Xiaomi 13 Professional Assessment: Reaching for the Crown

Xiaomi 13 Pro

The Xiaomi 13 Professional could also be a successor to the earlier 12 Professional, however it’s simply as straightforward to argue that it’s extra a continuation of the 12S Extremely that was solely launched in China. That was the primary to make use of the Sort 1 (13.1 x 9.8mm) Sony IMX989 sensor — the identical one from the favored Sony RX100 — solely custom-made to Xiaomi’s liking. 

It was additionally the debut gadget showcasing what a partnership with Leica might ship after it had parted methods with Huawei. Coupling a bigger sensor with Leica’s software program and visible style made for an intriguing mixture within the 12S Extremely that raised expectations (not less than for me) over how the 13 Pro might compete towards the trade’s finest.

Whereas the cellphone will both be misplaced as an unknown to many in North America, it’s not one to disregard in the event you care about taking high quality pictures.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Design and Construct

Xiaomi went with a barely totally different design this time round, kind of mixing collectively the straight strains from the 12 Professional with the round module of the 12S Extremely. It leads to a pronounced bump however not obtrusively so, and the Leica branding is etched into it to make the collaboration clear. The shiny end on the ceramic again appears good, however it will possibly choose up fingerprints and smudges. Fortunately, Xiaomi features a skinny silicone case for not less than some safety.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

The 6.7-inch AMOLED (3200 x 1440) display is basically the identical as that of the 12S Extremely, together with the 120Hz refresh fee, curved edges, and Gorilla Glass Victus safety. It’s a bit heavier than a mean cellphone this dimension, and the silicone case performs a key position for stability when holding it to take pictures. Thoughts you, the curved edges are much less pronounced than they in any other case would’ve been years in the past, and Xiaomi correctly diminished the curve within the rear for a extra ergonomic end. To not point out the IP68 safety, which is notable as a result of the 12 Professional by no means had that official designation.

The 13 Professional runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with variants beginning at 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM. My evaluate unit was the 256GB/12GB mannequin, which additionally makes it suitable with UFS 4.0 quick storage (it’s UFS 3.1 for the 128GB/8GB mannequin). As anticipated, there’s no reminiscence card slot, although the twin SIM tray returns in the event you’re trying to go together with two playing cards directly time.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Digital camera Options

Triple 50-megapixel sensors make up the rear digicam array, with the large digicam’s Sort 1 sensor because the anchor that includes a Leica Vario-Summicron lens. It’s a 23mm equal with f/1.9 aperture, optical picture stabilization, twin pixel and laser autofocus. The 12S Extremely confirmed what was attainable with the IMX989 sensor, solely Xiaomi and Leica counsel they’ve discovered to do extra with the software program, in order that’s the place we are able to anticipate the most important change.

The large digicam makes use of pixel binning to shoot at 12.5-megapixels in Photograph mode, capturing gentle with the identical giant 1.6µm. The one approach to shoot at full decision is to make use of the 50MP mode, which can naturally seize much less gentle, however might change into the most suitable choice once you need to work on sure pictures in publish.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

The opposite two lenses shoot on the similar decision, with related layouts in comparison with the 12 Professional. The telephoto makes use of Samsung’s mid-range Isocell JN1 sensor once more, offering a 3.2x zoom (75mm equal) and optical picture stabilization by way of a Leica-treated floating lens made to cut back shake and jitter. It additionally occurs to be the lens the 13 Professional makes use of for the Tremendous Macro mode as effectively, which explains why it will possibly concentrate on a topic each additional away and as shut as 10 cm.

The ultra-wide makes use of the identical JN1 sensor, capturing at a 14mm equal with a 115-degree area of view and f/2.2 aperture — principally unchanged from the 12 Professional.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Software program Options

The combo of acquainted {hardware} and collaborative software program results in a broader Leica presence on this cellphone in comparison with others. Leica Genuine and Vibrant are your two selections in a number of modes, together with Professional and Portrait, giving the 13 Professional a decidedly Leica aesthetic out of the field.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Leica Vibrant
Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Leica Genuine

That extends additional when diving deeper into the choices obtainable. Faucet the filter icon in Photograph and Portrait mode, and you will note Leica Vivid, Leica Pure, Leica BW Pure, and Leica BW Excessive Distinction.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Vivid Filter
Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Leica Pure

The Grasp Lens System icon in Portrait additionally presents 4 bokeh capturing modes: Black and white 35mm, Swirly bokeh 50m, Portrait 75mm, and Comfortable focus 90mm. It’s not fully clear what position Leica might have performed within the HDR settings in sure modes, however I wouldn’t be shocked if it put its imprint on that as effectively.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Black and White Filter
Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Portrait Mode

Xiaomi’s enter is straightforward to catch, just like the AI digicam setting that tends so as to add just a little extra saturation and distinction to photographs when enabled. The opposite filters, and particularly the Beautify options, are all Xiaomi. Some parts are useful, although, like how Tremendous Macro kicks in when getting shut sufficient to a topic, or when recognizing a doc within the body and asking if you wish to scan it, for instance. Face and eye detection continues to enhance, although it performs an even bigger position for video than for stills.

Sadly, there’s no approach to shoot in RAW utilizing Professional mode on the full decision — a missed alternative for Xiaomi. Samsung presents a 50-megapixel possibility for RAW pictures that may result in wonderful outcomes, and I used to be left pondering that might’ve occurred right here, too.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Picture High quality

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Fundamental Digital camera

Just like the 12S Extremely, the 13 Professional invitations a good quantity of experimentation as a result of Leica’s coloration firming and filtering match effectively with the digicam’s dynamic vary. The black and white filters don’t really feel generic, and the Genuine/Vibrant combine is an effective compromise for many conditions. In the event you really feel Genuine mutes tones an excessive amount of, swap to Vibrant and see how that goes. Colours will pop with out oversaturating them to the purpose of creating pictures seem like they got here out of a social media filtering system.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

It’s also possible to apply any of the Leica filters onto a photograph after you’ve taken it. There are limits, nonetheless, as in you possibly can’t take a black and white picture and swap it to a coloration one. Nor are you able to apply Vibrant to a photograph shot in Genuine, as an example. Past the Leica ones lay numerous others inside the enhancing suite when viewing pictures within the Gallery app. Many require a fast obtain, a number of of which I discovered fascinating, like Instantaneous Movie and Slumber. A slider helps you to regulate how a lot of the impact you need to apply.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

That’s assuming you need to make modifications or mess around with the onboard instruments obtainable. Photographs typically come out wanting good, as is, together with in low-light and evening settings, the place distinction balances out properly. I don’t know if the restrained processing is because of Leica’s affect, however it exhibits anyway.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Evening Mode, Edited

Evening mode is ok, although I discovered I didn’t actually need it if there was sufficient ambient gentle to shoot with. I nonetheless want Xiaomi would permit customers to manage the publicity in Evening mode, solely as a result of it typically leaves it on for too lengthy when it’s not obligatory. This forces shooters to compromise by drawing down the publicity slider hoping they degree it simply sufficient to not blow out the brightest components of the picture.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Extremely-wide and Telephoto

These two lenses serve their supporting roles admirably, with particular consideration going to the effectiveness of the telephoto lens. Integrating macro into the telephoto seems to be an excellent transfer as a result of all of it however eliminates the prospect of the cellphone casting a shadow by crowding the cellphone over the topic itself. Spreading out the proximity additionally means you’ve gotten a greater probability capturing one thing up shut in the event you’re coping with a tougher lighting state of affairs.

Furthermore, the lens produces spectacular outcomes when zoomed in, with readability, element, and noise discount in instances the place I initially thought in any other case whereas capturing. The ultra-wide, alternatively, carried out precisely as I anticipated, which is to say it produced pictures proper on par with the 12S Extremely. Aside from some enhancements on the processing facet, I’m undecided they regarded that a lot better.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Portrait Mode

Portrait mode’s bokeh results are clearly a carryover from the Extremely, and I felt the identical manner after attempting them with the 13 Professional, which is to say I typically favored what they might produce. A part of that’s due to the flexibility they handle, like when capturing in low-light to get blurred lights and strobes within the background. It’s hit and miss as a result of Portrait doesn’t have the identical bracketing or processing that, say, Evening mode has, so that you all the time have to think about the way to gentle your topic.

You’ll be able to select how a lot bokeh you need between f/1-f/16, and shoot in Genuine or Vibrant. Choosing one of many results removes the bokeh slider, although you possibly can nonetheless shoot in both Leica mode. There’s additionally a full physique setting within the menu above, plus a “sensible HD portrait” possibility it is best to use sparingly. Each options are additionally non-obligatory when utilizing any of the bokeh results.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Particular Modes and Enhancing Instruments

Lengthy Publicity remains to be one of the best particular mode, in my view, and the one I used probably the most with the 13 Professional. It nonetheless has the identical six presets it had earlier than, all of that are price attempting if you wish to seize in any other case powerful lengthy exposures both handheld or with a tripod. Different modes from prior fashions are again once more, together with Supermoon, which garnered some oblique controversy from Samsung’s personal moon seize on the Galaxy S23 Extremely. Xiaomi has not commented on the kind of processing it makes use of for Supermoon when PetaPixel inquired about it.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
Captured in low gentle

I admittedly uncared for them in previous Xiaomi telephones, however the Gallery app has a fairly strong enhancing suite on this one. Google’s Magic Eraser will get effectively deserved reward for its prowess, however there’s an analogous characteristic within the 13 Professional. Open a photograph from Gallery, go to AI -> Erase and there will probably be choices to take away objects, folks, strains, and shadows (from meals pictures). These removing instruments carry out higher than you would possibly anticipate, however aren’t at Google’s degree — not less than not but. A part of the issue is how laborious it’s to be exact, in addition to the actual fact you may need to attract over the sections once more to take away the shadows or darkened pixels the characteristic leaves behind.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Professional and 50-Megapixel

Usually, I might defer to capturing in RAW and use the full-resolution mode extra sparingly until situations have been brighter, however I discovered myself typically doing the other with this cellphone. Granted, gentle seize is best when you’ve gotten bigger pixels, however after engaged on a bunch of RAW and full-resolution pictures in Lightroom, I felt the latter ones have been higher to find the look I wished.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review
50-megapixel mode, edited in Lightroom

There’s a catch right here that’s price noting. In the event you go to the 50-megapixel in the primary menu, you lose out on capturing in both Leica mode, although you should utilize the 4 different Leica filters. However in the event you go to Professional and faucet the settings within the high nook, you will note 50 megapixels obtainable there, letting you not solely use the Leica modes, but additionally all of the guide controls in any other case obtainable in Professional mode.

Whereas not actually RAW, it’s the closest you may get to composing a shot the best way you need with extra instruments and extra pixels. Even higher, this additionally applies to the opposite lenses, letting you additionally shoot at full decision once you swap to both of these.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Video Options

I centered on nonetheless pictures, however video is price with this cellphone as effectively. The bigger sensor helps create a bigger depth of area, which is welcome when you possibly can shoot in the identical 1080p, 4K, or 8K resolutions. As with pictures, you select between Leica’s Genuine or Vibrant modes to start out when capturing footage, mirroring how the 12S Extremely did the identical factor. You’ll be able to strive your hand at utilizing the present filters, together with the Leica ones, or the film results for a contact of Hollywood. Both manner, not quite a bit modified right here. The large catch is all of the filters will solely work as much as 1080p and 30fps.

The one change I might discover was Teleprompter, the place you possibly can copy and paste a script to learn as you shoot your video. This works with each the rear and entrance cameras, so whether or not you’re narrating a scene or doing a selfie presentation, you possibly can change the dimensions of the textual content and textual content window to go well with what you keep in mind.

Xiaomi 13 Professional: Taking up the Finest

The Xiaomi 13 Professional is the true deal. It proves its price as one of many high digicam telephones of 2023, competing towards one of the best available on the market now and virtually actually what’s to return over the course of the yr. The cellphone, and by extension, the model itself, nonetheless aren’t on the map for many in North America, however seeing what it will possibly do ought to elevate a number of eyebrows for these within the know.

Partnering with Leica lends additional credibility to what’s quick changing into one of the versatile cellular shooters obtainable. Whereas I’m not as bullish on Xiaomi’s MIUI software program overlayed on high of Android, I can recognize seeing Leica’s affect bear fruit within the high quality pictures this cellphone can produce.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

Are There Alternate options?

The Vivo X90 Professional involves thoughts as one other instance of a cellphone from a Chinese language model that continues to push the envelope on what and the way a cellphone shoots pictures. It makes use of the identical Sony IMX989 picture sensor and comparable telephoto and ultra-wide cameras, providing a deep set of software program instruments to work with on high of that. Plus, there’s the Zeiss partnership that’s lastly beginning to present its potential.

Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely, which took an actual step ahead, and is a present rarity in that it helps you to shoot in RAW at 50-megapixels. The Google Pixel 7 Professional stays top-of-the-line for low-light capturing, and freed from the sort of bloat that may blight a platform like Xiaomi’s MIUI. I wouldn’t rule out the OnePlus 11, given its improved imaging efficiency, both. In the event you’re pondering iOS is a perfect different, the iPhone 13 Professional and Professional Max are nonetheless your finest selections.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure, as a result of that is what the 12S Extremely was and extra. Shifting past China means Google Play companies are available, making the 13 Professional simply as accessible as any Android cellphone. It’s dear at $1,299 USD, however you’re going to get what you pay for.