MIUI 12 about page lead image

MIUI 12 is Xiaomi’s latest Android skin which succeeds MIUI 11 and brings a number of UI and visual improvements to eligible Xiaomi phones. It also carries features such as a revamped dark mode, improved privacy and security tools, new animations, new wallpapers, and much more.

MIUI 12 also has another iteration in the form of MIUI 12.5. The update was announced in December 2020 and the skin is currently in the process of rolling out to several Xiaomi devices in a phased manner. It carries a slew of visual and functional tweaks, including more responsive gestures, clipboard controls, and better permissions management. Xiaomi also says that the UI is lighter on the system and uses less power.

According to Xiaomi, MIUI now has upwards of 310 million monthly active users and that MIUI 12 is the first mobile operating system that has passed TÜV Rheinland’s “Android System Enhanced Privacy Protection Test.”

Let’s break down all the new features of MIUI 12 along with details about phones eligible to receive the update.

MIUI 12 features

Dark Mode 2.0

The new Dark Mode 2.0 on MIUI 12 adds wallpaper dimming to Xiaomi phones. The feature works in tandem with the time of day and gradually dims the wallpaper as daylight changes to night time.

Xiaomi is also tweaking the way text is displayed as users switch between light and dark modes. In MIUI 12, the phone automatically adjusts the weight and boldness of the font to reduce glare when the dark mode is turned on. Font contrast is also adjusted depending on the user’s ambient environment. This should vastly improve the legibility of text in low-lit conditions.

Sensory Visual Design

In MIUI 12, Xiaomi has visualized the core system information, allowing you to see the status of the system at a glance. Xiaomi is calling this the new “Sensory Visual Design.” What this basically means is that now when you visit the Settings page on your phone or check out things like storage availability, you will see the system information presented in the form of graphs and visual diagrams, making it easier to understand and consume. You can see examples of Xiaomi’s new design in the images above.

Super Wallpapers

MIUI 12 Super Wallpapers

Xiaomi has also introduced “Super Wallpapers” with MIUI 12. The company has created high-precision animated 3D models of Mars and Earth based on available space exploration data from NASA. You will be able to set these Super Wallpapers on both your locked and unlocked phone screens. When the dark mode is turned on, the planet chosen by you for the wallpaper will also enter night time, thereby enhancing your visual experience.

New animations

Xiaomi has focused a lot on a visual redesign when it comes to MIUI 12. The new skin brings realistic weather animations and show real-time weather changes displayed in the form of a time-lapse movie on your screen.

The animation of app icons also gets a refresh. App icons now generate real-time feedback based on your gestures. Xiaomi says changes in gesture direction and speed will cause application icons to react differently.

For instance, when you delete an application, the ripple animation also affects the surrounding app icons.

In other areas, you’ll notice new animations for screen rotation, buttons, charging, opening and closing apps, and more.

New gestures

MIUI 12 also brings some new gestures to your phones. For instance, you will be able to swipe down on the notifications panel to interact with a notification without having to abandon what you’re doing. You can also slide out the notification panel to expand it into a small window, which you can drag to the side for a split-screen effect.

You also have different gestures for bringing up the control center and notifications shade. You can now swipe down from the top right side for the control center where you can quickly change some settings. Swiping down from the top left will bring up the notifications shade where you can see all your notifications.

Health tracking

MIUI 12 health sleep tracking

With MIUI 12, Xiaomi users can also record activities like walking, running, cycling, and climbing stairs, by just keeping their phones in their pockets. Xiaomi says it uses a self-developed “AI motion behavior perception algorithm” to record accurate health data and also save power at the same time.

Xiaomi also wants you to sleep with your phone on your pillow. MIUI 12 brings sleep tracking that works by placing your phone on your pillow while you sleep. This, the company claims, can help track when you went to bed, how long you slept, how deep you slept, and whether you had dreams or snored.

AI calling

MIUI 12 AI Calling

Xiaomi has been training its AI assistant — Xiao AI — to answer calls for users since last year. It’s similar to Google’s Call Screening feature which was introduced with the Pixel 3.

Xiaomi has now revealed that after half a year of testing, the AI ​​phone assistant has answered 4 million calls for closed beta users. With MIUI 12, Xiaomi has officially upgraded the AI phone assistant to a feature called “AI Calling.” With it, users can customize the language in which they want their calls to be answered. They can also switch between automatic or manual call answering. However, the feature is not available to users outside of China.

Enhanced privacy

MIUI 12 also brings enhanced privacy features to Xiaomi phones. For instance, you can now choose to grant permissions to apps only once or only while you’re using them. Permissions will be revoked once you’re done using an app. For apps that don’t clarify the use of permissions on your phone, the “Always Allow” option will not be provided.

MIUI 12 also helps users keep track of app behavior. You can view a record of how an app behaves on your phone, the information it collects, the other applications it uses, etc, all in one place. You’ll also get a clear reminder on the top of your phone screens when a sensitive permission, such as your location, is being used by an app.

Another feature Xiaomi refers to as the “Mask System” provides rogue apps with blank information and a virtual identity to protect user data for five permissions including contact lists, calendar, and call records.

Photo sharing has also become safer. Xiaomi says sensitive information such as device details will be removed from image files before you share them with anyone.

More features

Other MIUI 12 features announced by Xiaomi include improved casting capabilities (such as screen-off casting and hiding private content), and an ultra power-saving mode that only offers basic functions (SMS, calls, network). Xiaomi says the latter feature is able to make a phone on 5% last up to five hours rather than one hour by default.


MIUI 12 release date and availability

Xiaomi has already started rolling out the stable version of MIUI 12 to its phones, including the Mi 10 series, Mi 9 series, Redmi Note 9 series, Redmi Note 8 series, and many more.

MIUI 12.5 has also started rolling out to some Xiaomi phones.  The availability varies by region so you might have to wait a bit longer than others to get the MIUI 12 update on your devices.


Phones that have received the MIUI 12 update

There are a number of Xiaomi and Redmi phones that have already received or are in the process of getting the MIUI 12 update. If you have any of the following phones, you can head to the Settings menu and check for the OTA update.

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi 10
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Youth Edition
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T
  • Xiaomi Mi 11X
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 Explorer Edition
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
  • Redmi K40 series
  • Redmi K30 Pro
  • Redmi K30
  • Redmi K30 Pro Zoom Edition
  • Redmi K20 Pro
  • Redmi K20
  • Redmi Note 10 5G
  • Redmi Note 9
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
  • Redmi Note 8
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Poco F2 Pro
  • Poco F3
  • Poco M3 Pro
  • Poco X2
  • Redmi Note 7
  • Redmi Note 7 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition
  • Mi CC9
  • Mi CC9 Pro
  • Mi Mix 2
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 3
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Youth Edition
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
  • Redmi Note 8
  • Redmi 6, 6A, 6 Pro
  • Redmi 8, 8A
  • Redmi 7, 7A
  • Redmi Note 5
  • Mi CC9e
  • Mi Mix Fold

Phones eligible to get MIUI 12.5 update

The UI will be rolled out in two waves, with the first kicking off in Q2 2021. The devices set to receive MIUI 12.5 in the first wave will include:

  • Mi 10T
  • Mi 10T Pro
  • Mi 10
  • Mi 10 Pro
  • Mi 11

The second wave will begin in late Q2 2021 and includes a bunch of additional devices from Xiaomi and Redmi, which are listed below:

  • Mi 10 Lite 5G
  • Mi 10T Lite
  • Mi Note 10 Pro
  • Mi Note 10
  • Mi Note 10 Lite
  • Redmi Note 9T
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Redmi Note 9S
  • Redmi Note 9
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Redmi 9
  • Mi 10S
  • Mi 10 Youth Edition 5G
  • Mi 9
  • Mi CC9 Pro
  • Redmi K40 Pro
  • Redmi K40
  • Redmi K30S Extreme Commemorative Edition
  • Redmi K30 Extreme Commemorative Edition
  • Redmi K30 Pro
  • Redmi K30 5G
  • Redmi K30i 5G
  • Redmi K20 Pro
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Redmi Note 9
  • Redmi 10X Pro 5G
  • Redmi 10X 5G

Xiaomi should add more devices to this list once the rollout begins, especially those mentioned above with the MIUI 12 update.