With iPhone 14 Pro-beating photo sharpness, the Xiaomi 12T Pro combines powerful 200MP photography and top-tier specs

xiaomi 12t pro just beat the iphone 14 pro in one key area, Tech, Xiaomi 12T Pro just beat the iPhone 14 Pro in one key area
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

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Xiaomi has lifted the lid on its 200MP camera phone supreme, the Xiaomi 12T Pro. Launched alongside the more modestly specced, 108MP Xiaomi 12T, the Pro marries a sky-high resolution with mighty power, 120W fast charging and a crisp, smooth screen. 

What we’re most impressed by is what happened when we took a 200MP photo in Ultra HD mode, and how the 12T Pro’s photos stack up against the iPhone 14 Pro –  which we’ve been testing in tandem while at Xiaomi’s European launch event (side by side comparisons coming right up).

While the specs suggest the new 12T is a seriously premium flagship, it actually sits below the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro, ditching fancy metal styling and a curved display in favour of a plastic frame and a flatscreen. Once you get past the pared-back design, though, it doesn’t pull any punches, and it also costs less than you might expect.

Xiaomi 12T Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: About those cameras

xiaomi 12t pro just beat the iphone 14 pro in one key area, Tech, Xiaomi 12T Pro just beat the iPhone 14 Pro in one key area

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The headline feature of the 12T Pro really is that camera. With a through-the-roof resolution, it crams 200 million pixels into its large camera sensor. Xiaomi isn’t the first to climb to such heights, though, as the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is a fine-looking phone that’s also loaded up with a 200MP snapper. The Xiaomi, however, undercuts the Moto on price, while matching much of its spec.

We’ve spent about 12 hours with the Xiaomi 12T Pro, and its camera is definitely a standout. The 200MP main camera has a huge (for a smartphone) 1/1.22-inch sensor, and it’s also loaded up with optical stabilisation (OIS). Its f/1.7 aperture lens will let in loads of light, and the phone can capture up to 8K video, in addition to those 200MP stills.

Image 1 of 2

Xiaomi 12 T Pro camera image sample (Image credit: Future)

iPhone 14 Pro camera image sample (Image credit: Future)

Speaking of 200MP images, we were super-impressed by the amount of detail the Xiaomi 12T Pro could grab in its Ultra HD mode. You can see an example above of the kind of detail you can expect compared to an iPhone 14 Pro. We took the iPhone photo in 48MP RAW – the highest-quality Apple’s flagship captures – and the results are clear: the 12T Pro shoots a sharper photo.

Sharpness definitely isn’t everything, and we do, on first impression, still prefer the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera. After all, it doesn’t process photos as aggressively, so pictures look more natural, and Apple also lets you shoot RAW photos at maximum resolution. The Xiaomi 12T Pro’s RAW photos are dropped to just 12MP by contrast. Xiaomi also dials back the quality of the 2MP macro and 8MP ultra-wide cameras that flank the stellar 200MP main camera.

Xiaomi 12T Pro specification: In a nutshell

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

It’s not all about cameras, though. The 12T Pro features a flat 6.7-inch screen that’s covered in Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and features a curved frosted glass back. Its styling is a bit more classical than its predecessor, the Xiaomi 11T Pro.

Fans of flat screens should love the 12T Pro. For starters, it gets an AMOLED display, so looks zingy, deep and inky. It’s also sharper than most phones under £1,000, with its 2712 x 1220 resolution taking the pixel density to 446 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The iPhone 14 Pro Max screen is 460PPI, so the 12T Pro isn’t far behind at all.

With its smooth 120Hz refresh rate and a responsive 480Hz touch sampling rate, things should also look and feel nippy, and the screen can automatically switch between refresh rates depending on demands.

Brightness is where things fall behind top-tier phones on paper, though, with the manual brightness climbing to 500-nits, and auto brightness reaching 900-nits in high-brightness mode. Other than that, everything about the 12T Pro’s screen looks excellent, with the icing on the cake being HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support.

Xiaomi loads up most of its phones with great features like stereo speakers and massive, 5,000mAh batteries, and the 12T Pro is no exception. What we don’t always see outside its flagships is an in-display fingerprint scanner, though, making the 12T Pro the first ‘T’ to get one.

With nippy 120W fast-charging, Xiaomi claims the phone can be powered up in just 19 minutes, and it ships with a fast-charger in the box too.

Costing just £699, with an early bird offer of £599 from 20-24 October 2022 with the new Redmi Pad as a free gift, you could pick up two Xiaomi 12T Pros for the price of an iPhone 14 Pro Max. So given its price, we’re very impressed on first impression with the whole 12T Pro package. 

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