Xiaomi has announced the global launch of its Xiaomi 13 series of devices MWC 2023and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks switching between both devices.
While I have yet to make a full verdict on either device, one thing is becoming increasingly clear – cheaper, less Xiaomi 13 this is by far the best phone. It has a much more attractive design, a practical display and a cheerful green color that stands out tastefully.
For Xiaomi 13, the Chinese brand opted for a very straight, flat design. Instead of being curved, the sides are flat, as is the back and, surprisingly, so is the screen. This is a change from the Xiaomi 12, which had a more conventional curved display.
I’ve long bemoaned Android phone manufacturers’ desire to use a tilting display everyone a high-end phone that is usually much harder to hold and use comfortably than a flatter alternative – such as Apple’s iPhone. So it’s nice to see Xiaomi using it for the Xiaomi 13.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro, on the other hand, looks like any other nondescript Android phone from the past decade. A large curved screen, sloping sides and a choice of black or white. Now, to give Xiaomi credit, the build quality is very high. The 13 Pro has a ceramic-like back and a nice camera module, but it doesn’t stand out like the Xiaomi 13.
I also found it strange that both of these phones are from the same series but look very different with drastically different design features. Add more available Xiaomi 13 Lite and you have another phone that looks completely different and more like Xiaomi 12 2022.
The smart choice, at least in my eyes, would be to ditch the curved, traditional Android look on the Xiaomi 13 Pro and go full-screen with a flat screen, flat sides and a flat back. Not only would it look much sleeker, but it would also set the Xiaomi 13 apart from other large-screen Android devices, giving those tired of tilting displays a viable alternative.
This decision would also bring the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro closer together and make the series a bit more connected, almost as in iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max look like two versions of the same device.
Xiaomi is clearly on to something with the 13 series. Strong cameras, great screens and more, but the design of the Pro model could have been so much more. Maybe change will finally happen with the Xiaomi 14 Pro.