Xiaomi Redmi 13 Review

Xiaomi has just released the Redmi 13, which should not be mistaken for the Redmi Note 13 or the Redmi 13C. At price $179 this new phone has generated interest regarding its potential improvements over its predecessor, the Redmi Note 12, and its value compared to the Redmi Note 13.

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Design and Build Quality

Redmi 13 Stand on a desk showing it's design and build

Picking The Redmi 13 up, you’ll immediately notice the sleek glass front and back, giving it a premium feel, although this also makes it a fingerprint magnet. The sides feature a plastic frame, reminiscent of the design seen in the Redmi 12 and the Redmi Note 13.

The back glass panel, available in various stylish color options like Midnight Black, Sandy Gold, Ocean Blue, and Pink, looks attractive but is prone to scratches and cracks if not handled carefully.

Weighing about 205 grams it’s slightly heavier than a can of soda and has a thickness of 8.3 mm, making it easy to slip into a pocket. In comparison, the Redmi 12 has a slightly thinner profile at 8.2 mm, though the difference is negligible.

The right side houses a mounted fingerprint scanner that doubles as the power key, offering a fast unlock feature that is generally quicker than in-display counterparts.

At the top, you’ll find an IR Blaster and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The IR Blaster is handy for controlling electronics around the house, effectively replacing your remote control. The SIM slot, located at the top left corner, has a hybrid configuration allowing for either two SIM cards or one SIM card and a MicroSD card.

For protection, the Redmi 13 is IP53 rated for dust and water resistance, meaning it can handle light splashes and dust without issue.

Overall, the design is both functional and stylish, though users should take precautions to maintain its pristine appearance.

Display

Xiaomi Redmi 13 Design Display Specs and Quality

The display on the Redmi 13 features a 90Hz IPS LCD panel, a notable upgrade from the standard 60Hz found in entry-level budget devices. Users can switch the refresh rate between 60Hz and 90Hz, but many prefer to keep it at 90Hz for a smoother experience. The display settings offer a variety of customization options.

The screen boasts a peak brightness of 550nits, which is adequate but can be challenging to view under direct sunlight. It offers a sizable 6.79-inch display with an 85% screen-to-body ratio, meaning the bezels are noticeable but not overly intrusive.

The resolution of 1080 by 2460 pixels provides a high pixel density, resulting in sharp and crisp text. This display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, a significant upgrade from the standard glass on the Redmi 12, which was more prone to scratches and nicks.

Overall, the display is satisfactory for its budget price range.

Speakers

Redmi 13 has a single downfire speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack that supports 24 bits and 192 kHz high-resolution audio.

Now, while the headphone jack support sounds pretty decent, I can’t help but feel like a dual speaker configuration on this smartphone would have taken this device to the next level in terms of audio.

And the fingerprint scanner is mounted to the side, specifically the right side, which doubles as the power button.

It’s pretty fast for everyday unlocks on your smartphone. In terms of being consistent, I say this is really consistent for your unlocks on this device.

Now, compared to the fingerprint scanner on the Redmi 12, which could sometimes be a little bit sluggish, this one feels a little bit faster.

Performance

Redmi 13 is powered by the Helio G91 Ultra processor. It runs Android 14 with Hyper OS skin on top, delivering what I would call a decent, responsive experience for regular everyday use.

This is not the fastest smartphone I’ve used for some reason, and I’ve also seen this processor on other devices that feel a little bit faster than the Redmi 13c.

The MediaTek Helio G91 Ultra processor is basically a slight upgrade from the G88 processor, with the major difference being the support for a higher megapixel count on the G91.

Both of these processors support only 4G, so this is essentially a 4G smartphone with no 5G capability.

On the storage side of things, storage options range from 128 GB, which I have here, to 256 GB, with both 6 GB of RAM and 8 GB of RAM configurations available, so you can choose one that best suits your needs.

Keep in mind that the microSD card slot uses a shared SIM slot, so if you want to expand the memory, you have to sacrifice the second SIM card space.

Xiaomi Redmi 13 Performance Benchmarks test Score

For those who love to see benchmark scores offers competitive performance.

Gaming Experience

Booting up Call of Duty, the phone leverages the Helio G91 Ultra chipset to deliver a quite decent experience. Have I seen better? Yes, of course, but for a light gamer or casual gamer, this phone will get you a few kills.

It’s worth noting that this smartphone gets slightly warm during extended gaming sessions, and the performance begins to throttle a little bit. The warmth is notable to the touch but not uncomfortable to hold.

Overall, the MediaTek Helio G91 Ultra with the Mali G57 MC2 GPU proves itself to be a capable chip for casual gamers and great for daily mobile tasks. While it may not hit the highest frame rates on the most demanding games, it delivers a decent and enjoyable experience.

Camera Test

Shifting gears to the cameras, the Redmi 13 packs a punch with the main sensor boasting 108 megapixels. While megapixels aren’t everything, this high resolution promises detailed captures in good lighting conditions. By default, the smartphone uses pixel binning to capture 12-megapixel images, improving low-light performance and storage efficiency. Switching to the high-resolution mode provides 108-megapixel detail but comes with increased processing times and larger file sizes.

The secondary 2-megapixel macro sensor is designed for close-up shots of tiny objects, though its low resolution limits detail. The LED flash aids in low-light scenarios, and the HDR mode balances high-contrast scenes. Video recording is capped at 1080p and 30 FPS, standard for this price range.

Overall, the camera system caters to casual users aiming to capture decent memories without needing advanced features or high-resolution videos. The 13-megapixel front-facing camera, with an f/2.5 aperture, captures decent selfies in good lighting, with HDR helping balance backlit scenes. Despite some plasticky effects in front-facing captures, the selfie camera is quite usable.

Compared to the Redmi 12’s 50-megapixel main sensor, the Redmi 13 is a significant upgrade. However, it lacks the ultra-wide camera present in the Redmi 12, which was useful for expansive landscapes. The absence of the ultra-wide sensor means users must rely on the main camera, possibly taking a few steps back for wider shots. Nevertheless, the 108-megapixel main sensor and the 13-megapixel front camera should be sufficient for most social media needs, especially in good lighting conditions.

Battery Life

Now for the batteries, you get a 5030mAh capacity non-removable battery, which promises to keep your Redmi 13 powered throughout the day. This high-capacity battery should be enough for most users, even with moderate to heavy use.

When it comes to recharge time, the smartphone includes a 33W charger in the box, which most manufacturers like Samsung no longer provide for budget entry smartphones. Redmi claims that the charger can charge the device up to 29% in 15 minutes, which is perfect when you only have a short window to top up your battery.

You can notice the extra 30mAh addition compared to the Redmi 12’s 5000 mAh from last year, making the 5030mAh battery a plus.

Verdict

Like I mentioned earlier, the Redmi 13 price is $135 for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage option. Other price points range across retail stores for different memory and storage configurations, roughly translating to $135 to $165.

Offers a compelling package for budget-minded users who prioritize a smooth user experience and long-lasting battery life. Key points include good displays and all-day endurance, supplemented by a 33W fast charging system.

The camera system presents a mixed bag; the 108-megapixel main sensor captures detailed photos in good lighting, but video enthusiasts and those seeking an ultra-wide lens or higher video resolution may need to look elsewhere.

Overall, the Redmi 13 strikes a balance between affordability and decent features. While it may not boast top-of-the-line specs or versatile cameras, it provides a solid user experience for everyday tasks, making it a great option for budget-conscious consumers.

However, there are alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy A15 with an AMOLED display that might be worth considering.

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