Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Xiaomi announced the 12, 12X and 12 Pro in China at the end 2021, but those devices have now gone global, with pre-orders opening on 22 March in Europe - and we're expecting pre-orders to open in the UK on 23 March.

The Xiaomi 12X sits at the bottom of the range, while the Xiaomi 12 Pro takes pride of place at the top, but what's different between the three devices and which should you buy?

squirrel_widget_6654549

Price

Pre-orders in European countries opened on 22 March and we're expecting pre-orders for the UK to open on 23 March. 

The 12 Pro is the most expensive, as you might expect, starting at $999 / €1099.99 / £1049. The 12 comes in behind from $749 / €799.99 / £749 and the 12X is the cheapest of the three models, starting at $649 or €699.99. It doesn't look like the Xiaomi 12X is going to be available in the UK.

Design

  • Xiaomi 12X: 152.70mm x 69.90mm x 8.16mm, 176g
  • Xiaomi 12: 152.70mm x 69.90mm x 8.16mm, 180g
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro: 163.60mm x 74.60mm x 8.16mm, 205g

The Xiaomi 12 series look virtually identical in terms of design. All three models feature an aluminium frame with lovely soft curves and they all come with the same camera housing in the top left corner.

The camera housing is rectangular and comprised of a large lens at the top, along with two smaller lenses and a flash, with each in a separate section, making for quite a nice design.

You get the same three colour options across the range too, with Gray, Purple and Blue and all three are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

On the front, there is a centralised punch hole camera at the top of each of the displays, with all three models offering an under-display fingerprint sensor. The main difference between the Xiaomi 12 series is size. The 12 and 12X are the same size, though the 12 is a little heavier, while the 12 Pro is larger and heavier than both the 12 and 12X.

Display

  • Xiaomi 12X: 6.28in, AMOLED, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz
  • Xiaomi 12: 6.28in, AMOLED, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro: 6.73in, AMOLED LTPO, 3200 x 1440, Adaptive 120Hz

The Xiaomi 12 and 12X both come with the same 6.28-inch AMOLED DotDisplay, with both offering a Full HD+ resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The two devices both offer a peak brightness of 1100nits and they both come with features like TrueColour, as well as a low blue light certification.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a slightly larger display, coming in at 6.73-inches, and it ups the resolution to Quad HD+ at 3400 x 1440 pixels. It is also slightly brighter at 1500nits (max) and rather than just blue light certification, it offers SGS Eye Care Display Certification. 

The 12 and 12X both have a 120Hz refresh rate, though it is not adaptive, while the 12 Pro offers an LTPO display for an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. All three models offer Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ support though.

squirrel_widget_6659611

Hardware and specs 

  • Xiaomi 12X: Snapdragon 870, 4500mAh, 67W charging
  • Xiaomi 12: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 4500mAh, 67W charging
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 4600mAh, 120W charging

The Xiaomi 12 runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, as does the Xiaomi 12 Pro. The Xiaomi 12X meanwhile, opts for the Snapdragon 870, which is still a very powerful and capable processor, but a slight step down from the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro. 

All models unsurprisingly offer 5G connectivity, and all three models also offer LPDDR 5 RAM, UFS 3.1 storage and Xiaomi's LiquidCool technology. They also all run on MIUI 13 with Android 12.

When it comes to battery capacities, the Xiaomi 12 Pro edges the lead with a 4600mAh capacity compared to the 4500mAh capacity cell in both the Xiaomi 12 and 12X. The 12 Pro has Xiaomi's 120W HyperCharge though, while the 12 and 12X feature 67W wired turbo charging.

The 12 Pro and 12 also offer 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging, but the 12X doesn't have these on board.

Camera

  • Xiaomi 12X: Triple rear (50MP main, 13MP ultra wide, 5MP telemacro), 32MP front
  • Xiaomi 12: Triple rear (50MP main, 13MP ultra wide, 5MP telemacro), 32MP front
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro: Triple rear (50MP main, 50MP ultra wide, 50MP telephoto), 32MP front

The Xiaomi 12 and 12X both feature the same camera setup on their rears. They both have a triple lens system with a 50-megapixel main camera with f/1.88 aperture, a 13-megapixel ultra wide angle lens with f/2.4 aperture and a 5-megapixel telemacro lens. 

The Xiaomi 12 Pro meanwhile, also has a triple lens system but it is comprised of a 50-megapixel wide lens with f/1.9 aperture, a 50-megapixel ultra wide lens with f/2.2 aperture and a 50-megapixel telephoto lens with f/1.9 aperture.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has the more advanced camera system of the three models, not just in terms of megapixels, but features too and it delivers excellent results in our experience, whatever the conditions. 

All three models offer 8K video recording, though the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro have a few additional features over the Xiaomi 12X, including 4K HDR 10+ recording, Ultra Night Video, Ultra Night Photo and Portrait Night Mode. 

The 12 Pro also has a 50-megapixel mode on all three lenses and a Night mode on all three lenses. The 12 has Night mode on the wide and ultra wide lenses, while the 12X has a night mode feature, though not specific to the lenses. 

On the front, all three models have a 32-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.45 aperture and features including HDR10+ recording, AI portrait video and Selfie Night Mode.

squirrel_widget_6659647

Conclusion

The Xiaomi 12 Pro is the most compelling of the three Xiaomi 12 series, offering the most capable camera system, the largest and sharpest display and the fastest charging capabilities.

The Xiaomi 12 offers the same design as the 12 Pro, as well as the same hardware, though it has a very slightly smaller battery capacity and while it offers fast charging, it's not as fast as the 12 Pro. It also changes up the camera system so while likely still capable, it will offer a different experience to the 12 Pro. 

The 12X sits at the bottom of the series, dropping down to slightly older hardware - though still capable, and it misses out on a couple of features, like wireless charging and some of the camera features, despite offering the same camera as the 12. 

If your budget allows, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is an excellent device. If you can't quite stretch that far, we'd say your best option of these three models is the Xiaomi 12. 

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.