Xiaomi’s 12 Series phones are among the first with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips

The company also showed off a new smartwatch and earbuds for the Chinese market.

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Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro.
Xiaomi

Xiaomi has unveiled its latest lineup of flagship smartphones and wearables. The Xiaomi 12 Series, which is only available in China for now, includes two sizes of phones: Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Both are among the first devices to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and they boast LPDDR5 RAM. The Xiaomi 12 has a 4,500mAh battery, while the 12 Pro has what the company claims is the first single-cell 120W, 4,600mAh battery. Xiaomi says it offers an increased capacity of 400mAh over dual-cell batteries without having to increase the size.

The base model's camera array includes Sony's 50MP IMX766 as the main camera, a 13MP ultra-wide angle lens and a 5MP telemacro sensor. The 12 Pro, meanwhile, has the new Sony IMX707 sensor, an ultra-wide camera with a 115-degree field of view and a 2x telephoto camera for portraits. All three sensors are 50MP, while the main camera improves light capture by up to 49 percent over the previous model, according to Xiaomi. 

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On the front, each device has a 32MP sensor. The front-facing holepunch camera was positioned on the left on the Mi 11 series, but, as with the 11T devices, it's in the center this time.

Xiaomi 12 Pro camera array
Xiaomi

Xiaomi noted that Night Mode is available on both devices, each of which is said to have a camera that works well in low-light scenarios. The company says it's introducing a new imaging computing algorithm, which it claims improves capture speed and shutter lag.

The Xiaomi 12 has a 6.28-inch flexible OLED display with a 2,400 × 1,080 resolution, 1,100 nits of brightness and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The 12 Pro offers a 6.73-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 and 1,500 nits of brightness. Xiaomi says the display uses micro-lens tech, which it claims improves the "viewing experience while increasing smart energy-saving capability." Both devices have HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support.

On the audio side, both handsets have symmetrical dual speakers and Dolby Atmos support. The 12 Pro features a customized mid-woofer and tweeter.

The devices will go on sale on December 31st, starting at RMB 3,699 (around $580) for the Xiaomi 12 and RMB 4,699 (approximately $738) for Xiaomi 12 Pro. The company also said it will release a lower-cost version of the Xiaomi 12 on the same day. The Xiaomi 12X has a Snapdragon 870 chipset and starts at RMB 3,199 ($500).

The phones will use MIUI 13, an OS based on Android 12 that's also coming to Mi 11 series handsets, Xiaomi 11T and other phones and tablets. Xiaomi's smart watches, speakers and TVs will also harness the OS to help unify the ecosystem. A feature called Mi Smart Hub will allow users to share things like their screen, music and apps with multiple nearby devices using a simple gesture.

Xiaomi Watch S1.
Xiaomi

In addition, Xiaomi revealed its latest smartwatch. The Xiaomi Watch S1 has a 1.43-inch AMOLED screen with a sapphire glass display and stainless steel frame. It will offer detailed health stats and has support for 117 fitness modes. The device has a 5ATM water resistance rating too. Xiaomi says the device has a 12-day battery life and up to 24 days of standby time.

Like the new phones, the Xiaomi Watch S1 will only be available in China for the time being. It starts at RMB 1,099 ($172).

Xiaomi Buds 3
Xiaomi

Also new are the Xiaomi Buds 3, which have dual-magnetic dynamic drivers. The earbuds offer up to 40dB noise cancellation and three active noise cancellation modes. Xiaomi says owners will get up to seven hours of playback on a single charge and up to 32 hours of total use with the charging case. The Xiaomi Buds 3 will cost RMB 449 ($70).

While these devices are geared toward the Chinese market, they could make their way elsewhere at a later date. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun hinted as much on Twitter.

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Xiaomi’s 12 Series phones are among the first with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips