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In the collective imagination, it is difficult to separate the image from Xiaomi as the Chinese smartphone brand that offers a large number of entry-level and mid-range products with good value for money. If the brand’s sympathy capital is quite high for this reason, it seems that this is no longer enough for the manufacturer, which has decided to launch an ultra top of the range whose exorbitant price is among the highest on the market.

Is its partnership with Leica to try to make it one of the best photophones on the market enough to justify a price like the 1,499.90 euros that Xiaomi asks for its 13 Ultra?

An interesting asymmetric design.

xiaomi has pulled out all the stops when it comes to the 13 ultras! If it wasn’t so thin, it would look like a camera instead of a smartphone. And it’s voluntary. The Chinese brand takes advantage of its association with the important photographic brand Leica and uses the visual identity of the models offered by the German manufacturer. The back of the smartphone is dressed. vegan leather with a relatively successful effect. If this seems a bit hard to the touch and lacks relief, at least it will have the advantage of not leaving traces, and of giving confidence as to its duration over time.

Another peculiarity of the back of the smartphone, this is asymmetrical, with a part that comprises the impressive photosensor that rises. This does not interfere with the use of the Xiaomi 13 ultra regarding its ergonomics or weight distribution. It is even a rather clever point on the part of the Chinese manufacturer, since, placed against a table, the huge photosensor will not rest completely on this surface, with the risk of scratching it.

xiaomi 13 ultra

The photosensor, let’s talk about it. While other manufacturers tend to seamlessly embed them into the case of smartphones, Xiaomi chose to make it rather prominent, like a camera. A choice that is quite aesthetic, especially since it exceeds with a beautiful gold border of the best effect.

A part of the impressive photo

The greatest interest of the Xiaomi 13 Pro lies in its photographic part. Taking the usual scheme of current smartphones of the 4 sensors, Xiaomi’s smartphone exploits the incredible sensor SonyIMX989the largest available in a smartphone, and which also equips the second best photophone according to DxOMark, the Oppo Find X6 Pro. The difference is that Xiaomi has implanted a diaphragm, which allows you to modify the aperture, and therefore manage the depth of field. The other sensors are the Sony IMX858. Together, they offer a smartphone that adapts to all situations, from ultra wide-angle 12mm equivalent to telephoto 120mm equivalent.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra review

xiaomi He has often had the bad habit of pushing the contrast of his photos too much, to make them more flattering to the eye. This time, the Leica Vibrant mode brings a slightly more natural touch to the photos. Whether in optimal lighting conditions or dimmer interiors, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is at home everywhere.

However, we will notice macro shots which lack sharpness compared to what is done in the competition offering smartphones at similar prices. The front camera is not doing too badly, as long as you offer it optimal lighting conditions. If it’s not the best photophone on the market itself, this one comes pretty close.

amazing speakers

If there’s something we didn’t expect especially Xiaomi 13 Ultra, is at the level of your speakers. Two in number, these are certified Dolby Atmos. Whether on calls or listening to music, the two speakers work wonders. The sound offered is powerful, but clear and distinct.

Just a very slight nasal touch is deplorable at the highest power level. It’s hard to expect deep, powerful bass from a smartphone, but Xiaomi 13 Ultra You don’t have much to be ashamed of on the subject. In general, the smartphone amazes me with its neat multimedia appearance.

Really fast loading speed

With a 5000 mAh battery, hard to imagine fast charging. Fortunately, Xiaomi has equipped the 13 Ultra with a battery capable of accepting a 90-watt charge. In addition, the charger is included with the smartphone, which is important to take into account in our time.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra review

Specifically, our test indicates that it 40 minutes to go from 20 to 100%which must be faster than what Samsung or Apple offer.

Hardware contaminated by software

Without any exaggeration, Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 overlay based on Android 13 is a real pain. However, the 13 Ultra is equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the current best processor in the field of smartphones. At the hardware level, Xiaomi’s smartphone is almost flawless, except for its tendency to get too hot for our liking. Where the shoe pinches are about the experience offered by the overlay of the Chinese manufacturer. However, not having the latest Android features, we are always blessed with bloatware, these useless apps installed without our consent, which we then have to remove by hand.

The settings menus and submenus also lack legibility. The worst thing is still the display of articles offered by My Browser, on the smartphone’s lock screen, activated by default.

In conclusion

Although the Xiaomi 13 Ultra has arguments to make, it is difficult to say that the smartphone is up to the asking price when we see its share of unpleasant software and limited autonomy in general. It also suffers from comparison with a Samsung s23 ultra or an iPhone 14 ProMax, both being a bit cheaper. Its brands are also much more consolidated in the very high-end sector.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra review

Couldn’t the 13 Ultra have been developed to reward the brand, and then potentially get consumers used to paying for smartphones? Is Xiaomi more expensive? We will still salute the manufacturer’s risk-taking and know-how in terms of equipment. We also like the choice of the partnership with Leica, to make it an excellent photophone, but also its high-end hardware that, in general, offers an excellent multimedia experience.

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