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    Xiaomi 13 Pro review : Superb hardware, so-so software

    After a moniker change and the reintroduction of a Pro variant last year, Xiaomi is back to business at the start of 2023. The firm launched two new flagships worldwide at MWC in late February: the 13 and 13 Pro. A more capable Ultra variant is on the way, but Xiaomi has verified that there will be no half-step ‘S’ upgrade later this year. in this Xiaomi 13 pro review we get all thing that you need.

    After trying the 13 Pro, it’s difficult to envision a non-gaming phone being more competent than this – possibly only the Galaxy S23 Ultra. With Qualcomm’s latest silicon, a primary camera with a massive 1in sensor, and some of the quickest charging available, the device is nearly unrivaled in terms of technology.

    However, familiar software issues persist, and they are the primary reason this isn’t an immediate endorsement.

    Design & build

    • Huge, ugly rear camera module
    • New ceramic back
    • Return of the IP68 rating

    Xiaomi has redesigned the 13 Pro’s design, but not in a positive manner. The majority of the phone maintains its sleek appearance, but the massive camera section stands out like a sore tongue.

    It represents Xiaomi’s new collaboration with camera firm Leica, as well as significant improvements to the rear sensors. However, it is unsightly and protrudes considerably from the rear of the phone.

    The impact can be mitigated by inserting a silicone cover into the box, but even so, there is a considerable wobble when used face up on a table. Because of the focus on phone photos, a flush camera section isn’t feasible, but Xiaomi could’ve done better.

    While the standard Xiaomi 13 has a large engine, it does not stand out nearly as much. At the very least, you can’t argue that it appears like every other phone.

    The enormous camera section stands out like a sore nose.

    Another significant difference is that the glass rear of the 12 Pro has been replaced with a ceramic one. It definitely feels premium, but it adds considerably to the overall weight. At 229g, it’s significantly bulkier than last year’s 12 Pro (205g) and one of the largest phones overall.

    Because the back design is extremely reflective, it rapidly collects visible fingerprint smudges. This can be reduced by using a cover, which also provides much-needed grip to a slippery device.

    The 13 Pro is well-built and feels solid, but the ceramic back means it will always be more prone to breaking than plastic. While the front is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, there is no such assurance for the rear.

    Xiaomi 13 Pro

    On the phone’s aluminum sides, Xiaomi keeps things basic, with only the power button and audio settings on the right, followed by a SIM tray (supports dual SIM), a single downward-firing speaker, and a USB-C connection on the bottom. It implies there’s no 3.5mm audio jack, which isn’t unexpected.

    Screen & speakers

    • Superb 6.73in OLED display
    • Dynamic 120Hz refresh rate
    • Underwhelming dual speakers

    The display on the Xiaomi 13 Pro has only been slightly modified from last year, and it is practically similar for most people.

    That’s not shocking given that it already had one of the finest displays on any phone. You still get a big 6.73in, 14403200 OLED screen with an increasingly popular 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is stunning, with superb clarity and vibrant colors that really shine.

    Xiaomi 13 Pro

    One significant enhancement is the addition of an IP68 rating, which was previously seen on the Mi 11, but was discontinued for last year’s phones. It implies that the phone is completely protected against dust and water immersion for up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.

    The color choices are restricted, with only black and white models available. But it doesn’t really matter if you’re planning to apply a case anyway.

    The vibration motor, which provides modest haptic input as you traverse the phone, is also worth noting. It simulates actual button pushes well and has a high quality feel to it.

    On the phone’s aluminum sides, Xiaomi keeps things basic, with only the power button and audio settings on the right, followed by a SIM tray (supports dual SIM), a single downward-firing speaker, and a USB-C connection on the bottom. It implies there’s no 3.5mm audio jack, which isn’t unexpected.

    Screen & speakers

    • Superb 6.73in OLED display
    • Dynamic 120Hz refresh rate
    • Underwhelming dual speakers

    The display on the Xiaomi 13 Pro has only been slightly modified from last year, and it is practically similar for most people.

    That’s not shocking given that it already had one of the finest displays on any phone. You still get a big 6.73in, 14403200 OLED screen with an increasingly popular 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is stunning, with superb clarity and vibrant colors that really shine.

    Xiaomi 13 Pro

    It works in conjunction with an adaptive refresh rate, which means that the monitor can be configured to instantly switch between 1 and 120Hz based on what you’re doing. This is a wonderful way to combine speed and energy life, providing you those slick higher refresh rates only when you need them.

    If you prefer, you can manually change it to 60Hz or 120Hz, but the dynamic refresh rate is a wonderful feature that you won’t find on many phones. After witnessing the 13 Pro’s smooth, fluid changes, you’ll never want to go back to a 60Hz monitor.

    The screen is stunning, with excellent clarity and vibrant colors that really stand out.

    Xiaomi claims that the screen has a high luminance of 1900 nits. That’s significantly more than most phones, and you’ll have no trouble using the 13 Pro on clear sunlit days. Actually, there were a few of these in the UK during the winter!

    An optical fingerprint reader is located within the monitor and is simple to set up and functions well most of the time. However, the target region is quite tiny, and any moisture will prevent it from unlocking.

    Surprisingly, Xiaomi has chosen to remove the 12 Pro’s quad speaker system, despite the fact that they were not especially impressive.

    Combining a single downward-firing grille with the earphone still results in a binaural arrangement, but the audio hasn’t improved significantly. It’s usually clear and can achieve a reasonable level without much distortion, but it lacks bass and depth.

    Specs & performance

    • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 12GB of RAM
    • Superb performance across the board
    • 256/512GB of non-expandable storage

    Xiaomi’s flagship phones are typically outfitted with Qualcomm’s most recent and best processors, and the 13 Pro is no exception.

    When compared to the 8 Gen 1 found in the Xiaomi 12 Pro, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 offers both speed and battery efficiency advantages. Whether you can tell them apart is another matter, but there’s no denying the outstanding performance here.

    With 12GB of RAM in either version, the 13 Pro easily handles almost any job you can think of. Web surfing, messaging, viewing videos, exploring social media, and taking pictures are all included, as is rapidly moving between applications and using them side by side.

    Throughout my trials, there was no stuttering or reluctance, which is something that cannot be said for most phones. It even stretches to mobile gameplay, where Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Asphalt 9 all run smoothly and quickly.

    The 13 Pro easily completes almost any job you can conceive of.

    Even in these stressful situations, the 13 Pro only becomes mildly warm to the contact. Overheating has been a problem in earlier Snapdragon-powered phones, but it isn’t a concern here. If you want to play games for several hours, that may alter, but there are specialized phones for that.

    The 13 Pro performs similarly to this year’s other flagships in testing, trailing only those with lesser resolution screens, which perform better in the graphics-heavy GFXBench.

     

    There are two capacity options available: 256GB or 512GB. There is no provision for additional storage.

    Because it is driven by the Qualcomm 8 Gen 2, the 13 Pro supports 5G, as well as Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E. Xiaomi also claims that a firmware upgrade will make it compatible with the upcoming Wi-Fi 7.

    Camera & video

    • Triple Leica 50Mp rear cameras
    • Excellent shots from all three
    • Impressive 30Mp selfie camera

    Xiaomi has collaborated with camera manufacturer Leica on the 13 series, which includes major modifications in both the regular and Pro versions.

    That may not be obvious from the specifications, as the hefty back section still houses three 50Mp lenses. However, the primary sensor is now the much larger 1in Sony IMX989 – the same as in the current camera champ Vivo X90 Pro and last year’s Xiaomi 12S Ultra – and the results are remarkable.

    The phone is best adapted for landscape photos, but architecture and street photographs also appear fantastic. However, the software-based portrait option is hit-or-miss in the absence of a dedicated depth camera. Although it is possible to achieve an appealing backdrop blur (which can be changed after the picture is taken), it frequently battles with border recognition.

    Xiaomi 13 Pro camera test
    Xiaomi 13 Pro camera test

     

    Most of the photos below appear washed out because they were captured on a winter day in the UK, and that’s how the landscapes appeared. However, both settings produce clear, well-exposed images with plenty of information and a wide dynamic range.

    The 50Mp telescopic lens has also been upgraded, offering 3.2x optical magnification rather than the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s 2x. It means you can get some detailed photos from a long distance away, but depending on digital magnification after that (up to 70x) results in a fast drop in quality.

    The 50Mp ultrawide has the same 115-degree field of vision as its forerunner. Keeping the megapixel count so high results in only a minor loss of clarity when compared to the primary camera, and its versatility is excellent in a variety of situations.

    As one might assume, there are numerous settings to choose from in the camera app. You can select between ‘Leica Vibrant’ and ‘Leica Genuine’ settings. For the most part, I stayed with the latter, which lacks the customary saturation of many smartphone photos but stays remarkably true to life.

    The selfie camera stays 32Mp, but it is still among the finest. The exposure, features, and colors are all spot on, and picture mode works well.

    Xiaomi 13 Pro

    The Xiaomi 13 Pro can capture video at up to 8K at 24fps, but most people will be satisfied with the preset 1080p at 30fps. The footage won’t compete with an iPhone, but OIS on the primary lens ensures it stays clear and stable – even when there’s a lot of movement.

    Battery & charging

    • 4800mAh battery
    • Solid all-day battery life
    • 120W wired charging, 50W wireless

    The Xiaomi 12 Pro’s battery life was a major flaw, but this is not the case with its replacement. Because of the bigger 4800mAh battery and better Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power efficiency, it can now easily last a full day – even when performing heavy activities like gaming or using GPS.

    This is evident in the PCMark battery test, which mimics real-world utilization at a relatively standard 200 nits of brightness. A duration of 11 hours and 56 minutes is more than four hours faster than its predecessor and higher than average among the high-end phones we’ve lately tried.

    With this increase, the 13 Pro becomes one of the few phones that provides excellent battery life and charging rates.

    The included 120W adapter charges the phone in less than 30 minutes and enables 50W wireless charging and 10W backward wireless charging. The latter is ideal for rapidly charging peripherals such as a watch or phone, but it is compatible with all Qi-enabled devices.

    Software & updates

    • MIUI 14 over Android 13
    • Frustrating, unintuitive software experience
    • Three years of Android version updates

    The 13 and 13 Pro are the first Xiaomi phones to ship with Android 13. However, both have Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 skin over the top, which remains the single largest reason not to purchase the 13 Pro.

    MIUI 14 essentially dilutes what makes Android great, then adds a garish color scheme and irritating applications that you can’t remove. It’s fully functional, but it’s a major step back from the software experience on many other phones.

    The main changes between this and standard Android are a divided notification shade and control center, colorful icons, and a redesigned Settings interface. All of these things detract from the user experience rather than enhance it.

    Then there are the pre-installed applications, which include some odd options. Xiaomi appears to believe that everyone desires to use TikTok, LinkedIn, and Solitaire, though these can be removed.

    The business has its own applications for communications, security, file management, online surfing, and many other things that you cannot uninstall. You can conceal these in the app folder and never use them, but they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    MIUI 14 dilutes what makes Android so great, then adds a garish color scheme and irritating applications that are impossible to remove.

    I’ve used a few Xiaomi phones in the past, so I know what to anticipate. However, if you have never used one before, there is a substantial learning curve.

    Xiaomi pledges to three years of security updates and four years of security patches in terms of software maintenance. That means Android 14, 15, and 16, as well as updates, will be available until 2027.

    This is in accordance with other Android makers, though it lags behind both Samsung and Apple.

    Price & availability

    The Xiaomi 13 Pro is not inexpensive, as anticipated.

    The 12+256GB variant will cost £1,099/€1,299 when it goes on sale on March 14th. You can purchase one from the Xiaomi website.

    The gadget will not be distributed in the United States, as is customary.

    Samsung’s Galaxy S23+, which begins at $999/£1,049/€1,219, is the clear alternative. However, our top smartphone chart contains a plethora of excellent options.

    Conclusion

    The Xiaomi 13 Pro improves on what made the Xiaomi 12 Pro so good. However, this does not imply that you should purchase one.

    The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 delivers excellent performance, with better power efficiency and a larger battery providing substantial battery life gains. The new Leica cameras are among the finest on any phone, with excellent outcomes across all four lenses.

    However, a massive new camera bump detracts from an otherwise elegant design, and the software experience remains a significant source of irritation.

    Those flaws are difficult to overlook at this premium price range. The Xiaomi 13 Pro is an excellent phone, but it is not the finest in its class.

    **Full Specs**

    • Android 13 w/ MIUI 14
    • 6.73in LTPO WQHD+ OLED 120Hz curved display, 20:9, 240Hz touch sampling, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
    • In-display fingerprint sensor
    • Gorilla Glass Victus
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    • 12GB RAM LPDDR5
    • 256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 non-expandable storage
    • Camera:
      • 50Mp, f/1.9 main camera with OIS
      • 50Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide camera
      • 50Mp, f/2.0 3.2x zoom telephoto camera
      • 32Mp, f/20 front-facing camera
    • Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos
    • Dual-SIM
    • 5G
    • WiFi 6E
    • Bluetooth 5.3
    • IP68
    • USB-C
    • 4820mAh battery
    • 120W wired charging
    • 50W wireless charging
    • 10W reverse wireless charging
    • 162.9 x 74.6 x 8.4 mm
    • 229g
    • Launch colors: Black, White

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