iPhone, Samsung finally face real competition 4 years after Huawei ban - Xiaomi 13 Pro and 13 Ultra!

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhone, Samsung finally face real competition 4 years after Huawei ban - Xiaomi 13 Pro and 13 Ultra!
As you might know, Huawei was suspended from doing business with US companies at the height of the company's success. Regardless of the reasons, the timing of the Huawei ban seemed bizarre, to say the least, and it certainly stopped the Chinese giant from becoming the firm number one phone-maker in the world.

CEO Lei Jun has confirmed Xiaomi's upcoming super-premium, camera-centric flagship phone, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, is going to be released globally! That'd mark the first major appearance of a Chinese-made super-premium flagship phone that has all the necessary software and hardware goodness to truly challenge the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Google since the Huawei P30 Pro in 2019…

Apart from that, the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which is expected to be noticeably more affordable than its Ultra brother (arriving mid-2023), is set to debut anytime now with one hardware feature that smartphone camera enthusiasts have been waiting to have for more than 15 years!

Xiaomi now is the new Huawei…

Xiaomi 13 Pro will be the cheapest flagship phone with the 1-inch Sony IMX 989 sensor, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and ultra-fast 120W charging

Let's start with the phone that's coming out this month and the one that more European, British, Indian, and other customers will be able to afford - the Xiaomi 13 Pro!

Thanks to a fresh leak, we're already more or less familiar with the look of the upcoming Xiaomi 13 Pro! Frankly, it's nothing to write home about - a curved screen reminiscent of the Pixel 7 Pro and a massive camera island on the back with an iPhone 14 Pro-like lens arrangement... But it's on the inside what counts!

Qualcomm's latest and greatest processor is focusing on GPU, AI, and efficiency, with some leaks suggesting it's going to come with a stronger GPU than the on in the iPhone 14 Pro and similar efficiency levels, which could bring big battery life gains to the Xiaomi 13, Xiaomi 13 Pro and Xiaomi 13 Ultra!

Of course, the other major highlight, and what most phone camera enthusiasts will be drawn to, is the fact that the Xiaomi 13 Pro is expected to bring back the game-changing IMX 989 1-inch type primary camera sensor from the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and the upcoming Xiaomi 13 Ultra! Xiaomi took everyone by surprise here, as the phone world was expecting the IMX 989 to be exclusive to the most expensive Android flagship phones, which will certainly hold true for other brands like Oppo and Vivo.

Xiaomi’s “humble” 13 Pro will compete with the most expensive phones from Apple, Samsung, Google

Apart from that, the rest of the camera system on the 13 Pro is also expected to be on the high-end side! We expect a triple 50MP camera system, as apart from the 50MP Sony IMX 989, we should see a 50 MP ultra-wide-angle shooter and a 50MP zoom lens at 2/5X optical zoom.

The ultra-grade camera system and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset aside, the Xiaomi 13 Pro will continue the company's tradition of delivering fast-charging Android phones. We expect 120W charging that should be able to top up your Xiaomi 13 Pro in no time (or rather in 15-20 minutes).

Xiaomi 13 Pro rumoured specs

  • 6.7-inch, E6, 2K, 120Hz LTPO display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Surge C2, P2 chip
  • 8/12GB RAM and 128/256/512GB storage
  • Rear Cam: 50MP (1" IMX989 with Leica color science) + 50MP (UW) + 50MP (Tele) / Front Cam: 32MP
  • 4,800mAh battery, 120W fast charging
  • Android 13, MIUI 14

Attention, Samsung and Apple! Xiaomi 13 Ultra could be the best flagship phone of 2023, and you can't do much about it…

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra, on the other hand, is expected to be a different beast of a phone!

As mentioned, the 13 Ultra should be the first globally released super-premium Android flagship that takes on iPhone and Galaxy after the last such phone - one of my absolute favorites, the Huawei P30 Pro. The "catch" is that the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is expected to arrive in Q2 2023. Anyway, judging by the class-leading Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and 12S Ultra, the wait should be worth it…

Of course, the main selling point of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra over Samsung and Apple phones will be the same 1-inch Sony IMX 989 sensor from the 12S Ultra and 13 Pro. But apart from that, we expect a new zoom system and even a new 50 MP ultra-wide-angle shooter, which should take the camera experience to the next level!

As discussed in a previous story, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra with its Leica-branded 1-inch sensor already runs circles around phones like the Pixel 7 Pro when it comes to certain shooting scenarios, so if I was Apple, Samsung, or Google, I'd be worried.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is expected to be a conservative upgrade over the S22 Ultra, focusing on a 200 MP primary camera instead of something bigger and better (literally and figuratively). On the other hand, my iPhone 14 Pro is a great device, but as the Apple story often goes, it's far from special, playing it safe when it comes to hardware upgrades.

Goodbye, Huawei! Welcome, Xiaomi! Now, let’s make Apple and Samsung nervous (again)!

It all seems to be coming full circle as with all the innovative hardware expected to come to the Xiaomi 13 series (mainly focused on camera and charging), Xiaomi picks up exactly where Huawei left off in 2019…

Back in 2019, the Huawei P30 Pro gave us the first modern version of a periscope zoom camera and unrivaled night photography, and now the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is set to deliver a similar level of camera innovation, bringing the first Android flagship phones with a 1-inch sensor to the global scene! We've been waiting for that for ages!

The appearance of another super-premium Android flagship phone on the global scene should make Samsung, Apple, and Google nervous, which will be great for us, the consumers. Back in the day, Huawei's super-aggressive approach to hardware upgrades pushed the entire industry forward, and hopefully, Xiaomi's similar strategy will have a similar effect...

As a proud Huawei P30 Pro owner, I'm genuinely excited about the imminent arrival of the Xiaomi 13 Pro and extra pumped to see what the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is hiding. Unfortunately, US buyers won't be getting a taste of the Xiaomi 13 series goodness but you guys must already be used to missing out on amazing Android flagships from China...
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