The Xiaomi 12 could be the final flagship phone to launch in 2021, but that launch could come with a sour note.
Weibo-based leaker Digital Chat Station (opens in new tab), in a particularly brief message, said: "4500mah± 67w." In context of the replies to the post, it's clear that they're talking about the Xiaomi 12.
67W is how fast the base Xiaomi 11T charged, but we'd been hoping Xiaomi would bring 120W charging to the full line. This is the fastest charging we've ever tried, and having it available on the basic Xiaomi 12 would give it a huge advantage over the already speedy 65W charging of the OnePlus 9 series or the surprisingly slow 25W charging of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series.
There is a possible silver lining to this. Xiaomi specifically introduced the 120W charging standard to the 11T Pro, so perhaps this speed is being reserved for a Xiaomi 12 Pro or 12 Ultra model again. Plus, the base Xiaomi Mi 11 used 55W charging, so we're still looking at an increase in speed to some extent.
A 4,500 mAh battery is surprisingly small capacity. Not only is it smaller than the Xiaomi 11T, it's smaller than the Xiaomi Mi 11 it directly replaces. Battery life can be increased by more efficient use of the available power as well as increasing the battery size. So if this part of the leak is true, hopefully Xiaomi's been focussing on giving the 12 series a small appetite for power.
In addition, DCS wrote in a reply to one of the comments on his post that similarly sized phones often only have 4,000 mAh. This perhaps implies that the Xiaomi 12 is quite a bit smaller than the 6.8-inch and 6.7-inch handsets that came before it. Good news if you don't like the ballooning size of smartphones over the past few years.
We don't know much about the Xiaomi 12 yet, but one thing that has been confirmed is its use of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will be the gold standard chip for Android smartphones going into 2022, so it's good to see it'll be present on the 12.
There are rumors that Xiaomi will introduce the world to the Xiaomi 12 before the end of December. However the U.K. market may not see the phone available for purchase until partway into 2022, as happened with the Xiaomi Mi 11.