Xiaomi 13 Pro Review: All About the Experience
The Xiaomi 13 Pro has been officially launched in India. The successor to the Xiaomi 12 Pro (Review) has many firsts up its sleeve such as having the latest Android 13-based MIUI 14 software, and it’s the only phone in India with a 1-inch camera sensor. Moreover, Xiaomi has worked with Leica to tune the camera system of its premium flagship. The Xiaomi 13 Pro also packs some powerful hardware, including the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC.
While the phone certainly has what it takes (on paper) to be called an ‘ultimate’ flagship, it might not necessarily be the outright choice for everyone. This is because the Indian smartphone market is filled with a plethora of flagship options right now. The Xiaomi 13 Pro battles against established players such as the iPhone 14 (Review), Samsung Galaxy S23 series, the less-expensive OnePlus 11 (Review) and iQoo 11 (Review).
With so many options to choose from, should you consider buying the Xiaomi 13 Pro? Here is our full review to help you decide.
Xiaomi 13 Pro price in India
The Xiaomi 13 Pro has been launched in India in a single storage configuration. The phone packs 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage, which is priced at Rs. 79,999.
Xiaomi 13 Pro design and display
The Xiaomi 13 Pro differentiates itself from other flagships with a ceramic back panel. The phone has been launched in India in two colour options. Xiaomi sent us the Ceramic Black variant which has a glossy finish. While the phone does look quite rich and premium, it does tend to attract fingerprints and smudges.
I initially did not like the colour and was leaning more towards the Ceramic White option, which does a far better job at hiding smudges. However, after spending about two weeks with the phone, the black variant has grown on me.
Xiaomi has bundled a case inside the retail box. The metal frame of the 13 Pro is curved on the sides, just like the rear panel. However, the top and bottom edges are flat, which helps the phone stand on its own, literally. The 13 Pro is on the heavier side at 229g.
On the front, there is a 6.73-inch WQHD+ (2K) AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ certifications, and media playback in general looks good with deep blacks, vivid colours and crisp details. The curved-edge screen and excellent speakers also add to the immersive viewing experience.
While I do like the way curved-edge displays look, the curvature on the Xiaomi 13 Pro is a bit too much which can be prone to accidental touches. I experienced this while trying to take photos and at times, it wouldn’t register my taps on the shutter button since a part of my palm or finger was touching the edge of the display. One way around this is to use the TPU case, which prevents this kind of accidental touch.
The display is also plenty bright at up to 1,900 nits of peak brightness, making the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s display the brightest on any current Android smartphone. Previously, the display brightness crown on Android went to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Review), which has a peak brightness of 1,750 nits, however the iPhone 14 Pro (Review) and iPhone 14 Pro Max currently have the brightest displays on any smartphone (up to 2,000 nits).
To be clear, the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s display does not hit its peak brightness all the time. It is only when you are watching HDR content or using it direct sunlight, the display reaches this level. When indoors, I preferred using the phone at about 40 percent brightness level.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro’s display also survived multiple accidental drops, due to the slippery nature of the ceramic back panel. Thankfully, the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus covering did its job. Complementing the display experience is the dual speaker setup, which offers clear and rich sound even at a high volume levels.
One thing the Xiaomi 13 Pro does not get is an official IP rating. The company claims that the Indian model has the same level of protection against dust and water as the global unit, which does come with an IP68 rating.
Xiaomi 13 Pro specifications and software
The Xiaomi 13 Pro uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. The 4nm SoC features an Adreno 740 GPU. The phone also packs a 4,820mAh battery with support for 120W wired fast charging and the charger comes in the box. The 13 Pro also supports 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging.
In terms of software, the Xiaomi 13 Pro runs Android 13-based MIUI 14 out of the box, which Xiaomi claims is more optimised than ever. In my experience, the software experience was fluid on the Xiaomi 13 Pro. There are also a bunch of additional features such as optical character recognition, the ability to remove unwanted objects from images in the Gallery app, new wallpapers and widgets, etc.
A bunch of popular apps such as Facebook, Amazon Prime Video, LinkedIn and Spotify come preinstalled. You also get many Xiaomi apps upon setting up the phone. Fortunately, you can uninstall almost all the extra apps, except for the system apps. Other than the Themes Store throwing a couple of notifications daily, there wasn’t much spam from any of the other system apps.
Regarding updates, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is slated to get three major Android updates and five years of security patches. It is not the industry best as the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, etc., have promised to offer four major Android updates. Also, Xiaomi doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to delivering timely updates as many of its recent phones are yet to get the latest Android update. This makes we wonder if the Xiaomi 13 Pro will suffer the same way in the future when it’s due for the next version of Android.
Xiaomi 13 Pro performance and battery life
The Xiaomi 13 Pro can handle any task you throw at it thanks to the powerful SoC. There was no lag or stutter across the user interface in my experience. Gaming performance was also quite good. I played Call of Duty: Mobile with ‘Ultra’ framerate and ‘Medium’ graphics settings. After about 45 minutes of gameplay, the device did get a bit warm that but nothing alarming.
In Geekbench 6, the Xiaomi 13 Pro scored 1,386 and 4,529 points in the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. The device also scored impressively in AnTuTu and managed to get 1,246,431 points. The 13 Pro defeated the OnePlus 11 5G in the same tests.
In terms of battery life, the Xiaomi 13 Pro can last a full day with medium usage. On days when I only used the phone to scroll through social media, watch YouTube videos and check messages, I managed to get a screen-on time of about 6 hours, 30 minutes. However, with a lot of camera use, gaming, etc., the 13 Pro gave me around five hours of screen-on time. The phone lasted for 16 hours, 36 minutes in our HD video loop test.
The 120W fast charger, with Boost Mode enabled, can charge the phone from empty to full in 25-30 minutes. Xiaomi claims that the battery can be fully charged in just 19 minutes, but this requires a few prerequisites such as switching to Airplane mode, ensuring no apps are running in the background, etc.
Xiaomi 13 Pro cameras
The highlight feature of the Xiaomi 13 Pro is its camera system. The phone continues to feature three 50-megapixel sensors on the back for wide, ultra-wide and telephoto shots. There is a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies.
The camera performance is real life is as impressive as the spec sheet. The main camera features a Sony IMX989 1-inch sensor. It captures good details in both day and night. The primary camera’s dynamic range performance is also quite impressive. I also liked the fact that the phone does not have any shutter lag, and because the sensor is large in size, it captures more light in the same amount of time it takes when shooting in daytime. All of this combined results in well-exposed, detailed shots in low light.
Xiaomi 13 Pro primary camera samples (tap to see full size)
The ultra-wide camera, which has a 115-degree field of view, has excellent dynamic range and captures good details. Moreover, the colour temperature is on par with the main camera. The edges are slightly distorted, but this is a side-effect with almost all ultra-wide cameras.
Xiaomi 13 Pro ultra-wide camera samples (tap to see full size)
Making the camera setup versatile is the 3.2X telephoto camera sensor, which has a 75mm focal length. Zoom shots look crisp and offer vivid colours. The telephoto camera has a six piece lens setup, which is paired in two groups of three. The rear group of lenses closest to the sensor can move forward or backward depending on how close the subject is to the phone, and this happens in real-time. When the focusing distance is reduced to 10cm, you can capture macro shots using the telephoto lens. There is also a Super Macro mode which uses the telephoto camera, and you can also capture macro shots with the ultra-wide camera.
Xiaomi 13 Pro telephoto camera sample (3.2X): Tap to see full size
Xiaomi has also added special camera features, courtesy of its collaboration with Leica. For starters, you get two photography styles called Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. The former has a more neutral and closer to real life look, whereas the latter is more suitable for social media-ready posts. I also noticed that photos shot in Leica Vibrant mode offered better dynamic range.
In addition to this, there are four different portrait modes in the Xiaomi 13 Pro. Users can capture portraits in 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths. The 35mm focal length captures black and white images, whereas the 50mm and 75mm shoot in colour and add a vignette around the edges. The 90mm portrait mode is called Soft Focus and adds a very dreamy effect. I found myself using the 90mm mode the least, as the 35mm and 75mm portrait modes were my favourite.
While edge detection is perfect in most cases, the camera algorithm tends to blur out the wrong parts of the subject at times. Alternatively, there was an instance where the algorithm, in the 75mm portrait mode, detected human faces in the background and did not blur them out. These bloopers were not frequent but I hope Xiaomi takes note and fixes them soon.
The front camera is the best that I have used on a Xiaomi phone. It gets the details and skin tone right in most cases. Edge detection using the front camera too is on point in Portrait mode. There are many filters — some Leica others Xiaomi — for users who play and experiment around with tones.
Adding a bit of the Leica touch is the shutter sound reminiscent to Leica cameras from the past. There are also various frames which show the EXIF data of the photo with a Leica watermark. In terms of video, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is quite good. All three cameras can shoot up to 4K 60fps videos. The primary camera gets additional support for 8K 24fps. I preferred capturing videos in 4K 30/60fps for a balance between dynamic range performance, colours, details and stabilisation.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is quite a Leica-ble phone (pun intended). While it features top-of-the-line hardware, it is the little details that help enhance the overall user experience. Be it the shutter sound, number of useful camera filters, or the bunch of software features in the Gallery app. The camera system is also quite versatile and offers a variety of focal lengths to capture moments with unique perspectives for the shutter bug in you.
Xiaomi’s flagship phone is also well tuned. With refinements to MIUI, coupled with a powerful performance unit, the Xiaomi 13 Pro offers a great combination of hardware and software. It also provides good battery life and the 120W fast charging adds to the experience. While there is no official IP68 rating in India, the phone is claimed to offer the same level of water and dust protection as its global counterpart.
I still wish that the software support, in terms of Android updates, was a year more just like Samsung’s and OnePlus’ flagships. The OnePlus 11 5G is more affordable compared to the Xiaomi 13 Pro and has its own Hasselblad touch for the cameras, while matching the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s performance unit. However, with the number of useful camera features, I find the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s setup a bit more fun to use. You also get wireless charging, reverse wireless charging and a ceramic back panel. The closest rival to the Xiaomi 13 Pro would be the upcoming Vivo X90 Pro. It packs the same 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor and comes with Zeiss’ tuning for the cameras.
For now, if you are someone who wants a reliable camera system in a flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi 13 Pro can certainly be considered.