Xiaomi 13 Ultra in for review

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra has arrived and boy are we excited for this one! But first thing first, let’s unbox it. Xiaomi ships the 13 Ultra with a case, a USB cable, and a 90W charger – a way better stocked boxed than rivals from Samsung and Apple.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra unboxing
Xiaomi 13 Ultra unboxing
Xiaomi 13 Ultra unboxing

Xiaomi 13 Ultra unboxing

We have the Olive Green 13 Ultra and it’s one of the more interesting-looking phones around. We love this trend of making phones stand out more – the Oppo Find X6 Pro came in Orange, with a leather-like material on the back, while the Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s green is just as striking.

For what it’s worth, Xiaomi does fake leather more convincingly than Oppo and vivo – like the 12S Ultra, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s leather material is stickier in a good way. It helps with grip and it feels more tactile.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra in for review

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra has a bigger camera module than its predecessor and it’s also thicker. Xiaomi has compensated for the added girth by raising the top portion of the back panel higher than the lower one. It’s a neat trick that sort of mimics a retro camera’s design.

Another big difference compared to last year’s Xiaomi Ultra and this year’s 13 Pro is the squared-off sides. Similarly to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra has almost flat sides that do wonders for the way the phone sits in the hand.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra in for review

True to its pedigree, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is a photography innovator. The phone’s main camera sticks to the same 1-inch sensor from the 13 Pro and 12S Ultra, but has added a two-step aperture that opens up at f/1.9 and stops down to f/4.0. This will allow for images with a deeper focus and wide depth of field – in essence, shooting from close up won’t result in a blurry mess. We’ll make sure to test that out.

The rest of the cameras are equally impressive. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra uses the same 1/2.51-inch sensor for the ultrawide, 3.2x zoom, and 5x zoom cameras. This sensor isn’t as big as the 1/1.56-inch sensor Oppo uses in the Find X6 Pro’s 2.8x zoom and ultrawide cameras, but Xiaomi compensates with more variety and brighter lenses on its zooms.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s midrange zoom is a 75mm f/1.8 unit, while the 5x periscope has a brighter f/3.0 lens. All of these changes should spell big improvements in image quality.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra in for review

Finally, here’s how the Xiaomi 13 Ultra compares to the 12S Ultra. The resemblance is obvious. The new Ultra is a refinement of the old formula. The new camera lens is noticeably larger, though.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra next to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra next to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra next to the Xiaomi 13 Ultra

There’s a lot to test in the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and we’ll take our time with this one. But it’s just as well, Xiaomi will take some time to release this phone outside China.

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