Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G Review: Midrange Madness

Overkill for its price tag?



Midrange fans, rejoice! The most-awaited midrange smartphone in the Redmi Note 12 series is finally here.

Some of you may have already known the lineup ever since they were launched in China way back in October 2022. This time, it finally made its global debutPhilippine shores included.

Redmi Note 12? Pro? Pro+?

I know you’re not the only one confused here. This nitty-gritty spec sheet will make it worse:

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 12 Pro 12
Display 6.67” 120Hz Full HD+

Gorilla Glass 5
900 nits HBM
6.67” 120Hz Full HD+

Gorilla Glass 5
900 nits HBM
6.67” 120Hz Full HD+
AMOLED DotDisplay

700 nits HBM
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1080
6nm 5G chipset
MediaTek Dimensity 1080
6nm 5G chipset
Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
6nm 5G chipset
Memory + Storage 8GB LPDDR4x
256GB UFS 2.2
128/256GB UFS 2.2
4/6/8GB LPDDR4x
128/256GB UFS 2.2 +
microSDXC card slot
Battery + Charging 5000mAh
120W HyperCharge
67W Turbo Charging
33W Fast Charging
Cameras 200MP f/1.65 wide
8MP f/2.2 119º ultra-wide
2MP f/2.4 macro
16MP selfie
50MP f/1.88 wide
8MP f/2.2 119º ultra-wide
2MP f/2.4 macro
16MP selfie
48MP f/1.8 wide
8MP f/2.2 119º ultra-wide
2MP f/2.4 macro
13MP selfie


Summing ’em up, all models share the same battery capacity, ultra-wide and macro camera sensors, quite similar 8+256GB configurations, plus that buttery-smooth 6.67″ AMOLED displays — just with variations in display tech.

Meanwhile, the Pro/+ variants are equipped with Gorilla Glass 5 and the latest midrange MediaTek chipset. Meanwhile, the non-Pro has a Snapdragon chipset, a microSDXC card slot, but no glass protection.

Lastly, the Pro+ has the largest main camera sensor at 200MP and also has the fastest charging speeds.

P.S: The Redmi Note 12 Turbo isn’t in the spec sheet table as it’s a China-exclusive model. It’s a Redmi Note 12 Pro+ with a Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 chipset, up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory, and 1TB of UFS 3.1 storage, minus the 200MP camera and 120W HyperCharge support — in exchange for a 64MP main sensor with an undisclosed aperture count and 67W Turbo Charging.

Barely “Redmi”

Redmi Note 10S (2021)

One thing I disliked about Redmi phones in the past is its back design that looked like the cheaper, plasticky imitations of the more premium Xiaomi flagships. (To be fair, that’s the point of Redmi’s existence anyway).

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (2020)

Case in point: The bump of the Redmi Note 10S was heavily “inspired” from the gargantuan camera layout of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra.

But unlike previous Redmi phones, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G looked dissimilar and felt more premium than ever. Looking back at Redmi’s history, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G stood out more and looked like a brand new breed of phone, instead of just a toned-down Xiaomi flagship.

The newest Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G (and the rest of the Redmi Note 12 series) lean towards the curvier, “sexier” side — albeit still incorporating flat trims on its sides but not totally edge-to-edge.

Instead, they added back curves to make it easier to hold despite its massive display and form factor.

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G (2022)

Redmi may have listened to users who complained about big smartphones with flat edges as they now steered away from last year’s “flat-edge” design trend — even if I said that I liked the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G’s flat-ish form factor from my review last year.

The phone I have comes in a Polar White colorway, and I love how clean and elegant it looks.

Xiaomi 13 Pro

Moreover, this color helps me avoid those unwanted fingerprint smudges I usually get from any glossy black glass phone. Even the Xiaomi 13 Pro I have isn’t an exception to that long list of smudgy AF smartphones.

A midrange in sight

Aside from the usual volume rockers on the right edge…

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that also serves as its power-slash-Google Assistant button. It’s fast, accurate, and better than most in-display optical fingerprint readers around.

Despite the lack of 3D face sensors, it still offers Face Unlock — just like any latest Android smartphone out there.

The bottom part of the phone gives us what we all expected: a removable dual SIM card tray (but now without that extra microSD card slot that its predecessor used to have), an external microphone, a USB-C port, and a bottom-firing speaker.

Surprisingly, we still get the rarest smartphone features this year when we show the top portion of the phone: a 3.5mm audio jack, top-firing speaker, and an IR blaster. The microphone is, well, not so unique.

Looking at the left side of the phone, we have… nothing.

When you lay the phone on a flat table, expect that unevenness — thanks to that protruding camera bump.

Pro-level audiovisual

As previously mentioned, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G packs a punchy 6.67-inch Full HD+ Flow AMOLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Other display advancements include a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio, DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and Dolby Vision support.

Love Me Like This — and maybe Love Me Right Back, Sullyoon-ssi 😔

If you’re a huge fan of big displays (like I always do), you’ll appreciate how it looks.

I’VE IVE might just be their best comeback era just yet

The display bezels are thin enough for my liking that it makes me appreciate the visuals even more. Moreover, the display chin is almost as thin as the other sides, making it look symmetrical and more immersive than others of the same kind.

Billlie said “Flip Flop” in EUNOIA — but the song is far from that

Firing up those dual-firing speakers gave me louder than usual output compared to phones of the same price range. Bass isn’t that deep, but highs and mids are enough for that banger bathroom concert sessions.

And thanks to Dolby Atmos support (at least through Apple Music), I was able to hear better quality that other midrange offerings fail to deliver.

Plentiful performance

Just a refresher, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G runs on MediaTek’s 6nm-based Dimensity 1080 chipset with 5G support paired with Mali-G68 mobile GPU for graphics. On the software side, it runs the latest MIUI 14 — oddly based on Android 12 instead of Android 13.

For the most part, such as opening and scrolling through several apps, it’s fast and responsive.

Most games are playable, too. Although, don’t expect top-notch graphics quality.

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. My all-time racing fave, Asphalt 9: Legends, was still fun even at medium quality (set by default).

You can switch to a higher gaming quality but at the expense of your game’s cooling and battery consumption — more so, if you tick “gaming mode” via its native Game Turbo sidebar.

FPS games such as Call of Duty: Mobile (CoDM) also run well on this phone. I was able to play smoothly for around fifteen to twenty minutes. The phone isn’t at fault for that shorter gameplay. It’s just my age and my shorter patience when playing games 🥲

Then again, default graphic quality is at medium but can be configured to high. Frame rate can also be selected to the “Max” option.

More games that include cats, please 🥹

Lastly, the less-strenuous but more chill-type of game such as the Cat Snack Bar is expected to run in this phone without any cat stuttering during the gameplay.

Satisfying power

Just like the rest of the Redmi Note 12 lineup, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G ships with a mighty 5000mAh battery.

If you’re more into gaming, expect heavier drain. For instance, I downloaded HD game resources for CoDM (Call of Duty: Mobile) for almost two hours without the display turning off just to keep the download progress running. The battery trickled down heavily from 36 percent down to just 15 percent.

But if you’re like me who’s a moderate user (and barely a mobile gamer), it’s able to last more than a day — two days even.

My use case includes several hours of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter while 5G mobile data and hotspot are turned on, moderate camera shooting, plus a little gaming on the side for just around 15 to 30 minutes.

120W charging on a Redmi?

And if that’s enough to keep you enticed, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G supports Xiaomi’s proprietary 120W HyperCharge with a charger (literally) out of the box! That’s the same bundled charging adapter supplied to the more expensive Xiaomi 13 Pro, 12T Pro, 12 Pro — even with 2021’s Xiaomi 11T Pro that I was also able to review.

They claim that it can be fully-charged to 100 percent in just 19 minutes. In my charge test, I’ve tested the bundled 120W HyperCharge adapter on three phones that support it. While it was far from what was claimed, the results are consistent — and thirty minutes was still fast nonetheless.

Redmi Note 12 Pro+ Xiaomi 13 Pro Xiaomi 11T Pro
5 minutes 17% 9% 9%
10 minutes 35% 36% 35%
15 minutes 52% 55% 50%
20 minutes 65% 68% 58%
25 minutes 81% 89% 79%
30 minutes 96% 95%

If you’re worried about prolonged charging, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G has Xiaomi’s built-in Surge P1 chipset for faster and safer charging in the long run.

200MP camera on a serious budget?

The headlining feature (and probably the main selling point) of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G has to be its 200-megapixel main camera.

It’s the only phone in its respective category to have that mighty sensor. As of this writing, only flagships such as the moto X30 Pro, Xiaomi 12T Pro Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra are equipped with 200MP shooters.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (2023)

Fun fact: All of these 200MP cameras are made by Samsung. Redmi has ISOCELL HPX, moto and Xiaomi uses ISOCELL HP1, while Samsung features ISOCELL HP2.

From my Xiaomi 13 Pro vs Galaxy S23 Ultra Camera Shootout, I made a bold statement that having a 1-inch sensor on a smartphone is far superior than having a 200MP camera — and that large megapixel count sounds more gimmicky now that it’s in a midrange phone, specifically the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G.

For now, I won’t make any comparisons about the 200MP cameras on both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G as it’s a separate feature that’s already parked in my heavily-jammed writing lot.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 13 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S23: Camera Shootout

Going along its “Live Vivid” tagline, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G captured brilliantly “vivid” photos taken with its main 200MP sensor.

Most of the shots looked great — far better than the horrendous camera processing algorithm of last year’s Redmi Note 11 Pro, if I must say.

Whether it’s the mesmerizing golden hour or just your plain ol’ indoor shooting, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G can keep up with its 200MP camera.

Ultra-wide angle photos also look great enough as long as there is ample daylight.

And while there’s no dedicated 2x zoom lens, digitally cropping in with its 200MP is not as bad as it seems.

1x wide vs 2x zoom

Food shoots look undoubtedly appetizing and scrumptious without over-saturating (and radially blurring) everything.

Even though the 200MP is at an advantage when digitally zooming in to 2x, shooting photos farther than that is more of a miss than a hit — especially with that pesky over-sharpening.

On top of that, there are some inconsistencies when HDR and AI are both turned on.

The problem persists either if you use the ultra-wide angle lens…

…the main 1x wide lens…

…and even when zooming in farther 2x.

But with the right subject to focus on, Redmi can “fix” its problem by not overexposing details and just try to tune up the shadows more.

For example in the photo above, instead of tapping the building before pressing the shutter button, I then tapped the sky to balance out Redmi’s weird HDR and AI algorithm.

Low-light samples are decent as long as you always use night mode.

But sometimes, night mode just worsens the photo. Just like some bright daylight subjects, you should also keep your low-light subjects in mind.

1x Night vs UWA Night

Night mode is mostly favorable if you solely use the phone’s 200MP as it has a wide-enough f/1.65 aperture for better light data gathering.

2x Night OFF vs ON

And with the less wider aperture of its ultra-wide angle camera, expect longer shutter duration when activating night mode — and a darker photo without it.

UWA Night OFF vs ON

Remember, you have to be very still even when the phone “completed” its Night Mode shutter release. Or else, you’ll end up having the images below — that’s despite having OIS on its main camera. Although, it may be usable if you want hippy/artsy Instagram photos.

Macro (S)camera


I only have two things in mind when the word “scam” kicks in: either a shortened form of “S-ensor Cam-era” (which I just made up), or “scam” as in a dishonest scheme. Either way, it only means one thing: macro sensors are “senseless” and a complete fraud.

I’ve stated it numerous times in my written reviews — and I know I’m not the only tech reviewer out there who keeps whining and babbling about how macro sensors are one of the most pointless features in smartphones. The shot above was even taken using the 200MP camera and not through its “macro sensor”.

And now that the mobile camera technology keeps improving, I usually prefer taking macro shots more using the ultra-wide lens via “Super Macro Mode” or just through a 2-3x telephoto lens for that added depth of field while shooting the subject at a farther distance. But then again, these companies make them as “flagship-exclusive” features.

Now, this makes me miss seeing 2x zoom lenses more on midrange phones. Even other brands did the same routine on newer midrange smartphones just to say the phone has “three cameras” as evident as it is on the back side.

Precious Portraits

If you’re a huge portrait fanatic, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G can shoot bokeh-licious portraits. Hair cutouts aren’t messy and actually look precise than other phones of the same price range.

Even if your human subject holds any paraphernalia such as a glass of iced tea or a cup of iced coffee, someone’s pair of slippers or the bracelets they wear, the camera can intelligently detect objects at the foreground level without totally blurring them out.

It even worked well when I randomly shot the lid of my MacBook.

Favorable Selfies

Again, I’m not a huge selfie user. But for the sake of this review, I’m dedicating a section just to show its front-facing camera capabilities.

Selfies are always preferential. But personally, I’m contented with how this Redmi took “natural-looking” selfies without those annoying smears and smoothening.

Even though its 16MP selfie shooter doesn’t have an “ultra-wide angle” mode, it still is wide enough to accommodate more than four people in the frame.

Good ol’ goodies

Curious to know the phone’s box content? Well, here it goes.

Just like previous Redmi phones, it ships in a white box. Lifting the box lid reveals an extra packet while the phone sits beneath it.

Opening that packet gives us the mandatory SIM Tray Ejector Tool…

…the usual paperwork…

…a clear jelly case out of the box…

…and lastly, a bundled 120W HyperCharge adapter with a USB-C to USB-A cable.

Is the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G your GadgetMatch?

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G in the Philippines retails for PhP 21,999 in a lone 8+256GB configuration. Pre-ordering the phone from April 15 to 21 (either via Lazada, Shopee, TikTok shop or offline Xiaomi retail stores) assures you a free Redmi Buds 3 Lite.

Aside from the Polar White colorway that I reviewed, it also comes in the usual Midnight Black and a more playful Sky Blue option.

I’ll be direct. You don’t need the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G if you’re not into that massive 200MP camera and 120W speedy charging. Get the Redmi Note 12 Pro instead and save some of your hard-earned money — especially if its 50MP camera and 67W Turbo Charging are sufficient for your needs. That’s already PhP 4,000 in savings.

Still, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is an upper midrange smartphone that can keep up and live up to its promises. It is a very recommendable midrange smartphone considering it has a less heavy price tag despite being heavy with features. Moreover, those two outweigh the phone’s flaws I’ve experienced and stated.

You’ll get that rich audiovisual experience, a not-so-typical Redmi design and premium-like build quality, satisfying performance, more than sufficient battery life, rapid charging speeds, and cameras that are enough for your needs day and night.

The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is a worthy recipient of the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval.


Taking the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 around Seoul

Fun with the Fold



Galaxy Z Fold5

The messaging for the two foldables Unpacked by Samsung in Seoul is pretty clear. For more creative, artsy, and overall jovial pursuits, you should rock the Galaxy Z Flip5. For productivity, multi-tasking, and general business needs, you acquire the Galaxy Z Fold5. 

But who says you can’t have fun with the Fold? 

While Michael Josh rocked the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, I had the pleasure of taking the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 around Seoul. 

Great for Reels 


One thing I really enjoyed using the Galaxy Z Fold5 for is shooting and editing Reels/Shorts/TikToks. I’ll just call it reels from here on out. 

Its long and narrow form-factor when folded lends itself nicely for taking vertical videos. I said the same thing for the Galazy Z Fold4 a year ago. It’s even better now that the hinge closes the Fold fully. 

It also helped that I was in Seoul for the first time ever and enjoyed my time in the city. This first reel was primarily taken while I was with the Philippine media team dining and roaming around. 


I typically don’t enjoy the experience of editing videos on a smartphone. But that wasn’t the case with the Galaxy Z Fold5 because I had a larger screen to work with. I fired up CapCut and edited a minute-long clip for about 30 minutes while replying to chats and doom scrolling in between. 

Galaxy Z Fold5

I did the same thing when my friend and former work colleague took me to the Spotify x NewJeans pop-up event. 

It was quite a bit of a wait to get in so we decided to grab something to eat first. Fortunately, we were close to Ikseon-Dong which is quite a “hip” spot in Seoul. There were plenty of cafe’s, shops for trinkets, photobooths, and many more. 

We were having our fill of dessert when we realized we had to dash to the pop-up event. Thankfully, we made it in time and went through the pop-up without being super shy. 

Seoul snaps

The cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold5 are unchanged, hardware-wise, from its predecessor:

  • 50MP Wide-angle Camera Dual Pixel AF, OIS, f/1.8
  • 10MP Telephoto Camera PDAF, f/2.4
  • 12MP Ultra Wide Camera f/2.2

In terms of the photos produced, it’s your typical Samsung color science which tends to have high contrast and sharpness. More than anything, the images that come out are usually social media ready. 

Sharing some of the ones I took in Seoul: 


Galaxy Z Fold5

This lunch at Moonts somewhere in Seongdong-gu was nothing short of a feast.

Galaxy Z Fold5

This was somewhere in Myeong-dong. We had Chicken and Beer without the Beer.


Galaxy Z Fold5

I ate at Goobne pizza because of LE SSERAFIM.

Streets and sights 

Galaxy Z Fold5

I roamed around Gangnam, Seongdong-gu, Jong-no, and Myeong-dong with media colleagues and friends.

In Seongdong-gu, Samsung prepared a few spots where people can check out the new foldables.


A few more shots of various streets in Seoul.

Bright night scenes

Some parts of Seoul can be really stunning at night.


Galaxy Z Fold5

Hongdae was buzzing.


I didn’t have a lot of chances to take portrait photos. But these candid-ish shots from the lovely people I hung out with have a general feel-good vibe.

Galaxy Z Fold5

Rush lunch at a convenience store, channeling the K-Pop trainee energy lol.

Might be the only selfie, using the actual selfie cam, I took.

K-Pop adjacent things 

As a K-Pop enjoyer, I naturally had to take snaps of the ads around the city featuring some of my faves.

Galaxy Z Fold5

The BT21 x NewJeans store. Actual merch weren’t available yet when I took this photo.

Galaxy Z Fold5

One of my other main girls outside of Momo. Spotted a Kim Chaewon ad and had to take a snap.


IVE was practically everywhere.

Beyond just more screen real estate

Galaxy Z Fold5

Outside of video and photo-taking things, I really enjoyed the large screen on the Galaxy Z Fold5. And it goes beyond giving your more screen real estate. 

Some apps like YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook now adapt their layout to the screen’s orientation. Instead of just being a blown-up version of the smartphone, certain UI elements now take advantage of the extra display space. The navigation buttons on Facebook are flushed to the right. The comments section on TikTok appear on the right hand side with the video still in full view. This is in contrast to other foldables without this kind of software integration which completely obscures the video. 

Galaxy Z Fold5

Do not touch Momo

Speaking of video watching, it’s such a joy on the large screen. Most of the time you really don’t see crease in the middle, especially if you’re holding it straight up. The crease only appears if you view it from certain tilted angles. I brought a tablet with me as in flight entertainment heading into South Korea. But on the flight back, I relied only the Galaxy Z Fold5 for that purpose and the screen space didn’t leave me wanting. 

Work mode

Work doesn’t necessarily spark joy for most people. But completing tasks on the Galaxy Z Fold5 has been quite enjoyable for me. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been using a tablet as sort of my more-mobile-and-compact laptop alternative. However, since I got my hands on the Galaxy Z Fold5, I’ve found myself not needing the tablet as much. 

Galaxy Z Fold5

I handle plenty of correspondence both internally and externally. This ranges from emails, text messages, and various chat apps. I find handling these on the Galaxy Z Fold5 better than on a generally larger tablet. 

Additionally, I’m also able to copy edit articles on-the-go with the Fold in hand. And in certain occassions, I even do some writing myself. In fact, parts of this review were written using the Galaxy Z Fold5. 

Narrow screen, general thickness 


My personal gripes with the Galaxy Z Fold5 generally align with most criticisms about it. Despite the improved hinge, it still feels pretty thick. And that narrow screen is pretty tough to use for regular phone browsing. 

Samsung really needs to rethink the folded form factor. If it can improve on that, then they can have a firmer hold on the book-style foldable market. Outside of being easy to hold for photo and video taking, there’s no real advantage to the narrow cover screen.

As it stands, I find the OPPO Find N2 and the Huawei Mate X3 to be superior book-style designs. Hopefully, Samsung improves this aspect on the Galaxy Z Fold6. 

Join the Fold side? 

Galaxy Z Fold5

There’s been more excitement around the Flip than the Fold. The Galaxy Z Flip5 truly is the more mainstream foldable and might just be more appealing to a larger group of people. 

General usage is fine, media consumption is great, and the battery life is par for the course. On my truly heavy usage days – which include taking photos and videos — it held out for about 12 hours before it prompted me to juice up.


However, if you enjoy and believe would benefit from a larger screen real estate, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is the clear choice. Samsung might have maxxed out what it can do for this particular form factor. If you’re jumping in just now or are upgrading from the Fold1 or Fold2, then the Galaxy Z Fold5 should be an acquisition worthy of your hard-earned money.

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The Xiaomi Pad 6 is great for the editor on-the-go

Bang-for-buck all-rounder



Xiaomi Pad 6

I have been on the market for a tablet for a rather specific need. You see, 2023 rolling in also marked the return of more face-to-face events. As I attended a select few of these, I’ve had to bring along my not-exactly-lightweight laptop only to end up not using it at all. In the interest of reducing my lower back pain, I needed something that was smaller, lighter, but still good enough to handle some of the tasks I might need to get to while on the go. Enter, the Xiaomi Pad 6. 

Unboxing the Xiaomi Pad 6 and its accessories

Xiaomi was pretty darn generous sending over not only the tablet but also the multiple accessories you can use with it. In the video below, we unboxed the Xiaomi Pad 6, the Xiaomi Pad 6 Keyboard, the Xiaomi Pad 6 Cover, and the Xiaomi Smart Pen. 


Xiaomi’s best Android tablet has just got an upgrade! #Xiaomi #XiaomiPad6 #Android #Tablet #fypシ

♬ original sound – GadgetMatch – GadgetMatch


‘Laptop’ on the go 

Xiaomi Pad 6

In the past couple of weeks, the Xiaomi Pad 6 fulfilled the laptop-on-the-go role that I desperately needed, and then some. Most notably, I took the tablet with me on an overseas coverage trip. True enough, I found myself in the exact same situations I would have found myself in had there been events domestically. 

With the Pad 6 on hand, I didn’t have to bring a backpack with me. All I needed was the trusty Xiaomi Sling bag that I’ve had for years, my mirrorless camera, a couple of smartphones, and my mobile loadout was ready to go. 

I found it much easier to move around as we traversed from one location to another during the many events spread across the week. In certain stops here or there, I was able to sit down to catch-up on some emails. Having access to a full-sized keyboard is a godsend for the number of emails and other correspondence I had to reply to. 

Xiaomi Pad 6

Not only that, having the Xiaomi Pad 6 around also made it easy to copy edit a few articles here and there. As an editor that can’t exactly be glued to the desk all the time, this was a huge relief. 

The typing experience is satisfactory and the general performance switching from email, to browser, to chat apps, was hiccup-free. If this is what you’re after the tablet for, know that it is more than capable for these types of tasks.

Great entertainment hub

Xiaomi Pad 6

Zom: 100 is hilarious.

The 11-inch display is the sweet spot for me. Small enough to fit in a sling bag, but large enough to serve as in-flight entertainment. Prior to flying, I downloaded episodes of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, Mushoku Tensei, as well as a couple of movies like Shin Kamen Rider. 

I never realized how small the in-flight entertainment screen was in the economy flights I took until I had this 11-inch tablet with me. It’s such a better viewing experience and it allowed me to catch up to shows I was already watching versus settling for whatever’s available on the flight. 

Best part? I conserved my smartphone’s battery levels by making the Xiaomi Pad 6 my primary entertainment hub. Not only did I download shows and movies, I also had plenty of storage room to spare for my main playlists on Spotify along with a handful of podcast episodes. 

The pen is good for whoever will find use for it 

Which isn’t yours truly if I’m being honest. My days of scribbling and sketching are way, waaaay behind me. You can probably tell from my sad, sorry, attempt to sketch Mina of TWICE/MISAMO in the photo below. 

What I can tell you though is that the Xiaomi Smart Pen handles great even with the limited usage I squeezed out of it. It certainly still feels like you’re sketching on glass and there’s nothing mind boggling here like the experience feeling like pen-to-paper, but it works nonetheless. 

Xiaomi Pad 6

Mina stans, please don’t hate me.

If you’re into sketching, scribbling, and whatnot, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to the feeling. 

And with the multi-window feature, you should, in theory, have an easier time referencing any material you’d like to draw. 

Speaking of the multi-window feature, as someone who writes, it’s a great way to quickly see information at a glance and quickly add it to whatever you’re writing. It’s a handy feature that I’m sure a lot of people will be able to take advantage of. 

Xiaomi Pad 6 specs

  • Display – 11” WQHD+ (2880 x 1800) display at 309 ppi
  • Processor – Snapdragon 870 Mobile Platform
  • Battery – 8840mAh
  • RAM and Storage – 6GB+128GB / 8GB+128GB /
  • 8GB+256GB
  • OS – MIUI Pad 14/Android 13
  • Cameras – 13MP rear, 8MP front 
  • Connectivity – USB 3.2 Gen 1, BLUETOOTH 5.2, Wi-Fi 6

More quick notes

Xiaomi Pad 6

I installed a couple of games on it but never got to really, really play. It ran Asphalt 9 and Honkai: Star Rail just fine in my very, very limited play time. I personally never saw myself playing on this as much. 

I also never truly exhausted the battery. The lowest it ever got was after I used it thoroughly on a 4-hour flight. And even then, I didn’t even hit 50% despite consuming plenty of media both video and audio. It supports up to 33W fast charging. If you juice it up with anything over that, you can expect the quick charge feature to kick in and top you up pretty quickly. 

MIUI Pad 14 on Android 13 is fine. There’s nothing offensive about the UI and any shortcomings against the most popular tablet in the market has more to do with Android itself than the skin that Xiaomi put on top of it. It’s still good, it’s still very much functional, and pretty easy to figure out how to use if you’re at all familiar with Android.

Is the Xiaomi Pad 6 your GadgetMatch? 

Like I mentioned at the start of the article, I had a very specific use-case in mind as I took the Xiaomi Pad 6 with me on my daily grind. For the editor part of my job, it worked perfectly. It’s compact, capable, and can do more than what I originally set out for it to do. With a starting price of just under PhP 30,000 for the full tablet-keyboard-pen package, it’s also one hell of a deal. Even moreso when you see the discounts during the first few days of sale. 

The Xiaomi Pad 6 has to be the easiest Android tablet to recommend right now. It’s the ultimate bang-for-your-buck tablet, squeezing out plenty of features and functionality for a package price that’s more than reasonable. Xiaomi has a winner on their hands. One that deserves the GadgetMatch seal of approval. 

Price, availability

The Xiaomi Pad 6 comes in Gravity Gray, Gold, and Mist Blue. The 8GB+128GB variant is priced at PhP 20,999 and the 8GB+256GB variant retails for from PhP 21,999.

The first 50 online buyers will get a free Xiaomi Smart Pen on a first come first serve basis starting August 11, 2023, and with an early bird promo:


  • SRP: Php 20,999
  • Early bird promo (August 12-20):
    • Php 16,999  (Aug 11, 2023; online only)
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HONOR 90 review: Simply bedazzling

More like a shiny accessory!




I have always loved anything shining, shimmering, and splendid. There’s a reason why I’m hooked on Taylor Swift’s “Bejeweled” on her Midnights album.

Put on your headphones and listen to this line. “Best believe I’m still bejeweled when I walk in a room, I can still make a whole place shimmer.”

That line struck me with how I always move in my circles, and that’s certainly how the HONOR 90 made its debut in the city of love. The young technology company showcased an exquisite beauty bewitching anyone who dare to lay their eyes on it, on a stage where you can marvel at its grandeur. Yes, it’s in Paris — and Taylor Swift has a song with the exact title.

I’m starting to believe that the HONOR 90 is a match made for me.

Bedazzling, bejeweled

After the GadgetMatch team witnessed the parade of the HONOR 90 in the revered city of love, I flew to China to witness the unveiling of the HONOR Magic V2. I brought the HONOR 90 with me, thinking it’d be an ideal companion as I walk through the streets of Shenzhen and Beijing.


Spoiler alert: Some days, it did not. The lack of IP rating didn’t give me the confidence to take it out while I’m running or braving the streets during a heavy downpour.

But it gave me attention, what with the dazzling design inspired by luxury jewelry as seen on my Diamond Silver unit. The sight of a glimmering silver smartphone with the sunlight shining across its diamond-like panel can bedazzle anyone who locks their eyes on the device.

It felt like a must-have accessory for summer and sparkling nights. The only caveat? You can’t get it wet. Let’s bid goodbye to pool parties and trying to meet someone in the pouring rain.

Not your ordinary midrange smartphone


Nevertheless, it gave me an exquisite experience. I’ve used the HONOR 50 and the HONOR 70 more than just review devices, I actually spent time using it as my secondary phone to play games, take extra footage of my workouts, and scroll on my other apps like the one with a yellow bee. So trust me when I say that the HONOR 90 is both different and similar to its predecessors.

Running on MagicOS 7.1 with enhanced CPU and GPU performance, the HONOR 90 offers a buttery-smooth performance. It also maintained an ultra-long battery life.

Compared to other smartphones equipped with 5000mAh Super Battery, HONOR’s N-devices last longer for me even with heavy data usage. I can last a day without a power bank even with mobile data turned on. And if I ran out of juice, the 66W HONOR SuperCharge comes in handy. I don’t need to wait almost an hour to get it recharged.


It might be disappointing to some since the POCO F5 — a much cheaper device — sports a Snapdragon 7+ Gen 1 while the HONOR 90 houses a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset. Even so,  the smartphone does the job! There were no hiccups when browsing, scrolling, multitasking, creating content, and definitely when taking a high-resolution photo. You know, the 200MP ones?

Between the past and the future


The new HONOR 90 takes pride in having the best-in-class camera system for a midrange smartphone. FYI, it sports a 200-megapixel main camera with a 1/1.4-inch sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and macro camera, a 2-megapixel depth camera, and a 50-megapixel front camera.

Combined with its hardware and software prowess, the HONOR 90 captures any moment you deem important vividly. It takes excellent content, for the most part. It’s been like that since its predecessors, only just getting grander.

But what’s the point of telling all these perspectives when I can just parade foolproof evidence to back my claims? They say to see is to believe, so let me take you through a tale of two cities captured with the might of the HONOR 90.


Shenzhen and Beijing exhibit different faces of China. One is like the Silicon Valley of Asia that set its sights on the future, and the other looks back at the rich history of the country. While both cities exude different vibes, they both something have in common: a picturesque cityscape wherever you go.

From towering skyscrapers to wide avenues, and even architecture that encapsulates the country’s identity through intricate design and details. The HONOR 90’s 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera came in handy to see the beauty of both cities.


The memories of a trip is sometimes stored in photographs of food. It’s a glimpse of a country’s culture that can be cherished everytime you see it on a screen. The HONOR 90’s 2x zoom is perfect for capturing the rich, tasty cuisine of every culture you explore.


Truth be told: We’re not photographers who’ll need a 200-megapixel main camera to shoot our everyday life. I also take quick snaps to record a memory I want to treasure and share with my friends. If it’s pretty enough, it gets to be in my Stories. The HONOR 90 takes quick snaps without any delays, making it a great companion to capture the feel of your exact moment.



Of course, what’s a trip and everyday life without selfies? The HONOR 90 is equipped with a 50-megapixel front camera with an option for a wider selfie. Like its predecessors, the selfies are still padded with extra beautification despite turning off the beauty mode. I still don’t like it though. Silver lining? You’d look fresh any time of the day.


Best for your eyes


The HONOR 90 takes pride in sporting a quad-curved display with an incredible viewing experience. Its 6.7-inch display goes toe-to-toe with almost every tall and huge smartphone out there, right now.

Just like most midrange smartphones with a “flagship-level” feature, the HONOR 90 has an HDR10+ certification along with Amazon Prime Video HDR and Netflix HDR. The pictures are quite vivid, you’ll enjoy watching any content even with just a smartphone.

It’s a bonus that the smartphone is lightweight enough that you can carry it with just a single hand.

It also has a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate and a TÜV Rheinland Flicker Free Certification for eye comfort. Speaking of which, the HONOR 90 is also equipped with the 3,840HZ PWM Dimming technology which I’ve seen in action through the HONOR Magic V2.

Basically, it exhibits a pulse at a rate of up to 3,840Hz that helps maintain a more comfortable, flicker-free viewing experience even at lower brightness levels.


It prioritizes alleviating eye fatigue to increase blood circulation. With the Circadian Night Display, the HONOR 90 also adjusts the display into warmer colors to reduce the amount of blue light.

Now, you don’t need to take lots of melatonin to fall asleep quickly even after using your smartphone. Your smartwatch might want to thank you for having better sleep quality.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The HONOR 90 does a lot for a midrange smartphone. It’s not as specced up as other midrange competitors, but it surely stacks up when it comes to providing a flagship experience at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s got an incredible display that’s both pleasant and comfortable to the eyes, a hiccup-free performance coupled with long-lasting battery life, and a super-fast charging speed.

More importantly, it comes with an impressive camera system with the 200MP main sensor taking the spotlight.


The only caveat would be the lack of IP rating and to some, an option for wireless charging. What irks me would be the limited security and software updates. Meaning, if you get this smartphone, you’re bound to buy another one for the next year or two.

If you’re the type of person who frequently changes their smartphone, the compromises wouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s a solid deal, depending on your territory. The price really varies when it comes to different countries.


The HONOR 90 retails for GBP 450 for the 8GB/256GB unit and GBP 500 for the 12GB/512GB variant. It comes in three colors: Midnight Black, Emerald Green, and Diamond Silver — an exclusive color to the HONOR website, HiHonor.

In the Philippines, it retails for Php 24,990. Get it at select HONOR Outlets or online channels such as Shopee, Lazada, or TikTok Shop!

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