Xiaomi 13 Ultra: The Camera Phone You Can’t Get in India, But Will Definitely Envy

Xiaomi 13 Ultra: The Camera Phone You Can’t Get in India, But Will Definitely Envy

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is the latest flagship smartphone from Xiaomi, developed in collaboration with renowned camera manufacturer Leica. Unfortunately, this device will not be released in India. After its initial debut in China, the phone is expected to be unveiled internationally.

Last year, we had the opportunity to briefly test the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and were highly impressed, particularly with its exceptional camera performance. This year, Xiaomi has made further improvements to the cameras and redesigned the phone to enhance its overall appeal. Thanks to its partnership with Leica, Xiaomi has become one of the leading brands in terms of camera quality, as evidenced by its inclusion in the DXO Mark ranking. The Mi 11 Ultra, a groundbreaking phone with highly capable cameras, marked the beginning of Xiaomi’s camera evolution in 2021.

Earlier this year, we also had the chance to try out the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which we believe offers one of the best cameras in India under Rs 80,000. Since the Mi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi has consistently exceeded expectations, and the new Xiaomi 13 Ultra is another testament to their commitment.

What sets the Xiaomi 13 Ultra apart is its flagship-level features and specifications. It boasts a WQHD+ display, a quad 50-megapixel camera setup, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, and a classic design.

Here are some key highlights:

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage for powerful performance.
A 6.73-inch 2K LTPO screen with a resolution of 1440×3200 pixels, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and a maximum brightness of 2600 nits. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
A 5000mAh battery with support for 90W fast charging (adapter included in the package).
A quad camera setup consisting of a 50MP Sony IMX989 1-inch primary sensor with OIS, a 50MP IMX858 ultra-wide camera, a 50MP IMX858 telephoto camera, and a 50MP IMX858 super-telephoto sensor with periscope construction.
The phone measures 163.18×74.64×9.06mm and weighs 227 grams. It features an IP68-certified water and dust-resistant unibody metal frame with a faux leather back.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra excels in photography thanks to its quad camera configuration, with each camera boasting a 50-megapixel sensor. The partnership with Leica led to the selection of the IMX989 sensor for the primary camera, while IMX858 sensors were used for the telephoto, ultra-wide, and super-telephoto cameras, resulting in a powerful camera system. Offering six different focal lengths, the 13 Ultra positions itself as a professional camera, which is quite unique in today’s market.

The camera interface has been updated, offering users six focal lengths ranging from 0.5x to 10x. We were impressed by the 3.2x telephoto lens, which captures 47% more light, and the 5x lens also delivered excellent results. Overall, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra excels in smartphone photography, from the camera UI to the final image quality.

During our limited time with the phone, we captured over 300 camera samples, and the results were stunning. The camera delivered exceptional exposure, color accuracy, and level of detail. We have selected a few samples to showcase the camera’s capabilities.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s camera can transform ordinary scenes into breathtaking works of art with its Leica Authentic design. It captures intricate details, from the fine hair of a kitten to the delicate patterns inside a yellow flower. With a wide range of portrait modes to explore, users can easily get lost in the creative possibilities. Xiaomi has listened to user feedback and made improvements to the 12S Ultra, allowing the 35mm lens to capture color photos in addition to black-and-white ones. The Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant settings offer users a wealth of flexibility to experiment with.

The camera performance of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is outstanding in every aspect. While there may be slight variations in skin tones compared to the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which achieved slightly better results in that area, it is likely due to software differences between the 13 Ultra’s China ROM and the 13 Pro’s locally tailored software. Even selfies turned out great, with slightly softer skin tones even when AI features were disabled. This may also be attributed to software tuning.

For professional photographers, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra allows shooting in 14-bit RAW format, providing more options for post-processing. Additionally, users have access to Leica Filters, personal photographic styles, and the ability to copyright their photographs, offering a complete Leica experience. The phone’s video capabilities are also excellent, supporting recording of up to 8K footage across all focal lengths, which is quite exceptional in the current market.

Upon comparing the Xiaomi 13 Ultra to its predecessor, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, significant advancements have been made. Not only have the cameras been improved, but the overall design has also been enhanced. The phone features a rear panel that gently protrudes, resembling a point-and-shoot camera, and takes design cues from high-end Leica cameras. The faux leather back not only adds to the aesthetics but also improves grip. The phone feels solidly built, and the display is one of Xiaomi’s finest offerings to date.

Xiaomi doesn’t disappoint when it comes to color options. In addition to the classic Black, Olive Green, and White, the 13 Ultra is also available in Blue, Yellow, and Orange, reminiscent of the vibrant Lumia era. Xiaomi even showcased a custom case that accommodates an additional camera module, further enhancing the photography experience. It brings to mind the 2013 Galaxy S4 Zoom.

While partnerships between smartphone manufacturers and camera companies are quite common, Xiaomi’s collaboration with Leica stands out for its success. In India, Vivo and OnePlus are two other companies with similar examples. Just as the opening partnership of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag propelled the Indian cricket team to new heights, Xiaomi’s association with Leica has helped them achieve remarkable milestones.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is undeniably the boldest smartphone produced by Xiaomi thus far. It is disappointing to realize that it won’t be entering the Indian market anytime soon. However, for photography enthusiasts in other parts of the world, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra presents an exceptional opportunity to capture stunning images and experience the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology and artistic design.

Also watch: OnePlus Nord 3 5G: All the Details You Need to Know About the Hottest New Phone

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