Xiaomi 12S Pro: Flagship targets photographers and gamers TechNode

Xiaomi launched the 12S Pro in China in early July. The phone is the mid-range offering in Xiaomi’s new 12S lineup (including the 12S, 12S Pro and 12S Ultra), which is updated every year and targets a wide range of mid-range to mid-range users. top of the line. The series is also the first Xiaomi phone to use Leica lenses. TechNode got their hands on the 12S Pro and spent a week using and testing it. Here are our thoughts on the phone.

The phone can be a solid choice as your primary everyday device. Leica-branded cameras may appeal to photography enthusiasts, and the 12S Pro’s specs deliver a quality entertainment experience. We also recommend it to avid gamers and video watchers.

Pleasant holding experience

Xiaomi 12S Pro has curved edges from the rear case to the front screen, with a metal frame in the middle. The model has a higher aspect ratio, narrow enough to hold with one hand. Curved edges help reduce discomfort.

The rear case is made up of delicately frosted glasses which, combined with the white color, will be free of fingerprints.

Close-up of the rounded edges and speakers of the Xiaomi 12S Pro. Credit: TechNode/Argo Zhang

Gaming and video experience

The phone runs on Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+, and its power excels.

We played Genshin Impact, a detailed sandbox mobile game known for demanding high device specs, and it performed quite well on the device with the highest graphics preset. After nearly two hours of gameplay, it rarely dropped frames and the phone’s temperature remained relatively constant, with the back casing getting a bit heated. Antutu, a popular Chinese benchmark app, reads around 36 degrees Celsius of CPU with no workload and up to 50 degrees Celsius after two hours of playing Genshin Impact. The metal frame lets out more heat than the rear case. We’ll describe it as “warm” rather than “scorching”.

A photo of Xiaomi 12S Pro running a demanding game. Credit: TechNode/Argo Zhang

The phone has a 6.73 inch punch-hole display with 3200 x 1440 pixels. It also comes with a high refresh rate of 120Hz. One highlight we like is the phone’s 20:9 display ratio. The phone offers a better experience for watching videos, as the most popular movies are displayed in an aspect ratio of around 21:9.

The screen can also reach a peak of 1,500 nits and an overall maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. One advantage is the outdoor experience with this phone, especially in bright and sunny environments. We tested it in such bright lighting conditions and it offers decent display quality – the color looks normal and the phone didn’t overheat when running with the screen set to maximum brightness.

The phone can also handle 4K HDR video quite well in high contrast scenes, showing detail in shadows and highlights. The dual speaker with Dolby Atom further enhances the entertainment experience.

Integrated Leica profiles for the camera

A highlight of the phone is its Leica lens and software. The phone comes with different Leica color profiles. In Photo mode, there are two default options: Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. Both modes provide a clean and crisp look. Colors are punchy but not too overwhelming, keeping much of the detail in dark and highlighted areas.

A photo taken with the Leica profile on the 12S Pro. Credit: TechNode/WardZhou

Two additional monochrome Leica profiles are listed in the Filters tab. High Contrast – Leica HC – delivers the distinctive black and white look that Leica is known for. If you’re a fan of black and white photography and perhaps a fan of the work of Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama, this would be a fun filter to explore.

A photo with the Leica monochromatic profile on 12S Pro. Credit: TechNode/WardZhou

When it comes to portrait mode on the rear camera, however, the Xiaomi 12S Pro’s algorithm-driven bokeh falls short. He couldn’t always recognize the outlines of many subjects, including human hair and other complex scenes. Therefore, we recommend shooting with a lower aperture to resolve this issue.

Ultra wide angle (left) and wide angle (right) shooting. Credit: TechNode/WardZhou

The phone has three rear cameras, offering a range from teleportable to ultrawide with five times the optical zoom capability and 20 times the digital zoom capability. We shot in different zoom ranges from a single perspective to show how it works.

Camera zoom capability test with Xiaomi 12S Pro. Credit: TechNode/WardZhou

We’re using the main rear camera for a standard test of its optical performance in a 16:9 frame to put extra pressure on the lenses. A notable point is the slight chromatic aberration that appears in high contrast areas. But overall the image is pretty sharp from the center to the corners.

The front camera takes good quality photos most of the time and comes with a built-in beautify feature to provide choices, making you look better in photos. However, the phone’s algorithm tends to overexpose when using the front camera, losing detail in highlights. After upgrading the system, the issue got a bit better, so it might be more of a preset preference issue than a bug.

Long battery life, ultra-fast charging and multitasking

The phone packs a large 4600mAh battery, with 120W fast charging support. Battery life isn’t a concern for everyday use, and we were surprised by how efficient the fast charging function.

Moreover, the battery of the phone withstands demanding situations. For example, after two and a half hours of demanding gaming in the best image quality, with a display brightness of 75% and Wi-Fi enabled, the battery dropped by 34%. Streaming a movie for two and a half hours using the same settings consumed 25% battery life.

Under these conditions, the phone should theoretically give you over seven hours of demanding gaming and 10 hours of streaming video playback.

As for charging, the 12S Pro only took 4 minutes to charge from 20% to 40%. From 20% to full, it only took 23 minutes using the 120W charger that came in the box, if you close all apps. The phone leaves surprisingly little heat during the charging process, which is impressive because such a high wattage charging speed will usually cause it to overheat.

The phone’s large 12GB RAM is a plus for the processor. We opened 20 apps, including news apps, social apps, and Chrome, and all of them work seamlessly in the background.

Phone System will automatically kill some inactive apps to save battery when you open power-hungry apps or games or lock the phone. But you can easily resume any previously opened app without too much lag, thanks to its powerful processing and high-speed storage chips.

Conclusion

As a high-end Android phone, the Xiaomi 12S Pro has a low-profile design and feels great in the hands. Performance, battery life and charging capacity are more than enough for everyday use. You can play popular game titles like Diablo Immortal and Genshin Impact with the best image quality without experiencing dropped frames. The new Leica camera system also works well most of the time.

This should be a phone that is suitable for most Android users for daily use. Below, TechNode has summarized the main pros and cons of the Xiaomi 12S Pro.

Advantages

  • Curved body design, feels great in the hand
  • Brilliant performance when gaming. Impressive heat control
  • Large battery and 120W fast charging
  • Brilliant photos with Lecia profiles
  • A relatively competitive price

The inconvenients

  • Algorithm-driven bokeh doesn’t always work as expected
  • Charging while playing games may cause overheating issues
  • Less promising image quality when shooting with the telephoto lens

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