Introduction and specs
Just like last year, Xiaomi came through the door with a slew of Redmi Notes this year and there seem to be versions for different markets as well. Four of them are made available globally – the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, Note 12 Pro, Note 12 and the Note 12 4G. Normally the vanilla Note would be the most affordable of the bunch, but Xiaomi went one step further with a 4G variant of the proper Note 12, bringing down the price even further.
And we believe that makes perfect sense. The 5G network capabilities may be great and all, but bring little to no additional value for the vast majority of the user base. After all, streaming high-quality videos and music and sending media via messaging apps can be done on the existing 4G network, which is already pretty fast in most regions around the globe, especially in Europe, where the phone is selling for €200. So if you are looking for something simple that works, the 4G version of the Redmi Note 12 is a good place to start your research.
Compared to the 5G option, the 4G has no apparent drawbacks. It’s essentially the same phone with a different main camera, chipset and memory configuration. Understandably, since it goes for €100 less, the memory configurations start at 4GB/64GB but to our surprise, the main camera should in theory be better (newer 50MP sensor vs. 48MP on the 5G iteration). The microSD card slot is dedicated, and although without 5G connectivity, the Snapdragon 685 SoC seems to be considerably more powerful than the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 just by looking at the clock speeds. Both SoCs are quite new, so it remains to be seen which one will come out on top.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 4G specs at a glance:
- Body: 165.7×76.0x7.9mm, 184g; Gorilla Glass 3 front, plastic back and frame; IP53, dust and splash resistant.
- Display: 6.67″ AMOLED, 120Hz, 450 nits (typ), 700 nits (HBM), 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 685 (6 nm): Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.9 GHz Cortex-A53); Adreno 610.
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS/Software: Android 13, MIUI 14.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 1/4″, 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
- Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.0″.
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected]; Front camera: [email protected].
- Battery: 5000mAh; 33W wired.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); Infrared port; 3.5mm jack.
The best part is that the Redmi Note 12 4G retains the 120Hz OLED screen, which is a great steal for the sub-€200 category. It promises high maximum brightness, and it’s quite big too – 6.67″, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 sheet. The big 5,000 mAh battery supports 33W of fast charging, and interestingly enough, the handset runs on the latest Android 13 with MIUI 14 out of the box as opposed to the 5G model, which settles for Android 12 + MIUI 13. Probably because this phone was originally announced in China back in October of last year.
In any case, with the ever-rising prices of smartphones the past year or so, many will likely turn to more budget-oriented, recent smartphone releases and the Redmi Note 12 4G seems like great fit for 2023. Let’s see what this year’s low-end Redmi phone has in store for us. Likely more than you’d think.
Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 4G
The handset comes in a standard retail box containing the usual stuff like user manuals, the appropriate USB-A to USB-C cable for charging and data transfer and, of course, the 33W charging brick.
There’s also a transparent silicone case, so it won’t conceal the nice color paint job.