Xiaomi 13T Pro
The IR blaster, IP68 rating and Leica cameras pretty much seal the deal for me.
- Excellent performance
- Bright, vibrant display
- Great camera with weird decisions
- Fantastic camera software
- IP68-rated ingress protection!
- Why bloatware in a flagship?
- Plastic frame
- 120W charging, but proprietary standards
- USB 2.0 transfer speeds
You probably didn’t expect to see “Leica” and “bang-for-buck” appear in the same sentence, but here we are with the Xiaomi 13T Pro. The Xiaomi T value flagship series started off as rebranded Redmi flagships with the Mi 9T series. Now, we are looking at the fourth entry of the lineup with the Xiaomi 13T series. As the true flagship of the series, the Xiaomi 13T Pro comes with a few add ons versus the more wallet-friendly Xiaomi 13T, like the top-of-the-line Dimensity 9200+, 120W charging, support for 8K video and WiFi 7. With that out of the way, let’s have a look at what good about the Xiaomi 13T Pro, and what’s not so good about it.
Xiaomi 13T Pro — What’s Good?
Dimensity 9200+ is beefier than expected
There’s little to complain about with the performance of the Xiaomi 13T Pro. The Dimensity 9200+ is capable of everything you would want in a 2023 flagship: raytracing, AI, you name it. Benchmarks score are good. Efficiency is nice as well, with me giving well over a day of use with the 5000mAh battery. Overall, your day-to-day experience and gaming on the Xiaomi 13T Pro is going to be a great, although you still don’t get 120FPS in Genshin Impact unlike on the latest fruity flagships. In fact, I am surprised that there aren’t more Dimensity 9200+ phones this year.
Bright, vibrant display
While the Xiaomi 13T Pro might be positioned as the “value flagship” of Xiaomi’s lineup, the display here is quite the flagship panel. It doesn’t support dynamic refresh rate and it’s only FHD+ (1220p, to be exact), so it’s a last-gen panel, but hey, I am not complaining. Narrow bezels, a ridiculous 2600 nits peak brightness and an easily missed selfie camera punch hole, the Xiaomi 13T Pro looks great from the front. Especially after I checked out the Samsung S23 FE recently…
Great cameras with weird decisions
Moving over to the back, we have this absolute unit of a camera bump. Hardware-wise, we have a stellar duo of 50MP wide and 2X telephoto cameras and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter. Leica reportedly optimized the optics and also processing, which while we have no way of confirming, the shots definitely look good, albeit with some rather aggressive noise reduction that’s especially obvious with the telephoto camera, which is somewhat typical of Xiaomi’s camera processing.
Now, onto the weird decision: Xiaomi gave the Xiaomi 13T Pro a 2x telephoto, which can easily be handled by the main camera via digital zoom, and that it has no OIS. Just, why? In fact, the software usually relies on the main camera to digitally zoom instead of switching to the optical 2x zoom lens. It feels like Xiaomi tacked on the 2x telephoto camera just to be able to hang out with the big boys, without much thought on its practicality. A 3x telephoto lens or higher would have made more sense to pick up where digital zoom would have started being inadequate.
Fantastic camera software
I have always been partial to Xiaomi’s camera UI, as I find them to be one of the most pro-friendly interfaces, I have ever seen on an Android device. I can’t say that about the rest of MIUI though, but I digress. In any case, you get access to all kinds of pro features like RAW, focus peaking, zebra pattern, histograms, LOG video and you can even shoot with the Xiaomi 13T Pro controlled by another device. There’s even a new Photographic Styles option (ala iPhone) hidden in the Pro mode of the camera UI. Overall, 9/10 for the camera experience. 1-point deducted for the obnoxious Leica watermark.
IP68-rated ingress protection!
For the longest time, Xiaomi has not tested their flagships’ IP rating. Even the Xiaomi 12 Pro didn’t have an IP rating. But the Xiaomi 13T Pro is IP68-rated, which means that you can bring it to the bathtub, if you’re into that sort of thing. Overall, while I wouldn’t recommend bringing your 13T Pro to go for a swim, it is more of a sign of improving quality controls over at Xiaomi to me. You can also just wash your IP68-rated phones under the tap to get rid of fingerprints. Or is that just me?
Xiaomi 13T Pro — What’s Not?
Why bloatware in a flagship?
While I am very happy with most of the Xiaomi 13T Pro, I still can’t fathom why Xiaomi includes bloatware which cannot be uninstalled. On a budget device, I somewhat understand that some pre-installed software help subsidize the cost. However, on a flagship, it becomes much more questionable. There’s GetApps and Game Center, which cannot be uninstalled. Both are alternatives to download apps, which is unnecessary as Xiaomi still has access to Google apps, at least for now. There are also a lot of other pre-installed apps that I am not a fan of like Amazon Shopping, LinkedIn, Xiaomi Community and more, but luckily those can be uninstalled.
Plastic frames do have the upper hand when dropped, absorbing more of the impact versus a metal one, but I still feel it detracts from the overall flagship experience. And maybe Xiaomi went with a plastic frame for the Xiaomi 13T Pro to keep the weight and costs down. But hey, I still have a preference for heftier devices as they just feel more solid and premium, even if they aren’t actually so. With all that said, the Xiaomi 13T Pro does still feel very sturdy, no worries about it snapping in half randomly.
120W charging, but proprietary standards
As mentioned earlier, the Xiaomi 13T Pro supports an insanely fast 120W fast charging. It easily gave me a full charge in less than 30 minutes, Xiaomi claims 19 minutes, but it relies on proprietary standards instead of USB-PD. This means that if you use any charger, there’s no fast charging. I tested with my Rocoren 140W GaN charger, and it charges way slower. This kinda sucks, as it still means you need to bring the included charger —kudos for including one though — if you want to enjoy the fastest charging possible on the Xiaomi 13T Pro. And oh, there’s no wireless charging.
USB 2.0 transfer speeds
For a phone that can shoot 8K videos in LOG, with every second of footage taking up over 10MB, 480Mbps is an appalling rate to transfer them out of the phone at. Yes, you can use Nearby Share for faster transfers of your files, but I think Xiaomi should really get with the times and bump up the transfer speeds to at least 10Gbps, like what Apple has done with their iPhone 15 Pro series. Heck, ASUS has supported USB 3.1 Gen 2 since the ROG Phone 2, a device from the last decade (2019).
Xiaomi 13T Specifications
|Processor||MediaTek Dimensity 9200+|
4nm (TSMC N4P)
1 x Cortex-X3 @ up to 3.35GHz
3 x Cortex-A715 @ up to 3.0GHz
4 x Cortex-A510 @ up to 2.0GHz
Arm Immortalis-G715 MC11
|Memory / Storage||12GB LPDDR5X / 512GB UFS 4.0|
|Display||6.67-inch FHD+ (2712 x 1220) 144Hz CrystalRes AMOLED display|
HDR10+, Dolby Vision, TrueColor, DCI-P3
1200 nits max, 2600 nits peak brightness
|Cameras||LEICA VARIO-SUMMICRON 1:1.9-2.2/15-50mm ASPH.|
Main camera (24mm eqv.)
50MP f/1.9, 1/1.28″ Sony IMX707 sensor, 2.44µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, OIS, ALD 7P lens, AF
2x telephoto (50mm eqv.)
50MP f/1.9, 1/2.88″ OmniVision OV50D sensor, 1.22µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, 5P lens, AF
Ultra-wide (15mm eqv.)
12MP f/2.2, 1/3.06″ OmniVision OV13B sensor, 1.12µm pixels, 5P lens, FF
Selfie camera (26mm eqv.)
20MP f/2.2, 1/2.8″ Sony IMX596 sensor, 0.8µm pixels, 5P lens, FF
Leica photographic styles, custom photographic styles, Leica filters, Master-lens system, Xiaomi ProFocus, Xiaomi ProCut, Ultra Night Photo, auto HDR, RAW photo, Log video, 8K24, 4K60 video, up to 960fps slow-mo
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be, WiFi 6E (WiFi 7 ready)|
5G NSA + SA
USB-C (USB 2.0, 480Mbps)
|Software||MIUI 14, Android 13|
120W HyperCharge (proprietary)
Xiaomi Surge Battery Management System
|Dimensions||162.2 x 75.7 x 8.49 mm|
Max 1.5m for 30 minutes
Xiaomi 13T Pro — should you buy this?
Yes. The Xiaomi 13T Pro is a solid Android flagship through and through. For RM2,699, I think you would be very hard-pressed to find better value at this price point. The great performance, IR blaster, IP68 rating and Leica cameras pretty much seal the deal for me. Sure, peculiar decisions like bloatware, a 2x telephoto with no OIS, the plastic frame and proprietary fast charging kinda mar the overall awesomeness for me, but hey, I would be happy to pick this up if I am in the market for a sub-RM3,000 Android device today.
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