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FIRST LOOK: Xiaomi’s latest flagship punches above its weight

Published Aug 3, 2022


At first glance and off the specs sheet, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has managed to pack brains and brawn into a nifty package in the form of its latest flagship – the Xiaomi 12.

The Xiaomi 12 offers several reasons why it subtly commands attention but also offers insight into the smartphone industry by highlighting trends expected from a smartphone today.

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Despite this, the question remains whether this device ticks all the boxes that allow it to punch above its weight by competing with the best the market has to offer.

By appearance and a quick comparison of features, the Xiaomi 12 embodies characteristics of what has become expected of a premium smartphone today.

While being known for affordability as Xiaomi’s key selling factor among almost all its electronics in the past, the Xiaomi 12 breaks this mould by attempting to attract a more affluent market based on its cost and thus reposition the device to take on the likes of more popular brands such as Apple, Samsung and neighbouring rival, Huawei.

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The numbers

Xiaomi boasts that the 12 features a 50MP Pro-grade main camera with ultra-wide and tele-macro lenses, powered by the robust Snapdragon 8 Gen, 4nm processor, with dual 5G. Meanwhile, its display features a 120Hz refresh rate, meaning silky smooth imagery and dual speakers powered by Samsung’s audio subsidiary, Harman Kardon, promising premium sound.

One of the major selling points of the 12 is that its 4500mAh battery can be charged through 67W ultra-fast wired charging and 50W wireless charging, ranking it higher on the charts of super-fast charging smartphones.

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Look out as we put this feature to the test in the upcoming review.

Punching above its weight

Coming into the market a while later than its rivals such as Samsung and Huawei, Xiaomi smartphones have become known for packing ‘XXL’ features into a ‘size Small’, with cost-effectiveness being a bonus. An example of this lies in Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11 Pro, launched in January.

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Listed in some online stores below R5 999, the Redmi Note 11 Pro features a 108MP main camera, 6 or 8GB of RAM, a massive 5000mAh and 128GB of storage.

At a glance, the Redmi Note 11 Pro’s specs might seem higher. However, its superior hardware and build warrant the 12’s price tag, as this smartphone aims to take on the likes of the best. Despite this, Xiaomi goes up against stiff competition from long-standing household brands and will face the challenge of new strong entrants from manufacturers such as Oppo and Vivo.

IOL Tech

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