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Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G Review: A strong overall performer

Xiaomi’s budget sub-brand Redmi has hit the mid-range sweet spot with its Note lineup, offering well-balanced specs for a sub-Sh50,000 price.

And with the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G, Xiaomi is looking to succeed for a third year.

The smartphone is kitted out for a fight, with a list of specifications that exceed much of what the competition offers.

With a great screen, good cameras and super-fast charging, it delivers on at least some of its initial promise.

The mid-range smartphone market is seriously overloaded, with options from every manufacturer at a slew of different prices, but it hasn’t seen any real innovation for years.

And on the surface, it seems that devices like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+ may be a device name that makes a promise to be for ‘Pros’ with an indeterminate reason for the Plus moniker, which may refer to either its size, power or both.

It is positioned as being a bit more premium than the more bog-standard mid-tier smartphone. Being from Xiaomi, key to its attempts to claim this spot is a list of hardware specifications that at least match the competition in every way.

Design and Display

On the rear, there is a pronounced camera hump that houses the trio of sensors. The back is slightly curved, which helps with usability, and is coloured – with our review unit coming in a subdued white.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ may look generic, but it feels well-constructed.

The Note 12 Pro+ has a 6.67″ Full HD Plus Pro AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate and peak brightness of 900 nits. The display and the back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. A punch-hole cutout houses the 16MP selfie camera.

It has a curved back for easier handling. The screen is one of the best in a midrange smartphone. It is a 10-bit screen and supports WideVine L1 and HDR10+. You also get Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

The stereo speaker setup plus the Dolby Atmos sound enrich the whole media consumption experience. Having a high refresh rate gives you a more fluid experience and makes the phone feel more responsive.

Performance and software

The Note 12 Pro+ 5G runs on MIUI 14, which is based on Android 13. The MIUI also comes with a lot of pre-installed applications and bloatware, which I ended up deleting either way. Once you do get everything setup, MIUI 14 is nice to use, and it feels refined compared to its predecessors.

There are a lot of skin customization options as well, making it easy to personalize the phone to your liking. With the new look though, MIUI is great to use. The only downside is you have to clean up the phone first.

When it comes to everyday performance, the 8GB of RAM and Dimensity 1080 chipset kept things chugging along nicely on my review unit. Swiping through the interface, switching between apps and more never proved to be an issue, though slight delays could be found in changing between heavier apps.

Gaming was mostly a strong point, meaning that this might be a decent handset for a budding mobile gamer.


The camera system today is where manufacturers make their true statements of intent to the competition. The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ offers a theoretical advantage of up to four times the resolution.

The Note 12 Pro+ 5G supplies a bump up in power courtesy of a Mediatek Dimensity 1080. Also notable is the switch to a less pixel-dense but ultimately better-specced 50MP main camera, and the removal of a superfluous depth sensor.

Front and centre are its 200MP camera and 120W fast charging are very impressive for mid-range gadget.

The ‘Ultra HD’ mode can be activated by up to three separate toggles, which doesn’t speak of a fluent design language. That aside, the app works well and quickly, and ought not to be an impediment to getting a quick image where needed.

Overall picture quality is great, detail is plenty in good light, sharpening is mostly kept to a relative minimum and colours show enough pop and saturation. With the included HD mode, with the right conditions, detail capture can be quite impressive.

Battery life

With a 5,000mAh battery, even with the large screen and powerful processor in the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, I was expecting good runtimes all-round. In practice, this mostly proved to be the case.

What is a little more unusual is the speed at which the Note 12 Pro+ can recharge. At 120W it offers a little under twice as much theoretical speed as some of the competition, and in use, it proves to be a delight.

After 16 minutes of charging we saw around 75 per cent reached from the flat, with another 8 minutes bringing that to 100 per cent. This is a kind of speed that can make a real difference in a difficult situation and can be a lifesaver.

Making a successful mid-range smartphone is no simple task, there’s more competition than ever and standing out from the sea is easier said than done.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is a device that is very successful on its own merits. It has a brilliant display, a great main camera system, super-fast charging and enough performance to meet every day needs – this is a phone that will make most buyers very happy.

The Redmi Note 12 series in the country comprises of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G, Redmi Note 12 Pro, Redmi Note 12S and Redmi Note 12. Prices range from at Sh21,999 to Sh49,999.