September 26 marked the global launch of Xiaomi’s latest masterpieces — the standard Xiaomi 13T and the higher-specced Xiaomi 13T Pro.
(Update, October 9: Check out our full review of the Xiaomi 13T Pro!)
Both devices aim to bring a flagship-level Android experience as well as authentic Leica imagery — the first time in the T series — to more consumers, as they are priced more aggressively than the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro with the P26,999 (around $476) starting price. The Xiaomi 13T Pro, in particular, should prove particularly attractive for those who want the top-shelf performance and Leica-branded camera of the Xiaomi 13 Pro — minus the curved OLED display and aluminum frame.
The world’s third biggest smartphone brand has kept the look simple yet still eye-catching with the Xiaomi 13T Pro. If you go back at the design of the regular Xaiomi 13, it’s obvious where the inspiration comes from. The rear panel of the Xiaomi 13T Pro curves slightly towards the flat plastic frame, as evidenced by the lack of antenna lines, and the back is made of glass.
The Leica-stamped camera island is huge and houses three cameras. Its edges are slanted to add a premium touch. The back of our Meadow Green unit does an admirable job of keeping fingerprints and smudges to a bare minimum. There are other colors available — Black and Alpine Blue — with the latter wrapped in what Xiaomi calls BioComfort vegan leather to mimic the look and feel of a genuine flagship device. Looks elegant and refreshing at the same time.
The Xiaomi Bio-comfort vegan leather of the #Xiaomi13TSeries exudes sophistication and responsibility. It's a statement of our commitment to style and a greener planet. 🌱— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) September 28, 2023
Check out the latest episode of #XiaomiAcademy to learn more! #MasterpieceInSight pic.twitter.com/ZwtnLG1b88
Proof of Xiaomi’s commitment to the environment
Xiaomi added an IP68 rating to the 13T series, so both phones should be fine in rain and under six meters or roughly 20 feet of water for 30 minutes. The display is not curved, which some customers prefer over curved screens. However, the flat panel also means this model feels quite big in the hand, with the slab sides adding to that observation. And coming in at around 8.49mm in thickness, it’s obvious that the Xiaomi 13T Pro is not built for one-handed use.
Xiaomi calls the AMOLED panel on the handset a Pro HDR Display, primarily because it can show images in HDR brightness, making them look more vibrant without adjusting the screen brightness in the Settings menu. The panel offers a higher-than-1080p 1.5K resolution, while a notably high refresh rate of 144Hz makes for snappy visuals and smooth gameplay.
Additionally, the Xiaomi 13T Pro is extra bright, peaking at 2,600 nits of brightness in outdoor conditions and beating most flagship displays out there. With 2,880Hz PWM dimming, it also boasts the ability to reduce screen flicker significantly, thereby minimizing eye strain and headaches and providing a more comfortable viewing experience, specifically in dim environments.
We have no issues with the hardware buttons on the right-hand side; they’re clicky and tactile. The power button here does not pull double-duty as a fingerprint sensor. Instead, you get an optical scanner embedded into the panel for conveniently unlocking the device.
The top section of the Xiaomi 13T Pro is home to a secondary microphone and speaker and an IR blaster for controlling your non-smart appliances around the house. At the bottom, you’ll find the main speaker, a pinhole for the dual-SIM tray (without a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion), and a USB-C port that supports fast charging up to an impressive 120 watts using the included power brick and cable. Xiaomi says you can fully charge the phone’s 5,000mAh battery after just 19 minutes plugged in, meaning you can potentially get a full day’s battery life while taking your snack break at the office.
Imaging system, now co-engineered with Leica
The rear camera module is fitted with Summicron lenses co-engineered with German optics manufacturer Leica. It packs a 50-megapixel Sony IMX800 image sensor behind an optically stabilized f/1.9 lens. The primary camera is accompanied by a 50-megapixel telephoto camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide shooter. The Xiaomi 13T series will even let you shoot 10-bit stills in RAW format for added editing flexibility — good news for more serious photographers!
We’ll give our verdict of this smartphone’s camera system in our full review, but one of the things that stood out to us in our a little over a week of initial testing was that the three rear cameras on the Xiaomi 13T Pro have been calibrated well to output similar colors, similar to how a DSLR camera maintains its color science when shooting with different lenses and varying focal lengths. For video, this model supports log video recording up to 10-bit 4K 30 frames per second in Pro mode, but you can also record super-sharp footage at up to 8K resolution at 24 fps.
Here, we’ll show you a few shots we took in Berlin, Germany, where the series was launched.
Other shots of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Mercedes-Benz Arena, just beside Verti Music Hall, where the Xiaomi launch was held
Powering the Xiaomi 13T Pro is a MediaTek Dimensity 9200 Plus 5G chipset, which rivals the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC both in terms of synthetic benchmarks and real-world performance. This is easily one of the best-performing smartphones we’ve used. The animations are fast and fluid, apps open instantly and switching between them is snappy, and games run equally well at the highest graphics settings. Basically, everything runs flawlessly.
It’s also worth noting that the Xiaomi 13T Pro boots the company’s Android 13-based MIUI 14 overlay out of the box and comes with a guarantee of four generations of OS updates along with five years of security patches. This matches Samsung’s promise of four, which started last year and continued through devices released in 2023.
Initial verdict: More than a week after
Priced from P37,999 ($671), the Xiaomi 13T Pro is an impressive device offering flagship-level hardware, fast charging, and camera chops. It’s incredibly fast in use, too, thanks to the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 Plus chip inside.
Will our experience be the same — or even better — after some more serious time with this Pro? Will we agree with the brand that this one really is a “masterpiece in sight”? Check back in again here for our full review of the Xiaomi 13T Pro.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Xiaomi 13T Pro, now official globally (and in the Philippines)…
Xiaomi 13T Pro specs
- 6.67-inch AMOLED display, 1.2K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 2,600 nits peak brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- 4nm MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ processor with 5G
- Immortalis-G715 MC11 GPU
- 12GB LPDDR5X RAM
- 512GB/1TB UFS 4.0 storage
- Triple 50-megapixel main with OIS, 50-megapixel telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide rear cameras with Leica lens and tuning
- 20-megapixel front camera
- Under-display fingerprint reader
- 5,000mAh battery with 120-watt fast wired charging
- MIUI 14 based on Android 13
- IP68 certification
- Color options: Alpine Blue, Black, Meadow Green
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