With the typical two months of delay from the launch in China, Xiaomi has (finally) decided to formalize the Global version of its 13 and 13 Pro, which arrived in the West on the occasion of the Mobile World Congress 2023. Two actually very different products, which they find in Xiaomi 13 Pro the only true and worthy rival of the Samsung S23 Ultra (here the review). At least on paper.
With its 1-inch sensor, the body made of ceramic, the Snap 8 Gen. 2 flanked by 12 GB of RAM memory (arrives on the market only with this memory cut) and super fast charging at 120w, the new top of range of the brand has all the features to be the first in the class in the world of ultra-premium phones and, yes, it uses a "traditional" proximity sensor.
And like every first in class, this year too Xiaomi 13 Pro however, it comes at a price that is definitely not for all budgets, and it is from here that we need to start because the point is this: with brands like Apple and Samsung which, in addition to devices, offer qualitatively better after-sales services and more sudden updates, how many of you would like to spend 1399,00 euros (this is the sale price of Xiaomi 13 Pro) for a Xiaomi-branded smartphone? And above all, is it really worth it?
In short, it must be said that Xiaomi 13 Pro it is the best Xiaomi that I have ever had the opportunity to try in the last 10 years but, due to some compromises that it is forced to carry with it, it could hardly be considered as the best Android of 2023.
Xiaomi 13 Pro review: features, camera, battery and price in Italy
Design and materials
As soon as you grip Xiaomi 13 Pro you immediately realize the quality of the materials and the commitment that the brand has put into producing its new top of the range. The back cover of the device is made of ceramic and will only be available from us in black and white, while the camera bump is large to the point of being able to underline, even visually, how much Xiaomi has focused precisely on the photographic quality of this Xiaomi 13 Pro.
Although it is a large smartphone then, the large curvature of the edges makes it much more comfortable to hold than the S23 Ultra even if, and this must be said, both the materials and the shape of the device make it very, very slippery when you use it. grip. The trick here is to rely on the very protruding camera bump, which could help when holding the device, or immediately apply the cover that comes in the package.
It weighs a total of 210 grams, is 8.4 mm thick and is resistant to water and dust thanks to the IP68 certification. The IR blaster continues to be present at the top which allows it to transform into a universal infrared remote control, and the audio is stereophonic but uses the ear capsule.
In short, slipperiness aside, there is poco to criticize the Xiaomi 13 Pro from the point of view of design and ergonomics: it is undoubtedly the most "satisfying" Xiaomi to hold in recent times.
The screen is one of the main protagonists of this Xiaomi 13 Pro. And if in the 12 Pro the display was one of the best around, with the new generation the Chinese brand has managed to take further steps forward: the 6.7-inch screen of the Xiaomi 13 Pro not only does it continue to maintain the 2k resolution, the maximum refresh rate at 120 Hz, a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz that decreases compared to the previous generation and a PWM dimming of 1920 Hz, but this time it focuses everything on peak brightness which is practically record breaking.
And it is record-breaking because we are talking about a good 1900 peak nits, in fact, an exaggerated value which in our tests approached the average 1500 nits with the brightness set to maximum. In short, that of Xiaomi 13 Pro it's the brightest display you'll find around.
However, there is a small problem that I encountered with my sample and it is related to the camera / screen combination. Let me explain: when you go to take a picture with the camera of the Xiaomi 13 Pro and then you will go to review it, it will often happen to have a visual rendering of the image different from the "real" one, due to the white balance and saturation and an HDR that is a bit too extreme.
In a nutshell, when you see the photo on the device's display the quality may not seem that high, but when you look at it on a quality computer screen, the image is practically perfect. This means that you might find it difficult to take pictures manually, using the pro mode, because when you balance all the shooting factors manually using the device screen, you could get a "false" result.
Hardware and Performance
The technical sheet of Xiaomi 13 Pro it's top notch in all respects. The smartphone arrives with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen. 2 and in Italy it will only be available with 12 GB of LPDDR5x type RAM and 256 GB of UFS 4.0 internal memory. And it's useless to waste too much time on it: it's a splinter in all respects. You can play it without too many problems, you can edit 4K videos with CapCut in total fluidity, and also the MIUI 14 is a beauty, without micro-lag or problems of any kind.
And as tradition has it, Xiaomi 13 Pro it is among the smartphones that have also obtained the highest scores on the various benchmark applications, thanks to which, however, the usual, typical Xiaomi problem emerged in our tests: the temperatures. Furthermore, our tests revealed a deep difficulty with the Vulkan API.
Whether you are using a benchmark app, or you find yourself playing long sessions with rather complex 3D titles, the smartphone tends to heat up a little more than all the other models animated by the same Qualcomm SoC and this happens, as you will notice from the stress test graphs, although this year the Chinese brand has also thought of managing the SoC in a slightly more conservative way, cutting the operating frequencies of the cores with a relative average performance of the SoC that is stands at around 80%.
However, it is true that, also thanks to the ceramic body, the heat that will be felt when the device is "stressed" will only be that relating to dissipation. Not for nothing, in the 3D Mark stress test, with a stability deriving from the temperature / framerate relationship Xiaomi 13 Pro it placed almost at the top of the rankings.
But no, don't believe anyone who tells you that Xiaomi 13 Pro it never suffers from overheating during the most intense uses because it is among the smartphones animated by the Snap 8 Gen. 2 that actually overheats the most, and I'll tell you more. In the battery settings it is possible to set the SoC in 3 modes: the light one (which reduces performance), the standard one and the high performance one.
Well, if in the first two modes I didn't have any problems whatsoever in carrying out the stress tests (even if the temperatures rose to values close to the safety ones), with the "performance" mode the system overheated to such an extent that be forced to interrupt the heaviest processes.
In any case, the capsule audio is excellent as is the stereo audio, it integrates Bluetooth 5.3 and is one of the first smartphones to use a Qualcomm FastConnetcTM 7800 modem: it is a WiFi 7 modem which, using Band Simultaneous technology (HBS ) Multi-Link, allows multiple and simultaneous connections at 5GHz and 6GHz, improving performance and reducing connection latency.
As we have seen with the Xiaomi 12 Pro, too Xiaomi 13 Pro can boast on a triple 50 megapixel camera in which, some sensor, is similar to that of the previous generation but with some novelties.
The main camera uses a 1” sensor and has a lens with an optically stabilized f/1.9 aperture, then there is the ultra wide which with its 115° field of view is the equivalent of a 14mm, and finally there is a f/2.0 telephoto with a 3.2x magnification factor equivalent to a 70mm. All cameras have autofocus and no, there is no periscope camera (for that we should wait for the Xiaomi 13s Ultra, which will also arrive in Italy in a few months).
Needless to say, on paper, the trio of cameras from the Xiaomi 13 Pro is of the highest level and not only for the main 1 "sensor, but also for the 3.2x zoom which uses a group of lenses that the brand calls Liquid Lens: in essence, these are floating optics that move according to the distance of the framed subject, thus changing the focal length.
This is probably the most interesting goal of the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which allows for example a super close focus (10 cm) and generates shots with a very high quality, soft and pleasant bokeh effect.
However, it must be said that as in all Xiaomis, even in the Xiaomi 13 Pro the hardware is often "braked" by not exactly optimized software, especially in the early stages of the device's life: in essence, given that these are very high quality photos, the software that processes the shots is not always constant in results. It could happen, for example, that especially with shots with strong backlighting, you tend to push the contrast or sharpness a little too much, regardless of the Leica filter you choose to use in the shot.
It's about details, let's be clear, also why Xiaomi 13 Pro it is certainly the Xiaomi with the best camera ever used, but even if it is able to qualitatively surpass even the 12s Ultra (here the review), in reality it suffers a bit from the software ballast. But it is something we are now used to with the brand's devices.
The 32-megapixel front camera is of the wide type, but suffers from a huge limitation: it is capable of recording videos that only reach 1080p at 30 fps, and we are talking about an almost ridiculous resolution and framerate for a top-of-the-range smartphone. range sold for 1400 euros.
On the video front though Xiaomi 13 Pro has made many steps forward and not in image quality (which was already excellent in previous generations) but in the stabilization of the main camera and performance at night. The maximum resolution is 8k at 30 fps, the main camera also generates excellent 4K at 60 fps, but if you want to take advantage of all the optics you will need to record either at 1080p or at 4k at 30 fps.
But if with the two secondary lenses the absence of OIS is felt above all in horizontal pans, when recording videos with the main camera it is almost as if you were using a gimball: whether you are in strong lighting conditions, or on the street at night, the videos recorded with this camera are really great.
Xiaomi 13 Pro arrives with Android 13 customized by MIUI14, the new version of the brand's GUI which, however, in the Global version, is profoundly different from the one we saw in China. For example, it lacks many of the features that I would have liked to see right away, such as the incognito mode, the control center edit modes, the new haptic feedback handling or the ability to resize icons, and it only comes with a few new backgrounds and some new for widgets. Fortunately, there are very few bloatware and the presence of advertising has been practically eliminated.
Until the last update, which took place a couple of days before I started writing the review, there were some bugs with third-party apps which, however, seem to have been suddenly resolved by Xiaomi.
In any case, anyone who reads my reviews will know that I'm not a fan of MIUI and that I find it too invasive, but it must be said that the latest version of the brand's GUI is complete and very fluid in its execution. It must be said though, that Xiaomi 13 Pro it doesn't have a desktop mode, which could be a big penalty for those who (like me) have been using this feature a lot on the move lately.
And as well as all the other top of the range, too Xiaomi 13 Pro will be entitled to 5 years of security updates and 3 major Android updates.
Battery and recharge
The 4820mAh battery of the Xiaomi 13 Pro it is able to recharge at 120w and in about 20 minutes it can go from 0 to 100%. And this is one of the characteristics that we do not find in any of its direct competitors. Fast charging is now a game changer and when you combine it with about 5 hours of display on, you realize that the battery will certainly not be a problem with the new top of the Xiaomi range
It also supports fast wireless charging which, with its 50w, can fully charge the smartphone in poco more than 35 minutes.
Price and considerations
The price of Xiaomi 13 Pro in Italy is 1399,90 euros but, until 23.59 pm on March 12, it can be purchased in Early Bird with a discount of 100 euros, both on Amazon and through the brand's physical and online stores. And it is a very high figure, deeply influenced by the current trend which is driving prices to the stars, which however puts the smartphone in a somewhat complex position. For this figure, you can buy an iPhone 14 Pro Max, or a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra which, although it starts at a higher price with less RAM available, can now be found at even lower figures.
In short, Xiaomi 13 Pro it is the best Xiaomi ever and there is no doubt about this: the brand has been chasing its competitors for years, and either for the proximity sensor issue (now resolved), or for a "handbrake" software always found chasing. Now the vast majority of problems have been resolved, and when attractive discounts or price drops come, it will be an excellent alternative to Apple and Samsung. For now though, it still has some room for improvement.
NB If you do not see the box with code or the link to the purchase, we advise you to disable the AdBlock.