The Xiaomi 12T is one large smartphone; there are no two ways about that. It has a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen, a large 5,000mAh battery inside, and the 108MP OIS camera sticks out quite a bit. It is considerably bigger than the Xiaomi 12, but it is nearly identical to the previous Xiaomi 11T.
The Xiaomi 12T offers a solid and familiar build - it's a dual-glass device with a flat Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and a curved matte glass over at the back. Just like before, the frame is thinner around the longer sides because of the curved glass. It's still rather flat, with a matte finish that matches the rear panel, and is made of thick plastic.
The previous phones from the series have a similar shape and build, but they did feel more premium when handled because of the aluminum frames. We were sad to hear that Xiaomi has gone for plastic for this T iteration. And while we are at it, there is another downgrade - the screen shield was Gorilla Glass Victus on previous phones, but the maker has now reverted to the older Gorilla Glass 5.
One more thing that Xiaomi fans would notice immediately on the 12T is the Xiaomi 12 series' signature camera island. Its rectangular design with huge glass for the main camera has been shared across all global Xiaomi 12 phones and makes them immediately recognizable among other handsets.
The Xiaomi 12T is IP53-rated for dust and light splash resistance. In terms of IP ratings, it doesn't get any lower than that, but it's better than nothing - it can at least give you peace of mind when using the phone in humid weather. But we wish more phone manufacturers upped their game and improved the water resistance to meet the IP67 rating, just like Samsung does for every phone outside the entry-level class.
Let's take a close look at the Xiaomi 12T now.
The front is home to the improved 6.67-inch AMOLED panel. It offers a higher 1220p resolution, and Xiaomi calls it CrystalRes AMOLED. The screen is quite fast, with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate and up to 480Hz touch response. There is also HDR10+ support, but not Dolby Vision due to chipset limitations.
The display is flat, and there is a small perforation for Xiaomi's dated 20MP selfie camera. Many Xiaomi phones use this 20MP front shooter, and it's not ideal on any of them because of the small sensor with a Quad-Bayer filter. We think Xiaomi has been using it to keep these punch holes this small, but the photo and video quality is the price many pay for that.
The Xiaomi 12T packs two stereo speakers - one at the top and one at the bottom of the phone, both sitting behind dotted grilles. The top one also has a second front-facing outlet (just above the screen) for earpiece purposes and better sound balance.
In addition to the better screen, the Xiaomi 12T series has also switched to an under-display fingerprint scanner, while the previous 11T models had theirs mounted on the side on top of the Lock key. The UD sensor is reliable, fast and accurate, and we had no issues whatsoever.
The back of the Xiaomi 12T is slightly curved and all matte. The camera island houses the 108MP primary, the 8MP ultrawide and the 2MP macro cameras, as well as the LED flash. The rectangular piece fits the no-nonsense narrative and fits nicely on the back even if it's jutting out quite a bit.
The plastic frame around the phone is flat for the most part and is not that slippery. It is wider around the top and bottom.
The top holds one of the speakers, the IR blaster, and one of the mics.
The primary mic, the second speaker, the USB-C port, and the SIM tray are all at the bottom.
The left side of the Xiaomi 12T is completely bare.
The power/lock and the volume keys are on the right side of the 12T.
The Xiaomi 12T offers acceptable grip thanks to its sturdy frame, but the rear glass panel is incredibly slippery. While we felt safe using the 12T without a case, there were occasions we just felt the need to use a case, like the daylight and low-light shoots. And for that, we appreciate the bundled case.
The 12T is no small phone; it is heavy and thick but far from feeling like a brick. It fits well in hand and will do for most pockets. One-handed operation is possible, though it will surely involve a lot of finger gymnastics.
Overall, the Xiaomi 12T is a solid phone with a good build and no-nonsense design. We appreciated the provided screen protector, the soft case, and the IP53 protection, and we liked our time with it. What we did miss from the Xiaomi 11T is the metal frame, which made it feel less premium and more like a mid-ranger.