Xiaomi 13 review: An amazing flagship device for the Leica fans out there


The Xiaomi 13 series was first introduced at the end of 2022 and was released globally at this MWC 2023. For those unaware, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra didn't get a global launch. As such, the Xiaomi 13 series would be the first phones we review with Leica co-engineered cameras.

As the new generation of Xiaomi's flagship series, the Xiaomi 13 has plenty to live up to. Not only does the Xiaomi 13 come with upgraded fast charging, but it also has the Leica features found on the Xiaomi 12S series. So, what kind of experience will the Xiaomi 13 offer? Read our review to find out!


Design - A premium feel that stands out


Xiaomi 13: Flora Green


FHD+ 6.36-inch AMOLED screen

First, we want to talk about the colour options. While the Xiaomi 13 series has black, white, green, and blue colours, we only have black, white, and green in Malaysia. The blue-coloured version has a leathery look that many would love, but we were unfortunate this time.

The review unit we received was the green version, which gave us a very 'soft' feeling. Although it is called Flora Green, its light green tint looks more like the colour of a jade bracelet. The back cover is made of glass which looks great and is less prone to fingerprints. Under different angles, the phone's glass back would also reflect light for that extra shine.


No obvious fingerprints


Right: Power and volume buttons


Top: IR blaster and microphone


Bottom: Speaker grille, USB-C port, microphone, and SIM tray


Super narrow bezels

The Xiaomi 13 features a design that has become the popular choice for flagship devices - flat sides and rounded corners. It also has a slight curve to its back cover, which makes it better to hold. Some of our writers felt it was one of the more comfortable 2023 flagship phones when held.

Although the Xiaomi 13 is a flagship with a smaller screen than most flagships, it was still an upgrade (6.26-inch to 6.36-inch) compared to its predecessor. However, the overall size hasn't changed that much. That's thanks to Xiaomi making the bezels even more narrow, which allowed for a slightly larger display. Moreover, the bezels are more or less even on all sides, so you get a very symmetrical look.

As we've mentioned, this phone has cameras co-engineered by Leica. You'll see the Leica logo printed on the back with the camera module, which now features a square-ish design instead of a rectangular one. It still uses clear lines to divide the different lenses, but that's more of a style choice than a practical one. Overall, we like this design more as it looks more balanced.


LEICA Triple Camera


The camera bump isn't that thick when compared to most flagship phones


A punch-hole on the top centre of the screen for the front camera

Going back to the front, the 6.36-inch display is a flat AMOLED panel with a punch-hole in the centre of the top for the front camera. It's a Samsung E6 panel with a 93.3% screen-to-body ratio, peak brightness of 1900nit, and a 120Hz refresh rate. According to Xiaomi, the device supports DC dimming and can reduce power consumption by 22%. Also, its high peak brightness means the screen remains clear even on the brightest days.

Besides that, the display also has a 240Hz touch sampling rate, supports Dolby Vision, and has SGS eye protection certification. Not only does it do well in web browsing or social media, but it also outputs good image quality for movies or mobile games. If there's one problem you might encounter, it would be accidental touches when holding the phone in landscape mode (for gaming). But that's because of the lack of bezels. Well, that's a trade-off you'll have to accept for the narrow bezels.


Everything inside the box


Tech specs and features - Almost equal to the Pro version

The Xiaomi 13 might be the standard variant, but it doesn't mean it's a 'lesser' phone. Check out the tech specs and features of the Xiaomi 13 below.

  • Display: 6.36-inch AMOLED, 1080x2400 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, up to 1900 nits brightness
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
  • Storage: 256GB UFS 4.0
  • Cooling: Large vapour chamber liquid cooling module (4642mm²)
  • Rear cameras: 50MP (main) f/1.8 with HyperOIS, 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2, 10MP telephoto (75mm equivalent focal length) f/2.0 with OIS
  • Battery: 4500mAh
  • Charging: 67W fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging, 10W wireless reverse charging
  • Misc: IP68 dust and water resistance, Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers
  • OS: MIUI 14 based on Android 13
  • Colour: Black, White, Flora Green
  • Xiaomi 13 system information

Under the hood, the Xiaomi 13 features Qualcomm's latest flagship chipset - the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It also comes with 12GB of LPDDR5X, which helps the phone run any app comfortably. And it has a big 4642mm² vapour chamber liquid cooling system to keep the phone cool.

Being a 4nm chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 delivers a 37% increase in CPU performance and a 42% increase in GPU performance. That's a pretty big jump in overall performance compared to its predecessor. It even features LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0 storage, so it's not inferior to the Xiaomi 13 Pro or Xiaomi 13 Ultra.



Smaller screen, but just as immersive

Besides the display we mentioned, notable features of the Xiaomi 13 include stereo speakers, a dual-SIM tray, and 256GB of UFS 4.0. It also has a 4500mAh battery, which doesn't sound like much but is pretty standard with flagship phones of this size.

As for the operating system, Xiaomi 13 runs on MIUI 14 based on Android 13. The UI was significantly improved and felt more fluid compared to the Xiaomi 12. While the app icons all look familiar, the updated UI does provide larger folders, optional icon sizes, and some new widgets.


MIUI 14 interface


Performance - No compromises

To test the phone's base performance, we ran our typical combo of synthetic benchmarks with Geekbench and 3DMark. In the Geekbench 6 CPU test, the Xiaomi 13 scored 1372 points in the single-core category and 4414 points in the multi-core category. For reference, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset averages 1278 and 3815 points, respectively. This shows that the new chipset offers a notable increase in overall performance.

Moving on, we tested the phone with 3DMark's Wild Life Stress Test. It runs 20 consecutive high-intensity tests to see how a phone performs during prolonged periods of activity (when you're watching videos or playing mobile games). It's great to determine if there's any thermal throttling for the GPU when it's under heavy load. Anyway, the Xiaomi 13 recorded stability of up to 98.5%. This indicates that the phone can stay relatively stable most of the time, with the highest core temperature recorded at just 45°C, which was very surprising.


Geekbench | 3DMark



Genshin Impact in action


Genshin Impact settings


You can improve the performance with Game Turbo

As for gaming performance, we went with the highly demanding Genshin Impact for testing. For the image quality settings, the game could run everything at 'High' settings and 60FPS with motion blur enabled. We enjoyed the game, which ran smoothly and didn't experience a noticeable dip in performance at any time. As for the temperature, the phone would get warm after long hours of gaming, but it's not at the level where it would feel hot. You could even run the game on slightly lower settings for a smoother gaming experience and cooler phone temperature.

Next is battery endurance. In this case, the Xiaomi 13's 4500mAh battery doesn't sound like much. But it's paired with features like the charging management system, 67W fast charging, 50W wireless charging, and 10W wireless reverse charging. Unfortunately, we only had the 67W adapter included in the box. Xiaomi claimed that you could fully charge the phone in 50 minutes, so we decided to test that.

After a regular day at work, the Xiaomi 13 was left at 10% before we started to charge it. The charge increased to 24% within 5 minutes, 36% in 10 minutes, 44% in 15 minutes, 72% in 30 minutes, and 100% in 50 minutes. So as you can see, the total time is more or less accurate. But you can tell that the charge speed starts out faster before slowing down. Overall, battery endurance was good as well. In performance mode, only about 10% of the battery was drained after 30 minutes of playing Genshin Impact with the highest brightness and image quality settings.


A 67W charging adapter and USB-A to USB-C cable were included in the box


Power consumption



Running some YouTube videos to test battery consumption

Besides that, the battery can last quite a long while playing videos. The battery dropped from 74% to 68% after 30 minutes of YouTube videos (at max brightness and volume). That's a power consumption of just 6%! It's worth mentioning that the Xiaomi 13 has built-in stereo dual speakers, supports Dolby Atmos, and the Dolby Vision display. As such, watching videos on the phone was a pretty enjoyable experience.

For photography, you get the three Leica cameras mentioned earlier. The setup consists of a 50MP main camera (1/1.49 inch) with HyperOIS, a 12MP ultra-wide camera (120° FoV) and a 10MP telephoto (f/2.0 wide aperture) that's a 75mm equivalent focal length lens.


LEICA rear triple camera


Xiaomi 13 camera interface

The Xiaomi 13 uses a colour database established by Xiaomi and Leica to achieve more accurate colours. This "Leica true color imaging" is a machine learning platform trained by millions of photos, allowing it to improve the colours in your photos.

As for the photo quality, the Leica main camera performs best when there is sufficient light during the day. What's different is that you'll get super accurate colour and excellent detail in your shots. You can check out some photos we took with the phone below.


Main camera


Ultra-wide camera


Main camera - 50MP shot (binned)


Portrait mode


Ultra-wide camera


10MP telephoto camera - 2x optical zoom


10MP telephoto camera - 3.2x optical zoom


Main camera - 10x digital zoom


Main camera - 30x digital zoom


Selfie - Normal vs Portrait mode

The quality of the 12MP ultra-wide camera was also satisfactory. In fact, the level of detail and colours you get is quite similar to photos taken with the main camera. This is thanks to the AI-powered imaging engine, which can help improve scenes with leaves, flowers, buildings, and even clouds.

And since Leica is involved, there are Leica filters! For the Xiaomi 13, you get to snap two styles of photos with the Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic filters. There are also 16 other filters like Vivid, BW Natural, and more. These could be useful if there's a specific look that you want. It can also help you save time if you wish to avoid doing any post-production or fine-tuning.


The AI can recognise and tune various scenes


Vivid vs Classic


LEICA BW HC vs V-250 vs Film

As for the low-light performance, the Xiaomi 13 performed well, even without night mode. It was hard to tell the difference between a regular night shot and one with night mode enabled, to be honest. But if there's one that stood out, it would be how the lights in night mode look less distorted. Overall, you get more natural shots with less noise.

Regardless of where you are, the Xiaomi 13 can deliver photos with excellent colour performance. Of course, the camera software will add some post-processing to your shots. But it's not that obvious, for the most part. The photos should also look natural and vivid enough without fine-tuning in Photoshop. So, you can upload it to your Instagram account immediately after making a shot.

As for video recording, the main camera supports HyperOIS and can shoot 4K 24p videos. You can also choose two other image stabilisation modes - Steady Video and Steady Video Pro.



Main camera - Auto




Main camera - Night mode


Auto vs Nightscape


Main camera vs ultra-wide camera


Selfie - Auto vs Night mode


Video supports HyperOIS super optical image stabilisation


Conclusion - A smaller but excellent flagship phone for Leica fans

Overall, the performance of Xiaomi 13 is in line with other high-end flagship phones. Although it's the standard model, you still get impressive specs and features. If you don't have any fancy requirements, you can't go wrong with getting this phone.

There's only one variant of the Xiaomi 13 in Malaysia (12GB RAM + 256GB ROM), and it comes at a price of RM3499. Considering the prices of most flagship phones these days, it's not too bad. With the Leica filters and excellent photo quality, we would even say it has fantastic value.


Of course, that's not to say that there are no alternatives. The Honor Magic 5 has the same price tag for roughly the same specs. But it has a slightly larger screen, a bigger battery, and a 54MP+50MP+32MP triple camera setup. Looks better on paper, but it doesn't have any Leica filters and tuning. There's also the OnePlus 11, which is a bit more affordable at RM3299. It has less RAM but features a 50MP+48MP+32MP triple camera system tuned by Hasselblad, 100W fast charging, and Dual "Reality" Dolby Atmos Speakers. If you want a phone that's more geared for gaming, the iQOO 11 has a 2K display with a 144Hz refresh rate, a large vapour chamber for cooling, and a V2 chip that boosts game performance. The iQOO 11 is also available in Malaysia for RM3499.

Anyway, what do you think of the Xiaomi 13 so far? Is this a flagship smartphone you'd be interested in? Let us know in the comments on our Facebook page! And for more reviews like this, stay tuned to TechNave.com.

Xiaomi 13 Specs & Price >