At the end of 2021, the Chinese company introduced the new flagship smartphones of the Xiaomi 12 series. These gadgets surpassed their predecessors in many ways. Moreover, they are often compared with competitors from Apple — iPhone 13 smartphones.
In terms of shooting quality, Chinese gadgets really came close to them, and in some scenes they even took over. Let’s compare the cameras, but first, let’s deal with the “Chinese” model range and take a brief review of Xiaomi 12.
Xiaomi 12 models and the difference between them
When comparing Xiaomi 12, it turns out that there are not many differences between them. The lineup includes four smartphones at once: Xiaomi 12, 12X and 12 Pro and 12 Ultra.
The base version is equipped with a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a maximum frequency of 120 Hz and HDR10 + (high dynamic range). The top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor was chosen as the hardware platform. Its performance compared to its predecessor Snapdragon 888 increased by 30% according to the AnTuTu test results.
Xiaomi 12 installed Harman / Kardon speakers with support for Dolby Atmos technology for surround sound. The phone holds a charge well, it has a 4500 mAh battery with fast charging function. With 67W of power from 0 to 100%, the battery recovers in 38 minutes. There is also support for wireless charging up to 50W, which restores the battery to 100% in less than an hour.
There are three lenses in the main camera unit:
- the main Sony IMX766 at 50 megapixels;
- 5 MP telephoto lens;
- ultra wide-angle module with a viewing angle of 123 ° at 13 MP.
The selfie camera has a resolution of 32 megapixels.
What makes Xiaomi 12X different
The developers position this model as a budget version of the base Xiaomi 12. A less powerful Snapdragon 870 5G processor was installed in the smartphone. It proved to be a reliable chip that can handle modern games and demanding applications. Xiaomi 12X does not support wireless charging.
In other respects, the device is almost identical to the basic version. When comparing Xiaomi 12 and 12X cameras, it turns out that there is no difference between them — the modules are similar. Thanks to this, the more affordable Xiaomi 12X smartphone allows you to create high-quality frames and videos.
Xiaomi flagship 12 Pro differences
The main difference between Xiaomi 12 Pro and the basic version is the display size. It is much larger, 6.73” matrix. This is a 120Hz Samsung E5 AMOLED screen. Micro-Lens technology, which adjusts this parameter based on the displayed content, provides good energy savings. The frequency can range from 1 to 120 Hz.
In the device, as in the basic version, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip is installed. It confidently copes with the most difficult tasks: demanding games and applications.
The rear camera of Xiaomi 12 Pro has three modules:
- the main Sony IMX707 at 50 megapixels;
- 50 MP Samsung JN1 camera;
- 50 MP Samsung JN1 Ultra Wide.
There is support for videos in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second on each of the lenses.
The smartphone has four Harman/Kardon speakers that provide first-class sound quality. The developers have installed a battery with a capacity of 4600 mAh, there is a fast charging function up to 120 watts. The phone can be charged up to 100% in just 18 minutes. There is also 50-watt wireless charging.
Xiaomi 12 Ultra is the expected top flagship
Xiaomi 12 Ultra is expected to be available in the Chinese market from May 2022. After some time, it will be brought to other countries.
There are no exact technical characteristics of the gadget yet. According to experts’ forecasts, it will receive a number of software and hardware improvements. Probably, it will install the Snapdragon 898 chipset, and the main camera will get x120 zoom.
Comparison of Xiaomi 12 and iPhone 13 smartphone cameras
So we come to the main thing — comparing the camera capabilities of top-end smartphones: Xiaomi 12 vs iPhone 13. Recall that Xiaomi 12 Pro has more advanced modules than the basic version. Therefore, for comparison, we decided to take it. It is likely that Xiaomi 12 Ultra will receive some improvements, but they have not yet been announced.
We will compare the Chinese smartphone with the iPhone 13 Pro. It was this gadget from Apple that was cited by the CEO of the Chinese company Lei Jun as an example in the presentation of the 12th series of Xiaomi. We decided to make a real comparison of the cameras of these smartphones.
It makes no sense to take the oldest model of the line for comparison — in the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the camera is exactly the same as in the iPhone 13 Pro.
The main photosensor installed in Xiaomi 12 Pro has already been seen in camera phones of other brands and has proven itself well. Xiaomi algorithms raise the contrast, creating a slight oversharp — the pictures lack light and the dynamic range suffers. Perhaps this will be fixed with software updates, but now the problem is solved using the GCam application. It can be downloaded from Google Play. Many Xiaomi users know that GCam allows you to get better and richer frames than the built-in camera application.
In terms of detail, the shots taken on the Xiaomi 12 Pro are superior to the shots from the iPhone 13 Pro camera. This is especially clearly seen when zooming in on the area of the photo with a bush or skyscrapers. This is due to the higher resolution — 50 megapixels versus 12 megapixels. In terms of dynamic range, the shots from the iPhone win — the sunset in the sky looks more natural, while the photo from Xiaomi turned out to be desaturated, in cold tones.
This module in Xiaomi 12 Pro shoots very well. Algorithms compensate for optical distortions, and there are no chromatic aberrations at the edges of frames. High resolution provides good detail — the pictures look great.
As for the wide-angle module of the iPhone, it does not cope with backlight and renders shadows worse. At the same time, it has a wider viewing angle, that is, more details get into the lens at the same angle.
It is impossible to make a direct comparison between the cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro, since they have different optical distances — 2x for Xiaomi and 3x for iPhone. This does not mean that the gadget from Apple does not allow you to double the image in the lens. It’s just that this will be done not at the expense of optics, but by software. The situation is similar with Xiaomi, if you use 3x zoom on it, it will be implemented in software.
Therefore, if you set 2x zoom on both smartphones, you will get better quality pictures on Xiaomi — the image on it is cleaner and clearer, without noise and blur. But at 3x magnification, the iPhone comes out on top. It wins in color reproduction and detail.
There is no optical stabilization, therefore, in low light conditions, the quality of frames decreases — blurring appears.
At 5x zoom, both smartphones shoot well, but shots from the iPhone have better detail. If you prefer to shoot portraits, 2x zoom on Xiaomi 12 will be enough for you.
When taking selfies, Xiaomi wins. The photos are more detailed thanks to the module’s resolution of 32 megapixels, while the iPhone has only 12 megapixels.
The colors in the pictures taken on Xiaomi look more saturated. When choosing portrait mode, the Chinese smartphone blurs the background more than the iPhone.
In this Xiaomi 12 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro comparison, it is not difficult to determine the clear winner. The latest iPhone models are inferior in night shooting quality to the top Android flagships. Xiaomi shows the best results thanks to automatic frame correction due to AI algorithms.
To get a quality frame on the iPhone 13 Pro in low light conditions, you need to play with the settings. In the case of Xiaomi, simply switch the camera to night mode.
The iPhone loses a lot of detail in the dark and the footage becomes blurry. The pictures taken on Xiaomi 12 have a balanced exposure and a high degree of image purity, without unnecessary noise.
In this iPhone 13 vs Xiaomi comparison, Apple’s device becomes the undisputed leader. Apple smartphones have always been famous for capturing high quality videos. The cinematic mode on the iPhone is especially impressive — with a blur effect and portrait focus.
Developers from Xiaomi have implemented a new focusing feature Cyber-focus, which causes fast and accurate autofocus when shooting video. The mode is not available with a wide-angle lens.
As for color reproduction, the iPhone traditionally leads in this parameter. It surpasses the flagships of all manufacturers. Also, the Apple smartphone has better video stabilization than Xiaomi 12. You can evaluate the quality of shooting on the iPhone 13 Pro in the following video:
It clearly shows the operation of the camera in standard mode, in Cinematic Mode and in ProRes. Cinematic Mode or “Cinema Effect” allows you to shoot videos with a shallower depth of field, as well as smoothly move the focus. This creates a cinematic effect. ProRes is Apple’s video format that opens up more editing options.
The Xiaomi 12 line has become another breakthrough for the Chinese manufacturer in the flagship smartphone segment. The company has set a new benchmark for direct competitors in the face of Apple and Samsung. There are no questions about the quality of shooting photos, but in terms of video quality, the gadget is still inferior to the iPhone 13 Pro.
Smartphones of both brands deserve the attention of users, but if shooting video is a priority, the choice should be made in favor of the iPhone. In all other respects, Xiaomi wins.