Release date, rumours and what to expect

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(Pocket-lint) – Xiaomi’s launch cycles have been really aggressive recently, with multiple versions of each series of devices – the next expected to be the Xiaomi 12.

You’ll notice that there’s no “Mi” name in there. To clean things up, Xiaomi has dropped the Mi branding, with the Mix 4 being the first device to use the new naming convention.

We suspect Xiaomi will reveal the flagship handsets at the tail-end of December in China, with an international launch to follow in the first quarter of 2022. Here’s everything that’s leaked and everything you need to know.

Xiaomi 12 release date and price

  • December 2021 confirmation
  • March 2022 global launch likely

There’s been no official word on exactly when the Xiaomi 12 series will launch, but a pattern is emerging: Xiaomi typically confirms its next-gen device at the same time as Qualcomm makes its announcement of the latest Snapdragon hardware. That’s exactly what happened again in 2021: Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, confirmed the handset would be the first flagship to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

XiaomiXiaomi 12: Release date, rumours and what to expect photo 3

The launch in China is often first: for the Mi 11 that was on the 28 December 2020; in previous years, Xiaomi has then used the February Mobile World Congress for a global launch – with international availability around March. We’d expect the Xiaomi 12 launch to echo this pattern too.

There’s no word on pricing, but it’ll vary significantly between what’s anticipated to be three key handsets: the Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Xiaomi 12 Ultra. Previously the Mi 11 came with an entry price of around £/€799, with that price rising to £/€1,199 for the top-end Ultra. Expect similar for the new range too.

Design & Build

  • Three models expected: Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Ultra
  • Xiaomi 12 Ultra Enhanced (with ceramic back) rumoured
  • Xiaomi 12X smaller-scale handset also rumoured

There have been a number of design leaks for the Xiaomi 12 series, largely based around cases allegedly designed for the products.

The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro are set to feature a left-aligned rear camera unit, while the Xiaomi 12 Ultra has an entirely different and more complex circular camera array – but, critically, it appears to ditch the rear display of its Mi 11 Ultra predecessor.

Pocket-lintXiaomi 12: Release date, rumours and what to expect photo 4

Actual leaks have otherwise been thin on the ground, so anything we say about the design is speculative at this stage. In general, however, we expect the overall build quality, size and scale of the series to be similar to the Mi 11 from before. So expect premium finishes across the board.

There’s also rumour of a Xiaomi 12 Ultra Enhanced edition – which, if we’re to guess, is most likely the same as the Ultra model but with a ceramic rear finish.

Display

  • 2K AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate expected
  • Display sizes TBD; 6.8-inch rumoured

The Xiaomi 12 series is likely to come with a 6.8-inch display across the board, with 2K resolution (3200 x 1440 pixels), almost certainly AMOLED, and with a refresh rate of 120Hz.

That said, however, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can support yet higher refresh rates, to 144Hz at QHD+, so it’s plausible that the higher-end handsets in the series could unlock this potential.

Unlike some other series, we don’t expect the main trio of Xiaomi 12 models to feature different screen sizes, it will be among the other features – principally cameras – where the main differences will be seen.

However, there is rumour of a smaller-scale Xiaomi 12X model with 6.3-inch display. Whether this will appear at the same time or later down the series’ timescale is to be determined. It’s also typical for Xiaomi to release a Lite model in the range a little later in the calendar.

Hardware

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 confirmed
  • 4500mAh battery capacity expected
  • 120W wireless charging?

As mentioned above, Xiaomi has been aligning itself with Qualcomm’s platform releases, confirming the series will be the first to feature Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 before any other handset.

Outside of this hardware, little else is set in stone at this stage, but it’s expected that Xiaomi will equip the phone with really fast-charging options, which could be up to 120W wireless charging and 200W wired charging. Xiaomi has already shown of its Xiaomi HyperCharge system, so this is certainly plausible.

That top-speed charging, however, might be preserved for the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, with the regular versions getting 100W wired charging instead. Still super-fast across the board, though.

Cameras

  • Xiaomi 12 Ultra: Quint rear cameras
    • 50-megapixel main (Samsung GN5); 2x48MP for 2x, 5x zoom; 48MP wide-angle; 5MP depth sensor?
  • Xiaomi 12 & Pro: Quad rear cameras
    • 50-megapixel main (Samsung GN5); 13MP wide-angle; 8MP 2x zoom; 5MP depth sensor?
  • 200-megapixel sensor rumour now unlikely

One of the first rumours for the Xiaomi 12 suggested that it would use Samsung’s 200-megapixel sensor. While that sensor is now official, it’s called the Isocell HP1, it now seems unlikely it will appear in the Xiaomi 12 series.

Instead many sources are citing the Samsung GN5 instead – a large-scale 50-megapixel sensor. It appears this will be the main camera for all three handsets.

It’s not yet clear the exact way in which the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro will differ in their setups, as rumour suggests a quad rear camera for both. We suspect, however, that the entry-level Xiaomi 12 will be a triple camera, ditching the zoom lens from the setup.

The Xiaomi 12 Ultra is an entirely different beast, though, with a far more complex camera setup that’s designed entirely differently. A case design has leaked revealing no fewer than eight rear openings – but we suspect two of these will be used for a microphone and flash. But that could leave up to six openings for cameras or related sensors: perhaps a main, a pair of zooms (three is also possible), a wide-angle, and depth sensor.

For the front camera the initial rumour suggested that an under-display camera would be pride of place, but more recent leaks suggest instead that a visible single central punch-hole will sit in the screen instead.

What has happened so far?

Here’s a rundown of all the leaks for the Xiaomi 12.

14 December 2021: Xiaomi 12 Ultra case leak shows-off complex rear cameras

The Ultra looks to be an entirely different beast in the series, if this case leak is anything to go by.


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1 December 2021: Xiaomi 12 will be world’s first to feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Official confirmation from the company CEO that the Xiaomi 12 will be the first with Qualcomm’s top tier platform on board.

26 November: Motorola and Xiaomi to use Samsung’s 200MP camera before, er, Samsung?

Initial rumours about the use of a 200MP main sensor; it seems this is now uinlikely, however, with a 50MP main sensor more likely.

16 November: Xiaomi 12 Ultra to ditch rear screen, could be first with Snapdragon 898?

First rumour of the Ultra ditching the rear display of the previous Mi 11 Ultra.

8 November: Xiaomi shows off new liquid cooling tech, promising twice the cooling power for smartphones

New Loop LiquidCool technology should start arriving in Xiaomi phones around the second half of 2022 – so it might miss the Xiaomi 12, but time will tell.

31 August 2021: Xiaomi 12 could get three 50MP cameras

The Xiaomi 12 could have three 50-megapixel cameras on the rear, with ultrawide and telephoto joining the main camera.

30 June 2021: Xiaomi 12 could sport Samsung’s 200-megapixel camera

In June 2021 it was rumoured that the Xiaomi 12 could use Samsung’s 200-megapixel camera and that it could have Olympus branding.

Writing by Chris Hall and Mike Lowe. Originally published on .





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