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Xiaomi 13 Ultra Smartphone Review: Leica Supercharged

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s cameras offer one of the best smartphone photography experiences so far.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra Review

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is the company’s latest flagship device to reach our shores, this time with a heavy emphasis on its camera prowess.

While the collaboration between Xiaomi and Leica isn’t exactly news to us now, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is at least on paper, the company’s most sophisticated camera smartphone yet, boasting quad 50 megapixel cameras with an RRP of RM5,199.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra – Specifications

ModelXiaomi 13 Ultra
Dimensions163.2 x 74.6 x 9.1 mm
Weight227g
ProcessorCPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
GPU: Adreno 740
RAM12GB
Storage512GB
Display6.73″ LTPO AMOLED
1440 x 3200 pixels
120Hz
Camera (Front)32 MP, f/2.0
Camera (Rear)Main Camera: 50 MP, f/1.9 or f/4.0, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
Ultrawide Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, Dual-Pixel PDAF
Telephoto Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, Dual-Pixel PDAF, OIS, 3.2x
Periscope Camera: 50 MP, f/3.0, Dual-Pixel PDAF, OIS, 5x
Operating SystemMIUI 14, Android 13
Battery and Charging6,000 mAh
90W wired charging
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
GPS
BiometricsOn-screen fingerprint reader, face unlock

What’s In The Box?

  • Xiaomi 13 Ultra
  • Protective case
  • Charger
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Documentation

Design

Xiaomi 13 Ultra Smartphone Review: Leica Supercharged 5

Unlike its more modestly designed siblings, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra certainly looks the most premium of the trio. The back features a supple vegan leather back, and a large camera ring at the top. Speaking of the camera, the back slopes upward towards it, resulting in a a significant camera bump.

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Other design elements are logically located at where you would expect them to be; the power button and volume rockers on the right; the SIM tray, speaker unit and and charging port at the bottom; and the second speaker at the top.

Onward to the screen. It comes at 6.73 inches, and is curved slightly at the edges. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. In terms of colour options, there are two for the Malaysian market – Black and Olive Green.

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Another thing of note is the included protective case. Unlike the transparent PU cases you find on most devices, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra comes with a significantly better hard shell case in black.

Display

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The Xiaomi 13 Ultra boasts a 6.73-inch QHD+ display, with a peak brightness of 2,600 nits. Sunlight legibility is stellar, as I could easily see what’s on the screen even when under direct sunlight.

Otherwise, the display is par for the course for any flagship device of this generation. You get a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, with a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The display is tuned according to the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and visuals definitely looks true to life.

Audio

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s stereo speakers sound decent. Volume wise, it can get quite loud, but I find it sound slightly tinny at higher volumes. Midrange sounds warm and is a tad more pronounced, while the higher registers could get muffled.

The midbass section is there, but it lacks extension towards the lower registers.

Camera

Photography

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is equipped with a 1-inch 50 megapixel sensor for its main camera, with the other side cameras also boasting 50 megapixels each, with autofocus available across the board.

Xiaomi has placed extra emphasis on its photography capabilities (and subsequently the Leica branding) left, right and center. We are genuinely surprised by how intuitive it is to use the camera.

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The main camera results in pleasant and sharp images, even in low light. In most cases, I didn’t need to rely on portrait mode, as the large sensor could deliver decent subject separation and bokeh.

The side cameras are also quite useable, and I find that shooting with them to be an enjoyable experience. I rarely had to worry about visual quality drops and hand shakes when switching cameras, save for the ultrawide camera, which is understandable.

Just like its siblings, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s cameras has two colour profiles – Natural and Vivid. I find that the Natural profile results in pleasant and true to life tones, while the Vivid bumps the saturation slightly, but not to the point of looking like a colour palette wheel.

Videography

Video recording is also quite pleasant. The OIS does a great job at managing hand shakes while recording, and the results are sharp and detailed. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra can record up to 8K24, 4K60 or FHD 120fps. There is also a handy slow-mo mode that can go up to 1,920 fps at FHD resolution.

Performance

Benchmarks

Geekbench 6CPU Single Core – 2,018
CPU Multi-Core – 5,553
GPU – 8,867
3DMark Wild LifeMaxed out
PCMark Work 3.015,384

Powering the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. By now we should be very familiar with how powerful this chip is, and overall performance is as good as it gets for 2023.

Gaming

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra also crushes all the games we threw at it. Genshin Impact ran smoothly at the highest settings, consistently maxing out at 60 fps. Other games such as MLBB and PUBG Mobile also ran well.

Battery Life

Battery life is not bad, pretty much what you would expect from a by now pretty standard 5,000mAh battery. While I couldn’t get any battery benchmarks done due to the benchmark prematurely crashing, I could easily get more than a day’s worth of moderate use before needing to charge.

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Final Verdict

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4.5 / 5The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s cameras offer one of the best smartphone photography experiences so far.

We’ve heard the “camera brand collabs are just nominal” argument multiple times, but I think this time the Xiaomi 13 Ultra deserves the Leica moniker. The photography experience is pleasant, and the resulting images have excellent colour reproduction and detail. Whether you are a casual snapper for social media, or a hobbyist looking for an everyday carry camera phone, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will deliver a fun photo shooting experience.

For more information on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, please visit the official product page here.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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