The Xiaomi 13 series starts off as a real Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 darling

When it comes to cameras, Leica is all about focal lengths

Xiaomi has become a perennial favorite in the Qualcomm stakes, announcing flagship phones with the latest flagship Snapdragon SoC and flagship cameras notoriously adorned with touches from legacy imaging company Leica. But with the brand new Xiaomi 13 series, the manufacturer seems to be narrowing its focus to two devices and boosting prestige by placing them in a higher price range.

Alongside the usual glass and metal, buyers are treated to a so-called “SKIN” finish, which sees micro-ceramic blending into the soft feel while ensuring the back of the device doesn’t peel or discolor over time. It has an IP68 rating, but that’s not a good substitute for long-term use when evaluating those claims.

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In terms of mechanics, the Xiaomi 13 and the Xiaomi 13 Pro stick to the script. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset takes center stage here, with LPDDR5X RAM and UFS4.0 storage on offer. Both phones get the same configurations: 8/128, 8/256, 12/256, and 12/512. The 13 has the smaller footprint of the pair with a 6.36-inch 1080p OLED display that runs at up to 120Hz. The 13 Pro moves over 6.73 inches at 1440p.

After playing with Samsung sensors in the 12 series, Xiaomi returns to Sony for the 13 series: the 1/1.49 inch IMX800 sensor that we saw on the Honor 70 leads the Xiaomi 13 with a maximum Output 50MP still images and 8K24 videos while; the massive 1″ IMX989 as seen on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra this summer is beefed up and carried over to the Xiaomi 13 Pro with better low-light performance, achieving similar results with a 72% increase in sensor sensitivity. The Pro is also blessed with a 50MP sensor for the telephoto (~75mm equivalent) and ultrawide (~14mm) units.The Xiaomi 13 gets a 10MP telephoto and a 12MP ultrawide, with the main sensors boasting enhanced HyperOIS , while the telephoto lenses have standard OIS, and both have a 32MP selfie camera.

Marketing around optics this cycle focuses on capturing images at specific focal lengths, specifically promoting Leica’s Professional Master Lens filter packs for successfully simulating classic looks at 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm.

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With one cable, Xiaomi Surge charging can fill the Xiaomi 13’s 4,500mAh battery at rates up to 67W, while the Xiaomi 13 Pro’s 4,820mAh battery can fill up to 120W. The phones also support the company’s 50W wireless charging standard, as well as 10W Qi.

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Regardless of how you charge them, they last the longest of any Xiaomi premium device to date with larger vapor and copper cooling systems and efficient use of energy. MIUI 14 (believed to be based on Android 13) is said to play a big role as the firmware gets smaller and focuses on reducing app processes.

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The Xiaomi 13 starts at 3,999 yen (~$575), while the Xiaomi 13 Pro ranges from 4,999 yen (~$720) to 6,299 yen (~$905). They will be available in black and white, as well as pastel shades of Wilderness Green and Mountain Blue. Xiaomi 13 limited edition devices in 12/512 configuration will feature bolder colors like Flaming Red, Sapphire Blue, Hurricane Yellow, Jungle Green and Cement Ash. Sales begin in Mainland China on Wednesday, December 14th.

The company is also on the way with a new Xiaomi Watch S2, Xiaomi Buds 4, a Xiaomi Sound Pro room speaker, a Xiaomi Router 10000 for Wi-Fi, and a new attempt at a NUC-like with the Xiaomi Mini PC powered by Intel’s 12th gen Core i5 processor.

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