Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Taking the fight to the Galaxy S23 Ultra

    How do you stand out in a phase the place each telephone is just about flawless? Xiaomi has turned to the digicam because the differentiator in recent times — the Mi 10 Pro launched a 108MP digicam, the Mi 11 Ultra had a big 1/1.12-inch sensor and took excellent images, and final yr’s Xiaomi 12S Ultra was the primary with a 1-inch sensor.Xiaomi had a comparatively quiet 2022, with its finest units — the MIX Fold 2 and 12S Ultra — restricted to its house market. While that is not altering, Xiaomi is brining that large 1-inch sensor to world markets with the introduction of the Xiaomi 13 Pro. The telephone options the identical Sony IMX989 module on the again and retains the Leica tuning, and Xiaomi is intent on going after Samsung and Google with its newest flagship.Xiaomi did an amazing job cramming a bigger battery than final yr in a chassis that is roughly the identical measurement, and also you get 120W wired and 50W wi-fi charging. The Xiaomi 12 Pro missed out on IP68 ingress safety, and the 13 Pro rectifies that as properly. Clearly, Xiaomi hasn’t put a foot incorrect right here, so let’s check out what you are getting with the Xiaomi 13 Pro, and whether or not it could possibly tackle the likes of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Vivo X90 Pro.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Pricing and availability(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Xiaomi 13 collection was unveiled in China on the finish of December, and it’s getting a worldwide launch at MWC. Xiaomi will kick off gross sales in India, U.Okay., France, and different world markets within the coming weeks.In China, the Xiaomi 13 Pro begins off at 4,999 RMB ($718) for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, 5,399 RMB ($776) for the 8GB/256GB mannequin, 5,799 RMB ($833) for the 12GB/256GB version, and 6,299 RMB ($905) for the 12GB/512GB mannequin.Of course, the system is not fairly as reasonably priced outdoors Xiaomi’s house market. The Xiaomi 13 Pro kicks off at €1,299 ($1,373) in European international locations for the 12GB/256GB model, with the usual Xiaomi 13 out there for €999 ($1,056). That is significantly greater than the €1,149 ($1,214) Xiaomi charged for the 12 Pro final yr, however nonetheless lower than the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s €1,399 ($1,480) beginning determine within the area.The telephone will make its debut in India within the coming weeks, however Xiaomi hasn’t divulged what it should price within the area simply but — I’ll replace the publish as soon as I do know extra. Like Samsung and different producers, Xiaomi is utilizing the older UFS 3.1 storage for the 128GB storage variants, and providing the newest UFS 4.0 for the 256GB and 512GB fashions. Thankfully, the model is not bringing the 128GB mannequin outdoors China, however for those who’re eyeing the usual Xiaomi 13, I’d counsel getting the 256GB model.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Design(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Samsung and OnePlus like to take care of visible consistency throughout generations, however that is not the case with Xiaomi. The Chinese producer goes out of its approach to verify its newest units have an all-new aesthetic, and that is the case with the Xiaomi 13 collection as properly. If something, Xiaomi is taking issues to a different excessive this yr, with the Xiaomi 13 Pro not sharing a lot resemblance with the usual Xiaomi 13 both. The commonplace mannequin has flat sides and a glass again, and the in-hand really feel could be very completely different between the 2.Image 1 of 7(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)With the Xiaomi 13 Pro, Xiaomi switched again to a ceramic again and a big digicam island. It could be very completely different to the Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra, and the design is in truth extra according to the Mi 11 Ultra — albeit narrower. The Mi 11 Ultra continues to be one among my favourite Xiaomi telephones of all time, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro feels simply nearly as good to carry, and the truth that it’s 1.4mm narrower means it is not as unwieldy.The telephone has symmetrical curves at the back and front, and there is sufficient width on the mid-frame to carry it with none points. As the digicam housing extends a significantly approach throughout the again, the telephone does not wobble as a lot as its predecessor when utilizing on a flat floor. You’ll discover the facility and quantity buttons on the precise, there’s an IR blaster on the high, and USB-C charging port together with the dual-SIM card tray on the backside.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Xiaomi has three shade choices this time, and all embody the ceramic end: white, black, and inexperienced. While I just like the ceramic end greater than glass, it smudges very simply, and the white model does a greater job hiding these than the black mannequin I’m utilizing.Another space the place the Xiaomi 13 Pro resembles the Mi 11 Ultra is ingress safety — you get IP68 mud and water resistance as commonplace. Xiaomi was the one mainstream model to not supply this characteristic on its high-end telephones final yr, so I’m glad to see the Chinese producer rectify the scenario this time round.Overall, this can be a very polished design, and Xiaomi nailed the heft and measurement; the Xiaomi 13 Pro feels great in day by day use.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Display(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Xiaomi did not change the display screen this yr, with the 13 Pro that includes the identical 6.73-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) AMOLED panel as its predecessor. You get the identical 120Hz refresh price and the flexibility to stream Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content material, and there is Widevine L1 out of the field. While the panel itself is unchanged, Xiaomi is delivering greater brightness figures this time, with the 13 Pro capable of go as much as 1,200 nits in common use and 1,900 nits for HDR content material — greater than the S23 Ultra and some other Android system.Like final yr, the display screen is ready to go right down to 1Hz for static content material, permitting the system to preserve battery life when studying long-form content material. It mechanically switches again to 120Hz as quickly as you work together with the panel, and right down to 30Hz when streaming movies. Xiaomi does an amazing job calibrating its telephones, and it is no completely different with the 13 Pro — the telephone has unimaginable shade vibrancy and distinction ranges, and is among the many finest you will discover at present.There’s no scarcity of customization both, and also you get a good number of always-on modes. You’ll additionally discover the same old tweaks for adjusting the colour steadiness to your tastes, and because of an ambient shade sensor, the telephone can mechanically modify colours primarily based on ambient mild. Like all Xiaomi units, the display screen is ready to FHD+ and 60Hz out of the field, so you will want to enter the settings to change to QHD+ mode and toggle 120Hz.I did not run into any points when enjoying video games or streaming content material on the Xiaomi 13 Pro, and the display screen is a delight to make use of. One space the place Xiaomi is altering issues is the onboard audio — the telephone does not have similar stereo channels, with the secondary speaker tucked into the earpiece. That mentioned, there may be an outlet for the speaker on the high, and whereas the system does not get fairly as detailed as final yr, it’s nonetheless among the many finest on this space. Xiaomi 13 Pro: Performance(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)I used telephones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for simply over two months now, and I can say with out hesitation that Qualcomm did a terrific job this yr. On all of the units I used up to now, I did not see any throttling after prolonged use, any points with battery life, or any form of overheating.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryXiaomi 13 ProOSMIUI 14 primarily based on Android 13Display6.73-inch 120Hz QHD+ (3200×1440) LTPO AMOLED, Gorilla Glass Victus ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 1 x 3.2GHz Cortex X3, 2 x 2.8GHz Cortex A715, 2 x 2.8GHz Cortex A710, 3 x 2.0GHz Cortex A510, Adreno 740, 4nmRAM8GB/12GB LPDDR5XStorage128GB UFS 3.1, 256GB/512GB UFS 4.0Rear digicam 150MP 1-inch f/1.9 Sony IMX989, 1.6um pixels, OIS, 8K at 24fps, 4K at 60fps, Dolby VisionRear digicam 250MP f/2.0, telephoto lens, OIS, 3.2x optical zoomRear digicam 350MP f/2.2 wide-angle lens, 115-degree subject of viewFront digicam32MP fastened focusIngress protectionIP68 mud and water resistanceSecurityIn-screen optical fingerprint module, face unlockAudioStereo sound, USB-C, 24-bit/192kHz audioBattery4820mAh, 120W wired charging, 50W wi-fi charging, 10W reverse wi-fi chargingDimensions162.9 x 74.6 x 8.4mm, 229gColorsCeramic Black, Ceramic White, Ceramic Green, Mountain Blue (leather-based)Having switched to the Xiaomi 13 Pro from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, I did not see any shortcomings by any means. The telephone is excellent in day by day use, and there is greater than sufficient energy to blaze by means of demanding video games. Like different manufacturers, Xiaomi is utilizing a big cooling system on the 13 Pro, and that ensures the system does not overheat even after prolonged gaming classes.Like Samsung, Xiaomi is utilizing two completely different storage modules, with the 128GB mannequin getting the older UFS 3.1 storage and the 256GB/512GB variants that includes the newest UFS 4.0. Given that UFS 4.0 is almost twice as quick for 4K workloads, you are higher off avoiding the bottom mannequin. There is not a noticeable distinction in the intervening time, however for those who’re paying north of $1,000 for a telephone, you could as properly get a mannequin that has the newest {hardware}.Xiaomi is providing the system in 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM, and the 8GB mannequin by itself is greater than satisfactory for something Android has to supply. For reference, I’m utilizing the 12GB/512GB mannequin. Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryGalaxy S23 UltraXiaomi 13 ProXiaomi 12 ProCrossMark (Overall) 12951205882Productivity11851031755Creativity141113811029Responsiveness13101278886Geekbench 5.1 (single-core)153614751240Geekbench 5.1 (multi-core)473549323523Geekbench 6 (single-core)19311400991Geekbench 6 (multi-core)4971478928283DMark Wild Life Extreme (rating)3488298519033DMark Wild Life Extreme (FPS)20.917.911.45For artificial workloads, I’m pitting the Xiaomi 13 Pro in opposition to the Galaxy S23 Ultra and final yr’s Xiaomi 12 Pro. Right off the bat, we are able to see that the Xiaomi 13 Pro has a good 15% enhance in Geekbench 5.1 single-core workloads over its predecessor, with that determine going as much as 35% for multi-core checks. This is according to day by day use, with the 13 Pro delivering considerably higher efficiency earlier than hitting its thermal restrict. In reality, I did not run into any cases of the system being throttled even after prolonged use, and that is right down to the tweaks Qualcomm made with this era. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is ready to publish greater scores because it has an overclocked model of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, however in workloads that simulate real-world situations, the general scores are on par with the 13 Pro. The greatest change this yr needs to be gaming efficiency; like the remainder of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered units, the Xiaomi 13 Pro delivers excellent figures on this space, and there is clearly greater than sufficient headroom for the long run. (Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Rounding out the {hardware}, the Xiaomi 13 Pro has Wi-Fi 6e connectivity, and whereas there’s a Wi-Fi 7 modem as properly, that is not enabled in the intervening time. You’ll discover Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, dual-band GPS, and the aforementioned IR blaster. The system misses out on mmWave connectivity, but it surely has a good set of Sub-6 5G bands for world protection.The in-screen optical fingerprint sensor is quick to authenticate and is ideally positioned on the display screen to your thumb for those who’re utilizing the system one-handed. There’s face unlock as properly, however that is primarily based on software program, and due to this fact not as safe as a PIN.Xiaomi did a superb job with the haptic motor, and it delivers granular suggestions that makes utilizing the 13 Pro that rather more participating. What I notably like is the extent of customization for the vibration engine. Overall, there is not something lacking on the 13 Pro, and it’s on par with one of the best Android telephones.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Battery life(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a barely bigger 4820mAh battery, and it makes use of the model’s customized S1 Surge controller to make sure the telephone fees safely at 120W. There’s no battery nervousness by any means right here, and within the week I used the Xiaomi 13 Pro, I obtained to the top of the day with no less than 25% left over. That’s with heavy use that included 6.5 hours of screen-on-time unfold over the course of 18 hours, and as is the case with different 2023 flagships, the Xiaomi 13 Pro will simply final over a day with none points.Like different Xiaomi telephones that use 120W charging tech, you will want to enter the settings to allow Boost charging to unlock the complete potential of the charging tech. Xiaomi disables this characteristic out of the field because it may result in overheating, however the few occasions I charged with Boost mode enabled, the battery did not get noticeably sizzling.Even with the characteristic disabled, you’ll totally cost the battery in simply 28 minutes, an achievement in and of itself. Switching on Boost mode reduces that determine to only 24 minutes, so for those who’re after bragging rights, you could need to go this route.While the ridiculously-fast occasions from zero to 100% are nice, what you will like extra is the truth that it takes simply over ten minutes for the battery to go as much as 50% — that makes a sizeable distinction in day by day use. Thankfully, Xiaomi continues to bundle a 120W charger within the field, and it’s relatively cumbersome — it goes as much as 120W, in spite of everything.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Cameras(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Like final yr, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is rocking a trio of 50MP cameras on the again. However, there are appreciable upgrades below the hood, with the primary 50MP digicam now powered by Sony’s 1-inch f/1.9 IMX989 module with OIS. The 50MP telephoto lens can be new, providing 3x optical zoom with OIS.The tele lens additionally will get the flexibility to take photographs at a distance of simply 10cm, and as such Xiaomi makes use of this lens for taking macro images as an alternative of the wide-angle lens from final yr. The new modules together with Leica optics give the Xiaomi 13 Pro an enormous edge over its predecessor. The 50MP wide-angle lens is similar to final yr, with Xiaomi utilizing the identical f/2.2 module with a 115-degree subject of view.The digicam interface itself is unchanged, however you will discover purple accents in a nod to the Leica collaboration, just like what OnePlus does with Hasselblad. The Leica partnership provides an fascinating dimension to the 13 Pro as it’s the first Xiaomi telephone launching globally to make use of the German digicam model’s tuning.A giant a part of that collaboration is the inclusion of two kinds — Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. You’ll want to select one whereas launching the digicam for the primary time, however can change between the 2 from throughout the viewfinder. Leica Authentic produces true-to-life images, with Leica Vibrant delivering saturated photographs with vibrant colours that look nice — I went with the latter.Image 1 of 7(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Xiaomi 13 Pro makes use of four-to-one pixel binning to provide 12.5MP photographs, and as you’d think about for a telephone of this caliber, daylight photographs are unimaginable. You get wonderful dynamic vary and good shade vibrancy, and though the photographs are typically a bit oversaturated at occasions, they give the impression of being nice. The digicam does an amazing job with foliage, and it does not easy out finer particulars.The wide-angle lens does an amazing job in daylight conditions as properly, producing photographs with an identical shade steadiness as the first lens. But what stands out this yr is the telephoto lens; it takes stellar images at as much as 3.2x zoom, and it does an impressive job as a macro shooter. Sure, it will have been good to see 10x optical zoom, and whereas the lens goes as much as 70x through digital zoom, it does not maintain a candle to the S23 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro at 5x and 10x zoom, a lot much less 70x.There’s a lot to love in low-light photographs as properly, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro holds its personal in opposition to the likes of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro, and the Vivo X90 Pro. There’s wonderful element rendition in difficult conditions, and the digicam does a superb job managing highlights and minimizing noise ranges. The wide-angle and telephotos lenses additionally do a stellar job at evening, producing photographs with good dynamic vary and minimal noise.The telephone does a a lot better job with portrait photographs as properly, delivering good bokeh and segmentation. I simply use a Pixel 7 Pro for taking portrait photographs of inanimate objects as different units do not do nearly as good a job with segmentation, however the Xiaomi 13 Pro got here very shut. Overall, Xiaomi is onto a winner right here. The 13 Pro has one of the best general digicam bundle of any Xiaomi telephone I used up to now, and it goes toe-to-toe with one of the best that Samsung and Google have to supply.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Software(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Xiaomi 13 Pro runs MIUI 14 primarily based on Android 13 out of the field. Xiaomi did not introduce too many new options in MIUI 14, with a lot of the tweaks centered on under-the-hood optimization. As such, the interface itself is basically similar to MIUI 13, so for those who’re switching to the 13 Pro from an older Xiaomi system, you will really feel proper at house right here.Although the UI hasn’t modified, day by day interactions really feel way more fluid, and it lastly feels just like the software program is optimized to take full benefit of the {hardware}. There’s much less bloatware than earlier than, and whereas I obtained a couple of push notifications to check out the assorted Xiaomi providers bundled out of the field, it was simple sufficient to type that out.Xiaomi now makes use of an iOS-style Control Center as commonplace, so that you get the toggles on one facet and the notifications in a devoted pane. Thankfully, you may go into the settings and swap again to a unified notification pane. But with the model focusing its consideration on the Control Center structure, the unified pane seems a bit dated, and in contrast to different interfaces, you will not discover any Material You prospers right here.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)While One UI 5 and ColorOS 13 have embraced some elements of Google’s Material You aesthetic — just like the dynamic shade picker — Xiaomi has largely ignored the design language, and the result’s that MIUI 14 does not really feel as vibrant. One of my favourite issues to do on Android 13 is to change out the accent colours frequently, and that is not attainable right here.The crux of the problem is that whereas different manufacturers are making optimistic strides in altering the look of their interfaces to go well with a worldwide viewers — ColorOS has come a final approach within the final two years — MIUI nonetheless feels prefer it was constructed for a Chinese viewers, with a couple of extra extras for world markets. Xiaomi must make wholesale adjustments to the UI to convey it to parity with its Chinese rivals.Elsewhere, the app drawer is unchanged in two years and is similar to MIUI 12, and Xiaomi does not allow you to disable Google providers like Gmail. I exploit Newton Mail on all my units, so I are inclined to disable Gmail as I’ve no want of the service, however that is not possible right here, so I’ve to mute notifications as an alternative. (Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)You nonetheless get a vertically-scrolling overview menu, however you may swap to an ordinary card-style structure within the settings.I like the truth that Xiaomi made the interface extra fluid, however MIUI is in want of a redesign. On that observe, one other space the place Xiaomi is discovered missing is software program updates. The Xiaomi 13 Pro will get three assured Android updates together with 5 years of safety patches, and whereas that is good, it is less than scratch in 2023.Samsung, OnePlus, and OPPO now assure 4 Android OS updates, so for those who choose up the Xiaomi 13 Pro, you will get one much less platform replace. Xiaomi must match its rivals on this regard, and whereas it is at it, the model must do a greater job rolling out software program updates on time. My Xiaomi 12 Pro made the swap to Android 13 practically two months after the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Find X5 Pro, and I do not see that altering with the 13 Pro.Xiaomi 13 Pro: The competitors(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the yardstick for flagship telephones in 2023, with Samsung providing essentially the most feature-rich bundle on Android. The telephone has a chic AMOLED panel, the newest Qualcomm {hardware}, wonderful battery life, and superb cameras. It does not miss out on a lot, however it’s unwieldy to make use of on account of its measurement. It is significantly costlier than the Xiaomi 13 Pro in world markets, however the upside is that it’ll choose up extra software program updates.Vivo is doing lots of fascinating issues on this space, and the X90 Pro is an effective various to the Xiaomi 13 Pro. It does not have a QHD+ display screen, but it surely has highly effective {hardware} and takes fabulous images. An analogous set of software program points plague Vivo, and the system will not get updates on time.If you want one of the best worth on this class, the OnePlus 11 is a stable selection. The system has the newest Qualcomm silicon and an fascinating design, and whereas the cameras aren’t fairly nearly as good as what Xiaomi is providing, it’s significantly extra reasonably priced.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)You can purchase this if:You desire a flagship that takes excellent images and moviesYou want a tool that is simpler to carry and use than the S23 UltraYou’re on the lookout for all-day battery life and ultra-fast chargingYou want all of the extrasYou should not purchase this if:You need well timed software program updatesBarring a couple of outliers, I used all of the telephones Xiaomi launched within the final 9 years, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro is the model’s finest providing but. Sure, it is not as groundbreaking because the first-gen Mi MIX and will not promote anyplace as a lot because the Redmi Note 5, however it’s a pivotal system within the context of Xiaomi’s ambitions within the high-end phase.While an amazing majority of Xiaomi’s gross sales nonetheless come from the price range class, the model has more and more centered on the premium phase as a income driver, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro is a reliable various to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Vivo X90 Pro, and the Pixel 7 Pro. Xiaomi nailed the design temporary, and the telephone does not miss out on any desk stakes options. The {hardware} is on par with one of the best Android telephones, the display screen is a pleasure to make use of, and also you get ultra-fast wired and wi-fi charging tech.The cameras are among the many finest you will discover on any telephone at present, and whereas the software program does not really feel fairly as fashionable as its quick rivals, it does not have any main drawbacks. If Xiaomi performs its playing cards proper in key markets like India, it has the potential to lastly make first rate inroads within the flagship class.Xiaomi 13 Pro: Price Comparison (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)

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