In the endless pursuit of smartphone camera supremacy, there are a few constants — one being that someone’s always going to partner up with Leica. This year, it’s Xiaomi, with the Xiaomi 13 series phones equipped with cameras co-engineered by the camera and lens experts at Leica.
Add on the expected premium specs for the year ahead, and we’ve got another great premium smartphone option to choose from. All told at MWC 2023 this week, Xiaomi showed off three devices in the series — the Xiaomi 13 Pro, the Xiaomi 13, and the Xiaomi 13 Lite, the first two of which have already been out in China for some time.
Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro
You’ll find solid cameras on all three devices, but the Xiaomi 13 Pro is where you’ll find the partnership with Leica really shines. The Leica Vario-Summicron 1.19-2.2/14-75 ASPH camera system is made up of three sensors, the main one of which is the 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor, which is one of the best available for phones right now.
That main camera has a 23mm-equivalent wide-angle lens, with the other two cameras being 50 MP sensors paired with a 14mm-equivalent ultra-wide-angle lens and a 75mm-equivalent floating telephoto lens. That massive main sensor will take in far more light than most in smartphones today, giving pictures more detail and clarity. The telephoto lens uses DSLR-level internal focusing to crisp focus even with the zoom cranked up.
The Xiaomi 13 has a similar three-camera array, but you won’t get that high-end sensor on the main camera, so the pros and semi-pros in media out there will probably want to grab the Xiaomi 13 Pro. Here’s one more reason — only the Xiaomi 13 Pro supports shooting in RAW for better professional editing in Photoshop.
Both phones will have Xiaomi’s imaging engine and HyperOIS to keep videos steady. The imaging engine helps during the act of taking the photo, in addition to processing — it can quicken capture speeds and better autofocus on objects in motion. The HyperOIS stabilization tech will help keep 4k videos looking smooth, and the phones both include Dolby Vision creative software to work on those videos on the device.
The Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro mostly share the same specs, running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Both have Wi-Fi 7 support, a Xiaomi Surge battery management system for improved battery longevity, and IP68 dust and water resistance.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a touch larger than the Xiaomi 13. The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a 6.73-in 120 Hz WQHD+ AMOLED display capable of 1,200 nits of brightness (or 1,900 in localized areas), with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG, plus Dolby Atmos support for audio. The Xiaomi 13, on the other hand, has a 6.36-in FHD+ AMOLED display that has the same premium audio and video processing features.
The Xiaomi 13 has a 120Hz 6.36-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, mobile platform processor, which provides improved graphics processing and power efficiency compared to older models. The processor also plays a crucial role in enabling speedy image processing, which is critical to the imaging system’s performance.
There’s also a larger battery in Xiaomi 13 Pro, 4,820 mAh to the Xiaomi 13’s 4,500 mAh. Nice, but that battery will certainly be taxed heavily by anyone digging into those advanced photography features! Fortunately, the phones work with 120W charging possible on the Xiaomi 13 Pro and 67W charging possible on the Xiaomi 13.
The Xiaomi 13 will be available from March 8 in black, white, and flora green. The device will be launched in two variants, 8GB/256GB and 12GB/256GB, at a starting price of EUR 999. The Xiaomi 13 Pro will be released the same day in some global markets (it’s already available in China) in ceramic black and ceramic white starting at EUR 1,299.
Xiaomi 13 Lite
The Xiaomi 13 Lite is a lower-spec version of the Xiaomi 13. This device is targeted at a younger demographic that does not need the advanced camera features of the Xiaomi 13 Pro. As such, this device doesn’t come with the Leica lenses included in the Xiaomi 13 Pro. However, that does not mean the cameras on this device are unsuitable for everyday use.
The Xiaomi 13 Lite has a 50 MP main camera powered by Sony’s IMX766 lens, an 8 MP ultra-wide camera powered by Sony’s IMX355 lens, and a 2MP macro camera. The device also has a dual selfie camera setup comprising a 32MP camera and an 8MP depth sensor. The camera has processing and imaging features such as dynamic framing, selfie zoom, pocket mirror, and Xiaomi Selfie Glow to improve the quality of photos taken on the device.
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 mobile platform processor. It has a 120Hz 6.55-inch AMOLED display and a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 67W wired turbo charging, which is similar to the battery specs of the Xiaomi 13.
The Xiaomi 13 Lite will also be available from March 8 in blue, pink, and black. The device will be launched in two variants, 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB, at a starting price of EUR 499.