One of the most important facets of a new phone is the camera. For most people, it's the only camera they own, and the one they'll have on hand most often. That means it has to be adept at capturing a range of shots with ease.
Speaking broadly, the most impressive handsets for this sort of job tend to be the more expensive ones. That stands to reason – if you want the top tech on the market, you're going to have to pay for it. But occasionally, we see a device which transcends that, offering a remarkable camera for a great price.
The brand new Xiaomi 13T Pro is one of those devices. Priced from just £649 in the UK, these handsets sit well below traditional camera kings like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Even the comparatively affordable camera monster – the Google Pixel 7 Pro – seems a bit rich by comparison.
Powering all of that shot-snapping majesty is a trio of sensors. You'll find 50MP units for main and telephoto duties, plus a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. Xiaomi's partnership with photography legends, Leica, is present and correct here, too. You'll find images which are dripping with detail and simply stunning colours.
There are two profiles on offer – Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant. As you can probably guess from those names, Authentic aims to recreate scenes more accurately, while Vibrant ups the saturation a little, for colours which really pop. Leica Vibrant is my favourite here – the boost isn't overbearing and just gives a lovely splash of colour.
Check out the gallery below for some examples of what I mean.
Colours just pop off the screen, without looking unnatural. It's almost like looking back at a scene as you remember it, where the Authentic setting is more reflective of how it actually was.
You'll also find the Leica Master-lens system built in. That offers users a choice of different focal lengths, for different photographic effects. That was built into the base Xiaomi 13 model which I tested earlier this year, and the effects are much the same here. It's really useful as a creative tool, allowing you to craft a more interesting looking composition.
Look, it's definitely not always perfect, either. Portrait mode can be a little hit and miss in my experience, and it definitely prefers a real human face. Testing on statues, for example, didn't yield the same great results.
There are also a couple of shots where it just missed focus. That could just be user error, but it's worth bearing in mind. However, all of that can be forgiven, somewhat, because when you get it right, the results are just staggering.
The level of detail is simply sublime, while colours are perfectly hued. Everything looks nicely tuned, without crossing over into being unrealistically saturated. That's something which seems to be true whichever lens you're using too. Some handsets I've tried struggle to balance the profile of the main sensor with the ultra-wide, but this has no such issue.
Ultimately, the cost then becomes the most impressive part of this handset. At £649 for the base spec, this is remarkably good value. I can't think of another handset in this price range which offers similarly good camera quality. If you're looking for a top camera without blowing the budget, the Xiaomi 13T Pro deserves to be high up on your list.