Like the Xiaomi 13 Pro, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is a brilliant phone. It shares many of the same specs, such as being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and a 6.73-inch AMOLED display. However, what sets the Ultra apart is its Leica partnership in the form of the four rear cameras featuring Leica optics and design.
- 6.73-inch AMOLED (3,200 x 1,440 pixels, 1 to 120Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 12GB RAM, 512GB storage
- 5,000mAh battery, 90W charging, 50W wireless charging
- Cameras: 50MP, 50MP telephoto, 50MP super telephoto, 50MP ultra-wide, 32MP front
Like the Pro, the Ultra feels premium. However, it comes with a textured rear back that feels leathery (but isn't leather). I do like how it feels in the hand. The camera housing features a gold ring around it, which stands out. Because of how centered the housing is, the phone sits pretty stably when on the table. The sides are flat, making it easier to hold when taking pictures. Other specs include IP68 water and dust resistance, a 1,440p resolution, 2,600 nits peak brightness, 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, and HDR10 support. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra's 5,000mAh battery lasted 7hr 57 min in the PCMark's Work 3.0 battery life test. It's not as long as the Nothing Phone 2‘s 9hr 33min, though, which was a workhorse. You can do 90W wired charging, or 50W wireless with a Mi 80W charger.
Of course, the main reason to get this phone is the camera. It uses a 1-inch sensor, and takes 50MP pictures. It has variable apertures, either F1.9 or F4.0. One gives you nice blurring on your background, the other, sharper. In terms of lenses, there are four: The main 23mm, an 12mm ultrawide, a 75mm telephoto, and a 120mm super-telephoto. You also get the Leica image processing: Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. I prefer Vibrant as my default for the punchier images, but Authentic is a lot more realistic.
Pictures are excellent, and portraits look really good. Autofocus is fast, too. The 5x zoom is best for distant landscape shots, and doesn't work as well if your subject is close, and you want a tighter shot. Your pictures will appear very muddy. The 3.2x (75mm) zoom is better for that, but fares poorly in faraway landscape shots, as it lacks the details you get from the 5x. Night shots are impressive, though the 5x zoom night shots do show quite a bit of astigmatism. Light sources will show a cross-shaped flare, which looks nice if you fancy that. The bundled Photography Kit comes with a grip to make the phone look even more like a camera. Do note that you can't charge the phone with the kit attached, but it's easy enough to take out.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra retails for S$1,899 for the 12GB RAM, 512GB storage version and comes with a wireless charging kit. That's a S$300 premium over the already excellent Xiaomi 13 Pro. But it's worth it, if you are into photography and want something you can shoot anywhere without lugging a mirrorless camera around. Get it from Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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