Xiaomi 13 Review: First Impressions

Xiaomi has got a lot right with the Xiaomi 13. The cameras offer a visual style not often seen anymore, the screen is great and there is plenty of power inside for such a compact device.

  • Leica camerasCamera optics co-engineered with famed brand Leica

  • very fast charging67w plug gets a full charge in less than 40 minutes

  • Fast internalsQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for speedy performance



  • UKRRP: £849
  • USAunavailable
  • Europetbc
  • Canadaunavailable
  • Australiatbc


Xiaomi has teamed up with Leica for its Xiaomi 13 series of phones, hoping to inject a little extra imaging know-how into its 2023 flagship.

It’s true that the Xiaomi 13 Pro is the more interesting Xiaomi launch at MWC 2023, yet after spending the past few days testing out the smaller, cheaper Xiaomi 13 and getting to speak directly to Leica reps about its camera system there’s no doubt there’s plenty to like here.

Design and Screen

  • Comfortable size
  • Exceptional fit and finish
  • Bright, colorful OLED screen

While they might be part of the same series, the Xiaomi 13 varies wildly in its design to its Pro sibling. And I have no doubts in saying that I much prefer the look, feel and overall dimensions of the Xiaomi 13.

The Xiaomi 13 goes for a very flat look, something not often seen with Android phones. Both the polished sides and fantastic 6.36-inch OLED display are free of curves, with the phone looking a little like a glossier iPhone 14 as a result.

It’s IP68 rated too, and the glass back allows for wireless charging – two features sometimes ditched on devices without a ‘Pro’ moniker.

the back of the xiaomi 13
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In this Flora Green hue, you’ll see in the images, the Xiaomi 13 really does look great. It’s got a heap of finesse too, from the very minimal bezel surrounding the screen to the tasteful camera housing on the back.

At 189g it is light and it is also one of the more compact flagship Android phones around. It’s a phone that I can comfortably hold in one hand without having to stretch my thumb too much.

The screen is another star aspect, thanks to punchy colors and strong brightness levels. Playing back Dolby Vision content through Netflix, the OLED panel did an excellent job at highlighting the brighter scenes while ensuring the darker ones were inky. You do miss out on the 1440p resolution by not plumping for the Pro, but at 6.36-inches a 1080p panel remains very sharp.

Xiaomi 13 front image
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The regular Xiaomi 13 also misses out on the LTPO display of the Pro model. The panel here won’t ramp down to 1Hz to save power, instead it can be set to move between 60 and 120Hz in an adaptive mode – or to always stick at 120Hz.


  • Top-tier specs
  • Fast performance
  • Good battery life along with snappy charging

Powering the Xiaomi 13 is Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – the same silicon you’ll find in the OnePlus 11. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the chip so far, especially when it comes to GPU performance and staying cool. While a title like Genshin Impact can’t be pushed up to maximum settings everywhere, it gets close.

The chipset is paired with 8 or 12GB of memory (the fast LPDDR5X kind) and 256GB of storage. While I haven’t run it through a full benchmarking suite yet, the Xiaomi 13 feels, in daily use, like the top performer it wants to be.

I’ve been impressed with the 4500mAh cell too, which has been comfortably getting me throughout the day. The 67w wired and 50w wireless charging are nice to have features too.

However, the software experience has so far left a little to be desired. I’ve never been a huge fan of Xiaomi’s MIUI and MIUI 14 still feels like an Android OS trying its best to mimic iOS.

Some Android staples, like being able to swipe notifications away from either side, are weirdly ditched and the quick settings are a dodgy iPhone rip-off.


  • Co-engineered with camera brand Leica
  • Three rear cameras, with a main 50MP unit
  • Leica influence everywhere

I feel like I’ve said this hundreds of times over the past decade, but the Xiaomi 13 series is focusing a lot on the camera. While the Pro model bags the true ‘flagship’ shooting experience with a 1-inch sensor, the standard 13 isn’t short on imaging prowess.

Xiaomi partnered with Leica last year, kicking off with the release of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The Xiaomi 13 feels like the true worldwide start of the partnership though, with Leica’s brand featured heavily both in the marketing and on the device itself.

If Leica partnering with a smartphone vendor sounds familiar then I am not surprised. For a number of years, the camera brand was plastered over Huawei’s best phones and some of the very best camera phones of the past ten years. That partnership ended in 2022, and it seems Xiaomi snuck right in and inked a deal to take over.

I’ve spent some time with reps from both Leica and Xiaomi ahead of the launch of the 13 series and I can’t quite decide whether this is merely a marketing ploy for both brands or a true boon that’ll significantly improve the quality of Xiaomi’s optics. In truth, it’s probably a little of both.

There’s no denying it suits both the parties. Xiaomi gets to slap the brand of arguably the world’s most exclusive camera brand on its new phone and Leica gets to appeal to many more customers across the globe.

the back of the xiaomi 13
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Yet, this is still very much a Xiaomi-designed camera array with some Leica ‘benefits’. Leica hasn’t built the lens in one of its factories, instead it uses the term co-engineered and makes it clear it’s had input in the design process. This was the same with the Huawei partnership, and that lead to some exceptional cameras.

Aside from the Leica branding (interestingly there’s no actual Leica logo) you’ll see the name pop-up throughout the camera app. Two shooting profiles are prominent, with Authentic aiming to provide true-to-life images and Vibrant adding a little extra color to shots. There are also four Leica filters, and a shutter sound inspired by the brand.

It’s all well and good partnering with an iconic brand, but it’s not an instant route to success. Oppo and OnePlus’ tie-up with Hasselblad, for instance, has consistently felt like a pure marketing ploy to me.

Having spent around five days with the Xiaomi 13, taking a lot of pictures in all the various modes, it’s clear this is a very capable triple camera system that produces snaps that are generally far more natural than those from Apple, Samsung and Google devices.

Leica camera app Xiaomi 13
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In terms of specs, there’s a 50MP main camera (f/1.8, OIS) paired with a 10MP telephoto and a 12.2MP ultra-wide. Flip the phone over and there’s a 32MP camera on the front. There are some neat Xiaomi tricks too, including something it’s calling HyperOIS which does a great job at keeping pets in focus as they quickly move.

Flipping between the two Leica shooting modes, the pictures from both do match the vision both brands are clearly going for. Even in the Vibrant mode, the saturation and punch of colors are massively toned down giving snaps a very distinct look.

Leica camera app Xiaomi 13
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Shoot on a grey, drizzly day and the results are downright moody, with plenty of detail that’s far from oversharpened. The images look good, although when I was shooting more colorful instances the results left me a little bit cold. For instance, shots from an art exhibition full of bright colors – especially purples and reds – came out lacking the punch I got from an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Still, with lots of phones aiming for an image that’s designed for social media and sacrificing reality in the process I appreciate Xiaomi and Leica’s approach here.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The ultra-wide camera does a good job at following the lead set by the main sensor, however the colors and detail from the telephoto drop a little giving you a much different image.

Early Verdict

With its Leica-infused camera, slick design and standout screen, the Xiaomi 13 feels like a no-sacrifice Android phone for a very tempting £849 price.

There is, of course, strong competition from the Samsung Galaxy S23 (£899) and OnePlus 11 (£729) but if the Xiaomi 13 continues to impress me then there’s every chance this could be one of the best Android phones of the year – especially for those who don’t want a huge phone with heavily curved sides.

Xiaomi 13 Specs

A look at the specifications of the Xiaomi 13, and how it compares to the Xiaomi 13 Pro.






Screen Size

Storage Capacity

rear camera

front camera

video recording

IP rating


Wireless charging

fast charging

Size (Dimensions)


Operating System

Release date

First Reviewed Date



Refresh Rate






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A ‘hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only – it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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