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Redmi Note 12 5G First Impressions: No Longer a Budget Option

Redmi Note 12 5G has officially launched in India. The base Note model is now getting support for 5G networks for the first time in India. However, just like most other budget 5G smartphones, the “5G tax” has been levied on the Redmi Note 12 5G, so it is more expensive than its predecessors. Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 12 5G at a starting price of Rs. 17,999 in India. For comparison, the Redmi Note 11 which launched last year in India, had a starting price of Rs. 13,499. Although the price has increased, Xiaomi says it has not compromised on specifications, and the Redmi Note 12 5G packs some promising hardware.

Starting off with design, the Redmi Note 12 5G in its Frosted Green colour is a looker. As the name suggests, the plastic back panel has a frosted finish, which gives it a glass-like sheen. This phone is also available in Mystique Blue and the classic Matte Black.

The rear panel curves into the flat plastic frame, offering a good in-hand feel. The Redmi Note 12 5G weighs about 188g and measures 7.98mm in thickness. It has an IP53 rating which indicates basic protection against water splashes and dust.

The phone’s right side has room for the power and volume buttons, whereas the left has the dual nano-SIM tray. At the bottom, there is the USB Type-C port, a single speaker grille, and a microphone. The IR emitter, 3.5mm audio socket, and second microphone are located at the top.

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The Redmi Note 12 5G’s green colour has a frosted finish

The display has received many upgrades compared to the 6.5-inch 90Hz AMOLED panel found in the Redmi Note 11. The Redmi Note 12 5G gets a tall 6.67-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone switches between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate depending on the on-screen content. The flat screen is surrounded by fairly thin bezels, with the chin being an exception. There is also a tiny hole at the top for the 13-megapixel front camera.

With up to 1200 nits of peak brightness, the screen is quite bright even for outdoor use. It would have been nice had Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 12 5G with stereo speakers as this would have complemented the phone’s high-quality display to provide a well-rounded multimedia experience. The Redmi Note 11 did have stereo speakers, so that’s one area where the Redmi Note 12 5G received a downgrade.

On the back, the Redmi Note 12 5G has a triple-camera setup. There is a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. From what I could tell in my brief experience so far, the main camera performance is quite okay for the price. The dynamic range is a bit off but the camera does get colours right. We will test the performance of all the cameras on this phone in our full review.

Highlights of the newest budget Redmi Note include support for 5G along with a new processor. The Redmi Note 12 5G features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC, which we have seen previously in the iQoo Z6 Lite 5G (Review). While the latter did perform well, we will test the Redmi Note 12 5G to see how well it is optimised.

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Android 12-based MIUI 13 on the Redmi Note 12 5G

Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 12 5G with MIUI 13 based on Android 12, which is a disappointment. The company has promised to provide two major Android updates, which means that users will only get Android 13 and Android 14. Xiaomi has also promised to provide four years of security updates for the Redmi Note 12 5G. There is some bloatware in MIUI 13 but you can uninstall unwanted apps.

The phone packs a 5000mAh battery and supports 33W fast charging. In case you are wondering, the phone does come with a charger in the box.

With a starting price of Rs. 17,999, the Redmi Note 12 5G offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The variant we have has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and is priced at Rs. 19,999. This new entry-level Redmi Note model is more expensive than many fans of the series might be expecting. Should you consider buying it? Find out in our full review, which will be up very soon on Gadgets 360.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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