MWC 2023: Xiaomi claims the throne of smartphone photography with the 13 series, which includes Leica cameras | Technology | The USA Print

Xiaomi is going for everything in this edition of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in particular and in the smartphone market in general. To achieve his goal, he has allied with Leica, the German manufacturer of cameras. Shortly after the collaboration between Huawei, Xiaomi’s direct competitor, and Leica came to an end, Xiaomi and the German company announced their own agreement. That happened in May 2022, but until now, Xiaomi had not launched any device with Leica technology in the international market. He did, however, in his country of origin, China, last summer. He Xiaomi 12S Ultra it incorporated a camera unmatched by any that has accompanied smartphones to date: a large lens occupied the top of the device, from side to side. If someone did not know of the existence of the terminal, they could think that it was a digital camera, rather than a telephone.

the chinese company just presented the three models of its 13 series during the global launch event at the Barcelona International Convention Center, hours before the mobile phone congress opens and with a massive presence, just as it was before the pandemic. Neither the Xiaomi 13 nor the 13 Pro are similar to the 12S Ultra, but both already incorporate Leica’s professional lenses, inspired by their cameras, with which they promise to reign in the photographic section of smartphones. “If you want the best camera on a smartphone, this is it,” says Fabio Arena, head of product marketing for Xiaomi Iberia. The vice president of Leica’s mobile business unit, Marius Eschweiller, assured during the presentation: “We put our knowledge of a century into this collaboration”, while showing some of the best-known photographs in history that have been taken with their cameras: that of Mohamed Ali showing his fist to the camera or that of James Dean walking with his hands in his pockets on a rainy day.

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Although the models of the new 13 series can begin to be purchased in the international market as of this Sunday, they have been available in China since December, so many of the characteristics that the company has shared today were already known.

Xiaomi 13, the new series

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

The camera module that it includes predominates at the rear 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 that more light can enter. In addition, its sensor is one inch, just like the 12S Ultra. With the telephoto lens, the company guarantees to respect color fidelity, a good level of detail despite the zoom and skin tones. “It is one of the keys that we have worked with Leica”, adds Fabio Arena. In addition, the device is capable of resisting water and dust and can withstand submersion up to a meter and a half for 30 minutes, thanks to IP68 technology.

Xiaomi declares that “it is the team that brings it all together”: it has 1,900 nits of maximum peak brightness (one of the highest figures on the market), an AMOLED and Dolby Vision screen, as in previous versions, and a rate of 120 Hz refresh rate, in line with what similar devices incorporate. In addition, along with the 13 Pro, it is one of the first devices to incorporate a Snapdragon chip from the second generation of the 8 series.

The battery, thinner and more compact than those of previous models, in this case, is 4,500 mAh and can reach 100% in 38 minutes if a power of 67 W is used or in 48 minutes if it is with 50 W. It can last 14 hours of continuous use. The charger is included with both this device and its big brother. The price of 13 is 999 euros.

xiaomi 13 Pro

The Chinese company has concentrated its efforts on this model, of which Arena says: “In terms of innovation, it is the most we have done to date and it is the best in the industry.”

The device packs a 6.73-inch display and is available in black and white with a glossy, ceramic back. In this case, Xiaomi has not gotten 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 is also more resistant to scratches.

The camera module predominates more than in the 13. In addition to larger lens openings, the 13 Pro cameras stand out for their telephoto lens and because they offer “instantaneous shutter speed”, so that, especially at night , theoretically the user would not have to wait several seconds without moving to take a photo in low-light environments with night mode. In addition, it includes floating lenses and a 3.2x zoom, 0.2 more than on the iPhone 14 Pro, for example. This device also includes black and white in portrait mode as a novelty, in addition to Leica Authentic (authentic) and Vibrant (vivid) modes, which are available on both models. In the video section, it is possible to record in 4K in dark or night environments. Its battery is 4,820 mAh, it can reach 100% in 16 minutes with hypercharging and its starting price is 1,299 euros.

xiaomi 13lite

The smallest of the series also seeks its leading role in the photographic section with a double front camera of 32 and 8 megapixels for selfies, although without Leica lenses. The most innovative is the dynamic frame that it incorporates, which searches for the protagonists of the image, and a selfie glow mode. In addition, this model allows you to edit the photos at the moment, while they are being taken. It is available in blue and pink in pastel tones and in black. It is the lightest of the series with 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 13 series is joined by other new devices from the Xiaomi ecosystem: the 4 Pro version of the wireless headphones, which increases noise cancellation to 48 decibels, compared to 40 for previous versions and has an increased battery life compared to the previous generation, with 38 hours with the charging case and 9 without it. With five minutes of charging, they can last three hours of use. In addition, in this latest version, the colors available are shiny gold and grayish black, which draw attention when recalling the previous ones, which were rather matte. Xiaomi refers to the new design as a premium look and feel.

The Watch S1 Pro, unlike its brother S1, only comes with a strap, which can be beige or black, but the screen is somewhat larger, 1.47 inches, and the battery lasts longer: 14 days in normal mode. compared to the 12 of the S1 (30 mAh more). The rest of the features, such as the measurement of blood oxygen or heart rate, the AMOLED screen or the resistance to water at a depth of 50 meters, are very similar to the previous models of the S1 series.

Another novelty that the company has advanced, but that will not be available for a few months, is the digital car key, similar to the digital credit card that allows you to pay with your mobile.

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