Xiaomi 12 review

Small handed phone users rejoice, the Xiaomi 12 is one of the most compact flagships around with some impressive specs, but it’s by no means perfect

Now without the ‘Mi’ branding, the Xiaomi 12 series has been given a global launch and the regular model is now smaller and more aligned with Samsung’s Galaxy S range than before. Can Xiaomi win the flagship Android race, though?

Like the Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 offers a much more compact option, leaving the 12 Pro for those that want something bigger – and with more impressive specs.

Starting at US$749, the Xiaomi 12 has a lot going for it including its display, performance, speedy charging and, to an extent, its photography skills. However, some big downsides such as battery life, lack of waterproofing and software peeves mean a rival might be a better choice.

Design & build
8.16mm thick
No IP rating
The Xiaomi 12 is tiny. Well, by modern standards anyway, and especially when I’ve become accustomed to the hefty size of the Pixel 6. Even so, it’s like jumping into a time machine to 2017 and the release of the Galaxy S8.

These two phones have a lot in common and I’m not just talking about the footprint of the handset, although they are very similar. The Xiaomi 12 has a similar metal frame that tapers down to a thin strip on the sides to accommodate the curved display.

It’s 2022 so the screen-to-body ratio is obviously much better and things like a triple rear camera array make it heavier.

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