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Daily Authority: 👉 Xiaomi 12 first impressions

Xiaomi's 12 series first impressions, Samsung's apology, Windows 11 ads, plus more tech news you need to know today!
By
March 16, 2022
Xiaomi 12 series camera modules closeup
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

☕ Good morning! In case you were playing along: my next visa was secured, and life moves on! Moving on to another trip to IKEA later today…

Xiaomi 12 launched: hit or miss?

Xiaomi 12 Pro rear panel in hand angled
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Xiaomi has a habit of releasing either major hits or strange whiffs. And it’s really too early to tell with the Xiaomi 12 series, but it could be either.

In a global release yesterday, the Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro, and Xiaomi 12X were released. Note the missing Ultra phone, likely a later-year release.

  • Topline spec features for the 12 and 12 Pro include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship SoCs, with the Pro model souping up the camera further with a new Sony IMX707 main sensor, and faster charging compared to last year’s Mi 11 Ultra. Fast chargers come in the box, too!
  • Topline spec misses: no IP rating (though there is non-certified water resistance), the camera only has a 2x telephoto lens, and the ultrawide doesn’t have autofocus. Also, the non-Pro 12 loses some of the high-end camera features and loses the telephoto.
  • Most of that we knew already, considering the series launched in China earlier this year, and plenty of folks imported one to test it out, albeit with the China-only software.
  • Now the Xiaomi 12 series has the full Google suite, global pricing, and so on. Pricing starts from $649 and hits $999 with the Xiaomi 12 Pro, or €1,049, with pre-order bonuses available. (The Galaxy S22 Plus starts at €1,049 as well in Germany.)
  • Maybe the non-Pro 12 for around $200 less will pack the most punch, but that remains to be seen.

Tested:

  • With the launch came early first impressions and hands-ons. One of the things Xiaomi does so well is the midrange and value end, and it’s always a test to join the big boys and the flagships at the very serious $1,000 or so mark.
  • Eric Zeman from the team had some hands-on time with the 12 and the 12 Pro in advance and found good and bad. Packed spec sheets, options at each high-end price point, and found comfortably familiar phones, nothing excessive about them.
  • But what Eric found about the display is concerning:
  • When set side-by-side, the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s screen skewed a bit red in color and the Xiaomi 12’s screen skewed a bit yellow. The difference wasn’t as noticeable when the phones were held separately, but it was plainly obvious when they were close together. Moreover, the red hue to the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s screen was splotchy and confined to about two-thirds of the screen. We tried to get these differences to appear on camera and couldn’t manage it, but it’s definitely there. Last, the viewing angles of the screens didn’t seem that great. We noticed a significant blue shift when the screens were tilted back and forth.
  • Now, it’s worth caveating: these might be early review models. Maybe it’s software. Xiaomi usually pushes out updates as the devices reach the hands of consumers.
  • But these shouldn’t be early production models either: the device launched on December 27 in China.
  • Anyway, the other concern doing the rounds of tech reviewers is battery life: not great at all.
  • With the 4,600mAh battery in the Pro a little undersized for a big flagship phone, battery tests are showing worse results than the Galaxy S22 Plus, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Realme GT2 Pro as well.
  • What’s going on? Our reviewers will dig in over the next week or two to fully assess, keeping in mind any software updates.

Roundup

🙇‍♂️ A high-ranking Samsung executive has apologized for the Galaxy S22 throttling controversy, and to combat any overheating if you switch off the optimizations, the device will “secure safety using a heat control algorithm” (Android Authority).

💻 I watched Eric learn the ropes of the Tab S8 Plus in Barcelona, and now read his take on using it as a main PC: I used a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus as my main computer and it sort of worked. (Spoiler: the battery life really wasn’t great?) (Android Authority).

😬 Microsoft says you weren’t supposed to see Windows 11 File Explorer ads that were seen by early testers (Android Authority).

🎮 Steam games are officially coming to Chrome OS, but powerful, high-end Chromebooks only: min specs appear to be 11th-gen Intel CPU i5 or better, and 7GB of RAM (Android Authority).

🔎 Google’s domain name registrar is out of beta after seven years (Engadget).

🍎 Foxconn is partly back at work in Shenzhen under a bubble-like system, will recommence iPhone and other production (Bloomberg).

👉 AMD has new desktop CPUs for the value-end of the PC spec: Ryzen 7 and 5 models based on Zen 2 and 3, and made on the 7nm process, under $300 (AnandTech).

🔨 Intel plans to build a $19 billion chip plant in Germany, and invest billions across France, Ireland, Poland, and Spain (Engadget).

🔧 Researcher uses Dirty Pipe exploit to fully root a Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung S22 via a big Linux vulnerability (Ars Technica).

🌞 Permanent daylight saving time plan nets rare unanimous US Senate vote: it would likely mean clocks would stay on DST in 2023, rather than the winter rollback. Next step: the House, for a vote (Ars Technica).

NFTs will be on Instagram soon, according to Mark Zuckerberg. What does that mean? Unclear, but maybe minting IG photos as NFTs via Instagram itself (The Verge).

👉 Interesting fresh look at Copilot, Github’s tool that can generate pieces of code for programmers. The subtlety is well referenced here around AI and that it won’t replace coders overnight, but it will likely make them faster and less bothered by necessary code syntax. Also, this quote seems true “…the number of code creators could shoot way up. Everybody could start weaving bits of code-writing into their lives.” (Wired).

🌊 This question retains its title: “If algae not plant then why green and like sun??” (r/nostupidquestions).

Weirdness Wednesday

Yamaha is one of those conglomerates that is hard to define: motorcycles, pianos, jet skis, sound chips, brass and woodwind instruments… It’s like seeing the Samsung logo on a howitzer.

Anyway, Yamaha’s wide span means it can release pretty weird mashups. For instance, the design lab of the Japanese company released this very tight looking brass mouse:

yamaha mouse 2 2
Yamaha Design Labs
yamaha mouse 2 1
Yamaha Design Labs
  • It’s not something Yamaha is selling but it’s a thing of beauty. The long-term ergonomics, perhaps less so, but who knows?
  • I love it even though I’d probably rather someone else use it day to day.
  • Anyway, it’s also a reminder that it’s 2022 and you still have to charge and recharge your $90 Apple Magic Mouse from the bottom, meaning you can’t use it while it charges.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor