OnePlus 10 Pro vs Xiaomi 12 Pro: a close-fought flagship face-off

The OnePlus 10 Pro and the Xiaomi 12 Pro are both available, and they go together pretty well.

If you’re looking for a sleek flagship phone with solid all-around specs and a striking industrial design (plus the weird and baffling omission), well, both of these phones deliver in spades.

But which of these 8 out of 10 flagship phones is the best buy for you? We will do our best to provide a definitive answer.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Xiaomi 12 Pro: price and availability

The global model of the OnePlus 10 Pro was announced on March 31, 2022 and went on sale less than a week later on April 5. The entry-level handset costs $899 / £799 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. In countries like the UK, you can upgrade to 12GB of RAM and 256GB for £899 (which would probably be around $999).

The Xiaomi 12 Pro will go on sale on April 15, 2022. We were offered a price of $999 for the entry-level model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage; but it will not actually ship to the United States. In the UK there will only be one model available with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage for £1,049 (around $1,385).

As for as, then, the OnePlus 10 Pro is the much cheaper phone of the two.

A OnePlus 10 Pro from the back, placed on its open box

The OnePlus 10 Pro is the cheapest phone (Image credit: future)

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Xiaomi 12 Pro: design

Both phones have managed to move their respective lineups into a new, more premium direction.

With the OnePlus 10 Pro, that means a new frosted glass finish on the back and a distinctly large and glossy camera module. For the Xiaomi 12 Pro, that means its own slightly more subtle frosted finish and an industrial-looking rectangular camera module.

As always, you get that OnePlus 10 Pro alert slider, which remains a favorite. But the Xiaomi 12 Pro has its own functional design quirk in the form of an IR blaster that sits on top of the phone, which will allow you to use it as a remote control.

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A Xiaomi 12 Pro from behind in someone's hand

The Xiaomi 12 Pro has a subtle frosted finish (Image credit: TechRadar)

At 163 x 73.9 x 8.6mm, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a bit narrower but also slightly thicker than the 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2mm Xiaomi 12 Pro. There is very little in it, which is also the case in terms of weight: 201g for the OnePlus against 204g for the Xiaomi.

Neither phone makes a huge statement in terms of available color options. The Xiaomi is available in blue, gray or purple, while the OnePlus is available in black or green.

One of the advantages of OnePlus is the inclusion of IP68 certification. Surprisingly considering its premium price, the Xiaomi has none. It may also be water and dust resistant, but Xiaomi didn’t pay the money to have it officially verified.

Both phones sport aluminum frames and tough Gorilla Glass Victus displays.

A OnePlus 10 Pro from the front, held in someone's hand

You get a 6.7-inch AMOLED display on the OnePlus 10 Pro (Image credit: future)

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Xiaomi 12 Pro: display

The similarity of their proportions is reflected in the screens of these two phones. The OnePlus 10 Pro has a 6.7-inch AMOLED, while the Xiaomi 12 Pro has a 6.73-inch AMOLED.

Both are capable of WQHD+ resolutions and 120Hz refresh rates, and both are LTPO panels, so they can drop back to 1Hz when the situation calls for more efficiency.

An advantage for the Xiaomi here is that it can reach an impressive 1500 nits in peak lighting conditions, whereas the OnePlus can “only” stretch to 1300 nits.

A front-facing Xiaomi 12 Pro in someone's hand

The Xiaomi 12 Pro is slightly larger at 6.73 inches (Image credit: TechRadar)

Conversely, OnePlus claims to have tested the color accuracy of its display at 100 and 500 nits, ensuring an uncommon level of consistency regardless of brightness.

Basically, they’re two brilliant, essentially similar screens that won’t let you down. It’s hard to call a winner, but the greater maximum brightness of the Xiaomi display might just tip it.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Xiaomi 12 Pro: cameras

While the OnePlus 10 Pro camera system is very similar to its predecessor, the OnePlus 9 Pro, the Xiaomi 12 Pro has changed things considerably compared to the Xiaomi Mi 11.

With the OnePlus 10 Pro, you’ve got the same 48-megapixel wide sensor and 8-megapixel 3.3x telephoto lens as before, but a new 50-megapixel ultra-wide.

As for the Xiaomi 12 Pro, you get a nicely rounded new triple 50-megapixel setup.

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The camera block of a OnePlus 10 Pro

The OnePlus 10 Pro has a triple-lens camera setup (Image credit: future)

Let’s talk about these main sensors. The OnePlus 10 Pro uses the 1/1.35″ Sony IMX789, while the Xiaomi 12 Pro uses the 1/1.28″ Sony IMX707. Xiaomi’s sensor is newer, bigger and more advanced.

It’s hard to call, but we’d say the Xiaomi 12 Pro takes the best shots from its main camera.

Both phones use the same 50-megapixel Samsung JN1 sensor for ultrawide, which is technically a step down from the larger sensor in the OnePlus 9 Pro. OnePlus has enabled its phone to take photos at 150 degrees, if that’s something you care about (we didn’t).

The rear cameras of a Xiaomi 12 Pro

There are a trio of 50MP sensors on the Xiaomi 12 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

OnePlus wins on the zoom front, with a 3.3x zoom lens getting closer to the action than the Xiaomi’s 2x equivalent. Yes, the Xiaomi packs more pixels, but what’s important here is getting significantly closer to the action, to the point where you wouldn’t rather just crop on the main wide sensor.

It’s a pretty even battle on that front. Perhaps the deciding factor will be the color science of both manufacturers. Xiaomi’s is slightly more natural, while OnePlus has that punchy Hasselblad setting that makes content feel a little more alive.

We’d nod to the Xiaomi on the Night mode front, with crisper and clearer low-light shots.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs Xiaomi 12 Pro: specs and performance

The competition has been tight so far, but it’s in the performance category that these two handsets come closest. Indeed, both phones run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, backed by 8 or 12 GB of RAM.

Unsurprisingly, this yields very similar benchmark results and an equally smooth experience in the hand. These are two of the fastest (non-Apple) phones on the market.

In terms of storage, both manufacturers offer 128GB and 256GB models, although availability may vary by region in both cases.

There’s very little to say on the hardware front, as they really sing from the same spec sheet, so let’s get to the real difference here: the software.

A game played on a Xiaomi 12 Pro

The Xiaomi 12 Pro is a powerful phone (Image credit: TechRadar)

Both phones use custom user interfaces overlaid on Android 12. In the OnePlus 10 Pro, that means OxygenOS 12, while in the case of the Xiaomi 12 Pro, it’s MIUI 13.

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It’s not quite the slam-dunk victory for OnePlus that it would have been in previous years. The brand’s assimilation to Oppo and subsequent shift to using ColorOS for its underpinnings means it’s not quite the interface we knew and loved.

In terms of styling, it’s the same, with the same attractive fonts and icons, as is the clean app delivery. It’s on this front that we still prefer the day-to-day experience of the OnePlus 10 Pro.

However, MIUI 13 is much improved; our reviewer called it “the best version of MIUI we’ve seen to date.” It’s much less glitchy and buggy than before; but it still feels a bit bloated, with too many superfluous apps for our liking.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Xiaomi 12 Pro: battery

So far, everything has been largely level, with a few variations. However, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a much bigger battery than the Xiaomi 12 Pro.

We are talking about 5,000 mAh for the OnePlus and 4,600 mAh for the Xiaomi. Given similar specs elsewhere, that’s potentially significant.

In practice, both phones will get you through a full day of use with ease. We might give the advantage to OnePlus, but it’s marginal.

The lower edge of a OnePlus 10 Pro

There’s a 5,000 mAh battery in the OnePlus 10 Pro (Image credit: future)

Where the Xiaomi 12 Pro evens things out is with its charging capacity. While OnePlus has upped things to an impressive 80W, Xiaomi has gone even further with 120W charging support.

This allows the Xiaomi to go from 0 to 100% in 30 minutes, while the OnePlus 10 Pro will take a bit longer to achieve this. Still, both are noticeably fast, and both manufacturers bundle their fast chargers in the box.

As for wireless charging, both phones support 50W with the appropriate fast charger. Well done everyone, then.

Take away

It’s one of the tightest phone matchups we’ve had in quite some time. This is partly because these two phones share many attributes.

Both have suave new designs with frosted glass and prominent camera modules, with much the same basic proportions and shapes. Both also have the same internal specs.

We might give the Xiaomi 12 Pro the nod in the camera stakes, mostly thanks to its superior main sensor and more natural color science. But even then, the OnePlus retaliates with a more intensive (and therefore useful) zoom.

The OnePlus 10 Pro has the biggest battery, but the Xiaomi 12 Pro charges faster. It’s a blow-for-blow fight until the end.

In the end, we got the same score for both phones, so you’ll be happy with either one. It may just depend on the price you’re willing to pay or the software experience, in which case the OnePlus just might get the green light. But we’re tempted to call this one a tie.

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