Xiaomi 13 Ultra is live! The new camera king?

Hey, DXOMark, guess you have to update your rankings again

Not long after DXOMark reigned the Oppo Find X6 Pro the ultimate camera champion, Xiaomi threw their contestant right there. These Ultra-level cameras are getting increasingly interesting and competitive. DXOMark would now have to constantly keep track of the ultimate camera like there is no tomorrow. Well… We’ll just have to wait and see how far can a double trouble do in smartphone camera benchmarks.

The phone boasts a fully functional quad 50MP camera system all of which are enhanced through Leica’s imaging system. CEO Lei Jun has actually promised to bring the Ultra series globally starting with the 13 Ultra, and that’s why we’re here. The camera hump is shaped like a circle, similar to other ultra flagship phones we’ve seen like the Oppo Find X6 series.

The phone comprises one Sony IMX989 primary camera and three Sony IMX858 sensors with three different functions, all enhanced through a Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.8-3.0/12-120 ASPH lens. All of these lenses have 50MP resolution.

To put the cameras into granular detail, the 50MP Sony IMX989 sensor measures 1″ which is large for smartphone standards. Of course, this sensor has OIS with a 23mm focal length. Its aperture measures f/1.9 so it allows a large amount of light to be processed by the sensor which should result in bright and sharp images even during at night. Just like the Huawei P60 series, this aperture can physically switch from f/1.9 or f/4.0 for a dense depth of field for those beautiful portrait shots.

The three separately functioning IMX858 sensors also have OIS but they are slightly smaller at 1/2.51″ this is still a respectable and impressive size for smartphone standards. Using the same lens for different types of cameras is advantageous because this makes the quality consistent when switching between modes.

The Ultrawide camera can also function as a macro camera which we believe budget and midrange phones should adopt, instead of eliminating the Ultrawide completely.

The 75mm telephoto camera (f/1.8) has 3.2x optical zoom. However, this is not as impressive as the other telephoto camera with 120mm focal length and up to 10x optical zoom (240mm). Not to mention, the phone has “in-sensor-zoom technology” which allows seamless switching between a 2x 46mm zoom or a 10x 240mm zoom.

The front camera has 32MP resolution and functions just as well as a midranger would which is not that great seeing on a flagship, so it may not be the best flagship phone to use with vlogging.

As the phone uses Leica’s technology, 13 Ultra users get access to Leica’s famous processing systems: Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. The latter will make your images pop out more by instilling extra vibrant colours while the Authentic makes it appear as if the photo was taken RAW. Of course, post-processing is still applied to it but not as exaggerated as the Leica Vibrant mode.

By the way, Xiaomi advertises this phone as not a “camera phone” but an “advanced imaging system”, including the ability to capture a 50MP 14-bit RAW with multi-frame sharpening, noise reduction, and dynamic range adjustment. Expect the Pro features in this to be flexible.

If these camera features don’t outpace the rest of the competition, we don’t know what we will. Certainly, Sony’s new handsets would have a say against the new Xiaomi phones despite using similar hardware.

The phone obviously has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset because you can’t make an “Ultra” device but use an older flagship chipset. As the highest-end of the series, the 13 Ultra should be the best offering Xiaomi could sell to its viewers. The phone is paired with 12GB RAM with 256GB starting storage. This can go all the way to 16/1TB which is crucial because you’re meant to take a lot of photos and videos with this.

No need to worry about heating because the 13 Ultra uses Xiaomi’s self-developed Loop LiquidCooling Technology which the company claims can dissipate heat a lot more efficiently thanks to its “aerospace-grade toroidal cooling” and its massive vapour chamber.

Speaking of heating things, there is a 5000mAh battery inside that is charged via a 90W USB-C port. There’s also 50W wireless charging if you prefer that route. Baked inside this battery system is the Xiaomi Surge P2 and G1 chip which manages battery consumption and prolongs the life of the battery.

The display is also not to be missed out. It is a 6.73″ WQHD+ LTPO3 (3200x1440px) SAMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. Xiaomi says this phone has a maximum brightness of 2600nits which is more than the usual flagship phone and maybe the brightest screen out of any phone yet.

The rear back is made of leather but is coated with anti-microbial material that can inhibit 99.9% of germs that touch the phones. Because, as we all know, phones are among the most bacteria-infested objects out there, sometimes, more than a dirty money bill. This version comes in Black and Green.

There’s also a white colour option made of aluminium this time. You may want to choose this if leather isn’t your cup of tea.

In China, prices start at CNY 5,999 (~Php 49.1K) for the 12/256 variant while the 16/1TB one costs CNY 7,299 (~Php 59.7K). There is also a 16/512 variant that costs CNY 6,499 (~Php 53.1K). Now, you read this part and thought “Wow, this phone is quite affordable for an ultra flagship”. Just so you wait until import duties get that statement out of you. When this phone gets released globally, expect a significantly high price increase. If Xiaomi Philippines has the balls to release it here, then it won’t start at a sub-50K price. Just imagine a slightly cheaper Galaxy S23 Ultra. This is the price that’s close to it.


  • 6.73″ WQHD+ LTPO3 (3200x1440px) Samsung E6 AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate
    • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection
    • IP68 water/dust resistance
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4nm)
    • 50MP (Primary), f/1.9 or f/4.0, 23mm, 1″ sensor, 3.2µm individual pixels, 50MP UltraRAW, 8K Video, OIS,
      Sony IMX989
    • 50MP (Ultrawide), f/1.8, 12mm, 1/2.51″, 122°, 5cm macro, OIS, Sony IMX858
    • 50MP (Telephoto | mid-range), f/1.8, 75mm, 1/2.51″, 3.2x optical zoom, OIS, Sony IMX858
    • 50MP (Telephoto | Periscope, far-range), f/3.0, 120mm, 1/2.51″, 5x optical zoom, OIS, Sony IMX858
    • FRONT: 32MP, f/2.0, Fixed Focus, 1080p@60fps video
    • Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.8-3.0/12-120 ASPH lens
    • Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant modes
  • MIUI 14 based on Android 13
  • 5000mAh, 90W fast charging
    • 50W Fast wireless charging
  • USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio, In-display fingerprint scanner with heart rate monitor, IR Blaster
  • 5G services, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3 LE, NFC
  • Black, Olive Green (Leather), White (Metallic)
  • PRICE:
    • 12/256: CNY 5,999 (~Php 49.1K)
    • 16/512: CNY 6,499 (~Php 53.1K)
    • 16/1TB: CNY 7,299 (~Php 59.7K)

Source: Xiaomi (in Chinese) via GSMArena