The Xiaomi 13 Pro Full Review: What should a flagship be?

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The Xiaomi 13 Pro Full Review: What should a flagship be?
The Xiaomi 13 Pro Full Review: What should a flagship be?

XIAOMI 13 Pro

The Xiaomi 13 series is likely to become another memorable model in the Xiaomi digital series. Especially for the Xiaomi 13 Pro, it’s not like previous Pro models and it looks embarrassing between the standard and Ultra models. Even though the new Pro looks ordinary and not so ‘Leica-like’ compared to the Ultra, it may eventually beat the 12s Ultra and win the gold belt.

Surpassing Xiaomi’s heaviest product of the year isn’t easy. In addition to the regular performance upgrades, the Pro model’s ordinary-looking camera module places a lot of pressure on the Ultra, whose camera performance is its best feature.

As this is a full review of the Xiaomi 13 Pro, we decided to split it into two parts. Besides its cameras, this video will cover most of the specs of the new phone, and the next video will focus on the camera. We will compare its performance and camera with the 12s Ultra, another Xiaomi start model.

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Design

Let’s begin with its design. In comparison with the Standard variant, the Xiaomi 13 Pro isn’t very surprising. Similar to flagships we’ve reviewed in the past. But Xiaomi did add some features to the Pro model, such as the ceramic back cover and the square camera module. The Xiaomi Mix 4 is also reminiscent of it. The back covers are ceramic, and the camera module is square.

Unfortunately, it weighs 235g, which is very heavy in hand. The Pro retains its edge-curve design, which makes it more comfortable to hold. Light-green ceramic is the most pleasing material that we’ve seen on a Xiaomi phone, though it unavoidably makes the phone heavier. Xiaomi 12s Ultra feels thinner and lighter.

Display

An upgraded 6.67-inch AMOLED display covers the front face. Samsung’s 2K 120Hz panel offers new features like high-frequency PMW dimming and higher boosted window brightness of up to 1900 nits, while manually adjustable brightness still remains around 530 nits. A global brightness of 1220 nits is possible.

For eye protection, it also features high-frequency PMW dimming.   

Wired projection is still not available since Xiaomi doesn’t have IR Remote and USB 2.0 charging port. There is no Tuning Certification from Harman Kardon for the dual speaker units. The difference is not that obvious, so you can check it out by yourself here.

A delightful experience during daily use is the strong and tense haptic vibration, which is even more interesting and stronger than the X90 that we reviewed before. Xiaomi offers various vibrating effects that simulate different feedbacks in reality. It’s pretty fresh when it vibrates in a new way that you never experienced before.

Snapdragon 8 Gen2 performance & gaming [vs Xiaomi 12s Ultra]

And now let’s seriously talk about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset inside the Xiaomi 13 Pro. Qualcomm finally changed its mind and decided not to fool mobile users. After all the tests, we strongly believe that the 8 Gen 2’s performance will eventually be remembered and mentioned in the future. It’s so powerful that we can hardly show you its full picture by simply posting the benchmarks and gaming results here.

In addition to the increase in peak performance, its improvement is also reflected in the change in CPU architecture, no longer 3 A710 Middle cores but a new combination of 2 new A715 and 2 A710 mid cores. It leads to a powerful optimization of heavy or mid-running with much better thermal performance, and more efficient power consumption as well.

For example, in 3DMark Wild Life extreme stress test, the 13 Pro completed the 20-min test with a higher peak score; the stability of 78% is even slightly better than the Xiaomi 12s Ultra, while it didn’t get overheated at the same time. And the framerate power ratio is also significantly higher than the 12S ultra.

And then we moved to the PUBG mobile to simulate a mid-loading environment. With consistent graphical settings, both of them could achieve 59.9fps. But the new model only required 2.76W power output on average and a maximum power of 4.5W, both of which are much lower than the 12s Ultra’s power output.

Then we did a gaming test in Genshin Impact. Under the same highest graphic settings. The Xiaomi 13 Pro also achieved better results in both framerate and power output, which is close to what we got on the Vivo X90 Pro +. It’s almost the best result you can achieve on a mobile phone.

And it completed the test with ease, only requiring 5.07W of power support and being heated up to 44.1℃. This means that when you play Genshin Impact, you not only get better performance but also longer battery life.

Another surprise of the Xiaomi 13 Pro for playing Genshin Impact is hidden in Game Turbo. You can adjust the game’s GPU option to the High-quality mode in the Game space, and then you will find the gaming graphics get sharper and clearer. Because the gaming resolution just got boosted from 720P to 864P, which is a 20% improvement. And we also tested the high-resolution mode. The phone can still achieve an average framerate of 59.8 without any throttling issue, which means that we still haven’t been able to touch the upper limit of this chipset. 

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There’s no doubt that the 8Gen 2 chipset has been the most powerful chipset for mobile gaming at the moment. Compared to its predecessors, its CPU performance can have a 15%-30% improvement, and from the tests we did, its performance power ratio also can achieve a 25% to 35% efficiency increase, which is also attributed to the GPU upgrade.

And I believe that phones like Xiaomi 13 Pro have even overshadowed many game phones. But I still have to remind you that if you’re only using phones for light applications, you might hardly feel the gap we showed here since its low-frequency running didn’t get as much improved as its heavy-loaded performance.

And by the way, the phone also comes with a combination of UFS4.0 storage and LPDDR5X memory, which also speeds up the system response and game loading.

Battery & Charging

I’m not a fan of MIUI OS, but one has to admit that the OS is one of the smoothest and most stable mobile systems with rich features. And it seems that Xiaomi is considering giving up the strategy of adding features, but more working on building a lightweight system. On the Xiaomi 13 series, now you can remove almost all pre-installed apps except for several essential apps. In addition, compared to its predecessors, it’s quite surprising that the new OS is pretty stable. Is this still the latest Xiaomi phone? Shouldn’t it be selling phones while fixing a bunch of bugs?

As for battery and charging, the new Pro model comes with a 4820mAh battery and supports 120W fast charging. The battery performance did get improved and get a better result compared to the 12s Ultra. And it can be fully charged in just 22 mins with the 120W fast charger.

Verdict

So that’s all we want to share in the first part of the full review. The Xiaomi 13 Pro is possibly the best and most balanced Xiaomi phone in these few years. In addition to the explosive performance, the next part of the camera review probably will let you better understand what I mean.

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