos, the 1080p at 30 fps, I think, is good enough.


The test on performance also came with the test on its 5,000mAh battery. It took us less than 60 minutes to charge the battery, (as promised by the 33W fast-charging capability) and lasted the whole day with heavy gaming use and watching videos, with still a few percent left before the need to juice it up again.

Maybe my only beef is the speakers. While it is equipped with an IR blaster, the phone audio is not quite at par for this very discerning audiophile. I tried the audio from different platforms, Spotify and YouTube as well as Netflix and Viu and also paired it with Bluetooth speakers. The sound kind of blows up sometimes and no matter how I tried to configure it, the sound is quite harsh to my eardrums. It could just be me because I’m very particular about audio quality. 

However, I’m happy that this smartphone has the headphones jack. If you are not into Bluetooth earbuds, Redmi Note 12 will give you that “vintage” feel of a dangling wire while listening to music.

For the price point of P8,999, I’d say you get a pretty good deal here for a device to use for your daily grind. 

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