Xiaomi 12T review - An all-rounder value-for-money flagship


It's no secret that Xiaomi flagship devices are becoming more expensive. Fortunately, Xiaomi still tries to keep some of its models at more competitive prices. This is the case for the Xiaomi 12T, priced at RM1999 only and undoubtedly one of the most value-for-money smartphone killers.

The Xiaomi 12T is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chipset. While Dimensity chipsets have appeared in many phones, few are as familiar with their performance as Snapdragon chipsets. So is the Dimensity 8100 good? Find out from our review of the Xiaomi 12T below.


Design - Understated elegance

For starters, the Xiaomi 12T review unit we received is blue. Among the three colours available (blue, silver, and black), the blue Xiaomi 12T is the most elegant and emits a blue shine under a light source. It feels premium yet low-key, something that we really liked. The back cover has a bit of a matte texture to it too.


Everything inside the box


The front look


A closer look at the rear camera module


No 3.5mm audio jack


The power and volume buttons

The surface is smooth but prone to fingerprint smudges, though not as bad as those with glossy glass at the back. Also, the curves on the sides offer better grip comfort, while the aluminium frame makes the device feel solid. But at 202g, the Xiaomi 12T is also a heavier device than most, so it might not be the best option for the ladies. It's worth mentioning that the Xiaomi 12T comes with a screen protector inside the box, so you don't really need to get one separately.

Moving on to the camera module, the Xiaomi 12T follows the rectangular design of the Xiaomi 12T Pro. This also helps the phone differentiate itself from the Xiaomi 12 series devices. At the back, you can see the triple camera in vertical alignment on the top-left. You can also see the dual LED flash and '108MP' printed near the cameras.


Tech specs and features - MIUI 13 brings unprecedented experience

Here are the tech specs and features for the Xiaomi 12T:

  • MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Ultra chipset
  • 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • Measures 163.1 x 75.9 x 8.6mm, weighs 202g
  • 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay
  • Triple rear camera - 108MP (main) + 8MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (macro lens)
  • 20MP front camera
  • Features under-screen fingerprint recognition + AI face unlocking, 120Hz refresh rate & 480Hz touch sampling rate, 120W HyperCharge fast charging, Liquid cooling system, Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Supports NFC, dual SIM (5G and 4G), WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, and AAC/LDAC/LHDC
  • 5000mAh battery
  • MIUI 13 OS based on Android 12


Ah, yes, bloatware continues

For a long time, the MIUI operating system has given people a "bloated" experience. For the uninitiated, bloatware refers to the many pre-installed apps and functions we may never use. Most brands do this, and MIUI 13 is no exception. But Xiaomi has been reworking its UI, so some of MIUI 13's changes might appeal to you.

The reworked functions that we noticed are the Game Turbo and Video Toolbox. For instance, Game Turbo not only comes with a performance mode. It can now open other apps as separate windows and customise the touch settings in mobile games. This includes sensitivity, touch sliding, and reducing the chances of your palms registering unnecessary touch input. If you play mobile games, then you've probably encountered this issue when playing mobile games.


Game Turbo


Video Toolbox

Additionally, the Video Toolbox provides visual style adjustments. Through the function, you can watch any video in HDR, black and white, nostalgia mode, cold, and so on. You can also adjust Dolby Atmos or enhance dialogue volume. Like YouTube Premium, Video Toolbox also offers an option to let you play videos even when the screen is locked.

In the camera app, there are a few neat functions too. One of them lets you delete passers-by in pictures. This is one of the most practical functions offered, as it's convenient for users who like certain photos but want to get rid of people in the background. With this function, you don't need to download or pay for other apps.


You can find this function easily in the camera UI


Document mode


The camera modes

It should be noted that the Xiaomi 12T differs from the Pro version in that it lacks 8K video recording and eye-tracking autofocus. In this case, the Xiaomi 12T only supports 4K 30 FPS up to 30 FPS. Although the eye-tracking autofocus function is missing, the Xiaomi 12T reacts quickly to the focus subject. However, you have to manually adjust the focus in more complex backgrounds.

The Xiaomi 12T also supports up to 10x zoom for photos or up to 6x for videos. Also, the 108MP mode support 2x zoom. Even at maximum zoom, the Xiaomi 12T did well with preserving subject detail, and pictures show no noticeable noise. In other aspects, there is a front and rear dual scene mode, cinema lens, slow motion shooting, long exposure functions, and a new document mode function.


Performance - Not as good as the Snapdragon, but it's not a loss

The overall performance of the Xiaomi 12T is quite smooth, and we didn't experience any stuttering from the phone when playing mobile games. You can max out the settings in Genshin Impact with 60FPS and still get a smooth gaming experience.

Even with maxed-out settings, the Xiaomi 12T didn't appear to have many overheating issues. As for power consumption, the battery dropped by 14% after playing 40 minutes of Genshin Impact. To fully charge, it takes only 32 minutes which is most impressive.


The scores on Geekbench (left) and 3DMark (right)


All maxed out in Genshin Impact


If the phone can keep up with Genshin Impact, it shouldn't have problems with any other mobile games

Suffice it to say, charging performance is extraordinary as the 120W fast charging technology can charge the Xiaomi 12T up to 46% in just 15 minutes. Heavy users will probably have to recharge the Xiaomi 12T twice daily. As for the average user, the phone could last up to two days with its large 5000mAh battery.

That's not to say the phone doesn't have any shortcomings. On paper, the Dolby Atmos stereo speakers are a great addition to the Xiaomi 12T. However, the phone would vibrate slightly when the volume is too loud, so we don't recommend maxing it out. As for the camera performance, the images look natural enough, but we will let the photos below speak for themselves.


Normal mode


Colour contrast is balanced


Photos look natural


108MP mode (left) and a cropped part of the image (right)


Ultrawide (left) and normal mode (right)


2x zoom (left) and 10x zoom shot (right)


Macro mode


It's hard to differentiate between 108MP mode (left) and normal mode (right)


Normal mode at night


Not much noise with night mode


Before and after taking night mode


Conclusion - Good upgrade from the Xiaomi 12 series

To sum up, the Xiaomi 12T is an all-rounder smartphone with excellent value for money at RM1999. It reminds us of the Xiaomi 9 series that was priced between RM1699-RM1999. In that sense, you can say that Xiaomi always has good flagship options below RM2000.

For alternatives, some people might want the Xiaomi 12T Pro over the standard Xiaomi 12T. The former offers advantages like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 200MP camera, and 8K video recording. However, the 12T is more than enough for most smartphone users. If you consider camera quality invaluable, go for the Xiaomi 12T Pro (RM2699). Besides that, everything else is the same.


Good stuff

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