When it comes to the best cheap phones, there is an implication that you sacrifice some flagship functionality in return for a lower price point. Sure, that gap has narrowed lately, with phones like the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G or the OnePlus Nord CE 2 offering flagship level specs, but we're still talking about exceptions rather than rules.
Normally, there's a flaw somewhere in the design. Whether it's a tiny battery, a weak camera or a lack of water resistance, evidence of some corner cutting can be found.
All of this makes the latest release from Xiaomi's Redmi brand even more unbelievable. It boasts a substantial spec sheet, with a host of features you'd still be excited to see on a flagship device.
Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition: Camera
200MP sensors are still relatively scarce in the smartphone world. The first 200MP camera phone launched just a few months ago. Samsung are reportedly equipping the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra with a 200MP sensor, too.
The new Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition will feature a 200MP main sensor, allowing you to snap super high resolution images with ease. It's also the first handset to utilise Xiaomi's AI Image Solution, to assist with things like image stabilisation and noise reduction.
Alongside that behemoth 200MP camera, there is an 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 2MP Macro camera, plus a 16MP selfie camera on the front. That's quite the camera-array, and should keep you snapping images of just about anything, without struggle.
Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition: Charging
Battery life is arguably one of the most important features on a new phone. All the fancy specs in the world mean nothing if you can't keep a device charged long enough to use them.
But this Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition may not need to worry about battery life. According to Redmi, this device can fully charge in just nine minutes. This is possible thanks to an entirely redesigned charging infrastructure – everything down to the charging cable has been optimised to deliver an ultra-rapid charging experience.
It's undeniably brilliant. My iPhone 13 is pretty decent for battery life and charging is rarely a consideration. But when it does need a top-up, it can take around 45 minutes to reach 90% or more. Knowing that my phone could do a full 0-100 recharge in nine minutes would substantially lower my charge anxiety and make me more confident to use my phone throughout the day.
Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition: Price and Availability
Currently, this model is only available in China. Converted to UK, US and Australian currencies, the Discovery Edition handset costs £286 / $331 / AU$511.
While I wouldn't expect pricing to be a straight conversion – the current Redmi Note 11 Pro+ is £329 at the time of writing – I'd still anticipate a sub-£400 price point. That would enter the market below handsets like the Nothing Phone (1). And with this spec, at that price point, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option.