3 features I'm excited for on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra

I think this could be the best Android phone ever – and here are three reasons why

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra in white, on a white background
(Image credit: SmartPrix / OnLeaks)

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is set to launch in Asia this week, and I am incredibly excited. Sitting above the incredibly impressive Xiaomi 13 Pro in the range, this looks set to be the absolute pinnacle of Xiaomi's technological prowess.

We've already seen leaked details about the phone. Everything from camera specs and renders to seriously cool accessories have been released, helping us to build up quite a picture of what could be unveiled.

It's a sweeping statement, but I think this could just be the best Android phone ever made. Why? Well, here's three reasons.

The Camera

Phone cameras have gotten really good lately. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra packed a whopping 200MP sensor into its rear housing, while other handsets like the Google Pixel 7 Pro use an intelligent combination of hardware and AI-processing to punch massively above its weight.

Because of this, companies will need to do something extra impressive to stand out. That's exactly what Xiaomi have done here, with a quartet of 50MP rear sensors ready to seriously level up your snaps.

The main sensor, a one-inch Sony IMX989 is the same one found in the 13 Pro. That's been one of our favourite cameras this year, thanks to an impressive level of detail and gorgeous end results.

That alone is a good camera, but the 13 Ultra also packs in a trio of Sony IMX858 sensors for ultrawide, 3x telephoto and 5x telephoto duties. That sensor can be found in the Honor Magic 5 Pro – another handset which produces seriously sumptuous shots.

Getting a top-tier sensor on the secondary lenses is a proper statement of intent here. In short, regardless of which camera you choose to shoot with, you're sure to get a fabulous end result.

The Leather Back Panel

For practicality as much as for style, the leather back panel is a genius move here. So many handsets are designed with satin-finished or glass back panel these days. And while they may look and feel great, they're incredibly slippery.

I recently tested the Asus ROG Phone 7. It's a brilliant handset, but that satin back panel was lethal, attempting to fly out of my hand at every possible opportunity. 

My personal handset, an iPhone 13, is a similar story. That has a glass back panel, which can be a bit grippier, but the metal sides are just the same. Both phones ended up shrouded in a case, making any design work on the rear of the handset totally redundant.

The leather back panel is definitely not as common, but it should offer a much better user experience. The 13 Ultra looks set to use a textured leather back, which should make it much easier to grip, while also offering a premium appearance and, hopefully, negating the need for a case.

The Performance

Rumoured to be packed with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, the 13 Ultra should be a total powerhouse. The 8 Gen 2 is one of my favourite processors on the market right now. It's just effortlessly snappy, capable of delivering some serious horsepower when needed and making light work of day-to-day tasks.

It's brilliant for battery life too, making it easy to tear through a full day without having to reach for the charger. Xiaomi are typically pretty good when it comes to fast charging as well, so it shouldn't ever be too much of a concern.

Add the other rumoured specs to that – up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage – and we could very easily be looking at a monstrously powerful handset. The combo of that processor and RAM should make it a breeze for mobile gaming, as well as other more intensive tasks that would normally make users reach for a tablet or laptop.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.