Initial verdict: the Xiaomi 12 Lite appears to be a good upgrade over last year’s 11 Lite 5G NE, though we’re wary about it having the same internals as last year’s model and its potential pricing in the Philippines.
- Top-notch display
- Upgraded main and selfie cameras
- Same processor as 11 Lite 5G NE
- Might be expensive
Xiaomi 12 Lite Philippines Specs
- Snapdragon 778G processor
- 8GB LPDDR4x RAM
- 128GB 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
Unboxing and Packaging Contents
Xiaomi has been consistent in keeping the packaging simple with its numbered series, so you still get a white box with bold 12 branding in front. Inside the box, you have the phone itself, silicone case, SIM ejector tool, documentation, 67w charger, and USB-C cable.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite isn’t going to break design barriers any time soon, thanks to its safe (but updated) boxy design complete with flat sides. It retains the same camera module design of its other 12 series siblings, though the bump on the camera lenses is slightly more pronounced because it is slimmer than both the 12 and 12 Pro. The back panel has a matte, frosted finish that does a good job of repelling smudges and fingerprints.
Our review unit came to us in the lite pink colorway, and the coloration of the back panel shifts a little bit depending on the angle that the light hits it. If you’re not a fan of the color, you’ll be happy to know that the Xiaomi 12 Lite is also available in lite green and black.
The volume rocker and power button are on the right side, while the SIM card tray, USB-C port, and loudspeaker are at the bottom. On top, you have the other loudspeaker and an infrared port for those times that you intend to use the Xiaomi 12 Lite as a remote control.
While the display has the same size as its predecessor, Xiaomi incorporated a few upgrades: the refresh rate is now at 120hz and you now get an in-display fingerprint scanner, along with a punch-hole camera module placed in the top-center of the display.
Xiaomi typically reserves its better AMOLED displays on its higher-end phones, and it’s nice to see that a mid-ranger like the 12 Lite get the high-end option. Aside from better colors overall thanks to the AMOLED screen, you also get flagship features like support for 10-bit color, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+, making the Xiaomi 12 Lite a treat when consuming content.
Speaking of content consumption, we like that the Xiaomi 12 Lite does have Widevine L1, so you can watch your favorite Netflix shows in Full HD–on top of having support for content with Dolby Vision and HDR10. Audio is pretty great on our initial use of the Xiaomi 12 Lite thanks to its stereo speakers that have a symmetrical arrangement.
Another upgrade seen on the Xiaomi 12 Lite is with the main camera, which uses a 108-megapixel ISOCELL HM2 snapper. This camera should be familiar, as Xiaomi has used this on other phones like the 11T series, Redmi Note 11 Pro, Redmi Note 10 Pro, and Redmi Note 11S. The ISOCELL HM2 is a popular choice among Xiaomi devices, so we have more or less an idea of its general performance.
Accompanying the main camera is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a downgraded 2-megapixel macro camera. The selfie shooter, on the other hand, gets a big upgrade with a 32-megapixel ISOCELL GD2 sensor. The high-resolution selfie camera comes with Eye Tracking AF, along with two LED lights for those times that you need extra illumination for your selfies.
While Xiaomi updated the display and cameras on the 12 Lite, it kept the internals the same. You still get a Snapdragon 778G processor that’s paired with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. We’re not sure which variants will be coming to the Philippines, but our review unit is the 8GB/128GB variant.
Before you get turned off by Xiaomi’s decision to still use the Snapdragon 778G on the 12 Lite, Qualcomm’s upper mid-range processor is still one of the best options out there–even matching some flagship chips like the Snapdragon 870 and Dimensity 1200 for some cases.
We expect roughly the same performance as the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, but there might be some under-the-hood software tweaks on the 12 Lite to improve overall performance–we will know more about that in our full review. Speaking of software, the Xiaomi 12 Lite runs Android 12-based MIUI 13.
Going to the battery, the Xiaomi 12 Lite gets a slight bump at 4300mAh, and now supports 67w wired charging for faster top-up times.
Wrap-up and Initial Conclusions
Aside from being one of the prettiest mid-range phones out there, the Xiaomi 12 Lite sticks to its predecessor’s promise of a stylish and slim 5G phone while adding a few upgrades in the camera and display department. Xiaomi’s decision to use the same processor found on the 11 Lite 5G NE is not a big deal, but we’re warier about how much Xiaomi intends to price the 12 Lite in the Philippines.