Xiaomi 12T Pro hands-on — watch out, Google Pixel 7

Xiaomi's re-worked flagship phone comes with a huge camera and incredibly fast charging

The Xiaomi 12T Pro
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Early Verdict

Xiaomi may have provided an appealing alternative to the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 7 Pro with a cheaper flagship-grade phone, complete with some of the fastest charging and most detailed main cameras on any phone available today. It's a shame U.S. buyers can't get it, and that Xiaomi decided to leave off common flagship features like a telephoto camera and wireless charging.

Pros

  • +

    200MP main camera

  • +

    120W charging

  • +

    Affordable price

Cons

  • -

    Not available in U.S.

  • -

    Lacks telephoto camera

  • -

    No wireless charging

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

If you like a phone with big specs and a surprisingly small price, then the Xiaomi 12T Pro could have enough to lure you away from other Android phones.

The Xiaomi 12T is a mid-life revision to the Xiaomi 12 Pro. It's still not coming to the U.S., but it does mean that U.K. buyers have a new option when searching for a flagship phone, particularly if they were waiting on the Google Pixel 7's arrival but were disappointed by the leaked rumored specs.

Like the Xiaomi 11T Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro before it, the 12T Pro offers one of the fastest charging standards on any phone, with 120 watts of power on offer from the in-box charger. It also offers a 200MP camera, beating out most other Android phone makers to adopt the new super-detailed sensor, and a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset for the best available performance on Android phones right now.

Our opinion of the Xiaomi 12T Pro may change once we've had more time to test the phone's capabilities. But so far it's made a great first impression, and one that could land it on our best phones or best Android phones guides if it proves to offer flagship photography and performance for less than its competitors.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: price and release date

You'll be able to buy the Xiaomi 12T Pro from October 20, and for the price of £699. There's only one version available for purchase in the U.K., which comes with 256GB storage and 8GB RAM.

That's an unusual price point for a flagship phone. It's lower than the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22 or Google Pixel 6 Pro (and likely the Pixel 7 Pro too), which is good news. However, the standard Pixel 6 sells for £100 less, and it's a fantastic phone. Xiaomi's going to have to do a lot of things well to beat Google's entry-level flagship, especially if the Pixel 7 proves to be even more capable but no more expensive.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: design and display 

Xiaomi's provided another restrained handset design with the 12T Pro. Its flat 6.7-inch OLED display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and centered selfie camera offers what's basically the default design for the front of an Android phone.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On the back, the camera block is dominated by the main camera, which makes sense since it's the largest upgrade on the phone. You also get curved edges, unlike on the front, which helps the phone sit cozily in your hand.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Xiaomi 12T Pro color options are a bit limited. You can pick from Black (pictured), Silver and Blue. They all look good, but even the blue version isn't that exciting-looking if you want a phone with more presence.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: cameras

The headline camera upgrade to the 12T Pro is its 200MP main camera, something we've only seen on a couple of Motorola phones so far, and something that's tipped for the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra. You can take 200MP photos with this camera, but it's only 12MP by default or 50MP if you set it to high-rez mode without also pressing the 200MP button specifically. You also get 2x in-sensor zoom, which helps makes up for the lack of a telephoto camera.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The other cameras on the phone don't dazzle at first. The 8MP ultrawide and 20MP front cameras are fairly typical resolutions, while the 2MP macro camera is a baffling inclusion. It's not even the excellent 5MP telephoto macro camera used on other recent Xiaomi phones, which is extra confusing. 

You can check out some of my sample photos using the Xiaomi 12T Pro's main, ultrawide, macro and selfie cameras in the gallery above. I'm not sure about the macro camera as I said, given how the phone's struggled to pick up all of the details of the red flower, but the Xioami's ultrawide camera, main camera (both in regular and 50MP modes) and the main and selfie portrait modes all seem capable.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro has some tough competition if it wants to make it onto the TG best camera phones list. 

Xiaomi 12T Pro: performance 

Xiaomi's given the 12T Pro a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, with 8 or 12GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB storage. That should mean plenty of power for your everyday productivity and gaming needs, particularly the latter because of the 480Hz touch sampling mode for responsive touch controls.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As with previous Xiaomi flagships, the 12T Pro also features stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, with support for Dolby Atmos, too. We weren't that impressed with the HK-tweaked speakers earlier in the year, but with six extra months of work, we're hopeful there's going to be some improvement this time around.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: battery and charging 

The 12T Pro has a roomy 5,000 mAh battery with incredibly speedy 120W wired charging, inherited from the past Pro Xiaomi phones. Xiaomi promises that the chunky power brick will charge the phone to full in 19 minutes, although in our own test of the Xiaomi 12 Pro, it took us 22 minutes to fill the 4,600 mAh cell. That's still incredibly fast though, and should still make the 12T Pro a member of the fastest charging phones club.

It's a shame there's no wireless charging option of any kind on the 12T Pro, since it's near enough a standard feature for flagship phones. The 12 Pro offered 50W charging for rapid wireless power, but there's no such luxury on the 12T Pro.

Xiaomi 12T Pro: outlook 

There's still more testing for us to do before we make up our minds about the Xiaomi 12T Pro. But we're expecting a strong performance from Xiaomi's latest phone, and with its below-average price, it has a strong chance to become one of our best phones.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While it's a bit frustrating you can't use the full potential of the 200MP camera, it and the other cameras on the phone produce good-looking shots, and we're confident from previous testing that it'll beat basically any other phone on the charging speed front.

If it had wireless charging and a proper telephoto camera, then Xiaomi 12T Pro would be an even stronger competitor to the Pixel 7 or Galaxy S22. Stay tuned for our full rated review. 

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.