The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G’s 200MP camera is pretty good.
OPINION: Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi Note 12 range in Paris this week, offering a new generation of affordable smartphones starting at just £219. However, for me, it’s the £449 Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G – and its 200MP camera in particular – that stands out not only in Xiaomi’s range, but in the mid-range market as a whole.
I’ve always said that camera quality is much more than megapixel count, and while that’s still true, the new generation of 200MP sensors from the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and now the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G surprised me. I’m starting to see the appeal of high resolution cameras, especially when combined with 16-in-1 pixel binning technology.
This is further enhanced by the inclusion of a fairly large 1/1.4″ sensor, OIS, and an impressive f/1.65 aperture that allow the phone to take in as much light as possible.
Xiaomi claims that with all these technologies, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus boasts a significant 159% increase in low-light performance over the Note 11 Pro Plus 5G. It’s hard to quantify, but as I walked the streets of Paris photographing, I was very impressed with the results on offer.
Take the above shot as an example; it captures a lot of light without going over the edge of unnaturally well-lit, while still providing plenty of detail even when zoomed in. The sky is a little lighter than in real life, but overall the results were pretty realistic. .
It’s not just disposable; the above shot was taken around 11pm on a quiet Parisian street. As you can see, there is a lot of light, but again, not at an unnatural level, as in some alternatives. The colors are realistic (Paris loves the orange street light) and there’s plenty of detail to be found. It’s pretty impressive stuff, especially considering the price.
Of course, it’s not only low-light photography that benefits from pixel binning technology. Shots taken during the day show exceptional detail and vibrant colors without being oversaturated. Colors are still vibrant, but images still look real.
It’s at this point that I should mention that the 200MP camera isn’t the same as the top-end S23 Ultra – although that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the Note 12 Pro Plus’ £449 price tag. compared to the S23 Ultra’s £1,249 asking price. However, both use Samsung ISOCELL camera sensors, with the Note 12 Pro Plus equipped with ISOCELL HPX compared to the higher performing HP2 in the S23 Ultra.
It is important to note that Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G is not only focused on photography. It also features a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery, and fast 120W HyperCharge technology that Xiaomi claims can go from empty to full in just 90 minutes. The Dimensity 1080 falls short of similarly priced competitors: The 1080 found in Samsung’s budget Galaxy A34 costs £100 less than Xiaomi’s phone, but sacrifices have to be made in the cheaper market segment.
However, with good features and a 200MP camera, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that takes better photos for the same price.