Xiaomi brought the original 5G to the Redmi Note 12 line in 2023. Other than that, we’ve already seen that the development is timid, but it’s there. So, how do you differentiate between the Note 12 and Note 12 Pro to choose the best version when buying a new phone?
Canaltech offers a comparison of the brokers of the Redmi line to help. Understand, in the following paragraphs, what are the differences in design, construction, screen, hardware, performance, cameras, and battery.
In the end, you should be able to choose the best between Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G and Note 12 pro, given your type of use. In addition to understanding which one has the best cost benefit.
Design, build, screen and sound
- Redmi Note 12: 165.9 x 76.2 x 8.0mm, 188g;
- Redmi Note 12 Pro: 163.0 x 76.0 x 8.0mm, 187g.
There is not much visual difference between the two models. It is true that the Redmi Note 12 is more curved, while the Pro is straighter, both on the back and on the sides. Both are IP53 certified, with some protection against dust and also against splashing water.
The ending has changed. Plastic sides on both devices, but the back of the Redmi Note 12 Pro is glass rather than plastic like the other model. For the rest, there are buttons on the right side, a hole in the screen for the selfie camera and the P2 connector on top and USB-C on the bottom.
The display also has a small change: it’s AMOLED on the Redmi Note 12 and OLED on the Pro. Interestingly, the maximum brightness is higher in the first, as it can reach 1,200 nits, against 900 nits in the second. However, the Pro has features like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, which the others lack.
Both use Full HD resolution and have a 120Hz refresh rate on the 6.67-inch screen.
The audio system is stereo on the Redmi Note 12 Pro and mono on the base model. Both fail to distinguish between highs and lows, especially at more powerful volumes. With that said, the Pro does sound a little better, simply because it’s stereo.
Configuration, performance and ease of use
- Redmi Note 12: Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 Octa-core (up to 2.0GHz), Adreno 619;
- Redmi Note 12 Pro: MediaTek Dimensity 1080 Octa-core (up to 2.6GHz), Mali-G68 MC4.
The chips on these Xiaomi phones are from different manufacturers, but they are more alike than different. Both were produced at 6 nm lithography and use similar core architectures despite the different speed.
And despite having higher clock rates, the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 fails to score much higher than the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 on Geekbench. But from what I’ve tested, it makes a difference in everyday use, as the Redmi Note 12 Pro is more flexible than the other model.
Redmi Note 12 home screen
Ivo Mengele Jr/Canalytek
By the way, Redmi Note 12 delivered some bottlenecks even in Subway Surfers. A game so light that it’s always worked well even on entry-level smartphones since I started analyzing mobile phones – back in 2017.
I tested the simplest models of each device, i.e. 4GB of RAM on the Redmi Note 12 and 6GB of RAM on the Pro. But if you stutter during the game, having more RAM will not solve the problem. Additionally, they both have an internal storage of 128GB.
MIUI 13 is on top of Android 12 on both models. Both of them have a lot of redundant apps and even some games pre-installed. At least in the version tested here at Canaltech, which was Indian.
Xiaomi even includes an infrared sensor in its intermediate models, allowing a cell phone to be used as a remote control for TVs, air conditioning, and more. As for NFC, only the Redmi Note 12 Pro has it, but it is not enabled in all markets. I couldn’t set up Google Pay in Brazil.
Redmi Note 12 Pro has a regular band design with a glass back
Ivo Mengele Jr/Canalytek
- Redmi Note 12: 48 MP (f/1.8, main) + 8 MP (f/2.2, ultrawide) + 2 MP (f/2.4, macro); 13 MP (f/2.5, front);
- Redmi Note 12 Pro: 50 MP (f/1.9, main) + 8 MP (f/2.2, ultrawide) + 2 MP (f/2.4, macro); 16 MP (f/2.5, front).
I didn’t see much difference in photo quality from the main cameras on the Redmi Note 12 to the 12 Pro. Although the sensor is different, with a 2MP increase in the more advanced model, both offer a good level of textures, good dynamic range, and satisfactory color accuracy.
On the other two rear cameras, the result changes dramatically. Ultrawide has much less dynamic range, saturates colors more (i.e. makes images more “dense”) and textures have much lower levels. In the macro, the latter only gets worse.
The front cameras also don’t have very different results, and are fairly close to the main camera. They are good cameras for social media shots, especially in good lighting.
The night mode doesn’t improve the photos much, it reduces noise significantly. But I didn’t see much noise reduction nor clarity improvement.
For videos, the Redmi Note 12 Pro has the advantage of recording in 4K on the main camera and offering a 1080p @60fps option up front. The stabilization is very good for selfie cameras, but it leaves a little to be desired in the back.
Redmi Note 12: photo examples
External macro camera
Felipe Junqueira / Canaltech
Redmi Note 12 Pro: photo examples
External main camera with Auto HDR technology
Felipe Junqueira / Canaltech
battery and charging
- Redmi Note 12: 5,000 mAh, wired recharge up to 33W;
- Redmi Note 12 Pro: 5,000 mAh, wired recharge up to 67W;
And then we get to the point where the Redmi Note 12 has a good advantage over the Pro, even with its 5,000mAh battery. In Canaltech’s real-time use test, the base model expected a run of 27.2 hours. The Pro got 23 hours, which is less than four hours.
Considering that the test is very demanding and it is very difficult for someone to spend 60% of the day with a screen on, the difference should be greater. Basically, the Redmi Note 12 can stay away from the socket for two days without any worries. Pro may not hit that mark very often.
Usage and recharge time Redmi Note 12 vs. Note 12 Pro
But the more advanced model makes up for this shorter usage time with a much faster recharge. With the 67W charger, it takes about an hour to go from 0% to 100%. Your brother needs more than an hour and a half.
Redmi Note 12 vs Note 12 Pro: which one is worth it?
My general perception is that the Redmi Note 12 Pro should be the base model. At least it will be so in the years when Xiaomi has upset competitors with a strong presence in Western countries.
It’s not that the Redmi Note 12 is bad, but it just falls a bit short in performance when compared to Samsung and Motorola models. The Redmi Note 12 Pro doesn’t have much to offer, but it is more flexible and has a slightly better display. But that’s it.
For those who value more usage time than raw performance, the Redmi Note 12 is a more interesting option. It features cameras of very close quality, even with a lower resolution on the main and front sides. And the price is also more interesting.
This, although better, the Redmi Note 12 Pro lacks the cost-effectiveness that brought Xiaomi into the hearts of millions of fans. In this aspect, Redmi Note 12 is superior to its “brother”. I would go with this second one, if I was looking for an intermediate Xiaomi.
🛒 See the price of Redmi Note 12 and Note 12 Pro on Magalu
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