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Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G Review

Affordably solid

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

Xiaomi just released its latest flagship smartphone in its affordably priced Redmi line-up, the Note 12 Pro+ 5G. Coming in at $469.99 with compatibility across a number of US providers, it offers solid performance for gaming and productivity at half (or less) than other flagship smartphones, as well as a 200MP main camera, 4K video shooting, 120 watt ultra fast charging and a number of other features usually reserved for high end smartphones. If you’re on a budget, this is definitely an option worth considering. 


Current Price: $469.99 (Amazon)

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G - What Is It?

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone within its affordable sub-brand, Redmi. Like its predecessors, the goal is to strike a balance between accessible pricing and high-end features. To that end, you’ll find quite a bit here that you would usually need to pay premium prices for within the top three of Samsung, Apple, and Google. There are trade-offs, to be sure, but if you don’t know or mind the difference between a MediaTek and a SnapDragon, there’s a good chance that this phone might be a good upgrade that’s also easier on the wallet. 

The Note 12 Pro+ is a large phone with a spacious, surprisingly nice screen. It uses a 6.67-inch AMOLED with a FHD+ (2400x1080) resolution, so you’ll still be getting the rich blacks and exceptional contrast we’ve come to expect from the technology. It has a peak brightness of 900 nits, which is less than you’ll find on the best smartphones, like the Xiaomi 13 Pro (which is 1200 nits), but is bright enough to be used in direct sunlight, if appearing a bit washed out. That also renders it capable of rendering HDR video quite well. Its support for 10-bit video (HDR10 and Dolby Vision certified) also means that streaming content through Netflix looks especially nice. 

The PPI is 394.6, which is crisp and vibrant. Playing games and watching videos, and even light photo editing, looked good and offered enough detail to be a usable, satisfying experience. Navigation on the screen is also smooth as it is dynamically able to adjust its refresh rate up to 120Hz for fluid motion. Should you find that it doesn’t engage properly in games (which did happen from time to time), you can manually lock the display to 120Hz, though there still seems to be some bugs yet to work out there. Some games didn’t kick up to 120Hz even with this manual setting, but generally, it worked well and this is the type of issue that’s likely to be corrected in a firmware update. 

The Note 12 Pro+ is available in three colors:Midnight Black, Porcelain White, and Iceberg Blue. They each use glass backs rather than plastic, and the finish feels noticeably more premium, and slippery, as a result. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch and shatter resistance. Redmi, like Xiaomi, includes a silicone case in the box, which makes it much grippier in the hand. 

The screen itself is flat, and thank God. Waterfall edges are fine, but should you ever need a replacement tempered glass screen protector, you’ll understand why flat screens are the preferred alternative. There are two volume buttons and a combination power button/fingerprint reader on the right side,  a USB Type-C port for charging and data on the bottom, as well as a SIM card slot, and a — hold your gasps — 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. There are stereo speakers on the top and bottom, as well as an IR blaster on the top. 

Around the back of the phone, we have a decent-sized camera bump, but it’s not as ostentatious as the one on the Xiaomi 13 Pro — but then again, we don’t have the same 1-inch camera sensor here, so a smaller bump makes sense. There are two lenses to choose from, a 200MP wide-angle lens that can crop in to 2X for slightly longer reach and an 8MP ultrawide angle lens for when you need to gather more space. The ultrawide is also able to crop in to 2MP for macro photography, though the quality of the shots pales in comparison to the flagship 13 Pro. Again, to be expected. The selfie camera is rated at 16MP and offers decent clarity and computational photography for some nice virtual bokeh.

The cameras also offer decent video shooting capabilities for the price. Shooting from the back, you can capture video up to 4K30, 1080p60, 1080p30, or 720p30. The selfie cam lacks the 4K option. The camera system also supports creative shooting modes to quickly cut together VLOG reels, apply filters, shoot in HDR, and add beautifying effects. 

Inside the chassis, it sports a large 5000WHr battery. It can easily last a whole day with battery to spare, even with reasonably bright screen settings, on-time, and 120Hz enabled. Should you run it dry, it also supports 120W fast charging. And when I say fast, I mean fast.  The included charger is larger, in charge, and can completely replenish the battery in just 19 minutes from being completely dead. You’ll need to turn on this setting in the menu, and it’s not something we recommend leaving enabled for the long-term health of your battery. But when other major smartphone brands are removing chargers from boxes and limiting you to paltry 45W bricks, the 120W charger, even as big as it is, feels generous in this middle performance tier. 

So far, pretty much everything I’ve discussed is part and parcel of a high-end smartphone review. There are clear echoes of the Xiaomi 13 Pro here, but there’s one major difference: instead of the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the Note 12 Pro+ 5G uses the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC. It’s a more affordable alternative, but for most purposes it performs very well and you’ll be hard pressed to notice any difference at all. The 1080 uses an 8-core CPU that propels itself up to 2.6GHz and a Mali G-68 GPU.

Other hardware specs include up 8GB or 12GB of LPGDDR4X memory and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G - Camera System

The camera system on the Note 12 Pro+ is fairly impressive for the cost of entry. The 200MP main shooter does a good job of capturing color and detail, and is high enough resolution that a 2X crop for zoomed in pictures doesn’t dramatically degrade photo quality. The f/1.65 aperture on the main lens (f/2.2 on the wide angle) is able to capture some nice natural bokeh too, in addition to supporting computation photography for its Portrait Mode. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s able to take some very nice pictures while still having some areas of improvement. 

In this above pictures, you can see the different fields of view it offers. There’s a noticeable brightness and color shift when swapping between the lenses, and obviously more detail inherent in the 1x and 2x shots, but overall, it’s a nice trio of FOVs to choose from (even though I wish there was a higher optical zoom option). 

The main shooter does a good job of rendering rendering accurate colors and fine details. The picture of “Bears vs Babies” is good example of how well its typical auto-exposure metering (a bit dark for my taste but not bad) and fine details in the hairs. In the pictures of my sons, the camera did a great job of nailing focus, even as both struggled not to squirm. If you’re a fan of close-up photography, the head of my acoustic guitar demonstrates what you can expect there. 

White balance can sometimes go haywire though. In this pictures of my classroom bulletin board, you can see how badly it struggled with Hulk’s green skin. Moving away solved this, as you can see in the second picture.

Portrait Mode is a bit aggressive with its application of bokeh and struggles with flyaway hairs. In fairness, I took these shots at the end of a long day of playing and my daughter didn’t want to stop paying to use a hair brush (she’s still adorable). If you look closely around her hair, however, you can see where the algorithm missed the blur. With my boys, they look almost cut out from their background. The blur can be dialed back after the fact and made to look more natural if it bothers you. 

The macro camera is hit or miss. With lots of light, it can deliver impressive results for its 2MP resolution. But when I say lots of light, I mean lots of light. The pictures of the keyboards were taken in a classroom with plentiful overhead lighting and still look a bit dark. The car, on the other hand, was with typical house lighting and the noise and detail are far worse. It should work well for outside photos of flowers and the like, however, so there’s potential there. 

Finally, we have the front-facing camera. I rather like it. It struggles a bit in low lighting but generally pulls through with good results and has plenty of detail. 

All in all, the camera system here is quite good for a shooter at this price.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G - Performance and Daily Use

The Note 12 Pro+ 5G performs quite well for both gaming and day to day smartphone use. To put it through its paces, I put it through synthetic tests using Geekbench and 3DMark for gaming and thermal testing. I also carried it with me for daily general use alongside my currently daily driver and tried it in a handful of actual games. 

Beginning with day to day performance, I found the phone to be responsive and fast. The MIUI operating system is intuitive and doesn’t take much getting used to if you’re already familiar with Android, so there’s only a small learning curve if it’s your first Redmi phone. Browsing websites and social media was fluid, but I did notice a bit of minor stuttering when swiping too quickly down either. As pages and apps dynamically load posts, the phone can take a half-second to catch up, undermining the 120Hz screen. For scroll at a readable pace, however, it’s a completely non-issue, so this is only something you’ll notice when you’re trying to rapidly scroll past content. 

Playing games on the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ was surprisingly good. It handled Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile very well without any major slowdowns or stutters to detract from the experience. 

With that in mind, I dug into 3DMark’s tests to see how it compared, starting with stress tests.

The results here line up exactly with my gaming experience. Xiaomi has implemented an effective thermal system that prevents the phone from throttling to stave off high temps. Even in a very demanding test like Wildlife Extreme, performance stayed locked even after running the test multiple times in a row. 

Looking at the benchmarks themselves, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G falls expectedly in the middle of the pack. Its SoC is fine, but it’s not on the bleeding edge of performance. For the vast majority of games, it doesn’t need to be and will perform very well. 

Turning to Geekbench, the results are much the same. As you can see in the gallery above, it falls in the middle-tier of performance and won’t be breaking any records. This is as we would expect from a budget minded phone. Here’s how it compares to Xiaomi’s current flagship and my alternative daily driver:

What we can take from this is the benchmark performance is right where you would expect it to be — but real world use doesn’t consist of benchmarks. For the actual things you’ll be doing with the phone, it performs quite well and is hard to tell the difference between it and more expensive models in popular apps. 

Final Thoughts

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is a solid value at its sub-$500 price point. Xiaomi has made solid advancements with its camera tech that have trickled down here so you can now get 200MP shots, decent computational photography, and even workable macro shots on a budget. The performance in benchmarks isn’t going to bowl anyone over but it doesn’t need to. In real world use, and particularly gaming, it performs well and doesn’t feel like a budget-oriented phone. The last thing you want from a device that will become your daily companion is sluggish performance that leaves you wishing you’d spent more. The Note 12 Pro+ does anything but — I could transition to it from my Galaxy S22 Ultra and really not tell much of a difference at all in how it feels to use.

And that’s really the point: the Note 12 Pro+ 5G isn’t a bleeding edge phone, but it is a very good value for what it is. If you’re looking for a phone that has premium features and solid performance without breaking the bank, this is definitely an option worth considering if your carrier supports it.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some articles may contain affiliate links and purchases made through this will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not directed to the author or related to compensation in any way.

  • Solid performance in apps and browsing the web
  • Consistently good gaming performance
  • 900-nit, 10-bit screen
  • 200MP camera with good clarity and detail
  • Affordable pricing
  • Camera white balance can be off at times
  • Benchmark performance is middle of the pack
  • Limited carrier coverage


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight