Xiaomi 12 Pro test: ambitious flagship

Xiaomi’s new top of the range doesn’t offer the main 108MP module that we expected. Instead, there’s the 50-megapixel Sony IMX 707 sensor, which has made its first appearance. Two other 50-megapixel modules complement the main one: ultra wide-angle and 2x telephoto.

With this alignment, Xiaomi 12 Pro clearly demonstrates its ambitions in the field of mobile photography. A rare thing, it allows you to shoot in full resolution (50 megapixels) using three sensors, which means that all pictures are taken at a resolution of 12.5 pixels thanks to the process pixel snap.

Main module: 50 MP, f/1.9, equiv. 24 mm

Huawei P50 Pro (12.5 MP, ISO 64, 1/100 sec)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5 MP, 24mm equiv., f/1.9, ISO 68, 1/100s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro cannot compete with Huawei P50 Pro. His shot is much less detailed, and the colorimetry tends to be slightly red. The P50 Pro offers a more natural image with much greater sharpness and contrast.

Huawei P50 Pro (12.5 MP, ISO2000, 1/12s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5 MP, 24mm equiv., f/1.9, ISO 3608, 1/20s)

At night, we prefer the Xiaomi smartphone. The photo is better exposed, offers more contrast, and is slightly less fluid than Huawei’s.

50 megapixel mode

Xiaomi 12 Pro (50 megapixels, 100% crop)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5 megapixels, 100% crop)

In daylight photography, the difference between the default mode and full resolution is not obvious. The 12 Pro’s 50MP camera offers more detail in certain parts of the scene. Smoothes still a little more than 12.5 megapixels. As expected, the colorimetry remained the same.

Xiaomi 12 Pro (50 megapixels, 100% crop)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5 megapixels, 100% crop)

At night there is something to say. The exposure is much worse, and we note the presence of irregularities at the level of the map sheet (the famous white edges). Many details are lost, and anti-aliasing becomes very pronounced.

night mode

Xiaomi 12 Pro (night mode)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (night)

Night mode gives a good result compared to a “simple” shot taken in low light. With longer exposure times, the smartphone manages to offer a more exposed image with greater sharpness. The contrast is better too. However, increasing the sensitivity masks the dark background of digital noise. If the Xiaomi 12 Pro is nowhere near what the Pixel 6 has to offer, it doesn’t deserve it.

Ultra wide-angle module: 50 MP, f/2.2

Huawei P50 Pro (13 MP, 13mm equiv., f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/120s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5MP, 14mm equiv., f/2.2, ISO 167, 1/50s)

The daytime ultra wide-angle lens is also more pleasing to the eye with the Huawei P50 Pro. Exposure is better, as are fine details. The Xiaomi 12 Pro photo is very anti-aliased and shows dangerous colorimetry. It lacks detail and boosts contrast in certain places when it’s not really needed.

Huawei P50 Pro (13 MP, 13mm equiv., f/2.2, ISO 1600, 1/15s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5MP, 14mm equiv., f/2.2, ISO 5401, 1/15s)

At night, neither of the two smartphones really gives pleasure. But the Xiaomi 12 Pro stands out with the best exposure, despite the digital noise that covers the whole scene and hides the details. Meanwhile, the P50 Pro photo is yellow, smoothed and less detailed than its competitor.

2x telephoto: 50 megapixels, f/1.9

Huawei P50 Pro (16MP, ISO 200, 1/60s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5MP, 48mm equiv., f/1.9, ISO 237, 1/100s)

At the telephoto lens, daylight observation is the same as with the other two modules. With 2x zoom, Xiaomi 12 Pro can’t compete with P50 Pro’s 3.5x zoom. It should be noted the lack of sharpness, clarity and less good exposure. However, the 12 Pro’s shot is far from disastrous.

Huawei P50 Pro (16 MP, ISO 3200, 1/17 s)

Xiaomi 12 Pro (12.5MP, 48mm equiv., f/1.9, ISO 6400, 1/15s)

In low light, the Xiaomi 12 Pro tries to maintain color neutrality, which cannot be said for the P50 Pro, which has a yellowish tint, just like it does at ultra-wide angle. The Huawei model relies on contrast to try and capture a practically usable shot, while our 12 Pro sees its image heavily smoothed by software processing.

Front module, portrait and video mode

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a 32-megapixel sensor on the front. The selfies are pretty well detailed, but we did notice poor white balance control, which results in some pretty weird colorimetry even in good light.

Portrait mode isn’t bad in the sense that clipping was near perfect on every subject test, be it with the front module or the wide module. This mode has adjustable background blur as well as a “whole body” option to capture a photo of the entire subject. With this feature, the 12 Pro switches to the main module, and in “classic” portrait mode, automatically switches to 2x telephoto.

In video, the 12 Pro is capable of shooting up to 8K at 24fps and 4K at 60fps. The smartphone is also compatible with HDR10+. On the front, video capabilities are limited to 1080p at 60fps.

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