Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus first look, impressions: New year, new start | The Financial Express

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus first look, impressions: New year, new start

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus seems like business as usual for Xiaomi and yet, it could be the start of something new.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus first look
Redmi Note 12 series India launch is set for January 5. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Xiaomi is ringing into the new year with a trio of Redmi Note 12 phones. In many ways, it’s a hard reset, too. The Redmi Note 12, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus are all typical Redmi phones. They are high on specs. Their pricing should be fairly aggressive as well (relative to its specs, at least). But two big changes are incoming. Xiaomi is going to keep the series a bit more airtight (than before) and it won’t subsidise these phones by showing you any pesky ads.

Also Read | Realme 10 Pro Plus review: Almost a masterpiece

The last Redmi Note line-up was frankly all over the place. There were just too many models to keep track of. With the Redmi Note 12, Xiaomi is promising to launch “fewer models and with each standing tall in its segment”. We don’t know how this would pan out, eventually, but it’s always a nice gesture when a brand— of this scale— admits its mistakes and follows through with course correction.

The phone has a glass back and flat sides. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Part of the reboot also applies to how Xiaomi has been selling these Redmi Note phones in India. With the Redmi Note 12 series, Xiaomi says it will also “remove the UI-related monetisation, swapping subsidies for better experience and quality”.

In simple words, prices of the Redmi Note 12 series phones in India will be more realistic (possibly closer, or a bit higher than their pricing in China) and not as surreal as they have been in the past.

We’ll have to wait for their exact pricing, but the move could backfire also because people have got used to these phones being priced in a certain way. There is the argument that the average selling price has gone up in the last one year or so and people are supposedly willing to pay more to get the kind of experience that Xiaomi is –now— willing to offer. So, we’ll see.

You get a 120Hz AMOLED display. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The Realme 10 Pro Plus is a good reference point, here. This phone, though very nearly a masterpiece, has also been getting a bit of heat online for excess bloatware and system-wide ads, some of which are in bad taste (Realme has taken cognizance of the issue and promised that it would at least monitor and cease unsuitable app recommendations to users in the future). One of the upcoming Redmi Note 12 series phones, Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is all but certain to compete with the Realme 10 Pro Plus directly.

Spec-wise, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus – which we are looking at here— is pretty loaded. To no one’s surprise.

The design seems nice and solid with a glass back and flat sides, reminiscent of the Redmi K50i. The side-mounted fingerprint reader is fast and reliable. You also get some ingress protection (IP53) which is always a good value addition. The screen is tall (6.67-inch), punchy (1080p AMOLED), and supports Dolby Vision playback.  

The phone runs Android 12. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Powering the package is MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080 chip, same as the Realme 10 Pro Plus, so we can expect good performance and efficiency overall. Xiaomi is pairing this with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS2.2 storage. The software part is a bit underwhelming with the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus booting Android 12 (based MIUI 13) out-of-the-box, with two years of guaranteed major OS and four years of security updates. Rounding off the package is a 4,980mAh battery with 120W fast charging support baked in.

The main camera is 200MP. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The real USP feature though is the phone’s 200MP main camera, or at least that is what Xiaomi wants to sell to you. The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is shipping with a 1/1.4” Samsung HPX primary sensor that’s mated to a 7P lens system with f/1.65 aperture and optical image stabilisation. Xiaomi says it is also using an atomic layer deposition (ALD) coating on this lens to minimise flare and ghosting. There is a lot of hardware goodness here and the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus’s main camera does strike as compelling, on first look, but the ongoing embargo doesn’t allow us to share more details. Be sure to check out our full review. There are two more cameras in this phone— an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro— but those seem more run of the mill. On the front, you get a 16MP camera.

So, that was the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus in a nutshell. As we said before, in many ways it seems like business as usual for Xiaomi/Redmi and yet, it could be the start of something new. Stay tuned for more.  

Also Read | Redmi K50i review: Redefining value, yet again

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First published on: 03-01-2023 at 18:52 IST