Xiaomi Redmi 12C Review

There are Redmi 12C has five (5) variants, differentiated by memory combinations. In my opinion, as confusing as that can be, it is a masterstroke. I imagine that the shared hardware across all five variants is great for keeping unit costs low. And this reflects in the prices of the different variants of the phone.

As such, the Redmi 12C is the most value-packed budget smartphone in the Nigerian market at the moment and also made it on the list of the best phone deals in Nigeria in 2023. I have used two of the variants and share key insights from my experience with them here on Mobility Nigeria.

 

Redmi 12C unboxing

What are the different variants of Redmi 12C

  • 3GB RAM + 32GB storage
  • 3GB RAM + 64GB storage
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB storage
  • 4GB RAM + 128GB storage
  • 6GB RAM + 128GB storage

All variants are powered the same Helio G85 chipset, which is proven and dependable, and found in smartphones costing over N100,000 from other brands. The highest variant of the Redmi 12C costs N85,000. However, RAM is also a key factor in performance, and so you will notice a difference in how fast apps open from the lowest variant to the highest.

Even between the 4GB RAM variants and the 6GB variant, the performance difference is noticeable. In other words, not all Redmi 12C models are the same. They look the same because they share the same design, display, cameras, and battery. Let’s look at the shared specs.

Redmi 12C Specs

  • Operating System: MIUI 13 based on Android 12
  • SIM Card: Dual-SIM (Nano)
  • Display: 6.71-inch, 720 x 1650 pixels, 60Hz, IPS LCD
  • Processor: MediaTek Helio G85
  • Selfie Camera: 5-megapixels
  • Main Camera: 50 MP wide-angle lens + 0.08 MP depth
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Charging: 10W
  • microUSB 2.0
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Rear
  • Memory Card Slot: microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • FM radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack

Xiaomi Redmi 12C Unboxing

The retail box is compact. It includes the phone, a charging adapter, a microUSB 2 cable, a SIM ejector pin, and some pamphlets. Though the phone supports a 3.5 mm audio jack, there is no set of headphones in the box.

Redmi 12C Review: Using the phone day-to-day

Redmi 12C Review - phone in hand

The Redmi 12C is made of plastic all through: both the frame and back cover are plastic. And that is no surprise. For the price you are paying, no-one should be expecting metal or glass anywhere on the phone beside the screen.

The phone is available in four colour schemes – Graphite Gray, Ocean Blue, Mint Green, Lavender Purple. The 4/128GB variant we reviewed was Gray, while the 6/128GB variant we reviewed was Blue.

One of the things I noticed immediately is that the Redmi 12C does not have a USB-C port. That came to me as a shock, but then, perhaps that was a decision made as part of the keeping the costs of the phone low. It still stings, though. Thankfully, there is a cable included in the box, so if you have only USB-C cables lying around, you don’t have to go shopping for a cable that works with the Redmi 12C.

Xiaomi Redmi 12C does not have a USB-C port.
Xiaomi Redmi 12C has an old school microUSB port.

This also means that charging is limited to 10W which is not exactly fast charging, though it is slightly faster than normal charging.

Xiaomi Redmi 12C: Software Review

The Redmi 12C runs MIUI 13 based on Android 12 out of the box. This is a heavily customised version of Android with lots of options you can tweak.

January 2024 update: Xiaomi has replaced MIUI with HyperOS and the Redmi 12C is one of the eligible devices for the uograde. The promised upgrade began to rollout in early January 2024 and Redmi 12C units have begun to get it. Here is a video of the upgrade process and a first look at the new HyperOS on the Redmi 12C:

Xiaomi Redmi 12C camera Review

Xiaomi Redmi 12C camera review

The 50-megapixel main camera at the back performs decently in natural lighting. It is a good camera. However, in low-light and night compositions, it struggles a bit. This is normal for the price bracket, though, so it does not count as a negative score for the phone.

The selfie camera is a 5-megapixel unit. It takes good selfies in well-lit environments, though you won’t be getting a lot of details in those selfies. They are good enough for sharing on social media, though, which is what you probably want to do with most of your selfies anyway.

Xiaomi Redmi 12C Performance Review

The Redmi 12C is a good budget smartphone across board, and shares the same features regardless of variant. The Helio G85 performs admirably across board. However, the best performance is available on the highest variant and drops a bit on the 4GB RAM variants, and drops further on the 3GB RAM variants.

While I did not have access to a 3GB RAM variant for testing, my experience of the 4GB RAM variant in comparison to the 6GB RAM variant tells me that you will experience some sluggishness in opening apps and switching through apps on the 3GB RAM variants.

Redmi 12C Review Verdict

The Redmi 12C is a recommended budget smartphone across a wide price point. You might not like that the display is only 60Hz refresh rate, or that it does not support USB-C, but there are very few affordable Android smartphones in its price range that match its performance, thanks to the Helio G85 processor. Very, very few.

You can check out the full specs and prices of the variants on our dedicated Redmi 12C specs page.

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2 thoughts on “Xiaomi Redmi 12C Review”

  1. I have to agree it’s a beautiful phone. Even with the lower spec’d version is a joy, although, as you’ve pointed out, it can be fractionally laggy, dependent on the apps and space on the device.

    It will be interesting to see if it has the longevity of my Tecno Camon 9

    Reply

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