With the Note 12 Pro 5G, Redmi recently unveiled three new phones to this year’s Note 12 series, making a total of six devices to choose from the lineup, some with very similar specs and designs. The brand debuted the phones in two waves, with this second wave comprising of products that are placed in between the base Note 12 and the top-tier Note 12 Pro Plus unveiled last month.
The top-tier device of this second wave is the Note 12 Pro 5G, which shares many of the same specs and design as the top-on-the-line Note 12 Pro Plus 5G. In fact, it even uses the exact same chipset, with the only significant differences being in the main camera and the charging speed.
The Note 12 Pro 5G sports a 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 900 nits. This isn’t the brightest display I’ve seen in something at this price range and, strangely enough, the phones that are positioned below it, the 4G-variant Note 12 Pro and Note 12S, have brighter AMOLED displays.
As for the design itself, it doesn’t stray far from its higher-end counterpart and I appreciate the flat display sans curved edges, though that may be just a personal preference of mine. For a relatively budget device, it’s much heavier than I would like it to be but at the same time, it does give the illusion that the phone is more premium than it actually is.
Speaking of which, the glass back panel also gives it a premium feel but as you would expect, it is a disastrous dust and fingerprint magnet that you can’t have the phone looking clean for more than a few moments. The camera module of the Note 12 Pro 5G is made of plastic, unlike the Pro Plus 5G’s which is made of metal, but in my opinion, it doesn’t really make a difference and you can’t tell unless you’re specifically looking for it.
When it comes to the performance, while I did only have my hands on it for an hour, it was a solid budget device despite the expected stuttering here and there, but nothing major that I would complain about for a phone with this price tag. It runs on a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chipset with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. Connectivity-wise, it supports Wi-Fi 6, 5G, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC.
When it comes to the camera, while it does boast a big 50MP with OIS, it’s quite grainy in indoor settings and will only get you barely-decent pictures. The macro camera doesn’t stand out from any other budget device in that it’s mostly ornate and doesn’t produce any attention-grabbing photos.
As with the rest of the lineup, it is powered by a 5,000mAh battery. The Note 12 Pro 5G supports 67W charging, which is its second trade-off from the Pro Plus’ 120W charging speed. Its other specs include IP53 for dust and water resistance, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection, an IR blaster, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
While the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G is not a bad offering for a price tag of RM1,299, there’s not much incentive to purchase it over the Note 12 5G, which costs RM200 less. Of course, its charging speed is more than twice as fast, but aside from that, it only has a slightly more powerful SoC and a camera setup that is largely the same. Moreover, four of the six devices in the series feature near-identical designs, so for the average user, it might be confusing as to which Note 12 phone is right for them.
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