There was a time when 48-megapixel camera phones sounded impressive, and when some of our favorite camera phones are still “only” 12-megapixel today. But for the new 12T Pro, Xiaomi you’ve decided that 12, 48, or even 108 megapixels isn’t the top number you want, and so you’ve used the ISOCELL HP1 camera from 200 megapixels from Samsung instead.
Samsung announced the ISOCELL HP1 sensor in 2021, and the Xiaomi 12T Pro is the first phone to use it. There is also a lot of speculation that it may also be a major feature in the future Galaxy S23 range of smartphones.
The photos from the main camera are very good, especially since the huge HP1 sensor returns an incredible depth of field, which gives you a lot of potential for experimentation. The camera is also good at close focusing, so this ability isn’t wasted. You can see a gallery of Full 200MP resolution photos taken with the phone on Flickr herewhile the photos below were taken using the phone in its normal mode.
However, it is not all good news. Portrait mode kills underexposed photos, and the 8MP wide-angle lens feels like an afterthought and takes photos with high saturation but low detail, making it less tempting to use. The selfie camera isn’t great either, and it’s certainly not as effective at realistically capturing skin tone as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
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That said, the 200MP ISOCELL HP1 is showing a lot of promise. The camera’s vibrancy, wonderful depth of field, and versatility make it fun to take photos, even if the resulting files are absolutely huge. It makes the Xiaomi 12T Pro an exciting phone, and it only adds to the anticipation building behind the Samsung Galaxy S23.
What about the rest of the Xiaomi 12T Pro? It has everything you’d expect from a high-end Xiaomi phone, which is both a good and a bad thing. The 200MP camera is definitely the standout feature, and while the other specs tick all the right boxes, no one will be too surprised by its inclusion.
The 6.67-inch AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate and can switch between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz to better manage power resources. It also has a resolution of 2712 x 1220 pixels, a 480Mhz touch sampling rate for quick responses, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ certification. There’s a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen and face unlock with a 20MP selfie camera at the top. The fingerprint sensor is fickle, as the home screen appears to lock momentarily before suddenly unlocking the phone after a short pause.
Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, with up to 256GB of storage space. I’ve been using the 8GB/256GB version, and it’s an absolute rocket ship, with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 continuing to impress with its excellent combination of high performance and high efficiency. A 5,000mAh battery powers the phone and it comes with Xiaomi’s 120W HyperCharge fast charging technology for a zero to 100% recharge time of 20 minutes.
The Snapdragon chip’s large-capacity cell and great power management mean there’s more than enough power for two full days of use, and even with more than four hours of screen time in one day, the battery only dipped below 50%. . Xiaomi’s MIUI 13, which is based on Android 12, is a mixed bag. It’s not always reliable, with notifications being particularly sporadic and frustrating. For days they will be fine and then they won’t show up at all.
It’s also packed with pre-installed apps, and the menu system can be confusing and geared towards encouraging you to spend money. It shouldn’t take multiple button presses and finding a mostly hidden menu just to change the wallpaper to one of your own images, rather than one from Xiaomi’s premium store, for example.
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Xiaomi has not provided any pricing and availability details for the Xiaomi 12T Pro. It may have a starting price of around $1,000 which would match the Xiaomi 12 Pro.