The Xiaomi 13T Pro is a smartphone that looks and feels the part, and capable hardware, including a 144Hz AMOLED display, triple camera system and 120W fast charging tech that further bolsters that experience. However, as with most Xiaomi devices, it’s let down by EMUI 14, offering a rather frustrating flavour of the Android OS at times.
- Capable camera setup
- Solid performance
- Stylish design
- MIUI 14 is cluttered and frustrating to use
- 120W charging is slower than 100W alternatives
- Super-fast display techSporting a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, the Xiaomi 13T Pro is ideal for gaming on the go.
- Water and dust resistanceWith IP68 dust and water resistance, the Xiaomi 13T Pro will survive a dunk in the water and a trip to the beach.
- 120W fast chargingWith 120W charging – and a 120W charger in the box – the Xiaomi 13T Pro can go from flat to full in little over 30 minutes.
You might assume that the Xiaomi 13T Pro is a mid-season upgrade to the flagship Xiaomi 13 Pro, but that’s not the case.
In Xiaomi’s case, the T doesn’t represent a ‘turbo’ version of the device, but a more budget-friendly option. We’re not talking true budget levels here – the Xiaomi 13T Pro starts at £649 – but it’s a damn sight cheaper than the £1,099 Xiaomi 13 Pro.
The question is, are the trade-offs worth the reduction in price or should you opt for a capable mid-ranger from the likes of Google or Nothing? After spending over a week and a half with my SIM in the Xiaomi 13T Pro, here’s what I think.
- Vegan leather finish
- Vibrant colour options
- Fairly heavy and chunky
The Xiaomi 13T Pro is a pretty standard premium smartphone, sporting a combination of aluminium and either glass or vegan leather, depending on the finish you opt for.
The colour options, including stylish Meadow Green and Alpine Blue, help the Xiaomi 13T Pro stand out from the sea of black and silver finishes, though there is a bog-standard Black finish available if that is your cup of tea.
The faux leather finish, which I was provided with for review, feels exceptionally soft and comfortable to the touch, with curved edges that help it fit nicely into the palm of the hand. It also stops the 13T Pro from sliding off slightly uneven surfaces, though you can get it with a Gorilla Glass 5-reinforced rear instead if you prefer the cold touch of glass.
That said, it’s not exactly the thinnest or lightest smartphone in the arena, measuring in at 8.6mm and 206g respectively. There is something to be said for the solid feeling of a heavier smartphone like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but it does feel a little bit bulky – even with those curved edges.
The camera bump has also had a redesign compared to its predecessor, swapping out the rectangular rear cutout for a much more squared-off affair. Small details like sloping bezels help make it look a little more attractive, but let’s be honest, there’s only so much you can do to make a camera bump look cool.
The black colour of the camera housing does stick out like a sore thumb on the more colourful finishes – what would’ve been nice is if the housings matched the hue of the rear panel, like with the iPhone 15 and even budget options like the Motorola Edge 40 Neo.
One thing you needn’t worry about is dust or water, with an IP68 dust and water resistance rating that should survive a dunk in the water and a trip to the beach.
An area where Xiaomi does need to improve is its environmental commitments, with plenty of single-use plastic in the box that isn’t great for the environment, and as far as I know, the phone doesn’t use any recycled components or materials either.
- 6.67-inch AMOLED display
- Up to 144Hz
- Vibrant colours and inky blacks
Xiaomi has a reputation for focusing on high-end display tech across much of its smartphone range – even budget options like the £339 Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G has a 6.67-inch 120Hz OLED display – and that trend continues with the Xiaomi 13T Pro.
Though not LTPO-enabled or curved like its more premium sibling, the Xiaomi 13 Pro, the 6.67-inch AMOLED display is actually faster than Xiaomi’s flagship at 144Hz. This, combined with a 480Hz touch sample rate, makes it particularly well-suited to gaming.
Gamers tend to covet that specific refresh rate, capable of delivering up to 144 frames per second in supported titles – the catch is that there aren’t many of those around on Google Play right now. You can force the display to render at its maximum 144Hz refresh rate at all times, but by default, it’ll automatically switch refresh rate depending on what you’re up to to save on battery life.
Elsewhere, the pin-sharp resolution, AMOLED display tech and support for advanced formats including Dolby Vision and HDR10+ deliver a top-end display experience with vibrant colours, deep inky blacks and impressive contrast in supported HDR titles on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
It’s also plenty bright with a standard brightness of 1200nits that can be boosted all the way up to a blistering 2600nits when watching that HDR content, really nailing that dynamic range in supported content.
That all said, the Xiaomi 13T Pro’s 6.67-inch display is well suited not only to binging Netflix on the go but high-end, high frame-rate gameplay.
- 50MP main sensor
- Great results in a range of conditions
- Partnership with Leica
The Xiaomi 12T Pro sported a whopping 200MP sensor, so the 50MP main sensor of the 13T Pro does feel like a bit of a downgrade – on paper, anyway. In reality, there’s much more to camera prowess than megapixel count, and the main sensor delivers great results in a range of conditions.
In well-lit scenarios, images are vibrant, detailed and balanced with great HDR performance that doesn’t look too overprocessed. What’s more, thanks to the company’s partnership with Leica, it has the same Leica Vibrant and Leica Authentic modes to choose from, allowing you to choose between vibrant images and those with colours a little more true to life.
That trend continues once light levels begin to drop, sucking in impressive amounts of light to brighten up even near-pitch-black scenes like my back garden at 11pm, with the only source of light coming from a small LED statue in my garden. The only downside is that, without laser autofocus, it sometimes struggles to find the focus.
Flanking the main sensor are 50MP telephoto and 12MP ultrawide cameras.
Now, you might assume that tapping the 2x button in the Camera app would provide access to the 50mm telephoto lens – but oddly, that’s not always the case. I’ve noticed that, depending on light conditions, the phone sometimes defaults to a cropped view of the main sensor instead of the dedicated 2x lens, though there’s no obvious rhyme or reason as to when or why this happens.
It’s also worth noting that, while the Portrait camera indeed uses the dedicated telephoto by default, switching to the Master Lens System – a new portrait feature that provides 35mm, 50mm or 90mm angles for Portrait photography – will again default to the main sensor. The telephoto lens will sometimes be used, but it’s inconsistent and a little odd.
That’s not to say that the Master Lens System doesn’t have anything to offer – I love the different tones between the default, Documentary and Swirly Bokeh modes – though I think that the Soft Focus mode is a little pointless, offering purposely blurred images that look a little bit naff overall.
The ultrawide delivers fine results in well-lit scenarios, but with a relatively low-resolution 12MP sensor, it can’t take advantage of the pixel-binning tech of the other sensors. As such, images can sometimes appear a little soft. What is consistent, however, is the colour palette, with near-identical tones across the main and ultrawide sensors.
Flip the phone over, and you’ll find a 20MP front-facing camera that’s more than enough for video calling with friends, and with HDR and Night mode support, you can get pretty creative with your selfies too.
Video recording includes both 4K@60fps and 8K@24fps capabilities, though I’d recommend sticking to 4K recording with better image stabilisation than the top-end, rather choppy, 8K capture.
- MediaTek 9200+ chipset
- Strong everyday performance
- Dolby Atmos audio support
At the heart of the Xiaomi 13T Pro you’ll find MediaTek’s Dimensity 9200+ chipset coupled with either 12- or 16GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage – a stark change from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset found in the Xiaomi 13 Pro earlier this year.
While the 9200+ is very much MediaTek’s top-end Dimensity chipset, it doesn’t quite compete with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – or even the 8 Plus Gen 1, if I’m being honest – in benchmarks, with CPU scores trailing behind equivalent Snapdragon alternatives in the likes of the OnePlus 11 and Samsung Galaxy S23.
It’s also worth noting that Xiaomi has a block on our GPU benchmark apps, 3DMark and GFXBench, so I can’t say how it compares to the competition with data to back things up.
But while the CPU benchmark results paint a picture of a capable but not top-end chipset, real-world performance suggests otherwise. In my week and a bit with the Xiaomi 13T Pro, I’ve yet to see even the slightest hint of stutter or lag. Everything feels instantaneous, no doubt helped by the buttery-smooth 144Hz refresh rate, with the 13T Pro comfortably able to handle whatever I threw at it, from image editing to split-screen use.
That also extends to gaming, with the phone easily able to handle casual games like Survivor.io and graphically intensive titles like Call of Duty Mobile without much issue, though it did get slightly warm on the rear when playing the latter over longer sessions.
That all said, most people won’t notice any difference between the Xiaomi 13T Pro and any Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped smartphone in everyday use.
Audio performance is just as strong with the loud, clear stereo speaker setup that makes watching YouTube videos and TikToks on loudspeaker a little more immersive, though it’s when connected that the audio truly excels thanks to Dolby Atmos support providing a spatial effect to all audio played on the phone, whether it’s Atmos-supported or not.
- Android 13 with Xiaomi MIUI 14
- Heavily iOS-inspired UI
- Four OS upgrades planned
Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 software, based on Android 13, is always going to be a bit like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it.
That’s because the Chinese manufacturer tends to take a different approach to the Android experience compared to more stock options from the likes of Google and Motorola, with a heavily stylised UI that borrows a lot of inspiration from iOS.
The most notable iOS dupe is the quick controls and notification shade split, with users needing to swipe down on the top-right-hand side of the display to access quick controls. It works well on iOS, but it just feels a little bit odd having the functionality on an Android device.
There are also other differences compared to other implementations of the Android OS that can make it a bit difficult to get used to, even if you’ve been an Android user for years.
The Settings app is confusing to navigate, notifications are automatically grouped in the notification shade and Xiaomi has a rather aggressive battery life management system that kills background apps pretty damn quickly, interrupting the flow of notifications.
That’s not to say it’s unbearable – it just takes a lot of getting used to. It’s not all bad either, with features like the Live Wallpapers that transition from AOD to lock screen to home screen with gorgeous animations, and I love the dynamic droplet text tone that changes in pitch depending on how many notifications you get.
Long-term support is also surprisingly strong for a Xiaomi device with the company improving its three OS upgrades and four years of security patches from last year’s Xiaomi 12T Pro, offering four OS upgrades and five years of security patches for the 13T Pro that’ll keep it up to date all the way until Android 17 – one of the best long-term promises around.
- 5000mAh battery
- Can easily last all-day
- Rapid 120W fast charging
Battery life is pretty solid on the Xiaomi 13T Pro despite that blisteringly fast 144Hz refresh rate, thanks to the inclusion of a 5000mAh cell.
I’ve found that it can easily make it through an average day of use – taking it off charge at around 7:30am, using it sporadically for texting, listening to music and scrolling through TikTok – with around 30-40% battery life left at the end of the day, at around 11:30pm.
The big caveat is that I don’t tend to play mobile games that often, and that is an area that could really hammer your battery – especially with AAA games running with high-end graphics at a high refresh rate. To that end, I noted 8% drain over 30 minutes of light gaming, while an hour of Netflix HDR drained a slightly over average 11%.
The good news is that, even if the Xiaomi 13T Pro does need a top-up, charging is extremely rapid with the inclusion of Xiaomi’s 120W fast charging tech – and the 120W charger comes in the box. This means that you can get a full charge in as little as 33 minutes during our testing, with 54% charge in just 15 minutes.
However, it’s not as fast as expected – the OnePlus 11 has slightly less powerful 100W charging, but it managed a full charge of its identical 5000mAh cell in 28 minutes, suggesting Xiaomi’s option isn’t quite as power efficient.
There isn’t any wireless charging on offer either – it’s either wired or nothing. It’s not a big deal with such fast wired charging, but some will no doubt lament the more convenient option.
Should you buy it?
You want a great all-rounder
With a high-quality display, capable cameras, great performance and strong battery life, the Xiaomi 13T Pro is a solid all-rounder.
You like the stock Android experience
Xiaomi’s EMUI 14 is about as far from stock Android as it comes, with iOS-inspired elements along with first- and third-party bloatware putting a dampener on the experience.
It’s the same old Xiaomi story with the 13T Pro – great hardware let down by sometimes frustrating software in the form of MIUI 14. It borrows inspiration from iOS while simultaneously doing things completely differently from other Android OEMs, making the learning curve a rather steep one, even if you’re familiar with the Android OS.
Flaws of software aside, the hardware on offer is impressive considering its £649 price tag. The 6.67-inch AMOLED display is great for both movie watching and gaming thanks to a 144Hz refresh rate.
The Leica-branded camera setup can deliver great results in both well-lit and low-light scenarios, with the latter able to compete with the likes of the Google Pixel 7. The telephoto lens is a bit of an oddity, however, with a cropped view of the main sensor used more often than I expected.
Performance is also top-notch, and although it’s not quite up to competing with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 equipped by many alternatives, everyday performance is solid.
Battery life is also decent, and 120W fast charging tech is impressive, though it’s worth noting that ‘slower’ fast chargers can deliver faster charge times than the Xiaomi 13T Pro – the OnePlus 11 being a prime example.
If you’re happy with the software offering, there’s a lot to like about the Xiaomi 13T Pro. If it’s a hurdle you can’t get over, however, best mid-range options like the Google Pixel 7, OnePlus 11 and even the stylised Nothing Phone (2) will provide a more solid software experience.
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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as a main phone for a week and a half
Thorough camera testing in a variety of conditions
Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests and real-world data
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Yes, and it comes with a 120W charger at that.
It’s both dust and water-resistant with an IP68 rating.