Trending December 2023 # Black Shark 2 Pro With Snapdragon 855 Plus, Ufs 3.0 Storage Launched In China # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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Gaming phone makers strive to offer the ultimate performance to its users. Be it in terms of raw power or features that complement your gaming experience. Black Shark 2 arrived earlier this year with some notable features such as 240Hz touch response, Liquid Cooling 3.0 and more.

Black Shark 2 Pro: Price and Availability

Black Shark 2 Pro has been priced starting at 2,999 yuan (roughly Rs. 30,000) for the 12GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. You will, however, have to shell out 3,499 yuan (roughly Rs. 35,000) for the 12GB+256GB variant.

Apart from this, Black Shark has partnered with Chinese e-sports team LNG to unveil three custom edition Pro variants too. Black Shark 2 Pro has been available to pre-order in China for close to a week now and will officially go on sale from 2nd August.

Black Shark 2 Pro: Specs and Features

Black Shark 2 Pro features a design and build not much different fro its predecessor. The metal and glass build has been carried forward but refined to now offer a trendy gradient finish to gamers. The company has placed a ton of focus on bettering the design with the addition of a green gradient to the black glass. It looks awesome as the green colour glass reflects light. Black Shark 2 Pro has also upped the ante on RGB lighting with the addition of two LED lights along the mid-frame on the rear.

Similar to its predecessor, Black Shark 2 Pro features a 6.39-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display as well – without any punch-holes or notch. It has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and 2340×1080 pixels resolution. The display still has a 240Hz touch response, offering much-improved latency and response time dropping down to 34.7ms – which is lower and even better than its predecessor.

Black Shark 2 Pro is powered by the recently launched Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. It’s the second phone to be launched with this overclocked chipset — after the ROG Phone 2. This is paired with 12GB RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. There’s no other RAM configuration – neither 6GB nor 8GB – available for this Pro variant.

This smartphone also sees the company make the shift to the faster UFS 3.0 storage in comparison to UFS 2.1 on the Black Shark 2. This improves the read & write speeds by 82%, along with faster game startup times as well.

Much like its predecessor, Black Shark 2 retains the dual front-facing speakers for an immersive gaming experience, along with three microphones for improved in-game voice communication. There’s Liquid Cooling 3.0+ onboard here, offering heat dissipation using two vapour chambers and a massive copper plate. The heat sinks are now in direct contact with the major components, so heat is eliminated quickly and more efficiently.

Black Shark 2 Pro comes equipped with the same 4,000mAh battery pack as its non-Pro variant, coupled with a USB Type-C 27W fast-charger (which supports quick charge 4.0) too. It also has the usual connectivity options and a fingerprint sensor under the display.

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Redmi K20 Series With Snapdragon 855, Pop

Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi has been hyping up the launch of its first flagship smartphone, the Redmi K20 for the past few weeks. We’ve already seen a myriad of teasers and leaks surrounding this much-awaited flagship device and well, the company finally unveiled the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro at a launch event in Beijing today.

Redmi K20 Pro: Price and Availability

The Redmi K20 Pro has been priced starting at 2,499 yuan (around Rs 25,200) for the 6GB+64GB base variant, with the 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB and the specced-out 8GB+256GB retailing at 2,599 yuan, 2,799 yuan, and 2,999 yuan respectively.

It will go up against the likes of OnePlus 7 and Vivo iQOO gaming smartphone in China, offering a tough competition with its feature-laden offering. Redmi K20 has been priced starting at 1,999 yuan (around Rs 20,500) for the base 6GB+64GB variant.

Redmi K20 Pro: Specs and Features

Starting off with the design, Redmi took center stage to highlight that it’s important for flagship phones to sport a metal and glass build. Well, that’s exactly what the company strived for and has achieved, along with the charm flame pattern on the rear panel that looks a bit much at first. However, I believe it will grow on you over time.

The charm flame pattern (translated from Chinese) on the rear panel has been achieved using four 3D-curved glass layers and nano-particles that help mobilize the colors in the manner that it does. The red-black and blue-black gradient give a subtle smoky effect to the rear panel of the Redmi K20 Pro.

The Redmi K20 Pro features a 6.39-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 91.9% screen-to-body ratio, and a display resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. There’s minimal bezels at the top and bottom, along with no intrusions such as notch or punch hole in the display. This has been made possible with the inclusion of a pop-up selfie camera module (we’ll talk more about this in the camera section below), which Redmi says has been tested for 300,000 ejections.

We already knew Redmi K20 Pro will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset and of course, that’s the case. This is coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We have listed all the configurations for the smartphone in the pricing section above.

As teased by the company before, Game Turbo 2.0 is also present aboard the Redmi K20 Pro to offer you a better gameplay experience. This includes optimizations for improved gaming, night vision mode for enhanced picture quality in dark situations, and a touch response rate of 71.25ms. The thing that comes as a major surprise for mobile gamers sure has to be the support for Black Shark’s gamepad with the Redmi K20 Pro.

As for the camera department, the Redmi K20 features a triple rear-camera module with the touted 48MP (f/1.75) IMX582 primary sensor, 13MP (f/2.4) ultra-wide angle lens with 125-degree FOV, and an 8MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens.

The smartphone also features all of your usual connectivity options, Hi-Fi audio which is powered by Qualcomm, 3.5mm headphone jack and a massive 4,000mAh battery. This is paired with 27W charging support via the USB Type-C port, which is surely more exciting than any of the other specs.

Redmi K20: Specs and Features

Well, call me impressed because there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the Redmi K20 Pro and its younger sibling — the Redmi K20. The company has kept the build and hardware specs almost the same, except for trading out the flagship chipset for a mid-range one.

As rumored, the Redmi K20 (expected to land in India as the Mi A3, with Android One in tow) is powered by the Snapdragon 730 chipset, coupled with Adreno 618 GPU, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. You get the same AMOLED display, a triple camera module, and pop-up selfie camera, in-display fingerprint sensor, and 4,000mAh battery – but now supporting only up to 18W charging.

The Redmi 7A doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor but offers dual-SIM 4G VoLTE support to consumers looking to get a decent device on a budget. The smartphone is priced at 549 yuan for the 2GB+16GB variant and 599 yuan for the 2GB+32GB variant.

Black Shark 2 Wants To Be An Android Nintendo Switch

Black Shark 2 wants to be an Android Nintendo Switch

The release of the gaming phone Black Shark 2 is upon us, despite the major lack of games to make the device worth the effort. Both Android and iOS have very few games that make use of any major amount of processor power in a smartphone or tablet, and the mobile gaming universe continues to be a stumbling block for the gaming industry as a whole. But that isn’t about to stop the folks at Black Shark!

To take on the Nintendo Switch fairly directly, this machine has two controllers that attach to its sides, called collectively “GamePad 3.0”. These controllers can be used with games on the smartphone, on-the-go, or at home with a giant television. The Black Shark 2 works with HDMI connectivity to deliver “the world’s lowest delay from any smartphone gameplay to any big screen.”

The GamePad 3.0 system can detach from the phone and connect with the Black Shark stand to create a wireless controller system. With the controllers connected wirelessly and the phone connected to your TV with HDMI, this makes for a home gaming console – Android and 1P only, of course.

The Black Shark 2 is a gaming phone for China, primarily. “Black Shark is a gaming company, composed of passionate gamers,” said Peter Wu, Founder & CEO at Black Shark in a statement about the company and the new phone. Wu wanted to express this morning that for Black Shark, the user can rest assured “that developing the best gaming experience will always lead our path.”

The smartphone has a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with 1080 x 2340 pixels across its face, giving the device’s display panel 403 pixels-per-inch. This device’s display has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, and rolls with MEMC, “image enhancement” support, and support for DCI-P3 108.9% (typical). It’s a highly decent display – as far as specs can say. We’ll be the judge of the display in real once we’ve got our review unit in-hand.

Also in the display is “Industry-leading HDR Tone Mapping and Always HDR” with what the company says is “realtime SDR-to-HDR conversion of games and videos.” Up front are a pair of front-facing speakers that are “25% larger than a standard smartphone.”

This display is pressure-sensitive. This sensitivity will only be used by the custom interface created by Black Shark, at first, but it MIGHT be able to be used by other apps in the future. There’s a liquid cooling system under the hood to keep the device from overheating, too.

There’s a 4000mAh battery inside, it works with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 27W, and connects with USB type-C. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner up front and a 20MP f/2.0 camera to take some selfie photos and video. On the back is a set of cameras rolling with 12MP f/1.7 and 12MP f/2.2.

The logo and the 2 side lights light up with RGB colors that work with “music intelligent recognition” and user customization. There’s also intelligent recognition of environments/weapons/movements/hits in games that’ll translate to different vibrations in the handset.

Black Shark 2 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with a few different options for RAM and internal data storage. There’s one that has 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, and another that has 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. But when’s the last time anyone had a need for 12GB RAM on a mobile device? What app or game could possibly make use of such an amount of processing grunt?

This machine also has two color options: one that’s Shadow Black, and another that’s Frozen Silver. At this time Black Shark has not shared release dates or pricing for any version of the phone.

Review: Caldigit Av Pro 2 – An External Storage Solution With A Built

CalDigit is no stranger when it comes to producing peripherals for the Mac. In particular, the California-based company has concentrated on Apple’s laptops with USB-C and Thunderbolt. The CalDigit AV Pro 2 is its latest such product: an external storage solution wrapped in a high-grade aluminum enclosure.

CalDigit has merged external storage with a USB 3.0 hub to create a product capable of providing three things of interest to MacBook owners — access to more storage, additional USB ports, and charging up to 30W. Have a look at our video walkthrough as we unbox and go hands-on with the CalDigit AV Pro 2.


Removable drive module with lock

Supports 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives

Front side power button/drive access LED

Uplink: USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-C or USB 3.0 Micro B

Hub: USB 3.0 Type-A (x2)

30W laptop charging via Type-C port

7.5W USB charging for mobile devices

Smart fan

Kensington Lock

Drive stand

Supports Apple’s SuperDrive

Support for (UASP) USB attached SCSI protocol

Dimensions: 5.8-inches-by-1.8-inches-by-9.5-inches

Weight: 4.37 lbs

The AV Pro 2 can accommodate either a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive. The model we reviewed was one equipped with a 3TB 3.5-inch HDD.

Other CalDigit products share the same drive module form factor, which means that you can easily swap modules between other storage devices. You can also order replacement drive modules, and each comes with a hard case lined with foam to ensure safe transport for backups and archival drives.

Like CalDigit products that we’ve seen before, the AV Pro 2 features a familiar aluminum chassis with ridged accents on the side. It’s a premium enclosure that should feel right at home on your desk next to a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

Video walkthrough

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What’s included?

CalDigit includes everything you need to get started inside the box. You’ll find a drive module with a preinstalled drive, USB Type-C cable, and a USB Type-A to Micro-B cable for connecting to your computer. There’s also an AC adapter, drive keys, and a drive stand included in the package.

The AV Pro 2, at 5.8-inches-by-1.8-inches-by-9.5-inches, is fairly large, so it’s not the type of drive that you’ll want to carry around while traveling. You’d be better off grabbing one of the company’s portable Tuff Drives, or Samsung’s T5 for that. But if you regularly use a MacBook Pro, MacBook, or even an iMac at your desk, then the AV Pro 2 makes for an interesting desk companion.

The unit features four built-in rubber feet, allowing it to sit flat on a desk, or you can opt for the included clear plastic stand, which allows it to stand up vertically to save on desk real estate.

In particular, I think that the AV Pro 2 is a handy companion for those working with video. When editing extra-large Pro Res files produced by gear like the Atomos Ninja Inferno, a spinning hard drive is probably more practical for storage purposes than an SSD at this point in time. Pairing a fast, extra-large hard drive with the AV Pro 2 may be a good choice if that’s a relatable scenario for you.

Drive access

The AV Pro 2 drive module can be removed by means of a pair of keys included in the package. This key-based removal system prevents the drive module from being removed by accident or by theft when combined with the Kensington lock.

There are two keys included with the AV Pro 2. One of the keys is used to lock or unlock the drive module, and the other is used to eject the drive module.

To be honest, it’s kind of a hassle to have to use both keys to fully secure or un-secure the module, and I wish that a single key was able to do both. The key system works, but it may be annoying to those who just want to easily mount or dismount drive modules without having to fool with keys.


The AV Pro 2 provides a variety of use-cases based on its specifications, just don’t be fooled into thinking that it utilizes USB 3.1 (gen 2) (10Gbps) or Thunderbolt 3. The unit is backward compatible with those technologies, but is bound by the maximum theoretical 5Gbps transfer rates of USB 3.0/3.1 (gen 1).

7200 RPM 3TB HDD vs 1TB SSD

With all of that said, USB 3.0 is still fairly fast, especially since CalDigit makes sure to support UASP, or USB attached SCSI protocol. UASP allows devices to execute commands bi-directionally for better throughput performance over the interface.

CalDigit notes that its AV Pro 2, when paired with an SSD, will support read speeds up to 433MB/s, and that’s pretty much spot on from my testing. Spinning hard drives will obviously be a lot slower, with the 7200 RPM drive that I tested maxing out just shy of 200MB/s in both read and write. That’s fast enough to handle 4K video editing at slower frame rates, but you’ll probably want to opt for an SSD if you regularly edit high-bitrate 4K video at 60 frames per second.

Charging Smart Fan

The majority of the noise emitted from the AV Pro 2 occurred when I had the spinning hard drive connected. If you’re looking for silent operation, then you’ll definitely want to opt for an SSD instead of a traditional hard drive.

Besides the drive itself, the AV Pro 2 includes a fan on the case’s rear. CalDigit notes that this is a “Smart Fan” capable of turning on when needed, and staying off when it isn’t. The aluminum chassis itself is basically a giant heatsink, so the AV Pro 2 can dissipate heat without needing to rely on a fan. When the temperatures do rise due to ambient conditions or drive performance, the fan will spin up to help keep things cool.

SuperDrive compatibility

If you still have an Apple SuperDrive lying around, then you may be interested to know that the AV Pro 2 supports it via its USB hub. CalDigit notes on its product page that no other external storage devices available for sale are able to support Apple’s SuperDrive. Keep in mind that you’ll need to download a special driver in order to properly connect to Apple’s external disc reader.


Due to its size, and potential heft with a spinning hard disk module, The AV Pro 2 isn’t the type of unit that you’d normally go traveling with. However, it makes for a solid desktop companion.

The AV Pro 2, as mentioned, is essentially three devices in one. It’s an external storage device, capable of interfacing with removable SSD or HDD drive modules. It’s a USB 3.0 hub, which supports both daisy-chaining additional AV Pro 2 units, and is SuperDrive compatible. Lastly, it’s a 30W charger for charging your MacBook or MacBook Pro.

There is one big thing missing in the whole package, and that’s support for external displays. If that’s something you need (highly likely in a desktop environment) you can connect the unit to a dock that supports external displays.

The bottom line is that not all Mac users will have a need for such a device. As someone who works with extremely large video files, however, I can see the appeal of having access to an external drive source that supports large, swappable, spinning hard drives, as well as SSDs.

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Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: What’s New?

After much anticipation, Qualcomm has finally announced its next-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship processor for Android phones. While Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was not exactly a success, 8+ Gen 1 brought some much-needed improvements. This time around, the silicon maker is hoping to turn the tide with a new CPU design and much-touted thermal efficiency. So in this article, we bring you an in-depth comparison between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1. You will find the differences between these two processors and what improvements have been included in the latest chipset. So on that note, let’s jump to our detailed comparison between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Detailed Comparison (2023)

In this comparison between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, we have discussed the CPU and GPU improvements, benchmark numbers, ISP enhancements, AI processing, 5G modem, and more.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Specifications

We have compared the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, spec-by-spec in each category below. Take a look at the table below to find quick information on both processors.

 Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

CPUOcta-core, Kryo CPUOcta-core, Kryo CPU

4x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A510)

Process TechnologyTSMC’s 4nm processSamsung’s 4nm

GPUNew Adreno GPU 740; Hardware-accelerated Ray TracingAdreno 730 GPU; Snapdragon Elite Gaming

Machine Learning and AINew AI Engine, Hexagon Processor7th-gen AI Engine; 3rd Gen Sensing Hub; 27TOPS

ISPTriple 18-Bit Spectra ISP; Cognitive ISP, Snapdragon SightTriple 18-Bit ISP; Snapdragon Sight

Camera CapabilityCapture photos up to 200MP, 36MP triple shots with ZSL3.2 Gigapixels per second, 240 12MP photos in one second

Video Capability8K HDR, Bokeh Engine 28K HDR, 18-bit RAW, Dedicated Bokeh Engine

Up to 3.5 Gbps Peak Upload

WiFi SupportWi-Fi 7Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E

BluetoothBluetooth 5.3, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antenna, aptX LosslessBluetooth 5.2, LE Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antenna, aptX Lossless

NavIC SupportNavIC Support

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: CPU Upgrade

If we compare the CPU of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 8 Gen 1, there is a vast difference in design and particularly in thermal efficiency. Let’s start with the CPU design first. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was built on Samsung’s 4nm process node, which was not received well due to throttling performance issues, poor battery life, and worse thermals. Qualcomm immediately switched to TSMC’s 4nm fabrication process with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and it saw stable improvements in both performance and thermal efficiency.

With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm has tweaked its CPU configuration. Now, you get a mighty Cortex-X3 core clocked slightly higher at 3.2GHz (same frequency as 8+ Gen 1), 2x Cortex-A715 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, 2x Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, and 3x Cortex-A510 cores amped at 2.0GHz.

As you can see, this year Qualcomm has gone with a 1 main + 4 performance +3 efficiency CPU design, which can further be defined as a 1+(2+2)+3 design. In an official confirmation to XDA, Qualcomm said that the two Cortex-A715 and A710 have been added for 32-bit support. Not just that, the A715 core is much more power efficient (~20%) than A710.

If we compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the recent Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the margin reduces to 25% in performance and 10% in power efficiency, which is not bad per se. All in all, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a meaty upgrade over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/ 8+ Gen 1 and sees a good bump in performance while keeping the thermals in check.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Geekbench Score (Leaked)

Geekbench score of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Here, we have extrapolated the Geekbench score of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 8 Gen 1, and 8+ Gen 1, so you can get a good idea about the CPU performance improvements. As you can see, the SD 8 Gen2 is a massive upgrade over the SD8Gen1 and has considerable improvement over the SD 8+ Gen1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Geekbench Score

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Adreno GPU

Comparing the GPU aboard the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1, we again see a huge improvement. The new Adreno 740 GPU on the 8 Gen 2 delivers 25% faster performance when stacked against SD 8 Gen1’s Adreno 730 GPU. At the same time, it consumes 40% less energy, which is even better. So while playing games on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the device will offer better performance while running cooler and delivering better battery life.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

If we compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 against the 8+ Gen 1, the performance difference comes down to 15% and power efficiency by 10%. Apart from that, Qualcomm has introduced hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as part of the Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature set. The chipset also adds support for Unreal Engine 5 and Metahuman frameworks.

As for benchmark numbers, we haven’t yet performed synthetic tests like GFXBench and 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test, so we will reserve our full judgment for now. But on paper, the GPU on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 seems promising and is better than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 by miles.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: Triple ISP

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Apart from that, Bokeh Engine 2 has been enhanced for capturing cinematic videos and now you can also shoot 8K HDR videos and do 10-bit HEIF photo capture. Moreover, the ability to shoot 200MP photos and 36MP triple camera capture are all the same on both ISPs. However, Qualcomm has this time partnered with Samsung and Sony to optimize shooting on 200MP sensors.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

One more difference here is that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 now supports the AV1 codec, which was not available on previous-gen Snapdragon chipsets. Overall, both the ISPs are capable, but 8 Gen2 brings new features to make the camera experience even better on Android phones. But we would like to point out that it’s up to the discretion of OEMs to cherry-pick whether they want to utilize a feature or not.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: AI and ML

In the AI department, Qualcomm has done a solid job and upgraded the AI processor to a new architecture. Powered by the latest Hexagon processor, the AI unit on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is now 4.35 times faster than the AI engine on the SD 8 Gen 1. It also offers 60% better performance per watt while performing INT4 operations. Qualcomm also announced that 8 Gen 2’s new AI engine delivers faster and more accurate results in natural language processing with multi-language translation.

The AI engine on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also responsible for powering the Cognitive ISP feature, as detailed above. Besides that, the SD 8 Gen 2 packs an improved Sensing Hub with dual AI processors for custom wake words, always-sensing cameras, etc. To sum up, the AI engine on the 8 Gen 2 has received a good performance bump. Most notably, the power efficiency numbers are significantly up. So yeah, the SD8Gen2 brings more AI capabilities than the already great 8 Gen1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs 8 Gen 1: 5G and Wireless Tech

Yes, you will be able to use two 5G SIM cards at the same time on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Apart from that, the X70 5G modem has an AI-powered co-processor that helps in enhancing latency, speed, coverage, power efficiency, and much more. Finally, both the 5G modems support mmWave and sub-6GHz bands in SA and NSA modes.

Not to mention, you have dual Bluetooth antennas on the SD 8 Gen 2. Besides that, both the processors have support for Bluetooth LE and aptX Lossless codec for CD-quality audio streaming. Finally, support for India’s NavIC positioning system is present on both chipsets.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Outperforms Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus Review: A Powerhouse With Potholes

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus 5G (8GB/256GB): £449.99 / €499.90 / ₹33,999

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is the top smartphone from the Xiaomi sub-brand for 2023. It is the more premium handheld of the Redmi Note 12 series, bringing a bigger primary camera and faster charging over the Redmi Note 12 Pro. It also features thinner bezels and more subtle curves around the edges than the completely flat back of the Note 12 Pro, making it easier to hold. Both have Gorilla Glass 5 front and back with a plastic frame, though the 12 Pro Plus is roughly 20 grams heavier than the 12 Pro.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus carries over many of the selling points of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G from the previous generation, such as those aforementioned speedy 120W charging capabilities. Moreover, it houses a better chipset and a bigger battery. However, the most eye-catching addition is the sizeable 200MP camera. It isn’t entirely uncommon to find big megapixel cameras on budget phones. For instance, the upcoming Realme 12 Pro Plus will feature a similar 200MP wide shooter. Although the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus uses the recent Samsung Isocell HPX sensor, it isn’t the same Isocell HP2 in the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so don’t expect photos of equal quality on megapixels alone.

Redmi is swinging for the fences with some big specs to compete with popular mid-rangers

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is more expensive than what Xiaomi phones typically go for (it’s £50 more than the 8GB/128GB Note 11 Pro Plus), but the brand is swinging for the fences with some big specs to compete at the price point of popular mid-range device series, like the Google Pixel 7a and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. To help sweeten the deal, Xiaomi includes a 120W wall charger in the box, a USB-C cable, and a plastic phone case for good measure. The Note 12 Pro Plus comes with twice the storage of the Note 12 Pro at 256GB and 8GB of RAM. Neither phone has a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

Xiaomi first released the Redmi Note 12 series in China in October 2023, before an India launch in January 2023, followed by Europe in March 2023. As usual, none of the Redmi Note 12 series will officially come to North America. There are three color options for the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus: Midnight Black, Polar White, and Sky Blue, and the phone runs Android 12 and MIUI 14 out of the box. The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is set to receive two OS updates and four years of security patches for its lifespan, which shows an improvement in the company’s update commitment, even if it doesn’t match Samsung and Google.

What I like about the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Adam Birney / Android Authority

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has a large 6.67-inch AMOLED display with support for HDR10 Plus. But despite a larger diagonal than, say, the Galaxy A54 5G, it does have a lower pixel density (~395ppi vs ~403ppi). Still, I found the colors to be very vibrant and punchy. I also appreciated the support for Dolby Vision, which improved contrast for streaming videos. It’s not the brightest panel out there, topping out at 900 nits, which can be dim outdoors, but the viewing angles compensate well. The fast 120Hz refresh rate makes for smooth scrolling and swiping, and the phone automatically dials down to 60Hz when you stop interacting with it, which I did find helpful in saving energy.

Powering the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 chipset, an upgrade over the Dimensity 920 in the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus. We’ve seen the same chipset in other recent mid-range phones, such as the Realme 10 Pro Plus and the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G. It may not be the biggest powerhouse in this class, but it is a respectable processor for the price range. In our benchmark testing, the Dimensity 1080 came up a tad short on the Exynos 1380 chipset found in the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, which delivers higher GPU frequency and better battery life efficiency. It’s also left in the dust behind the Tensor G2 powering the Pixel 7a.

In my testing, the phone handled games well, and the Game Turbo mode helps to clear memory and dedicates all of the phone’s resources to your game if you need more oomph. When enabled, Game Turbo can boost the frames per second to 110, and in Performance Mode can reach up to 125, although the phone will get warm in hand despite the “Vapor Chamber cooling system.” I put the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus through over an hour with Call of Duty Mobile, which performed best at low graphical settings with 60fps. On the other hand, games like Honkai: Star Rail could maintain very high graphics quality running at 30 fps, but only when Game Turbo was turned on. Basically, if you are going to be playing games, don’t have anything else running in the background.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus features a pair of Dolby Atmos stereo speakers. Overall, I was satisfied with the sound quality; it delivered nice vocals and some bass while listening to music. At max volume, the audio output was loud, balanced, and without distortion. It’s also one of the increasingly few smartphones nowadays to sport a headphone jack for wired listening.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus’ version of Android is outdated out of the box, and MIUI 14 is bloated.

There are a few silly guardrails in place, such as the fact that the “always” on display actually only stays on for ten seconds, and there’s no way to change it. It may be a minor gripe but still something I can’t help but scratch my head at. Xiaomi also made a couple of iOS-like tweaks to MIUI 14 in their quick settings and notification pulldowns from the home screen. It’s easy enough to navigate, but I would have preferred a more stock-like Android experience instead of trying to copy the iOS interface.

There is a noticeable drop-off in quality moving to the 8MP ultrawide. It has a useful 120-degree field of view, but detail, exposure, and color accuracy are slightly compromised compared to the primary shooter. The macro is even worse and doesn’t make much difference for close-up shots unless the lens is right up against whatever you are photographing. Perhaps there would be better results if Redmi had included the higher-res 5MP macro camera from the Note 10 Pro Plus.

As is typical for Redmi phones, the beauty mode is enabled by default when using the 16MP front-facing camera. Switching off is easy, but you might be surprised at the excessive face smoothing in those first few shots. Otherwise, the selfie shooter captures skin tones accurately, and in portrait mode, edge detection is decent enough, even without a depth sensor.

The cameras stay fairly responsive at nighttime, and the dedicated low-light mode helps avoid blurry snaps. However, pictures aren’t without image noise, and while colors remain accurate, it can take a little longer to focus on dimly lit subjects. There’s no doubt that the Pixel A series is still the low-light champion at this end of the price spectrum.

The primary camera lets you capture 4K videos at a frame rate of up to 30fps, which is a pretty big compromise at this price, given that Samsung and Google both offer 4K at 60fps. As such, recordings can be a bit shaky, even though they are well-balanced with true-to-life colors with minimal noise. The selfie camera’s 1080p videos are decent enough, delivering ample detail and rich contrast. The subjects are nicely lit when given plenty of light, though the background may occasionally appear overexposed due to the limited dynamic range.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus packs a powerful primary shooter, charging, and display, but the rest feels unpolished.

Ultimately, it feels like Redmi has put everything into those three departments at the expense of the rest. Although the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus will have two OS updates, running Android 12 in 2023 means that it will only get you to Android 14. And between the shaky 4K video and the mediocre performance benchmarks, it’s just one too many compromises to justify the price tag when you could spend the same money on the Samsung Galaxy 54 5G ($395 at Amazon), the Google Pixel 7a ($449 at Amazon), or even last year’s Pixel 6a for less ($304 at Amazon).

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is powerful in places but unpolished in some key areas that could have made it that much better. It’s still a solid phone, but perhaps wait until the inevitable sale prices kick in.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

Detailed 200MP primary camera • Sharp and snappy 120Hz, AMOLED display • Super fast 120W charging

MSRP: $469.99

200MP, 120Hz, 120W. Redmi is bringing the big numbers!

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus is a mid-range smartphone that swings for the fences. With its solid 200MP primary camera, speedy 120Hz AMOLED display, and lightning-fast 120W charging, this powerhouse delivers a handful of premium features without breaking the bank.

See price at Amazon

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus review: Q&A

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus retails for £414.99, €454.90, or 31,999 rupees.

Yes, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus supports 5G connectivity.

No, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus does not support wireless charging.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has an IP53 rating providing minimal water and dust resistance.

Yes, the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus has Gorilla Glass 5 display protection.

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