MWC 2023: Xiaomi claims the throne of smartphone photography with its 13 series, which includes Leica cameras | technology

Xiaomi is doing everything for this edition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in particular and in the smartphone market in general. To achieve his goal, he allies himself with Leica, the German camera manufacturer. Shortly after the end of cooperation between Huawei, Xiaomi’s direct competitor, and Leica, Xiaomi and the German company announced their own agreement. It happened in May 2022, but so far, Xiaomi has not launched any device with Leica technology in the international market. However, he did it in his native country, China, last summer. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra’s camera is integrated with the one that has accompanied smartphones so far: a large lens that occupies the top of the device, from one side to the other. If someone does not know about the existence of the device, they may think that it is a digital camera, not a phone.

The Chinese company has just presented the three models of its 13 series during the global launch event at the Barcelona International Convention Center, hours before the opening of the mobile conference and with a huge attendance, as before the pandemic. Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro are not the same as the 12S Ultra, but both already include professional Leica lenses, inspired by their cameras, with which they promise to dominate the smartphone photography department. “If you want the best camera on a smartphone, this is it,” says Fabio Arena, Head of Product Marketing at Xiaomi Iberia. “We put our century-old know-how into this collaboration,” Leica Vice President of Mobile Business Unit Marius Eschweiler confirmed during the presentation, while showing some of the most famous photos in history taken with their cameras: of Muhammad Ali showing his grip on the camera or James Dean walking With his hands in his pockets on a rainy day.

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Although the new 13 Series models can start to be purchased on the international market from Sunday and have been available in China since December, many of the characteristics shared by the company today were already known.

Xiaomi 13 the new series

The medium in the range is available in white, black and pastel green, with a leather effect on the back. It has a flat screen through which the company begins to leave the curves that have characterized smartphones in recent years. It measures 6.36 inches, has 93.3% coverage of the front and symmetrical edges (“finally”, according to the company itself), in the style of the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S22.

The camera module on the back prevails and includes the Leica logo. As usual in phones of this type, it has a telephoto lens and an ultra-wide angle; Yes, with larger openings than in previous versions, so more light can enter. In addition, its sensor is an inch, just like the 12S Ultra. With the telephoto lens, the company guarantees respect for color accuracy, a good level of detail despite the zoom and skin tones. “It’s one of the keys we’ve worked with Leica,” adds Fabio Arena. In addition, the device is able to resist water and dust and can withstand immersion of up to one and a half meters for 30 minutes, thanks to the IP68 technology.

Xiaomi declares that “it’s the team that brings it all together”: it has 1900 nits maximum brightness (one of the highest figures on the market), an AMOLED screen and Dolby Vision, as in previous versions, and a refresh rate of 120 Hz, in line with similar devices. In addition, along with the 13 Pro, it is one of the first devices to include a second-generation 8-series Snapdragon chip.

The battery, thinner and smaller than that of previous models, in this case, has a capacity of 4,500 mAh and can reach 100% in 38 minutes if 67W power is used, or in 48 minutes if it has 50W power. 14 hours of continuous use. The charger is included with this device and its big brother. Price 13 999 euros.

Xiaomi 13 Pro

The Chinese company has focused its efforts on this model, which Arena says: “In terms of innovation, it’s the most we’ve done so far and the best in the industry.”

The device has a 6.73-inch screen and is available in black and white with a glossy ceramic back. In this case, Xiaomi did not get rid of the curves, and due to the materials it is made of and its larger size, it is heavier. Of course, according to Arena, it’s also more scratch-resistant.

The camera module reigns supreme over the 13. In addition to the larger apertures, the 13 Pro cameras stand out for the telephoto lens and because they offer “instantaneous shutter speed”, which in theory the user does not have to miss. Wait several seconds without moving to take a photo in low-light environments with Night mode. In addition, it includes floating lenses and 3.2x zoom, which is 0.2 more than the iPhone 14 Pro, for example. This device also includes black and white in portrait mode as a novelty, as well as Leica Authentic (original) and Vibrant (vibrant) modes, which are available on both models. In the video department, 4K recording is possible in dark or nighttime environments. Its battery is 4820 mAh and can reach 100% in 16 minutes with supercharging and its starting price is 1299 euros.

Xiaomi 13 Lite

The smallest of the series also strives for its leading role in the photographic department with a 32 and 8 MP dual front camera for selfies, although without Leica lenses. Most innovative is the dynamic frame it includes, looking for portrait protagonists, and selfie glow mode. In addition, this mockup allows you to edit photos at the moment while they are being taken. It is available in blue, pink, pastel colors and black. It is the lightest in the series with a weight of 171 grams and its battery is 4500 mAh, capable of reaching 100% in 40 minutes. In this case, the price is 499 euros.

Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro and Watch S1 Pro

The series is joined by 13 other new devices from the Xiaomi ecosystem: the 4 Pro version of wireless headphones, which increases noise cancellation to 48 dB, compared to 40 for previous versions and increases battery life compared to the previous generation, with 38 hours with the charging case and 9 without. . With five minutes of charging, it can last three hours of use. In addition, in this latest version, the colors available are glossy gold and gray black, which is interesting when you remember the previous colors, which were rather matte. Xiaomi refers to the new design as a premium look and feel.

The Watch S1 Pro, unlike its brother S1, comes only with a strap that can be beige or black, but the screen is somewhat larger, 1.47 inches, and the battery lasts longer: 14 days in normal mode. S1 (30 mA more). The rest of the features, such as measuring oxygen in the blood or heart rate, AMOLED screen or water resistance to a depth of 50 meters, are very similar to previous models of the S1 series.

Another novelty that the company has introduced, but that won’t be available for a few months, is a digital car key, similar to a digital credit card that allows you to pay with your mobile phone.

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