Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G Review: A-series killer?

You’d be mistaken to call Xiaomi “yet another Chinese maker of smartphones.” While its home country is replete with manufacturers, the brand itself has in the last several years expanded to Samsung-levels of making everything. They’re latest push for smart home appliances (including a smart water dispenser for pets) has the company trying to find a comfortable fourth-place spot behind Huawei in the consumer tech race.

But when it comes to Xiaomi’s mainline smartphones in its Redmi range – there’s also its POCO sub-brand that has been hit or miss in the past – the company has accrued a reputation for devices that are packed with features but are still relatively affordable.

The latest flagship in the series is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro, whose top-of-the-range option includes a Plus and “5G” to make the name even more embarrassing to spout out loud to friends and family. We received a review model from Xiaomi in China, and found an excellent smartphone that won’t break the bank. We would even venture to say it’s better than Samsung’s midrange devices like the Galaxy A54, a great smartphone in its own right.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G is a visually simple device. Like the latest Samsung flagships, the brand has down away with the rounded edges and corners, going for flatter edges with a more squared shape. The majority of the smartphone has the shiny black finish of the review model’s colourway, accompanied by the continuous screen that melds into the surrounding metal case of the device.

Breaking up the monotony is the camera location at the top of the device that takes up around a third of the real estate. The three cameras are situated on the right, and to the left are the company branding and the flashlight. Also emerging from the black void is the fingerprint scan area, which shines brightly even in the dark.

What you get is a good-looking if subtle smartphone. It may go unnoticed by others at first due to its completely black appearance so this may not be the model for you if you’re wanting to turn some heads. The device is also large, about the size as the Galaxy A-series machines, but much thinner, adding to its sleek appeal. It gives us the impression of the glassy scales of a jet serpent, slithering quietly across your desk and into your hand.

The AMOLED display sparkles with vibrant images and deep, rich colours. But the “continuous” screen that folds into the metal casing is a little bit disappointing as it just doesn’t make that much of a difference. Otherwise, the display experience is of a high quality, with little to criticise.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G – Specifications

Xiaomi Redmi 13 Pro+ 5G
Display6.67″ AMOLED (2712×1220)
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7200-Ultra
Storage512GB + 12GB
RAM12GB (11 available)
Battery5 000mAh, 120W “HyperCharge”
Rear Camera200MP main camera, 2 MP triple camera
Front Camera16MP Selfie Cam
ConnectivityDual SIM, Wi-Fi 6, 5G supported


As the series flagship, the Redmi 13 Pro+ features an impressive set of hardware, with many tiers comparable to other industry-leading smartphones. While you won’t see raw Snapdragon firepower out of the MediaTek chip onboard it does quietly get the job done.

We saw a multi-core score of 2 664 on Geekbench, just shy of the 2 902 we get out of the Galaxy A54. The majority of your needs will be met here, with the day-to-day running of the device a breeze. No lag, webpages leap across the screen without wait.

For performance-intensive use-cases, like gaming, we actually found that the Redmi Pro 13+ performs better than the Galaxy A54, at least from our tests. It absolutely crushes the A54 in Wild Life benchmarks on 3D Mark, scoring around double at 4 263. The Mali-G610 GPU is working hard to make up for the MediaTek chip.

We found during gaming that the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ offers a stable and commendable frame rate in titles like Fortnite and Genshin Impact. It runs the 2006 RPG classic Morrowind seamlessly, with comparable performance to the A54 here, again, if not outshining the Samsung midranger.

Morrowind looks and runs great.

The device runs on Android 13 with a bothersome MiUI 14 shell slapped atop it. As in previous reviews, this Xiaomi-branded skin for the OS makes set-up significantly longer. We spent a good hour removing many different settings that were default for the skin. After this, however, you might as well not see MiUI again, and what a pleasure that is.


Despite what it says on the tin, with a particular focus on the 200MP main camera, we found the camera array on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G a little bit disappointing. We’re chalking it up to bloated AI camera software that desperately tries to make images look better, even when not necessarily required.

We also struggled with the focus – again probably due to the software – as when we can catch a subject well with the camera, you can see those pixels shine through. It is a lot more difficult to take pictures with the Redmi Note 13 Pro+, especially as compared with Samsung midrangers, but the camera setup itself is impressive when you do get it right.

Colours are a treat to behold, and fine details are addictive to capture. But the software issues sour what is an otherwise fantastic camera experience. Xiaomi needs to learn from its competitors, simple and user-friendly trumps filtering and what can only be described as a neurotic need to impose AI features on your photo taking.


The 5 000mAh cell onboard the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ (we’re now officially tired of typing that all out) is little to write home about. At this point it is an industry standard, and in general the battery life of the 13 Pro+ will see you have to charge it every evening.

However, to balance this is probably the best and fastest fast charging we have ever experience with any smartphone. In one circumstance the HyperCharge took us at 30 percent to over 70 percent in about 10 minutes. You can charge the device full from completely flat in under half an hour. With this, if you ever find yourself needing a bit extra battery, you can literally plug it in for five minutes and actually get the boost that so many other manufacturers claim they offer.

We were seriously impressed.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G – Final Verdict

Unfortunately, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ is not yet available officially in South Africa, but international retail price is currently sitting at ~R8 100. This is incredibly affordable for a flagship, especially one with so many features.

It is about R1 000 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy A54 and packs about the same performance power and a comparable camera array and display. But the fast-charging on the device is industry-leading by our estimation. While the Xiaomi software is a bit bloated in the camera system and in the UI shell, these are small issues well worth the grand you could be saving.

With that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G is an excellent smartphone, one we think will be successful if it lands locally, and a fantastic alternative to Samsung’s midrange series of devices. We’re excited to see what the brand will come up with next.



About Author


Related News