Currently, there are two versions of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 12 – the 5G-capable version and the 4G model. In this Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 4G review, we will focus on the 4G variant, which shares many similarities with its 5G counterpart but lacks the 5G chipset.
While both phones have plastic bodies, the Redmi Note 12 5G features a curved design, while the 4G model has a flat back. The back panel has a smooth frosted finish that resists smudging, and the sharp edges and flat frame provide a secure grip. Despite being a budget device, the Redmi Note 12 has an IP53 rating for Ingress Protection.
The display on the Redmi Note 12 4G is impressive for its price range, boasting a 6.57-inch AMOLED screen with a 1080p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display offers deep blacks, sharpness, and decent color accuracy, although it lacks HDR video support.
Given that many budget phones have LCD screens, the 120Hz AMOLED screen is noteworthy for delivering extra smooth swiping and scrolling, though it doesn’t dial down to a lower refresh rate to save energy when idling. The Redmi Note 12’s maximum brightness is good, measuring 470 nits with a manual slider and reaching 740 nits in auto mode, a step up from last year’s Redmi Note 11s.
Both models of the Redmi Note 12 lack stereo speakers, but they come with a headphone jack and a single speaker. The speaker produces good loudness, and the sound quality is satisfactory.
The Redmi Note 12 features a side-mounted fingerprint reader integrated into the power button, allowing you to wake up and unlock the device quickly. You can choose between 64GB or 128GB of storage, which is expandable through MicroSD.
The Redmi Note 12 runs on Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 14 interface, which is built on top of Android 13. Compared to previous versions, MIUI 14 is more responsive due to optimizations under the hood.
While MIUI 14 is expected to include a range of new features, they have not been released yet. Currently, the interface is similar to what we’ve seen on previous Xiaomi phones, including the vertical recent apps menu.
The Redmi Note 12 4G offers a sidebar on the home screen where you can keep shortcuts. It features a new chipset, the Snapdragon 685, built on a six-nanometer process. This chipset is quite similar to the Snapdragon 680 found in previous mid-range phones but has higher CPU clock speeds.
As a result, the Redmi Note 12 4G performs well in CPU benchmarks, especially considering its affordable price tag. However, its performance in graphics tests could be improved. While it may not be a gaming phone, the Redmi Note 12 4G is suitable for everyday tasks, making it a decent budget option.
Similar to its predecessor, the Redmi Note 12 4G is equipped with a 5000 milliamp-hour battery, which provides excellent battery life. In our tests, it achieved an overall endurance rating of 117 hours, although there are options available with even better scores. The phone supports 33-watt charging, and its speed is satisfactory. We were able to charge the battery from 0 to 55 percent within half an hour.
Moving on to the cameras, as I mentioned earlier, one of the major differences between the Redmi Note 12 4G and the 5G version is the main camera. This model features a different 50-megapixel main camera, which is paired with two other cameras that are the same across both models: an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
During the day, the main camera captures photos that are quite good for the price range, with sufficient sharpness and detail, natural-looking colors, and ample contrast. However, the high contrast can result in dark shadows in challenging scenes, and there is visible noise and graininess in the photos when viewed up close.
Portraits taken with the main camera are pretty good, with well-exposed subjects and convincing bokeh, as long as the background isn’t too complex. The ultra-wide camera produces lively-looking photos with pleasant colors and contrast, although they can be overall soft and noisy.
Close-ups from the 2-megapixel macro camera are not impressive, with low contrast, dull colors, and a lack of detail. In low-light conditions, the quality from the main camera is unremarkable, but mostly what you would expect from a phone in this price range.
The captured photos exhibit slightly soft and washed-out colors with limited dynamic range. Enabling the dedicated night mode results in brighter photos with some restored detail and fixes clipped highlights and brightened up shadows. Nevertheless, the images remain somewhat soft with muted colors.
In low light conditions, the Ultra-wide camera doesn’t perform well with limited dynamic range and photos that are soft and noisy. Unfortunately, there is no night mode option available for this camera. The selfies taken from the 13-megapixel front-facing camera also don’t impress much, as they tend to be soft, noisy, and blurry unless the lighting conditions are optimal.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 4G comes with a few notable features including a 120Hz AMOLED display, an IP-rated design, and a decent chipset. However, it’s disappointing that stereo speakers were cut this year and the camera quality is mostly unimpressive.
The main camera’s footage is soft with limited dynamic range, while the ultrawide camera produces even softer videos with washed-out colors, clipped highlights, and dark shadows. Despite these drawbacks, the phone still offers good battery life and is worth considering if you’re shopping in this price range.
If you’re looking for alternatives, the Poco M5s or Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G could be worth considering. Let us know your thoughts, and stay tuned for more updates. Check out the latest price of the Redmi Note 12 here.>>