Xiaomi 13 Ultra with variable aperture unveiled

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is here. The flagship brings a number of photography innovations and the currently best possible hardware.
Xiaomi 13 Ultra

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is here to once again set the benchmark for photography in the smartphone industry. The flagship brings a number of photography innovations and the currently best possible hardware. Also, unlike the 12S Ultra, the 13 Ultra is sold worldwide. On the back there are four cameras that were designed in collaboration with Leica and are covered by a uniform glass module. Xiaomi calls the module the Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.8-3.0/12-120 ASPH lens.

The main camera features a 1-inch, 50-megapixel Sony IMX989 sensor and a 23mm optically stabilized lens. The lens has a physical, two-stop aperture of either f/1.9 for the shallowest depth of field (blur or bokeh) or f/4.0 for the sharpest images possible. The sensor combines four 1.6 µm pixels into one, resulting in 12.5 megapixel images with huge 3.2 µm individual pixels.

Four 50 megapixel cameras

The other three cameras all use the new 50-megapixel Sony IMX858 sensor, which is also a respectable 1/2.51-inch. The ultra-wide uses a 12 mm lens with an aperture of f/1.8 and autofocus for macro photos up to a distance of 5 cm. A 75mm lens with an aperture of f/1.8, OIS and a 3.2x zoom takes care of the middle telephoto range. There is also a 5x periscope with a focal length of 120 mm and a new, brighter f/3.0 lens on board. The 10x hybrid zoom thus reaches an impressive 240 mm. However, even with the new Ultra, the 32 megapixel front camera falls to impress. While it has a bright f/2.0 aperture and groups four pixels into one for 8-megapixel images, the focus is still fixed.

As before, Leica brings its two image modes, Vibrant and Leica Authentic. There’s also a new 50-megapixel UltraRAW mode for the main camera, providing 14-bit DNG files with built-in multi-frame sharpening, noise reduction and dynamic range adjustment for additional enhancements. There is also a custom camera profile for Lightroom from Adobe. And you get the Fast Shot mode, which uses a predefined focusing distance and then takes a photo in just 0.8 seconds.

Design

Like its predecessor, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra sports a camera-inspired design with a circular, lens-like camera module. You also get a metal frame and a leather-clad back on the black and green model. According to Xiaomi, the antibacterial nanotech silicone leather achieves a bacterial inhibition rate of 99%. The upper part of the back is slightly higher to accommodate the camera module.

The 6.73-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels with an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of up to 240 Hz. According to Xiaomi, the panel achieves a brightness of up to 2,600 nits. A Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with up to 16 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage sits at the helm. There are variants in 12/256 GB, 16/512 GB and 16 GB/1 TB to choose from.

Xiaomi keeps the Snapdragon chip cool with its LiquidCool technology, that uses a vapor chamber in addition to aerospace-grade toroidal cooling. Xiaomi also installs a 5,000 mAh battery inside the 13 Ultra. It charges with 90 watts via cable and 50 watts wirelessly. Battery life and charging are monitored by the Xiaomi Surge P2 and Surge G1 security chips.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra prices

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra will go on sale in China from April 21 in black, olive green and white colors. Preorders start today. Pricing is CNY 5,999 for 12/256GB (€795/$872), CNY 6,499 for 16/512 GB (€861/$945) and CNY 7,299 for 16GB/1TB (€690/$1,061). At the start, the Xiaomi smartphone will only go on sale in China. However, it will also be sold on various international markets in the coming months. Hopefully this also applies to the new Xiaomi Pad 6 and Pad 6 Pro tablets. Xiaomi also showed the Band 8, the Sound Move speaker and a Mini LED smart TV.

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