The Xiaomi 13T could prove to be popular among smartphone snappers with the same Leica co-engineered triple camera setup as its more premium sibling, though at a much more pocket-friendly price.
- Leica co-engineered camera setupThe Xiaomi 13T has a triple camera setup co-engineered by Leica that should deliver top-notch photography and videography.
- Dust and water resistanceWith IP68 dust and water resistance, the Xiaomi 13T should survive a dip in a pool or a trip to a sandy beach.
- Fast chargingThough not quite as fast as the 13T Pro, 67W charging should deliver a full charge in little over 40 minutes.
Xiaomi has just lifted the lid on the Xiaomi 13T range – the 13T and its more premium sibling, the 13T Pro.
However, unlike most manufacturers that tend to give the ‘Pro’ model better camera tech, that’s not the case here. Instead, the Xiaomi 13T sports the same trio of Leica co-engineered cameras, alongside the same 144Hz AMOLED display tech, IP68-rated design and all-day battery life, making it a pretty tempting option considering it comes in at £100 less than its pricier sibling at £549.
While I’m not yet ready to deliver my thoughts on the Xiaomi 13T, I did get a chance to go hands-on at Xiaomi’s launch event in Berlin, and here are my thoughts so far.
Design and screen
- IP68 dust and water resistance
- 6.67-inch AMOLED display
- 144Hz refresh rate
The Xiaomi 13T is an evolution of the Xiaomi 12T’s design, with a combination of curved corners and flat edges that make it sit nicely in the hand.
Interestingly, despite featuring much of the same tech as the Xiaomi 13T Pro, it’s actually slightly lighter at 193g – though it’s not really that noticeable when you pick it up, especially when combined with its 8.5mm thickness that can make it feel a little bulky compared to sleeker options like the devilishly slim Motorola Edge 40.
Just like its more premium sibling, the standard Xiaomi 13T is also available in both glass and vegan leather finishes, and it’s available in the same Alpine Blue, Meadow Green and Black finishes, with the latter only available in a glass finish. It also boasts the same top-level IP68 dust and water resistance that should protect it from a dunk in a pool or a trip to the beach.
Essentially, what I’m saying is that the Xiaomi 13T and 13T Pro sport the exact same design and it’ll be near-impossible to tell the two apart at a glance.
That trend is also true of the display, with an identical 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate and support for premium formats like HDR10+. It also matches the Xiaomi 13T Pro and Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s top brightness of 2600 nits, making it one of, if not the brightest screen available at the price.
It’ll be interesting to see just how well that performs in brighter conditions than the relatively dim hands-on area I was at.
- Leica co-engineered camera setup
- Identical to Xiaomi 13T Pro
- Advanced photo and video modes
The cameras are the star of the Xiaomi 13T show, marking the first time that Leica co-engineered lenses have been used in anything but Xiaomi’s top-end flagship smartphone line.
More specifically, the Xiaomi 13T sports the same 50MP main, 50MP 2x telephoto and 12MP ultrawide lenses as the Xiaomi 13T Pro. I didn’t get much opportunity to test out the camera prowess in a crowded hands-on area, but I have spent plenty of time with the Xiaomi 13T Pro and, as long as camera performance is identical (which it should be) the Xiaomi 13T could have the edge in photography, especially at its mid-range price.
Camera performance from the Pro model was impressive, both in well-lit and low-light conditions, with plenty of detail and vibrancy without looking too saturated like you’ll find from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23.
As well as Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant shooting modes that change the tone and visuals of your shots, you can make on-the-fly adjustments to tone, vibrancy and more with the viewfinder matching the final product near-perfectly.
There’s also stablised 4K@60fps video recording with HDR10+ support, as well as the ability to record in C-Log – not a big deal for ‘normies’ but a huge deal for those that work in video.
I look forward to testing the camera tech more once I get a sample for review, but for a sneak peek, take a look at my full Xiaomi 13T Pro review.
- MediaTek Dimensity 8200 Ultra
- 67W fast charging
- MIUI 14 based on Android 13
One of the only differences between the Xiaomi 13T and its bigger, more expensive sibling is processing power – though neither should be considered a slouch. The Xiaomi 13T sports MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 Ultra chipset with 8- or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
It’s not quite as capable as the MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ and 12- or 16GB of RAM found in the 13T Pro, I didn’t notice any kind of lag or slow-down during my hands-on time with the smartphone. Everything felt just as responsive as you’d expect, no doubt aided by that super-smooth 144Hz refresh rate, and tasks like snapping photos were near-instant.
It’ll be interesting to see just how well it benchmarks, however, with similarly priced options like the Nothing Phone (2) boasting the (slightly older) flagship-level Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that could give it the edge over Xiaomi’s option.
Charge speed is another area that varies between the two flavours of 13T, with the entry-level model sporting fast – but not exactly 120W — 67W fast charging tech that Xiaomi claims can deliver a full charge of its 5000mAh in 42 minutes.
However, considering we found the Xiaomi 13T Pro and its 120W charging to deliver a full charge in 33 minutes, I’m a little sceptical about this claim.
Elsewhere, the Xiaomi 13T comes with the same flavour as MIUI 14 (based on Android 13) as the Xiaomi 13T Pro and the top-end Xiaomi 13 Pro, which, depending on your feelings on the heavily tweaked UI, will either be great or horrendous.
I personally have mixed feelings about the OS – it has fun tweaks like Live Wallpapers that transition from the AOD to the lock screen and home screen with cool animations – but it can also be rather frustrating to use at times, with an approach to Android that’ll leave even seasoned Android veterans scratching their heads at times.
Whatever your feelings, Xiaomi’s upgraded long-term promise will see the Xiaomi 13T get four OS upgrades and five years of security patches, an offer only matched by Samsung in the Android space.
The Xiaomi 13T could be the more exciting smartphone compared to its bigger brother. Sure, the 13T Pro has faster charging and faster processing, but the tech that counts – including the 6.67-inch 144Hz display and Leica co-engineered camera setup – remains consistent among the two, though at a much lower price.