The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a killer phone, offering excellent performance, a great camera, a beautiful display, and more. In my review of the phone, I noted that while the device isn’t perfect, it’s enough to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra — which is no small feat. But the phone is also accompanied by another lower-end device called the Xiaomi 13.
The Xiaomi 13 is aimed at offering a a premium experience at a slightly lower price than the Xiaomi 13 Pro. To that end, there are a few compromises to make — but while some power users might miss some of those features, I think the Xiaomi 13 is arguably even more compelling than its more expensive sibling, given the price reduction.
So how well does the Xiaomi 13 compete? I’ve been using the device to find out.
- Great design
- Excellent performance
- Good display
- Camera isn’t as great as 13 Pro
Xiaomi 13 design
The first thing to notice about the Xiaomi 13 is its design, and it’s a nice-looking phone — although the overall design is pretty different from the Xiaomi 13 Pro. The device has squared-off edges instead of rounded ones, but I generally like the look of it.
The back has a big square camera hump with Leica branding, while the front has a hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera. The power button and volume rocker are on the left side, with the USB-C port on the bottom for charging.
It’s a bit strange that it has a different design language from the 13 Pro, but it’s also a bit of an indication that the 13 is the lesser device — which makes sense, given the lower price.
The build quality is actually quite good, with the phone feeling solid and like it’s made from premium materials. It’s not too light or too heavy, either. The metal sides, glass front and back all come together to make a phone that looks and feels quite nice.
Xiaomi 13 display
The display is one of the compromises between the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, but it still looks great. It’s a 6.36-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1900-nit peak brightness.
The major difference between this panel and the one on the 13 Pro is the resolution — the Xiaomi 13 has a 1080p panel instead of the 1440p panel on the 13 Pro. I don’t mind the lower resolution at all — the display still looks excellent in use. And considering the smaller display size, it doesn’t really impact viewing quality much, either. Given a choice, I prefer a higher refresh rate and a 1080p resolution over a higher resolution and lower refresh rate.
Xiaomi 13 battery and charging
Powering the device is a 4,500mAh battery, which is a good battery size. I found that the phone was easily able to get through a full day of heavy use and part way into the next day.
Charging is great too. The Xiaomi 13 supports some really impressive charging capabilities. There’s 67W wired charging, a very impressive 50W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging. That means you can use the phone to charge your earbuds and smartwatches wirelessly — which is really useful if you’re on the go.
Overall, most will be happy with the overall battery life of the Xiaomi 13.
Xiaomi 13 performance
There are some areas of compromise between the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, but performance is not one of them. The Xiaomi 13 still has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, making it one of the best-performing phones on the market.
In use, the phone was easily able to handle any task I threw at it, and most will have a similar experience. In mobile gaming, the phone loaded quickly and offered high frame rates. And in multitasking, the device switched between apps seamlessly and never skipped or jumped.
Xiaomi 13 camera
The next thing to consider is the camera, and it’s also excellent. The Xiaomi 13 offers a triple camera array, with a 50-megapixel main camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3.2x optical zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultra wide camera. It’s a great selection of cameras that make for a very capable, versatile experience.
It’s not quite as high-tech as the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which has a triple 50-megapixel camera array, but the images are still very high-quality. In good lighting, the Xiaomi 13 produces bright, vibrant shots with plenty of detail. The low-light camera performance, unfortunately, isn’t quite as good. It’s not terrible, but the Xiaomi 13 Pro was able to capture better photos in low light.
For the most part, though, users will be perfectly happy with the camera performance of the Xiaomi 13.
Xiaomi 13 software
I’m generally fine with Xiaomi’s software. The Xiaomi 13 is running MiUI 14, which is based on Android 11. It’s not perfect, though — I find that Xiaomi often doesn’t go quite as far with software tweaks as, say, Samsung.
Some of the tweaks it does make are a little weird, and it can feel cluttered at times. Some tweaks, like the quick settings shade, are clearly there to mimic iOS, and I don’t mind that. Generally, you’ll get used to the overall look and feel of Xiaomi’s software.
The Xiaomi 13 is an excellent device that offers a lot of features for the price. It doesn’t quite match the performance and features of the 13 Pro, but it’s still an impressive phone. The battery life is excellent, the display is great, the performance is top-notch, and the camera performs well. The phone also comes with some excellent charging capabilities, and the design is nice, if a little different from the 13 Pro.
The camera is the main area of compromise, but it still generally produces good-looking photos in most situations.
There is a ton of competition in this price range. The device competes directly with the likes of the iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Google Pixel 7 Pro. Generally, I think most should go for the Samsung Galaxy S23, but if you prefer Xiaomi’s software or the overall design of this phone, you’ll love the Xiaomi 13.
Should I buy the Xiaomi 13?
Yes. It’s a great phone for its price range.