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Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G: Flagship-Level Features at a Midrange Price – Review

For a while now, we’ve seen continued upset to flagship devices with midrangers that punch above their weight class. Sometimes, these midrangers are so well priced you ask yourself why pay more. Over time, this has led to flagship devices becoming even more expensive to try and create a proper distinction. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G is a perfect example of a midrange device that’s asking to be taken a little more seriously. From my time with it, it has delivered agreeably good performance, a gorgeous display, acceptable battery life, and an okay camera experience.

Before you jump in to get one, let’s talk about the various aspects of the phone detailing what’s to love and what’s not so good. Then at the end you can make up your mind if you want to get one for yourself.

In this review, focus is on the 12GB RAM/512GB Storage Redmi NOTE 13 Pro+ which costs KES 73,999 according to Xiaomi Kenya (pricing may vary with different retailers). There’s also the Redmi Note 13 Pro which starts at KES 41,999, and the Redmi Note 13 which starts at KES 27,499.

Design and Display

This is the usual design we’re now used to seeing on many different smartphones – including even cheaper devices like the itel S23+. It is the familiar curved glass sandwich with a metal frame offers a stylish and sleek feel. The front panel is a gorgeous 6.67-inch AMOLED display. I got the Black Version – which is very boring to photograph, but a very practical choice for many people who don’t like shouting colours. However, I’ve seen online units of the Aurora Purple version, and I would definitely recommend that. It gives the phone character that the white and black models don’t have.

Xiaomi Readies Redmi Note 13 Launch with Giveaways
Aurora Purple

At the bottom of the phone there’s the SIM tray and USB-C port. The usual power and volume buttons sit on the right side. As usual with a flagship-wannabe, the phone lacks the 3.5mm audio jack. The cheaper Note 13 siblings have it though. The loudspeakers on the top and bottom of the phone are decent.

This vibrant display includes a fingerprint sensor at the bottom and a front-facing camera cutout at the top. While the fingerprint scanner is somewhat finicky, occasional hiccups aside, it functions adequately. You can also use it as a heart rate monitor.

The display supports 120Hz refresh rate. While the display doesn’t fully scale for optimal battery savings, it does default to 60Hz when not in active use. With 1,800 nits of peak brightness (and over 500 nits of typical brightness), I experienced no issues using the phone in bright daylight. The screen comes equipped with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, making movies and games pop – if any of you watch movies on your phone. For the most though, you will love using the display for YouTube content, and HDR Instagram Reels.

Another big plus in this price category is this: IP68 Water and Dust Resistance. Only Samsung I believe – with the A-series – has considered this certification at these price points. So this is a big plus for the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. It eliminates worries about dust or water damage. There’s also Corning Gorilla Glass Victus at the front offering protection for the display against scratches and drops. And while Gorilla Glass is available on midrangers, only the high end flagships get Gorilla Glass Victus.

Performance

Here’s a probable bone of contention for many people. There’s this belief that MediaTek processors just don’t cut if for phones at certain prices. So whenever a phone is impressive and then you add in it uses a MediaTek processor, you get people questioning it. Well, this phone uses the Dimensity 7200 Ultra processor from MediaTek. And it is a wholesome experience.

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G: Flagship-Level Features at a Midrange Price - Review

While it falls slightly behind competitors in benchmarks, this difference was minimal in real-world use. The phone easily handled switching between social apps, web browsing, emails, and video watching. While I am not big on gaming, a couple of reviewers online have tried it and reported a solid gaming experience with no dropped frame rates and no heating issues. So there’s that for all the gamers reading this.

My biggest reason for buying a phone is usually how much battery life I can get. I need a phone that lasts – if possible a couple of days on normal use. We’re not there yet with many devices but, I know that many devices offer me about 2 days of use. The Redmi NOTE 13 Pro+ is one of those devices that can squeeze in over a day of use. It’s not amazing as with say something like the iPhone 15 Plus‘ battery. But it is okay. Plus, it chargers really fast thanks to the 120W charger included in the box.

Cameras

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G: Flagship-Level Features at a Midrange Price - Review

The triple-lens camera system on the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ offers a mix of highs and lows. Like I said on my short video, you’ll probably only use one of the lenses forever. That’s the main 200-megapixel shooter with an f/1.65 aperture, a large 1/1.4-inch sensor, and optical image stabilisation (OIS). It defaults to 16-in-1 pixel binning for higher-quality 12.5 MP shots, but you can opt for full-resolution 200 MP captures in the camera app if you’d like. Zoom is limited to cropping in from the main sensor.

Daytime shots with the main camera deliver impressive detail and a pleasing depth of field. However, exposure can be inconsistent, and colours are sometimes a little too saturated. You can achieve some natural bokeh effects if you focus on a close-up subject, and the portrait mode delivers a more exaggerated blur if that’s your thing. Night mode does a decent job of reducing noise and brightening scenes, provided you hold very still while it captures.

The other cameras are boring. The 8MP ultrawide has a different colour science and struggles in low light. There’s also a 2MP macro lens you will never use, so leave it alone as the main 200MP can try at closeups offering better quality and colours. At the front, there’s a 16MP selfie camera. It is okay to say the least.

Software

This phone runs Android 13. Weird. Why?

And, there’s no specific timeline on when it will receive Android 14. Which will probably bring Xiaomi’s new HyperOS skin.

Update: A few hours after publishing, the phone has received Android 14 Update with HyperOS Skin:

When you first setup your device, here’s what to expect: bloatware. This time, I fear more than I’ve experienced before. Or maybe I’ve forgotten. I had to uninstall more apps than I could remember doing with a Xiaomi phone before. But in comparison to Transsion, I am glad most are easy to deal with.

It would be really great if Xiaomi Kenya would let us know when we are getting HyperOS on this device. Also, it would be really good if the phone supported newer WiFi Standards like WiFi 6E or WiFi 7 as future proofing (this is not a huge concern though).

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G: Flagship-Level Features at a Midrange Price - Review

Should You Buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G?

The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G offers incredible value, with hardware that would look right at home in a device twice its price. Here’s the bottom line:

Pros:

  • Gorgeous premium design
  • Excellent AMOLED display
  • Long battery life with ultra-fast charging
  • Really good performance
  • IP68 rating for durability
  • Capable main 200 camera
  • Heart rate monitor using fingerprint scanner

Cons:

  • Inconsistent camera performance – useless extra lenses
  • Frustrating and bloated software
  • Old Android version (Has been Updated to Android 14 just after this went live).
  • No timelines for software updates
  • Higher pricing than the Redmi NOTE 12 Pro+ from last year.

What are your thoughts? Would you buy one? And if not, what would be a better option for you? Let me know!

One Comment

  1. Redmi 13 pro plus looks impressive with nice features…but we allso have google pixel 7 and 7 pro which also have equally impressive features at alower price point.Recently launched samsung A55 also is acompetitor at lower price i believe …wish there could be a comparison in with these devices.I could also put Oppo reno 11 pro into the mix here to see how it will hold up amoung this phones…Thanks for always giving great views and reviews of phones am your biggest fan.big up!!

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