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Xiaomi's 13T Pro brings its Leica goodness to more western markets

The company promises four years of Android updates.


Xiaomi has a habit of releasing a mid-cycle flagship phone around this time of the year, mainly catering to markets outside of China. The good news with the freshly-announced Xiaomi 13T Pro is that, unlike last year's 12T Pro, this one comes with Leica's branding and photographic enhancements. This means fans in Europe will have another Leica-branded option for their next smartphone upgrade, in addition to the earlier — and more expensive — 13, 13 Pro and 13 Ultra.

The 13T Pro is, in fact, the global variant of China's Redmi K60 Ultra, which looks almost identical, but lacks Leica tuning and Google services. Another key difference is that the more expensive 13T Pro packs better photography hardware in order to get Leica's approval. The 24mm-equivalent main camera, for instance, is powered by a 50-megapixel sensor with a larger-than-usual 1.22um pixel size. While this is no match to the 1.6um pixels on the real flagships' 1-inch sensors, it's still more generous than what many other handsets offer, not to mention that it can achieve a 2.44um-equivalent effect by way of pixel-binning technology.

You'll also find a 50-megapixel f/1.9 telephoto camera (50mm-equivalent) and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (15mm-equivalent) on the Leica-branded camera island. All three cameras have access to both Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant color modes and, when in portrait mode, the telephoto camera offers a "Master-lens system" which can emulate a 35mm "Documentary" lens, a 50mm "Swirly" bokeh lens or a 90mm "Soft focus" lens. The 20-megapixel f/2.2 punch-hole selfie camera doesn't get any Leica love, but it does support night mode, portrait mode and HDR.

An exploded view of the Xiaomi 13T Pro.
An exploded view of the Xiaomi 13T Pro. (Xiaomi)

Like the Redmi K60 Ultra, the 13T Pro packs MediaTek's flagship Dimensity 9200+ processor, with which it apparently has a 10 percent boost in both CPU and GPU performance over the 12T Pro (which had a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, also based on a 4nm process). Xiaomi paired this with a 5,000mm² stainless steel vapor cooling plate — the company's biggest ever for a phone, allegedly — for improved thermal dissipation.

Xiaomi made a sensible decision with the 6.67-inch screen here: it's flat rather than curved, which makes photo viewing, video playback and gaming so much more practical. It's also a nice AMOLED panel, featuring a 2,712 x 1,220 resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, a 480Hz touch sampling rate, a peak brightness of 2,600 nits, DCI-P3 color gamut and support for both Dolby Vision plus HDR10+. For those with sensitive eyes, the display's fast 2,880Hz PWM (pulse-width modulation) dimming in lower brightness should induce less eye fatigue as well. This is shielded by a piece of Gorilla Glass 5, but more importantly, the entire device is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance.

Another noteworthy feature on the Xiaomi 13T Pro is its 5,000mAh battery, which supports 120W "HyperCharge." it only takes 19 minutes to go from zero to 100 percent, but if you're in a real hurry, even a mere 5-minute charge will apparently fill you up back to 36 percent. Such charging speeds aren't entirely new, of course, and likewise with Xiaomi's dual-chip system — the Surge G1 power management chipset plus Surge P1 fast-charging chipset — to ensure battery safety while prolonging its lifespan.

Xiaomi 13T Pro
Xiaomi 13T Pro (Xiaomi)

The Xiaomi 13T Pro is now rolling out across Europe, starting from 799 euros (around $846) for the 12GB LPDDRX5 RAM plus 256GB UFS 4.0 storage model, with the top model maxing out at 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for a yet-to-be-disclosed price. There's also an identical-looking Xiaomi 13T which starts from 649 euros (around $687; 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage), with the only differences seemingly being the lesser Dimensity 8200-Ultra processor, slower 67W charging and lack of 8K video recording.

Colors for both models include green or black which feature a glossy glass back, or "Alpine Blue" with a soft "BioComfort vegan leather" back. These dual-SIM devices run on MIUI 14 based on Android 13, and Xiaomi promises four years of Android updates along with five years of security patches. The company is also offering European customers one free screen repair within six months after purchase, and one out-of-warranty repair without labor cost within a year after purchase. It goes without saying that these freebies reflect Xiaomi's western ambitions, not to mention how it's strategically added more affordable options to its flagship lineup, in the hopes of putting up a better fight in the declining market.