The best Xiaomi phone 2023on February 6, 2023 at 17:16 Tech Advisor


Its phones may not go on sale in the US, but Xiaomi is one of the most important smartphone manufacturers in the world. It goes toe to toe with Apple and Samsung in its native China, and is comfortably the third biggest player in the global market too.

Part of Xiaomi’s success has come from what you might call a deluge of devices. For better or worse, Xiaomi makes a lot of phones – both within its own core brand, and across its Poco, Redmi, and Black Shark sub-brands. That means there are a lot of excellent Xiaomi phones to pick from, but also that it can be difficult to find the best one for you.

The good news is that every year we review loads of Xiaomi handsets, and here we’ve done our best to rank them as they stand right now – including pros and cons for each model, the latest pricing, and links to our reviews for in-depth analysis.

Read on to find out exactly which Xiaomi phones we think are the best right now.

Bear in mind that if you’re considering a flagship, the new Xiaomi 13 series has already been revealed in China and is expected to launch worldwide (except the US) in the next month or two.

Best Xiaomi phone reviews 2023

1. Xiaomi 12 – Best Xiaomi phone


Compact design

Excellent performance

Solid main camera

Fast wired & wireless charging


Middling battery life

No IP rating

No telephoto lens


From £749

The Xiaomi 12 is a compelling flagship smartphone. Its compact form factor will appeal to those who don’t want a huge handset and, overall, the design looks and feels great. 

You also get some high-end specs, such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, an AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, and speedy 67W charging. It’s also got a solid main camera, along with a good ultra-wide shooter, but few buyers will be excited by a telemacro lens. 

While there’s lots to like about the Xiaomi 12, it still has no waterproofing, and battery life is nothing special. 

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 12

2. Poco X5 Pro – Best cheaper phone


Great value

Thin and light

Flagship-level 120Hz AMOLED display

Capable 108Mp camera


Flimsy plastic rear cover

No OS upgrade commitment


£369 (8+256GB)

The Poco X5 Pro 5G is a great option for the price in terms of features and design, with a premium look and feel despite the plastic body. The 120Hz AMOLED display is bright, vibrant and buttery-smooth, and still better than most rivals at this price.

While the refresh rate isn’t adaptive like premium alternatives, the phone can still comfortably last more than a day with average use, and when it does need a top up there’s 67W fast wired charging (with the necessary charger supplied in the box).

The 108Mp camera is a real treat too, offering impressive detail and colour representation in well-lit environments, although the lack of OIS means night photography could be improved. The accompanying 8Mp ultrawide is handy, but sadly the same can’t be said for the 2Mp macro lens.

The internals are mid-range, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G leading the show, but performance is very decent for the money. A tempting option for the cost-conscious.

Read our full
Review Poco X5 Pro

3. Xiaomi 12 Pro – Best big phone


Sleek, understated design

Excellent display

Strong triple camera

120W wired charging


Poor battery life

No IP rating



The Xiaomi 12 Pro has an awful lot going for it, but that’s coupled with a pair of major flaws.

We love the sleek, understated design, the beautiful display and the impressive performance. And we (mostly) love the camera, which is a solid performer, if not quite best-in-class.

Unfortunately, the battery life is a clear failing – which might be fixed with updates, but for the moment it frustrates.

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 12 Pro

4. Poco F4 GT – Best gaming phone


Very fast 120W charging

Excellent performance

Pop-up shoulder buttons


Middling battery life

No headphone jack



The F4 GT is Poco’s effort to hide a gaming phone in plain sight.

Gamers will love the Snadpragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 12GB RAM, 120W fast charging, and pop-up shoulder buttons.

Meanwhile everyone else will love that it doesn’t look like a gaming phone, and still comes with a decent 64Mp camera that can hold its own.

Read our full
Review Poco F4 GT

5. Xiaomi 12 Lite – Best mid-range phone


Lightweight construction

Impressive cameras

Great performance

Long battery and quick charging


Palm rejection could be better

No IP rating

The Xiaomi 12 Lite is a very solid mid-range phone. The lightweight construction is a comfortable change from the heavier alternatives found at this price point, plus the square-edged design is both modern and makes it easier to hold in the hand.

Performance is again very good, as are the cameras if you want something for social media platforms. The software can be a bit clunky at times, and the overly sensitive display takes a little getting used to, but these are minor gripes compared to all the other benefits on offer.

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 12 Lite

6. Xiaomi 12S Ultra


Phenomenal main camera

Powerful performance

Excellent battery life


Divisive design

Selfie camera disappoints

Only available with Chinese software


Unavailable in the UK

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the company’s most powerful phone right now, but it’s not the one we’d recommend most people by.

Part of that is purely practical: the phone is only officially out in China, so prospective buyers will have to import the phone and fight through some additional hassle to get the software set up to work well for global tastes (it doesn’t include any Google software, including the Play Store, for example).

If you’re willing to put up with that then this is a powerful device. The Leica-branded camera is the main draw, with a 1in main sensor – the biggest around – driving detailed photos, great low-light performance, and beautiful natural bokeh.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip delivers strong performance and excellent battery life too, while the display is hard to fault either.

The downsides? Other than the Chinese exclusivity, there’s the divisive design, and the fact that for all its size, the camera arguably isn’t quite the best around – the Vivo X80 Pro still trumps in night mode, while the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains the periscopic zoom king.

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 12S Ultra

7. Xiaomi 12T


Solid performance 

Great cameras for the price 

120W fast charging

Impressively affordable


Underwhelming battery life

No wireless charging

No IP rating


From £499 | Model reviewed £599

The 12T is a solid mid-range option for the Xiaomi stable.

Performance from the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Ultra chipset is superb, with only an occasional app crash or stutter. Everything looks great on the 6.67in OLED display, especially when combined with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The 108Mp main camera is another highlight, but all four lenses on the 12T hold their own. With a slick, premium design and rapid 120W charging, there’s a lot to like here.

But in exchange for those charging speeds, you’ll have to contend with underwhelming battery life, and miss out on a few high-end features. If you can look beyond that, the Xiaomi 12T is an excellent phone – especially for the price.

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 12T

8. Poco X5


Two-day battery life

Bright 120Hz screen

Slim and sleek build

Great value


Mixed camera performance

Poor speaker


Base price £279 | Model reviewed £319 (8GB + 256GB)

Best Prices Today:

£279 at Poco

The Poco X5 is one of Xiaomi’s cheaper phones, though still offers you 5G networking and solid specs.

The 120Hz AMOLED display is particularly impressive given the phone’s price, and the lengthy battery life makes this a reliable choice for anyone.

The simple design is more attractive than you might expect too, and you’ll get solid performance from the Snapdragon 695 chipset. The cameras are only alright – a 48Mp main lens joined by an 8Mp ultrawide – but you won’t really find much better without spending more.

Read our full
Review Poco X5

9. Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G


Super fast 120W charging

Slick design

Impressive specs


Android 11

Poor macro camera


Unavailable in the UK

The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge is an excellent mid-range phone that’s good for a lot more than just the fast charging its name suggests – though with 120W speeds it’s certainly no slouch there.

The design is great, performance is impressive thanks to a MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G chipset, and the 108Mp main camera delivers great results too. The only real downsides are that the other camera lenses impress less, and that the phone still ships with the older Android 11 software.

Read our full
Review Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G

10. Black Shark 5 Pro


Strong gaming performance

Fast, responsive 144Hz display

Built-in magnetic triggers

Vastly improved main camera


Fixed focus on ultrawide camera

Can get hot over prolonged sessions

JoyUI takes some getting used to


From £639 | Model reviewed: £729

Best Prices Today:

£639 at Black Shark

The Black Shark 5 Pro is currently at the top of the Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone line-up, and it ticks all the boxes for gamers: it has a buttery smooth 144Hz refresh rate, top-level performance, gaming-specific features like magnetic triggers and gesture-activated shortcuts, plus much more.

The 120W charging provides some of the snappiest charging times around achieving a full 100% charge in under 30 minutes, though the downside is a smaller battery than alternatives.

Though not usually a focus for gaming phones, the Black Shark 5 Pro has an impressive 108Mp rear-facing camera that’s capable of taking decent snaps, though the decision to include autofocus capabilities on the macro lens and not the more popular 120-degree ultra-wide leaves some ultrawide shots looking a little soft.

The design will only appeal to committed gamers, and the software frustrates us a little, but otherwise there’s a lot here to like.

Read our full
Review Black Shark 5 Pro

Xiaomi phone buying advice


What’s the difference between Xiaomi’s different brands?

Xiaomi has a range of different brands, which can make things confusing. First up, it has its core Xiaomi products – these used to have the ‘Mi’ moniker, but now they’re simply branded with the company’s name. This is where you’ll find its latest flagships and foldables, but also plenty of cheaper options.

Budget phones come from the Redmi sub-brand. These are still made by Xiaomi, but the Redmi brand is a signal that a phone will be cheaper than the core line.

Then there’s Black Shark. This is the company’s gaming phone line, with a focus on pure performance and features like advanced cooling, extra controls, and bold designs.

Finally, Poco. While Poco started as a Xiaomi sub-brand, it’s technically been spun off as an independent company since then. However, it still shares Xiaomi’s R&D and uses Xiaomi software, so Poco phones are often quite similar to Xiaomi and Redmi models. They tend to be affordable, like Redmi devices, with a particular focus on power and performance.


Should I buy a Xiaomi phone from China?

If you live in the US then you may be tempted to turn to Chinese importers such as GearBest and Geekbuying to buy a Xiaomi phone – and even readers elsewhere in the world will find that there are still some models that stay exclusive to China and may tempt you into an import, including the top-of-the-range 12S Ultra.

If you do, make sure you buy a model with a global ROM installed, or be prepared to mess around with the software when it arrives (novice users should avoid this). The global models have full access to Google services and an English-language interface out of the box. If you accidentally purchase a Chinese ROM model,
we’ve explained how to install Google Play on a Xiaomi phone here.

Second, if you’re buying from China you should  take into account that your consumer rights are different to when you buy elsewhere, and that should something go wrong you’re going to find aftersales support more difficult.

Lastly, delivery can be a pain. Delivery times will be longer in general, though there are usually free and express shipping options. More than that, though, there could be hidden costs: you may be asked to pay import duty upon the phone’s arrival, which is calculated based on whatever value is printed on the shipping paperwork, usually plus an additional admin fee.


What software do Xiaomi phones use?

All Xiaomi phones run the Android operating system, with the company’s own MIUI Android skin installed on top.

To be honest, MIUI isn’t our favourite version of Android out there – it’s a little cluttered and complicated – but you can expect a fairly smooth and reliable experience, with plenty of customisation options and fairly frequent updates.

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Budget smartphones, Mid-range smartphones, Smartphones

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