Thirteen is an unlucky number? Not if it is up to Xiaomi. Now thirteen in China, where the manufacturer comes from, does not have the same significance as here in Europe; Four is the number of disaster. Xiaomi doesn’t care much about that either, given devices like the Redmi Note 4 and POCO X4 Pro. Thirteen is not a problem at all. The company will present the Xiaomi 13 series to Europe on Sunday evening in Barcelona. The devices have been out of China for a while, and here and there are the most luxurious smartphones that the manufacturer will offer in early 2023.
Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro logically replace last year’s Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro; The Xiaomi 13 is an under-the-top compact model in the context of the Samsung Galaxy S23, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro is positioned against the Galaxy S23 Ultra. There is no cheaper X alternative than the Xiaomi 13 this year, as there was the Xiaomi 12X last year. Xiaomi is already releasing the 13 Lite, but it has nothing to do with the real top models, with a different design and lower specifications. It is also much cheaper at 499 euros.
Much more expensive, but (on paper) clearly better
Like competitors, Xiaomi is taking the opportunity to make the top models significantly more expensive than their predecessors from 2022. Prices have also been increased in China, though not as much as in Europe. The Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro both cost hundreds of euros less there, even if you include VAT, although the cheapest Chinese variants also have a lower memory configuration than their European counterparts. The Xiaomi Mi 13 costs no less than €999 here at Benelux, while the Xiaomi 12 cost €899 when it was introduced last year. The Pro model is priced at €1,299, which is €200 more than the previous model.
Fortunately, for the high suggested retail price, the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro clearly offer more than the previous generation, at least on paper. Starting with Xiaomi 13, the version sold in Benelux has a minimum storage space of 256GB, where the predecessor had 128GB. On the back is a 10MP telephoto camera instead of the simple 5MP macro camera found on the previous model. Just like the Xiaomi 13 Pro, the smaller device is also officially water resistant (IP68), which is another point missing from the spec sheet for last year’s covers.
1 inch or not?
The Sony IMX989 in the Xiaomi 13 Pro is called a “1” sensor according to the nomenclature used for camera sensors, but that does not mean that it also has a 1-inch diagonal or any of the other 1-inch sensor sizes, as shown in this video.
The big news in the Xiaomi 13 Pro is the new main camera with a “1” sensor which is Sony IMX989 with a resolution of 50.3 MP. The area of the image slice is approximately 125 mm². For comparison: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro, and Apple iPhone 14 Pro each have a sensor of about 72 mm², which is 40 percent smaller. There was a time when 1-inch sensors were only for better detachable cameras, but today they have larger sensors in general: three times as large in the case of an APS-C camera, and even nearly seven times as large in a full frame. The Xiaomi 13 Pro is one of the first devices released here in the West with a sensor size of 1 inch. At least, if you don’t include the Sony Xperia PRO-I from 2021, because it didn’t use the entire surface of the sensor with image capture. More smartphones with a 1-inch sensor are expected to follow later this year; Vivo and OPPO are said to be planning devices with IMX989.
Xiaomi managed to send us the 13 and 13 Pro a week before the presentation, so we can actually do some testing. Thus this article is a compromise between a preview and a review, with our overall first impressions.
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