Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

We’re partial to the Leica camera system. Some of the best images I’ve shot on any mobile shooter over the last few years have been snapped with a Leica engineered lens. When Leica and Xiaomi announced a strategic partnership to develop a camera system, it certainly grabbed our attention. Both partners would like us to believe that this is a ‘ground up’ partnership where Leica has an active role in the development of a rear camera system. That’s one reason we’re excited about Xiaomi’s 2023 flagship that made its global debut at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona last week and has also kept its date with India. Does the Xiaomi 13 Pro only tick the camera box or is this an all-round device that can take the fight to Android flagship devices from the likes of Samsung and Google. The short answer is yes.



Ceramic appeal


Flagship smartphones are about the first impression. In this case, the Xiaomi scores with its gorgeous ceramic finish. It’s available in a ceramic white and a ceramic black that we checked out. The phone feels lighter than its 229 gm heft and feels really good in your hand. We also dig the clean lines and placement of the rear camera but it’s a fingerprint magnet. Xiaomi bundles a case in the box but I’d rather deal with the occasional smudge that box this device in a case. It’s not just the premium build, Xiaomi has packed this with an immersive display that holds its own against some of the most vibrant flagship displays. This one’s a 6.73-inch AMOLED display that peaks at 1900 nits; it is one of the brightest displays out there. The 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ advantage add to its binge appeal.



Hardware powerhouse


If you like big, old school retail boxes, then the Xiaomi 13 Pro will win your approval. It’s more about what’s in the box. Aside from the case, Xiaomi packs an ultra-quick 120W charger that powers the device from 0 to 100% in less than 30 minutes. It’s not just the charging that’s quick. The 13 Pro is propelled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Processor, that is at the heart of most of the 2023 flagships. There’s one hardware variant – 12GB/256GB. The device blazed through our Geekbench (multi-core) benchmark tests with an impressive score of 5073.



The Leica cam


The Xiaomi 13 Pro scores on its flagship appeal but ultimately this phone is pitched as a formidable mobile shooter (leveraging Leica’s strengths especially with images more than videos). The rear cam combines three 50MP lenses. The primary lens contains a large 1-inch lens that almost pushes it into DSLR territory. There’s also a 50MP telephoto camera with a 75mm floating lens and a ultra-wide lens with a 115-degree field of view. There’s also a 32MP selfie shooter in the mix. We spent more than a week testing this camera in multiple lighting scenarios and the results were mighty impressive. Portrait images are brilliant, the device also scores with lowlight photography. You also get a bunch of Leica filters that you can play with. We also enjoyed shooting on the dedicated Black and White mode that opens up a whole new camera experience. We tended to focus more on the image tests than videos but the device also scored with its video performance. This is easily one of the best rear camera systems on any smartphone right now and great for street photography.



The Xiaomi 13 Pro is an impressive device from the Xiaomi. It looks every inch premium and has all the firepower you need. But most of all, this is a mobile shooter that will please serious camera buffs. We also think that Xiaomi has got it’s India pricing right, the challenge will be to push its brand loyalists to pay the premium.


The Xiaomi 13 Pro comes in Ceramic White and Black (12GB/256GB) and costs Rs 79,999. There’s a Rs 10,000 instant cashback on ICICI cards

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