Xiaomi is finally globally launching the Xiaomi 12 series, its latest set of flagship phones. First launched in China in December, the phones are now coming to the rest of the world too.

The company promised to launch the “first” phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, though unexpectedly Motorola beat Xiaomi to the punch with the Moto Edge X30. The Xiaomi 12 did come second though, joined by an even more powerful Xiaomi 12 Pro and a more affordable 12X.

Note that it’s the Xiaomi 12, not the Mi 12 – we’ll explain why – but this is still the successor to last year’s Mi 11. These are some of 2022’s best phones though, and that’s before we even get to the souped up Xiaomi 12 Ultra, expected later in 2022.

Here’s all we know about the Xiaomi 12 series, including the latest on the phones’ western release – or you can go straight to reading our Xiaomi 12 review or Xiaomi 12 Pro review to find out what we think of the phones.

When is the global release date for the Xiaomi 12?

Xiaomi unveiled the 12 series in China on 28 December, and the phones went on sale on 31 December. 

There was a longer wait for the rest of the world, but a global launch eventually came on 15 March. The phone is now either on sale or on pre-order in most markets – here in the UK, you can pre-order either the 12 or the 12 Pro before they go officially on sale on 15 April.

In India, Xiaomi has confirmed that the 12 Pro will launch soon, but there’s no official word yet on either the 12 or 12X.

That lines up pretty nicely with the company’s previous release patterns:

  • Xiaomi Mi 11 – December 2020 (China), March 2021 (Global)
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 – February 2020 (China), March 2020 (Global)
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 – March 2019 (China), April 2019 (Global)

Remember that, for the moment, Xiaomi doesn’t officially launch its phones in the US, so this launch does not include North America.

So far Xiaomi has launched three phones: the Xiaomi 12, 12 Pro, and 12X. Those aren’t all the handsets we’re expecting in the series though – at the very least we’ll eventually see the expansive 12 Ultra, and various other leaks have pointed to a 12 Lite, 12 Mini, and 12X Pro.

We know the most about the 12 Ultra, which is currently predicted to launch in Q3 2022 – i.e. July, August, or September – though one source tips an earlier Chinese launch of May.

How much does the Xiaomi 12 cost?

Even though the Xiaomi 12 series hasn’t launched in the US, the company has announced pricing in USD, which is a useful guide for how much the phone will cost worldwide – we’ve also include the phones’ prices in GBP and EUR below:

  • Xiaomi 12 – From £749/$749/€849
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro – From £1,049/$999/€1,049
  • Xiaomi 12X – From $649/€699 (around £500)

We’ll be keeping an eye on the best Xiaomi 12 deals, so check that page out for the latest deals and offers on the phone.

Why isn’t it called the Mi 12?

While 2021’s flagship Xiaomi phone was the Mi 11, its follow-up is not called the Mi 12.

Xiaomi 12 Pro display

Xiaomi has retired the Mi branding – itself only used outside of China – to simplify its brand. As a result, the new flagship is simply the Xiaomi 12.

“Starting in 2021 Q3, Xiaomi’s product series ‘Mi’ will be renamed to ‘Xiaomi’,” the company said in a statement. “This change will unify our global brand presence and close the perception gap between the brand and its products. This change may take some time to take effect in all regions.”

What are the specs for the Xiaomi 12?

Now that Xiaomi has announced a few of the phones in the series we have concrete specs for them – plus some leaks and rumours that point to 12 Ultra specs. We’ve broken it down by model:

Xiaomi 12

The most notable thing about the Xiaomi 12 is that it’s smaller than any flagship in the series before, thanks to a move to a relatively petite 6.28in display, though the Pro is larger, if you prefer that sort of thing.

Xiaomi 12

Thanks to the small size it weighs just 180g, and you can get it in black, blue, or pink – plus an extra green vegan leather option that’s exclusive to China.

The compact screen is still an AMOLED panel, with 120Hz refresh rate and support for an in-display fingerprint scanner, plus Gorilla Glass Victus on top to ward off scratches.

As expected, inside the phone you’ll find the brand-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, paired in China with either 8 or 12GB of RAM, and 128 or 256GB storage. In the UK, both storage SKUs are only available with 8GB RAM.

The battery is 4500mAh despite the compact size of the phone, and it supports 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless.

Finally, the all-important camera. The main lens is a 50Mp Sony IMX766 – a 1/1.56in sensor with 2.0μm large pixels and OIS – lower resolution than last year’s main camera, though it may yet be capable of superior results. Alongside it, you’ll find a 13Mp ultrawide and a 50mm-equivalent 5Mp telemacro camera – both pretty similar to what we saw on the Mi 11.

As with all phones in the series, the Xiaomi 12 launches with Android 12 and MIUI 13 installed.

Here are the full Xiaomi 12 specs:

  • 6.28in, 120Hz, FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • 50Mp, f/1.9 main camera
  • 13Mp, f/2.4 ultrawide camera
  • 5Mp telemacro camera
  • 32Mp selfie camera
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 67W wired charging
  • 50W wireless charging
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
  • 152.7 x 69.9 x 8.2 mm
  • 180g

Xiaomi 12 Pro

In previous years the Pro version of Xiaomi’s flagships hasn’t differed too much from the regular model, but this year that’s changed.

Xiaomi 12 Pro

The big difference of course is the size. The 12 Pro uses a 6.73in display – much larger than the regular 12 – which also runs at a higher resolution and uses LTPO tech to provide a more dynamic refresh rate.

The design is fundamentally the same other than the size disparity, and the core specs are similar too.

There’s a slightly bigger battery (4600mAh) but charging is improved more, with 120W wired speeds. The wireless tech is the same though.

Other than the display, the biggest changes are in the camera. While the main camera is also 50Mp, it uses the larger and more advanced Sony IMX707 sensor, so should get better results. The other two lenses are even more improved: there’s an ultrawide and a 2x zoom telephoto, both of which also use 50Mp sensors.

Here are the full specs:

  • 6.73in, 120Hz LTPO, QHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • 50Mp, f/1.9 main camera
  • 50Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide camera
  • 50Mp, f/1.9 2x zoom camera
  • 32Mp selfie camera
  • 4600mAh battery
  • 120W wired charging
  • 50W wireless charging
  • Gorilla Glass Victus
  • 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2 mm
  • 205g

In the UK, the Xiaomi 12 Pro is confirmed to be arriving in a single SKU, sporting 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Xiaomi 12X

The 12X is a new model in terms of name, though it’s mostly a replacement for the usual ‘Lite’ model. It’s the same size as the regular 12, and is very close in specs. 

Xiaomi 12X

The main difference is that it drops the 8 Gen 1 for the less powerful Snapdragon 870 – which is essentially a two-year-old chip. It also lacks wireless charging.

Curiously, leaker Chun has also claimed Xiaomi is working on a 12X Pro, to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but we know nothing else about this model yet.

Here are the full specs:

  • 6.28in, 120Hz, FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256GB storage
  • 50Mp, f/1.9 main camera
  • 13Mp, f/2.4 ultrawide camera
  • 5Mp telemacro camera
  • 32Mp selfie camera
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 67W wired charging
  • 152.7 x 69.9 x 8.2 mm
  • 176g

Xiaomi 12 Ultra

We haven’t had too many solid leaks about the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, which is still expected to launch, but later than the other models – though expect it to at least match the 12 Pro on core specs.

Going by early leaks, the design could be wild. Let’s start with the first leaked images, which show a camera module that’s… unusual.

12 Ultra cases

Shared on Weibo by leaker Digital Chat Station, these appear to be official renders produced either by Xiaomi or by a third-party case manufacturer. If the giant circular camera module seems hard to believe, then don’t worry – we have plenty of evidence it exists. It was first hinted at in this photo of an early case design:

Xiaomi 12 Ultra case leak

Last year’s Mi 11 Ultra had a bizarre camera design – a huge rectangular module with space for a small display. This is totally different, with no evidence of a screen but instead cut-outs for eight different sensors.

Essentially the same design was then seen in an aluminium dummy unit. TenTechReview has more photos of the chunky unit, though doesn’t go into much detail as to where it’s come from. The large circular camera is here again though and shown to protrude extensively from the body.

Xiaomi 12 Ultra dummy unit

LetsGoDigital tried to make sense of the design in renders, predicting four camera lenses along with a flash, microphone, and autofocus sensor. The final cut-out is less clear, but the site predicts that it might be a colour temperature sensor. 

LetsGoDigital Xiaomi 12 Ultra render

Note the inclusion of a Leica logo –  a nod to an old prediction from Digital Chat Station that the Ultra’s camera will boast Leica branding, and presumably the camera company will also help with some of the camera tuning and image processing. That’s since been bolstered by a code deep dive in the MIUI Gallery Editor app which surfaced code strings related to Leica camera filters, adding weight to rumours of a collaboration.

As for what the phone will be made of, one report out of China predicts that the phone will come in glass, ceramic, and vegan leather editions. The ceramic models will supposedly be in black or white, while the glass version will have a range of colours, and the vegan leather’s hue remains unknown.

While for a long time we’ve expected the 12 Ultra to use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, Digital Chat Station now instead predicts that it will be the phone that debuts the un-announced 8 Gen 1+, codenamed SM8475. Qualcomm usually announces its Plus chips in the summer, which is part of why the leaker also predicts a launch for the phone in Q3.

As for the display, a 120Hz LTPO AMOLED is also likely, and Digital Chat Station reports that this will come in a 2K resolution.

Let’s dive deeper into those possible camera specs. Chinese tech site MyDrivers reports that the 12 Ultra could come with the world’s first 200Mp main camera, which would be a jump up from the 50Mp shooter in the Mi 11 Ultra. We’ve already seen similar rumours for the Samsung S22 Ultra, although in the end the Korean company decided not to use the sensor on its latest devices, sticking to 108Mp instead.

If that’s the case, then it leaves the door open for Xiaomi to steal in and claim the 200Mp crown – though it would almost certainly do so with Samsung hardware, ironically enough. Samsung’s ISOCELL HP1 is so far the only 200Mp sensor on the market, and since Xiaomi has a history of using high-end camera hardware from the Korean company this is almost certainly what we’ll see in the 12 Ultra.

Of course, larger amounts of pixels don’t necessarily equate to better images, but this sensor has a few tricks up its sleeve. It can shoot 200Mp images with 0.64μm pixels, or use quad-pixel binning to produce 50Mp images with 1.28μm pixels – which is also how it achieves 8K video. Most impressively, in low light it uses 16-in-1 pixel binning technology to shoot at 12.5Mp with large 2.56μm pixels, theoretically getting the same benefits as much larger sensors.

Other possible camera features from the sensor include a Smart ISO mode that combines low and high ISO shots into one, staggered HDR, multisampling, and ‘Double Super PD’ autofocus. You can find out more about all of those in this short intro video from Samsung:

Digital Chat Station has added more camera details on Chinese social media site Weibo. He repeated the 200Mp claim in regard to the 12 Ultra, but later added that Xiaomi is testing a 10x optical zoom periscope lens, presumably for that phone, but that it’s still considering a more “practical” 5x zoom option.

Not to dampen hopes, but rival leaker Ice Universe has cast some doubt on expectations of a 200Mp shooter. He tweeted that Motorola will be the first to release a 200Mp phone camera, with Xiaomi set to follow “in the second half of [2022].” That’s a bit later than we’d expect to see the 12 Ultra, so seems to rule out this phone using the tech.

Digital Chat Station also seems to have lost confidence in the 200Mp claim, having since reported that the 12 Ultra will use a 50Mp main camera – a big difference from 200Mp. He says it will be paired with 48Mp “ultra-wide-angle” and “super-telephoto periscope” lenses – essentially the same camera setup as the Mi 11 Ultra, though there may be subtler hardware tweaks below the surface. He’s since added that the phone will use an unknown Sony IMX8XX sensor, implying that this might be new Sony camera hardware making a debut here.

The Ultra is also set to impress on battery. MyDrivers claims it will be the first mass production phone to feature Xiaomi’s 200W wired HyperCharge tech, capable of fully charging a 4000mAh battery in just eight minutes – though we expect the Ultra’s cell to be larger than that.

Digital Chat Station disagrees though, instead reporting that we’ll see a 4860mAh battery with 120W wired charging and 50W wireless – so the same charging speeds as the 12 Pro, but with a slightly larger battery.

It’s worth noting that there was also some speculation that there would be a Xiaomi 12 Ultra Enhanced Edition, an even more extra version of the top-tier model. This was based on code name leaks suggesting that the Ultra is codenamed ‘loki’ with a separate device codenamed ‘thor’. These models have since been confirmed to be upcoming Xiaomi Mix series phones though, so the Ultra Enhanced is no longer expected.

Xiaomi 12 Mini

Ahead of the announcement of the Xiaomi 12X, it had been tipped to be smaller than the regular 12, and serve as a mini model.

Curiously, in the wake of the announcement those rumours have continued, with speculation that there will be an actual Xiaomi 12 Mini some time soon. We even have a render of a possible design, shared on Twitter by Shadow_Leak:

Xiaomi 12 Mini

On the other hand, the same leaker has previously shared a different design for the same alleged phone:

Xiaomi 12 Mini render

Spec rumours are thin, but point to a sub-6in AMOLED display and the same Snapdragon 870 chipset used in the 12X.

Given the two conflicting designs (neither of which are a close match to the rest of the 12 series) and the fact that there have been few concrete spec leaks, we’d take all this with a pinch of salt for now.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The 12 Lite is yet another variant in the series that leakers have pointed to.

This leak comes from XiaomiUI, and also comes with a render of the phone’s possible design.

Xiaomi 12 Lite XiaomiUI

It’s actually supposed to be larger than the Xiaomi 12, with a 6.55in OLED panel, and a Snapdragon 7-series chipset – likely the Snapdragon 778G, going by a separate Geekbench listing for the phone, which also reveals 8GB of RAM. The triple camera is allegedly led by a 64Mp main lens using the Samsung ISOCELL GW3 sensor, with an ultrawide and macro too – none with OIS.

Check back regularly as we’ll be updating this feature when more details become available. In the meantime, try reading our guide to the best Xiaomi phones and best new phones coming soon to see what else could be tugging at your credit card.

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