Xiaomi’s 13T has a feature no iPhone or Samsung can match


It’s not often that a mid-range phone has a feature that’s missing from almost all flagships. But that’s exactly what you’ll find on both of Xiaomi’s latest models.

Despite the fact that the 13T costs £549/€649 and the 13T Pro £649/€799, they arguably both have more advanced displays than any iPhone or Samsung phone. That’s because their 6.67in OLED panels support refresh rates up to 144Hz, compared to 120Hz on the vast majority of high-end phones.

In fact, this spec is only beaten by a handful of others, including the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and Motorola Edge 40 Pro. Alongside 480Hz touch sampling, the Xiaomi 13T phones are incredibly fluid and responsive.

However, does that actually make the screen better than those on iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 range? Probably not. Both phones have a resolution of 1220×2712 pixels, which is respectable but not as good as 4K or even 1440p.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

And while the refresh rate can automatically drop as low as 30Hz (helping to save battery life when not required), some flagship phones let you go all the way down to 1Hz.

There’s no doubting the 13T and 13T Pro still have very good displays. But they’re not quite flagship killers, something that can be said for other areas of these phones.

Xiaomi has teamed up with Leica for the cameras, with identical setups on both phones. If the 13T Pro is anything to go by, the 50Mp main and 50Mp telephoto lenses are capable of taking some great photos, but they won’t wow you. And the 12Mp ultrawide is a big step down in quality.

Selfies from the 20Mp lens are very good, but a hit-and-miss fingerprint sensor (built into the display) means you might need to rely on it for face unlock. And the latter is nowhere near as versatile or secure as Apple’s Face ID.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Battery life from the 5000mAh cell is also slightly underwhelming on the 13T Pro, and the 13T has an identical capacity. You do at least get super-fast 120W charging on the Pro, while the regular model drops down to 67W.

The other big compromise is the chipset, with the regular 13T ditching the Pro’s flagship MediaTek Dimensity 9200+ chipset in favour of the less powerful Dimensity 8200 Ultra. You can still expect strong performance on both phones, though.

Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 software (over Android 13) and a bold rear design won’t be to everyone’s tastes, either. So while the 13T and 13T Pro are impressive mid-range phones in many ways, they can’t quite rival flagship handsets for most people.

The 13T and 13T Pro are available now from Xiaomi’s UK website, with European pricing and availability yet to be confirmed. But as usual, neither phone is coming to the US.

Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro & Smart Band 8

At the same launch event in Berlin, Xiaomi also introduced two new wearables to a global audience.

The Smart Watch 2 Pro (from £229.99/€269) is a fully-featured smartwatch running Google’s Wear OS software. It means you get access to all the usual Google apps, and the Google Assistant is built in.

Powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip, it can track over 150 types of activity and your sleep.

Within a 46mm stainless steel casing, you’ll find a 1.43in AMOLED touchscreen display. But there are also two physical controls: a rotating crown and customisable shortcut key.

Optional LTE connectivity is available via eSIM, but that model will cost you more at £279.99/€329.

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 (left) Watch 2 Pro (right)Xiaomi

But if you’re looking for something more basic (and affordable), how about the Xiaomi Smart Band 8?

It costs a fraction of the price at £39.99/€39.90, but still lets you track over 150 types of workout. Despite a 1.62in AMOLED display, it’s also comfortable enough to be worn on your wrist or attached to a shoe.

You can still monitor your sleep, as well as heart rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure. And Xiaomi claims the 190mAh battery can get you up to 16 days of “typical usage”.

However, a release date for both wearables is yet to be announced. Neither are expected to be available in the US.

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