Redmi 12 5G review: Decent 5G phone at an affordable price

By Divyanshi Sharma: Redmi unveiled its first-ever number series smartphone in 2014 and has come a long way since then. The brand has carved a niche for itself in the industry by offering exciting features to customers looking for a budget phone. And the newly-launched Redmi 12 5G opens a whole new world for smartphone users willing to buy a new device without burning a hole in their pockets.

As the name suggests, the Redmi 12 5G comes with 5G connectivity, offering its users a chance to experience 5G in all its glory, at a humble price. The phone also introduces the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 processor and is quite promising on paper.

But with all the hype surrounding it, does the Redmi 12 5G deliver when it comes to day-to-day performance? Well, I have been using the phone for almost a week and haven’t had a chance to complain yet on the performance part.

Read on to know how the Redmi 12 5G fares in everyday use and if you should go ahead and buy this device.

Redmi 12 5G: Design and display

Redmi has been going all-out for the Redmi 12 5G’s design as the phone has a stunning glass back panel which is quite rare in this price range. The colour that I received for review is Moonstone Silver and apart from this, there are two other colour options as well- Jade Black and Pastel Blue.

Talking about the Moonstone Silver colour, it is a gorgeous back panel that gives out rainbow hues when you look at it up close. The crystal finish has the potential of captivating many users and I like how it isn’t too flashy yet noticeable. In other words- the phone has just the right amount of gloss that looks elegant as well as attractive.

With that being said, smudges do form on the back panel but won’t be noticeable in this colour option. On the top left is the infinite camera deco, which in simple terms means that the brand has ditched the boxed, elevated camera module and instead has opted for a more minimalist look.

There is a primary camera, a secondary camera and an LED flash. The sensors have metallic finish rims surrounding them that really lift up the phone’s overall look. At the bottom, you have the Redmi 5G branding that compliments the Moonstone Silver colour perfectly.

I also got a chance to briefly glance at the other two colour options of the phone as well. Pastel Blue, in my opinion, really stands out and should be your choice if you are a fan of pastel colours in general and want a phone that gives you a cool and soothing vibe.

At the side, there is a power button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. I love the placement of the button since it is super accessible even though the phone has a large display area. The display is flat but the edges are rounded which is why the phone can be comfortably used for long hours. However, since the edges are round, the phone might slip off of your hands. Hence, for a better grip, I would suggest using the phone with the back cover that Xiaomi provides inside the box.

The top of the phone has a 3.5mm jack, which is a welcome addition to any budget smartphone and at the bottom you have a Type-C charging port with a set of speakers.

Coming to the front, you get a 6.79-inch FHD+ display with a punch-hole notch that gives it a classy look and ensures a larger display area. The bezels are quite slim from three sides, but the phone’s chin has thick bezels which might not appeal to some people.

The display comes with a 90Hz adaptive refresh rate which makes the phone’s functioning appear quite smooth and fast. I scrolled through various news articles on the phone and the reading experience was top-notch. I also watched some OTT shows and films and there were no complaints there as well. However, the display will form smudges quite easily which is why it is better to get a screen-guard as soon as you get your hands on the phone.

Redmi 12 5G: Performance and battery

The highlight of the phone, according to me, was its performance. The phone marks the debut of the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 processor and you can feel it coming into force as soon as you turn the device on. The apps respond quickly, there are no lags, the performance is fast and smooth, and you can easily switch amongst different apps. I had about 22 apps open at the same time and could switch from one to another quite seamlessly.

The phone runs on MIUI 14 based on Android 13 out of the box and the whole interface is quite top-notch. The 5G connectivity also works perfectly and there were no issues noted during my usage. And oh, the MIUI dialler is back, which many users had been waiting for.

The battery will easily last for a day and a half if your usage is moderate. With light usage, it will last for up to 2 days easily. I took the phone to work in the morning and needed to charge it only the next day.

While gaming, the battery dropped from 92 per cent to 78 per cent after 45 minutes. So if you plan on gaming for long hours, I would suggest keeping the charger handy.

The battery also takes a while to charge. It took around 2 hours and 15 minutes to charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent.

Redmi 12 5G: Gaming and entertainment experience

If you are someone who loves gaming on the phone, this could be a great choice depending on the types of games you play. In the case of playing light games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfers, the phone didn’t heat up and ensured a great experience. However, it did get fairly warm when I played demanding games like BGMI and COD Mobile. But that’s justified given the price range. There were, however, no lags in running BGMI and COD Mobile when I played the games on default settings.

I also streamed shows like Mom, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Doctor and more on the device and was happy with the experience. Since the phone has a single speaker set, the sound was coming out only from one side and that’s quite noticeable. The sound quality, however, was quite decent and even though it didn’t fill the room even at max volume, it wasn’t inadequate either.

Redmi 12 5G: Camera

Camera is something that matters to a lot of people and could be a deal breaker when it comes to the phone. The Redmi 12 5G has an overall decent camera that can click some great shots, given that the lighting conditions are optimal. The primary camera is 50-megapixel while the secondary camera is 2-megapixel. The phone also has an 8-megapixel front camera.

I clicked various pictures from the phone in different lighting conditions both indoors and outdoors. The sunlight selfies were my favourite and I clicked lots of them. The portrait shots, according to the price range, were decent but I wish that the edge detection was a bit better. Some portrait shots distorted the edges and that was a bit of a let-down. The same happened with the front camera portrait selfies as well.

At a glance, there was no difference between the 50-megapixel photo mode and the normal photo mode. However, upon looking really deep, some differentiation with respect to colour tone could be seen.

One thing that I noticed in all pictures was that when I zoomed in on the image, some noise in the photos could be observed. Also, while clicking the picture, if you zoom in, you will start noticing some noise.

The night shots indoors with the room’s lights on were average but the shots in darkness outdoors with the street lights on could be better.

Redmi 12 5G: Should you buy?

So, should you buy the Redmi 12 5G? If you have strict budget constraints and want a phone that offers 5G connectivity with smooth overall performance and decent cameras, this is a good option.

The Pastel Blue colour would appeal to people who want something different while the Moonshine Silver colour is great at hiding those smudges that form at the glass back panel.

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