Since 2010, Xiaomi has been consistently putting out smartphones capable of keeping up with massive brands like Samsung, Apple, and the other big moves in the market. Now, there’s a brand new flagship device from the Chinese brand, the Xiaomi 13T Pro, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on one just before the big reveal in Berlin.
For a little context, the Xiaomi 13 has been around for just over a year now, with the 13T and 13T Pro serving as something of an upgrade on these devices. There are enough meaningful changes to make this release quite different, though, including a continued emphasis on cameras thanks to a collaboration with camera manufacturer Leica, and the substitution of the Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for the MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ CPU.
This new technology makes the 13T Pro a contender for one of the most powerful and feature-heavy smartphones right out of the gate, capable of competing with industry giants like the new iPhone 15 and the Samsung S23 Ultra. That isn’t to mention the sleek design, crystal clear AMOLED display, and up to 12GB of RAM that makes this device quite the overall package. So, read on to see if we think this is one of the best Xiaomi phones out there.
- Fantastic back cameras
- Great price for a flagship
- High gaming performance
- Solid build
Price and availability
The Xiaomi 13T Pro is available from multiple retailers, with a choice between Alpine Blue, Meadow Green, and Black color options. You can see the different sizes and estimated retail prices below.
|Battery||5000mAh (typ) battery with Xiaomi 120W HyperCharge|
|Display||6.67-inch 144Hz CrystalRes AMOLED (2712 x 1220)|
|CPU||MediaTek Dimensity 9200+|
|Back cameras||50MP Leica main, 50MP Leica telephoto, and 12MP Leica ultra-wide|
|Weight||206g (Alpine Blue is 200g)|
|Dimensions||162.2mm x 75.7mm x 8.49mm|
|Colors||Alpine Blue, Meadow Green, and Black|
The big selling point of the Xiaomi 13T Pro is the cameras, but it’s not a one-trick pony by any stretch of the imagination. With a MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ CPU, this device offers powerful performance for all your gaming needs, backed up by a battery life that makes hours of play possible without having to grab your charger cable. It’s what I like to call an ‘all-rounder’, capable of everything you need for both work and play.
The basics are all there; water and dust-proof technology, a glorious CrystalRes AMOLED display so you can work on the go no matter the environment, and all the customization features to cater the device to your individual needs. For instance, I struggle with a bright screen, and between the automatic adaptive brightness option and some adaptive brightness features for reading, I never once felt any eye strain during all my time testing the device.
I’m not going to get too heavy with the details on the cameras here, that’s what the next section is for, but they really are something. This is one of the few smartphones I’ve had the pleasure of using that I feel could really offer an alternative to amateur and semi-professional photographers sick of lugging around cases of lenses just to get a nice shot. That isn’t even to mention to plethora of editing tools, for both still images and video,
As we’re a gaming site, we of course have to touch on the gaming performance of the 13T Pro. Simply put, it’s fantastic. The AMOLED screen, in-built cooling plate, and MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ combine to make one of the better smartphones currently on the market for those who enjoy countless hours of mobile gaming. Adding Dolby Vision HDR10+ visuals and Dolby Atmos sound to that already impressive list of features, what you essentially have is a portable entertainment center, capable of streaming both games and video content at a staggeringly high quality.
The camera is a big part of what makes the Xiaomi 13T Pro so impressive. The manufacturer has teamed up with Leica, one of the most well-renowned camera manufacturers in the world, to offer a three-camera setup that covers all bases, from detailed portrait shots to stunning panoramics. As you can see in the picture of my lovely pup below, it’s great for your everyday shots, too.
When you first load up the camera to start taking pictures, a prompt asks whether you want to opt for the ‘Leica Vibrant’ or ‘Leica Natural’ option. There’s a discernible difference between the two, with the ‘Natural’ option doing just what you would expect, offering the most realistic snaps, while the ‘Vibrant’ counterpart also does what it says on the tin, making the pictures you take using the feature that little bit more vivid. If you want to swap the modes, you can make the change seamlessly in the top-left corner while taking your snaps.
To get a little more technical, the 13T Pro boasts a 50MP wide-angle camera, a 50MP telephoto camera, and a 15mm ultra-wide camera, all with Leica technology. There’s also the ‘Master-lens’ system, which offers a choice between different styles inspired by Leica lenses, including the more naturalistic ‘documentary’ style, as well as the ‘soft focus’ option which makes for some beautiful portrait shots.
The 20MP front-facing camera doesn’t feature the option between the two modes and isn’t quite as high quality as some we’ve seen in other devices. However, it’s still potent enough for a few selfies and includes all the photo editing options you get with the more powerful back cameras.
When it comes to design, the Xiaomi 13T Pro is everything you want and expect in a modern smartphone. It’s just the right size and weight to feel comfortable in one hand, the camera lip is far enough up the back panel to never get in the way, and a simple button set-up on the right side of the device makes it easy to adjust the volume and lock the phone. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it doesn’t need to when it gets all the essentials just right.
If you wanted to be pedantic, you could complain over the lack of an audio input jack, though that is becoming more and more the norm in the market. The overall design also lacks a little imagination in my opinion, but what’s inside generally makes up for that. Still, in every other department, it feels like a quality build, and there’s no component that feels out of place or obtrusive.
With its CrystalRes AMOLED display, the 13T Pro offers consistently crisp visuals whether you’re streaming films or hanging out in Honkai Star Rail. Better still, the clearness of the display works in tandem with the fantastic cameras, so you can see the most intricate details in your photos before deciding which is most worthy of sharing on social media.
Comparing the display of the 13T Pro to something like the iPhone 14, you can really notice a depth in the colors on the screen, from brighter tones to greys and blacks. There’s also an adaptive reading mode, so if you’re prone to researching random topics past bedtime like I am, you can fend off any pesky headaches by turning that on. This is another element that shows off just how much control you have with the 13T Pro, with a choice between a ‘classic’ reading mode, or a ‘paper’ reading mode, which adds a paper-like texture to backgrounds further reducing strain on the eyes.
The substantial 5000mAh battery on the Xiaomi 13T Pro means you almost never have to worry about running out of charge on your device, provided you charge it up at least once every couple of days. This might be the first phone I’ve ever reviewed where I’ve not even seen the charge fall below 20%, despite accidentally leaving it on standby for a few days. If you need to use it, it’s there and ready to go.
Charging is also lightning-fast. While it took me a while to test it out properly, due to the thing just not wanting to lose any charge, I timed a full charge with the proper equipment and plugged into a mains power source at just under twenty minutes. Even in 2023, those speeds are pretty impressive, competing with much more expensive devices from other manufacturers that pride themselves almost purely on fast-charging capabilities. For the 13T Pro, this is just another arrow in a rather impressive quiver.
With the MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ CPU, there’s not a single game in the mobile market that can even slightly phase the 13T Pro, handling everything you throw at it, well, like a pro. From the high-speed chaos of Asphalt 9 to the never-ending intense animations in Honkai Star Rail, Xiaomi might not be marketing this as a specialist gaming phone, but it could well do so if the desire was there.
The state-of-the-art CPU teams up with the CrystalRes AMOLED to make everything that you see on-screen look and perform fantastically. After spending so long using the 13T Pro, returning to my iPhone made gameplay feel a little dull, especially in the color department, with Honkai’s animations not feeling anywhere near as impactful. Considering the price point, you really are getting the latest and greatest performance technology, with no sacrifices made to the overall product to allow for such solidity.
Another highlight of the overall performance is the inclusion of the improved 5000mm(2) VC stainless steel soaking plate, which acts as a coolant device to dissipate any potential heat coming out from the phone. Just like the visual quality, nothing that phases the 13T Pro. It never feels hot in your hands, even hours into a heavy gaming session with the device on charge.
Should you buy the Xiaomi 13T Pro?
All-in-all, the Xiaomi 13T Pro offers a top-end Android smartphone for a lower price than many of its competitors, with a much better camera than most. It’s not an innovation, but in place of trying to push the boundaries, it does everything a great smartphone should. The camera is fantastic, it fully charges in just over fifteen minutes, and the display is as vibrant as I’ve seen in a smartphone in my time reviewing them.
The only possible caveat I have with the 13T Pro is that it might struggle to stand out from a crowd if you’re not particularly concerned about the strength of the camera. Still, with competitive pricing and more under the hood than you might anticipate, it’s hard to find any issues at all with Xiaomi’s latest flagship, and it serves as a reminder that it’s always worth looking further than Samsung and Apple when it comes to picking up a new smartphone, especially when this brand offers
If, after all this, you decide the Xiaomi 13T Pro isn’t for you, we’ve got some suggestions for alternatives below. up to four generations of Android updates and five years of security patches.
iPhone 15 Pro
If you’re not a fan of the Android OS, the obvious alternative is the iPhone 15 Pro, though I’d be willing to say that given the choice between having to buy one or the other, I’d probably opt for the Xiaomi. While both products are brand new, the 13T Pro is quite a bit cheaper.
Samsung S23 Ultra
Another alternative might be the Samsung S23 Ultra, Samsung’s own flagship device. The choice between the two again comes down the personal preference, with no option of a stylus on the Xiaomi handset. However, the 13T Pro is a good bit more affordable than the premier Samsung, so it’s down to how much you’re willing to spend on a smartphone you can be sure is still going to be relevant a couple of years down the line.
Xiaomi’s latest flagship device is a worthy contender in the busy smartphone market, offering stellar cameras, fast charging, and almost never-ending battery life, plus all the features you anticipate from a device in 2023. It’s not an innovator outside of its cameras, but it is a seriously powerful handset that serves as a great alternative to some of the more expensive well-known models from other brands.