Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Good, but not the Xiaomi you should buy

The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a powerful flagship with an outdated aesthetic that gets in the way. If the company had just channelled the Xiaomi 13, this would have been a very different review. But as it is, combined with some overheating when exposed to more stress, we need a redesign for the 14 Pro.

The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a bit of an identity crisis. Despite all the new innovations you’ll find there, it looks a bit dated.

I think I could go on about the 1-inch camera sensor, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and big, beautiful LTPO OLED display. But that generic curved glass-and-metal combo has been with us for years — especially when you see how good the standard Xiaomi 13 looks (opens in a new tab).

So I think the question is simple. Does it offer enough under the hood and in use to make it worth the increase in cost and the step back in aesthetics from the standard 13?


We have just received the UK awards in time to write this review! The Xiaomi 13 Pro is available in one configuration (12GB RAM + 256GB storage) for £1,099. That puts it in the upper echelon of flagship smartphones – matching the price of the iPhone 14 Pro.

However, it is cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s £1,399 asking price. So while you see some ultra-premium specs in the 13 Pro, you don’t necessarily have to pay ultra-premium prices for them.


Let me start by saying that there is nothing obviously wrong with the design of the Xiaomi 13 Pro. Thanks to the curvature of the glass and aluminum bumper, it fits perfectly in the hand. And aside from some frustrations like the lack of a headphone jack and the curved edges of the display, it’s elegant but also a little too familiar.

In a world where the design language has shifted to a utilitarian aesthetic – bold, flattened bumpers and flat displays, I hate to say that the 13 Pro just looks a little mundane. Holding this phone instantly brought me back to my OnePlus 7T Pro, which was amazing at the time, but Xiaomi really needed to launch this phone by 2023 with a refresh.

Breaking down the specs, at 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches and weighing 7.4 ounces, these dimensions are familiar to those who have held the Xiaomi 12 Pro (6.4 x 2.94 x 0.32 inches, 7 .4 ounces). And while the iPhone 14 Pro is smaller and lighter (5.81 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches, 7.3 ounces), the 13 Pro has a similar but lighter profile to the Galaxy S23 Ultra (6.4 x 3.1 x 0.35 in, 8.3 oz).

So you could say it feels premium in its build, but when I look at how gorgeous the Xiaomi 13 is, I feel like it’s a missed opportunity to give this chassis a proper makeover.

XIAOMI 13 PRO display

Turn it on and the 6.73-inch LTPO (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) OLED display comes to life. This panel offers a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels with a refresh rate of 120Hz (and a 480Hz touch sampling rate) with the additional benefits of (claimed) 1900 nits peak brightness, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+ support, TrueColor calibration. and DisplayMate A+ classes.

The end result is an incredibly vivid, color-accurate screen that’s a joy to look at and do things on. Watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer really shows the depth of the HDR effect and its contrast ratio as the spells shine off the screen with brightness and every scene has impressive depth.

And the numbers back it up a lot, with an impressive 78.6% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut. Although it is worth noting that, although it falls short of the Galaxy S23 Ultra (78.8%) and the iPhone 14 Pro (84.8%), there is a live mode on the Xiaomi that increases this number to 1113.3%.

Not only that, but it also appears to increase accuracy, from 0.21 in native mode to a perfect 0 in Live — better than the S23 Ultra (0.3) and the iPhone 14 Pro (0.25). While vivid colors can be too much of an explosion of color in many situations, it’s good to have this option to really increase the vibrancy beyond anything you’ve seen before.

When it comes to brightness, Xiaomi seems to be hitting its stride with its claims as it reaches a maximum brightness of 1,127 nits, which beats the S23 ultra (1,020 nits) and the iPhone (990 nits).


The absence of a headphone jack is disappointing, but not surprising. But what is actually surprising is that the stereo speakers were not tuned by Harman Kardon this time. So the obvious question is, will we see a drop in quality? Fortunately, the answer is no.

Similar to the 12 Pro before it, this partnership ensures a powerful audio output. Four Year Strong’s “Get out of my head” sounds amazing again, the subtle details in the quiet parts are nicely accentuated while handling the onslaught of the booming loud chorus sections without distortion.


The Xiaomi 13 Pro is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and up to 12 GB of RAM. When tested in Geekbench 5, the Xiaomi 12 achieved a multi-core score of an impressive 4,934. Of course, the A16 Bionic from the iPhone 14 Pro blows it away (5,469), but the 13 comes impressively close to the much more expensive Galaxy S23 Ultra (5,081).

In terms of graphics, the powerful Xiaomi passed the 3DMark WildLife Extreme test with an average frame rate of 17.73 frames per second at full 4K rendering resolution – just behind the iPhone 13 (20.2 FPS) and the Galaxy S23 (22.78 FPS). .

Of course, these numbers only tell half the story. In real-world use, I didn’t encounter a single moment of stuttering, no matter how many CPU-heavy processes I threw at it. Games like Fortnite and Call Of Duty: Mobile look and work great here, while multitasking between said games, Adobe Photoshop mobile, TikTok and more didn’t slow things down at all.

One thing I ran into when stress testing the graphics with Wild Life Extreme Unlimited is some worrying overheating. Unlike the Xiaomi 12, it didn’t cause me half way through the test, but you can tell the thermal management isn’t quite there.

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