Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus review: A 5G phone for the masses?

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus review: A 5G phone for the masses?

Redmi Note 12 Pro+

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ launched in India for Rs 29,999.

By Ankita Garg: Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is a new 2023 5G phone from Xiaomi. The Redmi Note series is the most popular affordable offering from the company that has been loved by many consumers. However, Xiaomi increased the price of the Redmi Note series with time and shifted to new price segments, which disappointed many of its fans. The same has happened this year too and the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ price now starts at Rs 29,999 in India. Last year’s version was announced for Rs 20,999. There is a gap of Rs 9,000 between the two generations. Of course, there are some upgrades as well. But the real question here is – whether Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is worth buying or not. Keep reading to find out.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+: Design and screen

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has a typical design that some might expect in the mid-range segment. There is nothing unique or exciting about it, but it still looks attractive. The trend of offering phones with gradient finishes is likely to continue in 2023 as well. I liked that the white color was quite classic, but people may consider buying the blue color model if they prefer a gradient finish.

There are two elements I didn’t like about this 5G phone. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is a bit bulky and has a thick body with flat bezels, which makes it a bit difficult to use the phone with one hand. The credit for the thick body goes to the large battery and audio jack that it packs. Also, the matte finish glass back is quite smooth and makes it difficult to use without a case, adding more weight. The back panel attracts stains quite easily. The placement of the volume and power buttons is just right because they are easily accessible.

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The build quality is apparently quite solid, which some of the phones with slim profiles don’t promise. The good thing is that Xiaomi has kept a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, which many brands have stopped offering. I liked the fact that this has an IP53 rating, so the device can handle water splashes, and this is likely to come in handy during the rainy season.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ has retained the same 6.67-inch AMOLED display that we saw on the older version. It has one of the best displays in its segment and content consumption was very enjoyable on this Redmi phone due to the bright and vibrant display. The front and back are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is nice. The screen is mostly visible in sunlight, and I was able to read content easily – thanks to a peak brightness of 900 nits. However, using the camera app was a bit difficult.

The panel has support for HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Widevine L1 certification, so people will be able to stream 1080p content on video streaming apps like Netflix. The screen supports a refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes the scrolling experience even smoother.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+: Performance

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chipset, which is a capable general-purpose chip. I had no problems while multitasking on the phone. There was lag only when I launched some of the apps for the first time, but they worked fine after that. Daily performance was largely flat. I also tried to test the phone’s stability and sustained performance by pushing it to the limit. I can say that the device struggles to handle heavy loads and it will run smoother with average usage. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because this is a mid-range phone and people should look for a more advanced phone if pure performance is what they’re looking for.

The resource-heavy games like Genshin Impact can be played on the Redmi Note 12 Pro+. The graphics were set to low and the game ran smoothly until I changed the graphics a level higher. But the handset showed a charging time when switching to different characters, and I experienced lag in intense matches, which happens even on the low setting. The same did not happen with Asphalt 9. When I played the game for an hour, the device does not heat up completely. When I played for more than two hours, the back panel got a little warm, but it was tolerable to the touch.

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I was quite impressed with the Dolby Atmos-supported speakers of the new Redmi Note 12 Pro+ smartphone. They are quite loud and the sound quality is rich enough. It is well balanced and the speakers do not suppress the low and mid tones of many songs. If you want a mid-range phone with well-balanced sounding stereo speakers for binge-watching, this is the phone you should consider buying.

The battery drains a little faster with hardcore use and when the phone is for every little thing. The battery percentage dropped from 99 percent to 69 percent after I played a graphically demanding game for an hour, used social media apps at various time intervals, edited photos, and clicked a few photos. Also, I noticed a quick drop in battery when I kept some apps downloading, but some resource-heavy apps were also open in the background. Try to keep the 120Hz option off when not needed, otherwise people might stick with the dynamic refresh rate feature that automatically adjusts it. However, some may feel the need to enable 120Hz while navigating through the user interface. One can even blame the Always-On-Display feature for battery drain. The battery saving function helps to provide better battery life.

The included charger takes around 25 minutes to top up the battery from 1 percent to 99 percent. Still, what I liked about Xiaomi’s 67W fast charger is that it quickly charges the battery in no time, which is what one might appreciate when they need to travel somewhere and want at least half a charge within minutes. I got 50 percent charge in 10 minutes, but the charger took longer to top up the battery when the percentage hit 80 or 90.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ ships with the older Android 12 OS, instead of the latest Android 13 OS. The company promises to deliver two years of major Android OS upgrades, so you can expect Android 14 to arrive on this phone. However, we believe that Xiaomi takes longer than other brands to send out updates to users. This one comes with MIUI 13, which is a bit messy and you don’t get a clean user interface out of the box. There are unnecessary apps like Bubble shooter and Zilli. The rest are ones that anyone can use, such as Netflix and Amazon. You can always uninstall those that are not needed.

There is no in-display fingerprint sensor, but the side-mounted fingerprint scanner is quite fast enough to unlock the phone.

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Redmi Note 12 Pro+: Camera

This has a main camera of 200 megapixels, which can offer some good pictures with a lot of detail. Although I think people will get a good enough picture with the regular photo mode as well and it doesn’t lose detail either. Sharpness is on point in most images, and the dynamic range is well balanced. I can say that people will get good photos if they are taken properly. The device takes a few seconds to adjust HDR, but it’s worth the wait because the output is then quite good with vivid colors.

Low-light camera performance is nice, and the camera manages to retain detail and color quite well. The pictures look quite attractive. The noise is dampened well and the exposure is also well balanced without losing much detail or sabotaging the look. But there is no consistency in providing the same level of results. You can also get a good bokeh effect in low light. The device sometimes struggles to deliver the result in low light.

I was quite impressed to see portrait photos with good clarity and color tone. The camera has tried its best to define textures properly and as you can see, the camera has not overexposed the white color. The standard bokeh effect adds a perfect blur to any image and the edges are well defined. The same is the case with portraits in daylight. However, the camera offers average portraits in harsh sunlight. It can give you good pictures in ideal lighting conditions.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ review: Should you buy?

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is priced at Rs 29,999 in India, which seems to be a bit higher than our expectations. But people who want an all-rounder 5G phone can consider buying it because it mostly has features that one might be looking for.

The overall performance of the mid-range smartphone is good enough as long as you don’t push it to the limit. So average smartphone users will have no problem using this 5G phone. The stereo speakers are quite loud and well balanced. The camera of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is quite reliable and I will probably get some picturesque shots if they are captured correctly when HDR hits. Although I think Xiaomi should work on improving the battery life of the phone, although there is 120W fast charging support that fully charges the phone in less than 30 minutes.

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