Xiaomi's 13 Ultra features four Leica-tuned cameras

These cover focal lengths across 12mm, 23mm, 75mm and 120mm.


After debuting the first "1-inch" mobile camera sensor with the 12S Ultra last year, Xiaomi is back with a familiar-looking successor but with some significant upgrades. The new Xiaomi 13 Ultra packs not three but four rear Leica cameras, with the 23mm OIS (optical image stabilization) main camera using the same "1-inch" 50-megapixel Sony IMX989 sensor, but now with variable aperture to toggle between f/1.9 and f/4.0 for different artistic takes — we have some sample shots in the gallery further down.

The remaining three cameras do ultra-wide (12mm, f/1.8, 122-degree FOV), periscopic 5x zoom (120mm, f/3.0, OIS) and the new 3.2x zoom (75mm, f/1.8, OIS) for sharp portraits with more bokeh. These all use the new 50-megapixel 1/2.51-inch IMX858 sensor, which claims to offer the same noise reduction, all-pixel focus and DOL-HDR performance as its 1-inch cousin. If true, this would ensure a more consistent image quality across all four cameras, which had been a big challenge for smartphone makers previously. On the other side of the phone, the punch-hole selfie camera remains at 32 megapixels.

The variable aperture on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra's main camera, with the left one set at the default f/1.9, and the right one at f/4.0.
The variable aperture on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra's main camera, with the left one set at the default f/1.9, and the right one at f/4.0. (Image by Richard Lai for Engadget.)

As with recent flagship phones, it comes as no surprise that the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, with up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and up to 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage. The device also supports USB 3.2 with up to 5Gbps of transfer speed — 10x faster than the 12S Ultra — and up to 4K 60Hz of DisplayPort video output. The slightly larger 5,000mAh battery is complemented by a 90W charger, which reaches 100-percent charge in 35 minutes. You can also use it with Xiaomi's 50W wireless charger, when you're not in a rush. But if you do run out of juice, the new "Hibernation mode" can apparently stretch the final 1-percent battery into 60-minute standby or a 12-minute call, thanks to Xiaomi's very own P2 and G1 co-processors.

While the AMOLED display still comes in at 6.73 inches wide with the same 3,200 x 1,440 resolution, this time it's a new LTPO panel supplied by CSOT (a TCL subsidiary). This supposedly benefits from a new C7 luminous material with a more precise 12-bit color depth, along with a peak brightness of 2,600 nits (or up to 1,300 nits in high brightness mode), better viewing angles and lower power consumption. You get Dolby Vision support as well.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra's

As with its predecessor, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra features IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance. In addition to its metallic unibody, the device also consists of a second-generation nano-tech material with anti-bacterial properties and UV resistance. Internally, it touts a new loop-shaped vapor cooling chamber, which uses multiple liquid channels to supposedly dissipate heat three times faster than a conventional design. This is mainly to keep the phone cool while shooting 4K videos.

The company also implemented a dual-wing cellular antenna module, which apparently offers a 58-percent boost in signal reception across all bands. As a bonus, the symmetrical antenna layout should reduce interference from hands, and there's also a new dedicated 5G antenna which apparently boosts the n78 band's signal by 100 percent.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra professional photography kit

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is already available for pre-order in China, starting from 5,999 yuan (around $870) for the 12GB RAM with 256GB storage model, all the way to 7,299 yuan (around $1,060) for the 16GB RAM with 1TB storage option. Color-wise, you can choose between olive green, black and white. For an extra 799 yuan ($120), you can get the "Xiaomi 13 Ultra Professional Photography Kit" which includes a camera grip attachment (with a physical shutter button) and a special phone case — one that lets you attach the included 67mm filter ring adapter and lens cap.

Engadget understands that the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will reach international markets at some point (except for the white version, sadly), so stay tuned.

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