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Xiaomi 12 Lite Review Philippines: Top Mid-Range Shooter

by Duey Guison  August 18, 2022

Review verdict: Despite being more of an incremental upgrade to last year’s 11 Lite 5G NE, Xiaomi did a great job in optimizing the software and choosing the best possible components for the 12 Lite to make it a competitive mid-range offering in the Philippines.

Pros

  • Excellent camera performance
  • Well-optimized software
  • One of the best displays in the mid-range segment

Cons

  • A processor upgrade could be nice
  • Only LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 storage
  • More expensive than its predecessor

Xiaomi 12 Lite Review Philippines Specs

  • Snapdragon 778G processor
  • 6GB/8GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2 storage
  • 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 120hz refresh rate, 10-bit color
  • 108-megapixel f/1.79 ISOCELL HM2 main camera with PDAF, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel macro camera
  • 32-megapixel f/2.5 ISOCELL GD2 selfie camera with AF
  • 4G, 5G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, in-display fingerprint scanner
  • 4300mAh battery
  • 67w fast charging
  • Android 12, MIUI 13

Xiaomi finally completes its 12 lineup with the unveiling of the 12 Lite in the Philippines. As a successor to the 11 Lite 5G NE, the 12 Lite introduces a few upgrades that focus mostly on the cameras and the display–while sticking to the same set of internals found on its predecessor. On top of being more expensive, should you consider the Xiaomi 12 Lite?

Design

While it is a few grams heavier than its predecessor, the Xiaomi 12 Lite is still slim for a 5G phone, with a thickness of just 6.8mm. You get a frosted finish on its glass back panel, and it does a great job in repelling fingerprints compared to the glossy finish used on its predecessor. You can also get the 12 Lite in black, lite green, and lite pink, and we love the gradient-like finish on the latter two colorways.

The button and port layout are pretty much the same as its predecessor, though the 12 Lite gets a stereo speaker setup with an additional speaker on top, along with the power button not doubling as a fingerprint scanner. This is because the 12 Lite is like its more expensive siblings in utilizing an in-display fingerprint scanner–and we like how Xiaomi is making this available to more of its phones.

Display

Despite having a similar size as its predecessor, the 12 Lite’s AMOLED panel is significantly better. Aside from having a 120hz refresh rate and an in-display fingerprint scanner, we noticed that the colors appear to be more vibrant on the 12 Lite compared to both 4G and 5G versions of the 11 Lite.

The panel also feels brighter as well, and we do think that it is a higher-quality panel compared to the great 6.7-inch AMOLED panels used on other Xiaomi phones like the 11T series. Aside from still being a 10-bit panel, the Xiaomi 12 Lite can also view content with HDR10 and Dolby Vision, making you enjoy high-quality content on the go.

While it has a slightly better panel than the 11T series, the same can’t be said with the stereo speakers. They do generally sound good even at higher volume levels, but overall audio fidelity is not as detailed as the stereo speakers used on its more expensive siblings and the 11T Pro (which has Harman-Kardon-tuned speakers).

Cameras

While Xiaomi did downgrade the 12 Lite’s camera to a stat-stuffing 2-megapixel macro camera, it makes up for it significantly with the 108-megapixel ISOCELL HM2 main camera. We’ve seen Xiaomi use this on various phones like the 11T series and the Redmi Note 11 Pro/Note 11S phones, and we can attest to the sensor being a great choice for any mid-range phone.

The Mi 11 Lite was one of the few phones from 2021 that was able to properly maximize the modest 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera to match the colors of the main camera, and the Xiaomi 12 Lite continues that trend.

While you’d most likely use the 108-megapixel main camera for most scenarios (its 2x digital zoom is very decent), the Xiaomi 12 Lite’s 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera is usable even in low light scenarios–a strong proof that great and well-optimized camera software can go a long way.

You don’t get OIS on the Xiaomi 12 Lite, but we’re impressed at how its EIS feature does a great job in keeping footage stable even while shooting handheld. We would shoot 4K30 videos often with the Xiaomi 12 Lite as our daily driver, and we love the output the Xiaomi 12 Lite produces regardless of lighting conditions.

Aside from the rear cameras, the ISOCELL GD2 sensor used for the selfie shooter is a big upgrade, as its inclusion of eye-tracking autofocus makes the 12 Lite one of the best Xiaomi phones officially offered in the Philippines for taking selfies.

It appears that Xiaomi properly optimized the camera software of the 12 Lite, as overall performance–especially for video–is better than the rest of its mid-range offering, even rivaling the performance of the 11T Pro in some scenarios. With our overall experience with its cameras, the Xiaomi 12 Lite is a great phone for those who are into content creation.

 

Internals and Battery Life

Xiaomi saw that the Snapdragon 778G powering the 11 Lite 5G NE was very good even in 2022, so it was wise of them to use the same processor on the 12 Lite, along with the same RAM and storage variants (up to 8GB RAM, and up to 256GB internal storage). Our only gripe, however, is how they still stuck with using UFS 2.2 storage and LPDDR4X RAM–it could have been better if the 12 Lite came with UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 RAM especially since the Snapdragon 778G supports it.

That aside, the Snapdragon 778G is a solid choice for the under Php 30k range–especially with the competition using processors like the Dimensity 900 or the higher-clocked Dimensity 920. The Snapdragon 778G is one of our favorite mid-range processors, as this 6nm chip has some of the key features of the Snapdragon 888. In fact, our previous tests of the Snapdragon 778G reveal that it can match the gaming performance of the more expensive Snapdragon 888 with some titles.

Speaking of gaming, we’ve used the Xiaomi 12 Lite extensively for Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact at the highest possible settings, and the phone handles both titles nicely. We even pushed its internals to the limit with hit MMORPG Tower of Fantasy, where we had to dial down the graphics settings to Fine, HD resolution, and 60FPS (there’s a 90FPS option, but you’ll most likely not hit those numbers) to keep temps stable and to reduce in-game lag.

On the software side, the Xiaomi 12 Lite uses Android 12-based MIUI 13, and we noticed that bloatware has been put to a minimum–letting you enjoy a close-to-stock experience and make the most out of its internal storage.

The Xiaomi 12 Lite gets a slightly bigger 4300mAh battery but now supports a significantly faster 67w wired charging solution that can top it up from flat to 100% in around 40 minutes. Despite having a relatively small battery, the Xiaomi 12 Lite was able to last over 10 hours in PCMark’s battery benchmark test with the screen refresh rate set to 120hz. That translates to roughly a day’s worth of use and is a testament to the Snapdragon 778G being both powerful and efficient.

 

Wrap-up and Conclusions

Despite being more expensive than its predecessor, our review of the Xiaomi 12 Lite shows that key upgrades with the cameras, display, and charging speeds make it a compelling mid-range offering in the Philippines. Pair that with great software optimization, the Xiaomi 12 Lite proves that Xiaomi’s numbered series offers the best overall user experience from the brand.

Xiaomi 12 Lite Review Philippines Price

The Xiaomi 12 Lite is priced at Php 20,990 for the 6GB/128GB model and Php 21,990 for the 8GB/128GB model. The pre-order period is from August 19 to 26, where pre-orders get a Xiaomi Tyvek bag, a Xiaomi Vacuum Cup, a Xiaomi Gray Umbrella, and a Xiaomi notebook with their purchase. Regular sales will be on August 27.

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