Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Camera-focused phone

In 2022, Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi announced partnership with German company Leica, which manufactures cameras and optical lenses, to jointly develop camera-focused smartphones. The first smartphone with imaging system co-engineered by Xiaomi and Leica, named Xiaomi 12S Ultra, launched soon after. In a quick run, the company introduced the Xiaomi 13 Pro – its second-generation camera-focused smartphone. While the first-generation model never made it outside China, the Xiaomi 13 Pro made a global debut in February this year. It is the first smartphone to come out from the Xiaomi-Leica partnership that will be available in India, albeit in limited quantities only.

The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a second-generation smartphone with imaging system co-engineered by Xiaomi and Leica. It has a triple-camera array on the back, featuring 50-megapixel sensors of different configurations and focal lengths – 14mm (ultra-wide), 23mm (wide), and 75mm (telephoto). On the front, the phone has a 32MP camera sensor.

The Xiaomi 13 Pro covers length and breadth in terms of imaging-related features, but it is the ease-of-use that the smartphone has going for it. It is important because other smartphones with high-end camera systems require some technology awareness to deliver optimal results. The Xiaomi 13 Pro, however, is different because it simplifies the imaging experience for the users and allows them to make the most from its pro-grade camera system.

For example, the first interaction with the camera opens a pop-up that educates the users about the two available looks – Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. The pop-up appears just once, while opening the camera app for the first time, but it does the job of simplifying the future experience for the user. The authentic look keeps the colours and other compositions closer to real for natural appeal. In the vibrant look, there are pronounced colours besides improved contrast and dynamic range in the images. Xiaomi made sure to make it easy for the users to switch between the two by including the option on the top-side menu on the camera interface.

The Xiaomi-Leica partnership in imaging does not end with just two photographic styles; there are new filters, watermarks, and shutter sound. Besides, there is a master-lens system in the portrait mode. There are four Leica-tuned filters – vivid, natural, black & white natural, and black & white high contrast. Simple to use, these filters add zing to the images and open options for the users to explore and experiment.

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