Xiaomi’s new phone takes a ton of inspiration from Apple, as usual

It’s still only 2022, but that’s not stopping Android manufacturers from launching their big flagship phones that will sell for the majority of next year. After Vivo’s launch last month, the new OEM to launch a phone with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC is Xiaomi, simply named Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro. These two models represent big (6.73-inch) and small (6.36-inch) phones with different designs.

The smaller phone is more interesting because—hey look, it’s an iPhone! Xiaomi is fond of copying Apple, and with the flat-sided perimeter band and square camera block, it’s hard to see the Xiaomi 13 as anything other than an iPhone. It looks much better than the curved-sided Xiaomi 13 Pro, but that’s just because the iPhone’s flat sides also look good. (I remain shocked that no Android OEM has copied the dynamic island yet.) The bigger “Pro” model is more of a generic Samsung-style design with curved screen edges and a beveled ring around the phone. The one Pro-model design flourish is swapping out the glass back panel for ceramic.

Both phones get the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. This is a 4 nm chip with an ARM Cortex X3, two Cortex A715 CPUs, two Cortex A710 CPUs, and three Cortex A510 CPUs. Like we talked about during the chip’s launch, this mix of four different core designs is a weird, non-standard layout designed to extend 32-bit support for another year. ARM wants to kill 32-bit, but Qualcomm and Android aren’t ready yet.

As for the other specs, the Pro has a 6.73-inch, 120 Hz, 3200×1440 OLED display, while the smaller model has a 6.36-inch, 120 Hz, 2400×1080 OLED. Both come with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage. The Pro model has a 4820 mAh battery and 120 W wired charging, while the base model has a 4500 mAh battery and 67 W charging. Both have 50 W wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6E (not the optional Wi-Fi 7 support on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, sadly), and IP68 dust and water resistance.

The camera block on both models is basically the same footprint as an iPhone but in a cleaner grid layout, with one big lens covering all three cameras. There is a small dividing line between each lens, which will hopefully stop the glare you can get from one big continuous piece of glass. The Pro model gets a 50 MP, 1-inch Sony IMX989 as the main sensor, along with a 50 MP wide-angle and a 50 MP telephoto. The non-pro model has a much smaller 1/1.49-inch sensor for the main camera, along with a 10 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide.

These phones will never hit the US market, but they usually get some kind of European release. For now, they are in China starting at 3,999 yuan (~$573) for the base Xiaomi 13 and 4,999 yuan (~$717) for the Pro model.

Listing image by Xiaomi

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