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Google Pixel 7 beware: Xiaomi 12T Pro hands-on

 Google Pixel 7 beware: Xiaomi 12T Pro hands-on

The redesigned flagship phone from Xiaomi has a large camera and fast charging.

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With a less expensive flagship that features some of the fastest charging and most detailed main cameras of any phone on the market right now, Xiaomi may have offered a compelling alternative to the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 7 Pro. It's unfortunate that it won't be available to US consumers and that Xiaomi chose to omit standard key features like the telephoto lens and wireless charging.

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Positives

It includes a 200MP main camera

120W charging, reasonable price.

cons:

Not sold in the United States

It lacks a telescopic lens

It lacks wireless charging

The Xiaomi 12T Pro might be able to tempt you away from other Android phones if you want a phone with solid specs and an unexpectedly low price.

The mid-life update of the Xiaomi 12 Pro is the Xiaomi 12T. While it's still not coming to the US, it does give UK consumers another option when looking for a flagship phone, especially if they were hoping for a Google Pixel 7 release but were unhappy with the leaked specs.

With 120W of power available via the internal charger, the Xiaomi 12T Pro has one of the fastest charging speeds of any phone, just like the Xiaomi 11T Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro before it. In addition, it has a 200MP camera, which adopts the new ultra-detail sensor ahead of most other Android phone manufacturers, and the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 CPU for the highest performance currently available in Android phones.

Once we have more time to test the capabilities of the Xiaomi 12T Pro, our view of the phone can change. But if it continues to offer flagship photography and performance for less than its competitors, it could end up on our lists of the best smartphones or the best Android smartphones.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: Cost and availability

The Xiaomi 12T Pro will be available for purchase from October 20 and will cost £699. In the UK, there is only one version on sale, and it features 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

For a flagship phone, that's a strange price. It's good news that it's less expensive than the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and maybe the Pixel 7 Pro as well. But the regular Pixel 6 costs £100 and is an excellent phone. To outdo Google's entry-level flagship, Xiaomi will need to excel in a variety of areas, especially if the Pixel 7 turns out to be more capable but not more expensive.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: appearance and display

With the 12T Pro, Xiaomi has produced another conservative smartphone design. The central selfie camera and flat 6.7-inch OLED display with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate provide what is essentially the standard front-facing design of an Android phone.

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Since the main camera is the biggest update on the phone, it makes sense that it dominates the camera block on the back. In addition, the edges are curved, unlike the front, which makes the phone more comfortable to hold.

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There are not many color options for the Xiaomi 12T Pro. Choose from black (shown), silver, or blue. Even the blue variant isn't quite as great to look at if you want a phone with more presence, though they all have nice aesthetics.

Xiaomi 12T Pro cameras

The main camera on the 12T Pro has been upgraded to 200MP, which has previously only been seen on a few Motorola smartphones and is expected to appear on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. This camera has a 200MP mode, but the default resolution is 12MP or only 50MP if you switch to high resolution mode without pressing the 200MP button. Plus, you get 2x sensor zoom, which partially makes up for the lack of a telephoto lens.

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The other cameras on the phone don't impress at first. The 20MP and 8MP front cameras are pretty standard in terms of resolution, while the 2MP macro camera is a tantalizing addition. What's even more puzzling is that it's not even the large 5MP telephoto camera found on other recent Xiaomi phones.

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Check out some test photos taken with the Xiaomi 12T Pro's main, ultrawide, macro, and selfie cameras in the gallery above. Considering how the phone fails to capture all the intricacies of the red flower, I'm not sure about the macro camera, but the Xioami's ultrawide, main camera (in standard and 50MP), main photo and selfie modes all seem capable.

If the Xiaomi 12T Pro aspires to top TG's best camera phones list, it will face some formidable opposition.

Xiaomi 12T Pro performance

The 12T Pro from Xiaomi has a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 CPU, 8 or 12 GB of RAM, and 128 or 256 GB of storage. That should mean plenty of power for both your gaming and everyday productivity needs, the latter especially important given its 480Hz touch sampling mode for responsive touch control.

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The 12T Pro includes stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon and Dolby Atmos support, just like previous Xiaomi phones. Earlier in the year we weren't really happy with HK's tweaked speakers, but with an extra six months of effort we're confident there could be some improvement this time around.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: charging and power

The 12T Pro features a large 5,000mAh battery and 120W wired charging, both carried over from Xiaomi's previous Pro phones. Although we found that it took 22 minutes to fully charge the 4,600mAh battery in our test of the Xiaomi 12 Pro, Xiaomi claims that the hefty powerhouse will fully charge the phone in 19 minutes. However, even at that speed, the 12T Pro should continue our ranking of the best phones for charging speed.

With wireless charging almost a need for premium smartphones, it is unfortunate that the 12T Pro doesn't offer any form of wireless charging option. The 12 Pro offers 50W charging for fast wireless power, while the 12T Pro doesn't have that luxury.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: Meaning

Before deciding on the Xiaomi 12T Pro, we must do some more testing. However, given its low price and expected outstanding performance, Xiaomi's latest phone has a good chance of becoming one of our top picks.

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The 200MP camera on the phone produces nice-looking photos, despite the fact that you can't take full advantage of its capabilities. Plus, we're convinced based on pre-testing that it will outperform virtually every other phone in terms of charging speed.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro would be a formidable competitor to the Pixel 7 or Galaxy S22 if it featured wireless charging and a decent telephoto lens. Check back soon for our full rated review.


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