Per Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi was, once again, at the helm of the Indian smartphone market and the brand commanded 21 percent of the overall shipment share. What’s more, the company reigned supreme in the sub Rs 20K price bracket as well and was heralded as the best-selling 5G brand in the price tier, which can be accredited, at least in parts to Redmi’s VFM Note 11 range. And, if the Redmi Note 12 Explorer Edition is anything to go by, it seems that the brand will be bringing its A-game in 2023 as well.
We managed to procure a Chinese variant of the Redmi Note 12 which should launch in India in the coming months. And, while the phone has a lot going for it, the device’s Dimensity 1080 chipset stood out as it offered a good balance of performance and efficiency. Naturally, we decided to pit the SoC against the Snapdragon 695-backed Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus (review) and the OnePlus Nord 2T (review), which is powered by the Dimensity 1300 platform to see where the Note 12’s SoC rank amongst its peers. Read on to find out.
Before I dissect each SoC’s performance chops, let’s take a closer look at their respective architecture. To wit, the Dimensity 1300 is an octa-core chipset that employs three different clusters, including a Cortex A78 ‘Ultra’ core clocked at 3GHz, three more Cortex A78 ‘Super’ cores clocked at 2.6GHz and four power-efficient Cortex A55 cores clocked at 2GHz. The Nord 2T – which employs the SoC – ships with LPDDR4x memory and UFS 3.1 storage.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, on the other hand, comes with UFS 2.2 storage and LPDDR4x RAM. The device is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 SoC which comes equipped with two Cortex A78 cores clocked at up to 2.2GHz and six Cortex A55 cores clocked at up to 1.7GHz. Lastly, the Redmi Note 12 Explorer Edition also ships with UFS 2.2 storage and LPDDR4x memory. That said, the handset is backed by MediaTek’s brand-new Dimensity 1080 platform which employs two Cortex A78 cores clocked at up to 2.6GHz and six Cortex A55 cores clocked at up to 2GHz. Clearly, the Dimensity 1300 SoC features the fastest core speeds, followed by the Dimensity 1080 and Snapdragon 695 chipsets.
Let’s kick things off by taking a closer look at the benchmark numbers returned by our contenders. Starting with GeekBench, the Redmi Note 12 Explorer Edition took a commanding lead over its predecessor, the Note 11 Pro Plus, and the handset logged 748 and 2,247 points in its single and multi-core test runs. The Note 11 Pro Plus, on the other hand, secured 657 and 1,611 points respectively. That said, the Dimensity 1300 SoC-backed OnePlus Nord 2T one-upped the competition and yielded 898 and 3,069 points in the synthetic benchmark.
The same goes for the results from the Antutu benchmark as well, mind you. In fact, the Dimensity 1080 chipset overturned 5,00,270 points, which was almost two lakh points shy of the Dimensity 1300 SoC’s overall tally of 6,98,902 points. On the flip side, the Snapdragon 695-backed Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus was playing catch up and the device yielded just 3,92,892 points.
Turn the page over to the throttling and system stability numbers and you’ll get a different result. To wit, the Dimensity 1300 SoC is more susceptible to throttling as opposed to the Snapdragon 695 and Dimensity 1080 chipsets. In fact, when overloaded with 20 threads for a period of 30 minutes, the Nord 2T throttled to 66 percent of its peak throughput. The Note 11 Pro Plus, on the other hand, sustained 82 percent of its peak performance.
Interestingly, the Dimensity 1080 SoC offered the best stability, and the device throttled to just 91 percent of its maximum performance. Making matters more interesting, the smartphone averaged the same GIPS (Instructions per cycle) as the Dimensity 1300 SoC as well.
The Dimensity 1080 platform can hold its own in the gaming department too. To wit, the SoC tackles graphically demanding games admirably, including Apex Legends Mobile, which is among the most sought-after BR games at the moment. Interestingly, both, the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus as well as the Redmi Note 12 Pro Explorer Edition could run the game at either Normal graphics and Very High FPS preset (50FPS) or UltraHD graphics and High FPS (40FPS) preset. That said, the Note 11 Pro Plus overturned significantly higher small and big janks during its test run. So much so, the device could barely sustain 30FPS after some time had elapsed.
Needless to say, my gaming experience was much better on the Note 12 Pro, which didn’t just average higher FPS during the test run, but the handset didn’t slow down to catch its breath and relayed a lag-free gaming experience. The Nord 2T, on the other hand, could push the in-game FPS even higher and the device could run the game at the Ultra FPS preset (60FPS) with the graphics set to ‘Normal’. However, you can trade in some FPS in favour of better fidelity and run the game at ExtremeHD graphics and Very High FPS presets as well. And, as can be seen from the FPS data, the in-game FPS didn’t fluctuate a whole lot during my time on the Nord 2T either. In fact, the device averaged 59.3FPS during the test run and despite that, offered the least amount of small janks too.
I am elated with the direction Redmi has taken with its upcoming Note 12 range, especially in the performance department. The Dimensity 1080 chipset offers tremendous value to budget-conscious buyers as it offers good gaming and everyday performance and despite that, doesn’t throttle under sustained workloads either. All said and done, I am confident the company’s current budget roster will rattle some feathers when it launches in India. Do let us know in the comments below as to which Note 12 phone would you buy and as always, stay tuned to our blog for more tech updates.