The Redmi Note series doesn’t challenge the flagships from the main Xiaomi line, but these models do bring some impressive cameras and decently fast chipsets at a low price.
The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ is the top of the line model with a 200MP main camera – a fairly large 1/1.4” sensor with in-sensor zoom capabilities and the f/1.7 lens also supports OIS. The 8MP ultra wide and 16MP selfie cameras seem almost pedestrian in comparison.
The Pro+ model boasts 120W fast charging for its 5,000mAh battery – in our testing 15 minutes was enough to get to 81% with Boost enabled (and 58% with it disabled). The display is a 6.67” FHD+ panel with 10-bit colors (and Dolby Vision and HDR10+) and a 120Hz refresh rate. Xiaomi picked the Dimensity 1080 as the brain of this phone.
And it’s the same chipset that powers the Redmi Note 12 Pro. This one has the same high quality display as well. What it doesn’t have is a 200MP main camera – you get a 50MP 1/1.56” sensor instead. Also, charging for the 5,000mAh battery is capped at 67W, which gets to 78% in 30 minutes (it needs a total of 55 minutes for a full charge).
We’ve looked at 5G models, but the Note 12 series also has 4G phones. The Redmi Note 12 Pro 4G loses the next-gen connectivity and drops to a weaker Snapdragon 732G chipset. The display is also missing the HDR support. On the plus side, the 50MP sensor is swapped for a similarly-sized 108MP 1/1.52” sensor and there is a microSD slot.
Further down the ladder is the Redmi Note 12 4G. This one runs on a Snapdragon 685 and has a tiny 50MP sensor (1/2.76”). The 5,000mAh battery also drops down to 33W charging so it needs 1 hour and 11 minutes for a full charge.
We leave the Notes to visit the Redmi 12 – funnily enough, this one is bigger than the Notes. It has a 6.79” IPS LCD (a 90z panel) and uses the Helio G88 chipset. The camera is the same as the Note 12 4G (except for the selfie module, which has an 8MP sensor). The 5,000mAh battery is even slower to charge at only 18W.
If you want a 200MP camera, but the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ isn’t to your liking, check out the Realme 11 Pro+. This one also has a 200MP 1/1.4” sensor and OIS, along with a basic 8MP ultra wide (112°) and fast charging for its 5,000mAh battery – it’s rated at 100W and gets to 63% in 15 minutes and needs 28 minutes to get to 100%. There is an option with a vegan leather back with decorative stitching on the back. The front is covered with a curved 6.7” AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 10-bit colors (HDR10+).
It might be a while before Google releases a Pixel 8a, so the Pixel 7a is the one to look at if the Pixel 8 series is above your budget. It uses the older Tensor G2 chipset and has a 6.1” 90Hz OLED display (FHD+). The camera hardware includes a 64MP sensor (1/1.73”) and OIS, plus a 13MP ultra wide. The battery has 4,385mAh capacity with 18W wired and 7.5W wireless charging.
The Realme C55 is a large and cheap phone with a 6.72” IPS LCD, a 90Hz FHD+ panel. It is powered by a Helio G88 chip like the Redmi 12 above and ha a 64MP main camera (but not ultra wide). The Realme has faster charging for its 5,000mAh battery, 33W vs. 18W.
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