The defining feature of the Xiaomi 13 Pro is its larger-than-usual main camera sensor, and the larger the sensor, the better it is at gathering light, helping it take cleaner photos and videos at night.
iPhone 14 Pro Max
|Main camera||50MP, 23mm f/1.9, 1″ sensor||48MP, 24mm f/1.8||200MP 23mm f/1.7|
|Ultra wide||50MP, 14mm f/2.2||12MP, 13mm, f/2.2||12MP, 13mm f/2.2|
|Telephoto||50MP 3.2X zoom f/2.0||12MP, 3X zoom, f/2.8||10MP 3X zoom, f/2.4
10MP 10X zoom, f/4.9
|In front of||32 MP with 1080p video||12 MP with 4K video||12 MP with 4K video|
Xiaomi color profiles
Before we look at the images from all the phones, you should know that you have two different color profiles in the Xiaomi camera app. The Leica Vibrant has more vibrant colors and a typically sharper “phone” look, while the Leica Authentic has more film-like colors, but also very noticeable vignetting. Because of the strong vignetting, we used the Leica Vibrant mode for this comparison.
Main camera – daytime
It’s no surprise that in ideal conditions all three phones do a good job, but interestingly the Xiaomi 13 Pro shows the green in darker tones, which isn’t quite realistic.
In the second shot, the differences between the three are minimal and mostly boil down to each company’s color science. Xiaomi goes for slightly warmer colors with a little more saturation, the iPhone prefers slightly cooler colors, and the Galaxy also has a warmer look.
In this third shot we see something that we have noticed in a couple of photos from the Xiaomi 13 Pro: Highlights can be a bit overexposed and lack definition, as you can see in the lower part of the photo near the stairs, the other two phones do not have that problem.
At 12 MP standard mode, there is not much difference
Since all three phones output 12-megapixel images in the default shooting mode, there isn’t a huge variation when it comes to the amount of detail resolved.
The 1-inch sensor makes its presence known
The big promise of the 1-inch sensor on the Xiaomi 13 Pro is far better images in low light and at night, so are we actually getting it?
In this first shot, the Xiaomi phone strikes a good balance: the image is not too bright or too dark, it is just right and you have a good amount of detail.
In the second image above, you really start to notice the benefits of the larger sensor. Notice how the Xiaomi phone has preserved the details of the highlights in the lamps beautifully and far better than the Galaxy or iPhone. It catches a lot more light overall, as you can see that the green at the bottom also looks brighter, while it appears dark on the other phones.
In this night image, however, you can see that only the iPhone gets the white balance right, while the Xiaomi and Galaxy give the image far too warm colors.
Similar color processing to the main camera
We see the same kind of processing with the ultra-wide as with the main camera here at Xiaomi, so it’s definitely not a coincidence. The grass is a bit too dark, while the other two phones do a better job of maintaining decent exposure across the frame. Still, in terms of details, the Xiaomi 13 Pro does a good job and overall the image is on par with the other two phones.
The image above is a great illustration of the science of color on all three phones, as you can see the more contrasty look of the iPhone, then the Xiaomi with a more neutral image and the Galaxy with the more saturated colors.
In low light, however, the ultra-wide snapper on the Xiaomi isn’t as capable, and you can see that it loses out in terms of detail to both the iPhone and Galaxy. The Samsung phone in particular really stands out here in a good way.
But in this next image, Xiaomi manages to pull ahead. The iPhone is just way too dark, this picture is barely usable as it is, and the Galaxy gets the white balance wrong, while the Xiaomi has both the detail, dynamic range and the right colors to stand out.
Can Xiaomi beat iPhone and Galaxy?
At 3X zoom, both phones do a good job as they have a native 3X lens (3.2X on the Xiaomi), but we really think the dismal color out of the Xiaomi and Galaxy doesn’t help, and it’s the iPhone that stands out during the day.
In low light, the Xiaomi struggles with the white balance as it is far too warm, leaving the Galaxy to dominate this image.
At 5X zoom above, neither phone has a built-in lens, but the quality of the Galaxy degrades faster than the others, and it has less detail.
The night shot out of the Xiaomi has the most dynamic range and detail and is generally very impressive if it weren’t for the white balance issue, but still we think it wins this round.
At 10X, the original periscope lens on the Galaxy gives it an advantage, but it’s not as big as you might think. Interestingly, the Galaxy 10X uses the f/4.9 zoom camera even at night, which is really impressive (many phones switch to a crop from the main camera in such conditions).
Daytime portraits of the Xiaomi 13 Pro look good, but also a bit moody with a good bit of extra contrast. We like the quality though, and it’s on par with the iPhone and Galaxy.
In low light, the Xiaomi isn’t quite as good at portraits as the Galaxy, which is the current king in portrait mode, but it’s not that far off.
We have seen some tricks before
We see the typical image processing for selfies that we know happens on many Chinese phones: the face is set to look whiter, smoother and a bit fake, but some people actually like this look, it’s just not very natural.
In low light, the Xiaomi selfie camera also performs very well, as you can see above.