Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Smart Phones

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G Review: cool looks on a budget


Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G Intro

Redmi phones are known for their great value, and we have not one, but five of value-driven new Redmi Note 13 series devices to start the year 2024.

This particular review is for the Redmi Note 13 5G, one of the more affordable phones in the bunch at a price of 300 euro. Like all the rest in the family, it features a 6.7-inch display and you should also know that the Note 13 5G is a substantial upgrade over the 4G Redmi Note 13 version.
Before we dive in deeper with the details, here are the reviews for the remaining models in the Redmi Note 13 series:

What’s new about the Redmi Note 13 5G

  • 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate
  • 108MP main camera with sensor crop zoom
  • 8MP ultra-wide camera, but no telephoto camera
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 33W wired charging, no wireless charging support
  • 300 euro MSRP for 8/256GB model

Table of Contents:

Redmi Note 13 5G Specs

Big upgrade over the non-5G model
Let’s get the Redmi Note 13 5G specs out of the way first:

Redmi Note 13 5G Design

Plastic but with a beautiful finish

 

The Redmi Note 13 5G steps up the design compared to the vanilla non-5G version, but the size at 6.7 inches is just as big as all other phones in the Note 13 series.

It is solidly put together, the cameras are arranged a bit more neatly and the white color that we have for this review looks particularly good.

Power and volume buttons are on the right, the left side is clean, on the bottom you have a USB-C port and the speaker, and on top you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as an IR blaster.

  • Graphite Black
  • Ocean Teal
  • Arctic White

Redmi Note 13 5G Unboxing

Here is what you can find in the box:

  • Redmi Note 13 5G phone with pre-applied plastic screen protector
  • 33W charging brick with USB-A output
  • Charging cable (USB-A to USB-C)
  • Silicone case
  • SIM tool
  • User manuals

Having a free case and a pre-applied screen protector are two things you don’t get on flagship phones, but that is the beauty of buying an affordable Redmi phone. It’s all included in the box!

Redmi Note 13 5G Display

Unlike the the non-5G version, this here phone comes with slim borders around the screen and a modern look.

The 6.7-inch screen size remains, and it features a 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The screen uses the newer Gorilla Glass 5 for protection, but interestingly, compared to the non-5G model, it reaches a lower peak brightness of 1,000 nits.

Below, you can find our own lab measurements of the Redmi Note 13 5G.

Display Measurements:

It’s impressive how this budget phone can hit more than 1,000 nits of brightness and it can get quite dim at night too for comfortable bedtime use.

Interestingly, the Redmi Note 13 5G is the only phone in the series to come with a side positioned fingerprint scanner, embedded in the power button. This is a bit faster and more accurate than an in-screen fingerprint reader, but the position might be a bit less convenient for some.

Redmi Note 13 5G Camera

108MP main camera is the star of this show

The 108-megapixel f/1.7 main camera is the big highlight here and you also have an 8MP ultra-wide camera. The third lens located above the LED flash is a quite useless, low-resolution 2MP macro camera.

While you don’t have a dedicated telephoto camera, thanks to the large sensor, Xiaomi says you have 3X “lossless” zoom.

Photo Samples

The quality here is a noticeable step up from the Redmi Note 13 4G version, and the main camera is surprisingly capable in various different conditions, including low light.

The ultra-wide camera, however, we would not use often and definitely avoid shooting with it in the dark.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

Video recording is limited to a 1080p resolution, so no 4K here and detail is definitely not very plentiful.

However, the good thing is that video stabilization works quite decently, a big upgrade over the shaky and barely usable footage out of the Redmi Note 13 4G edition.

Some limitations, however, should be noted: once you start recording with the main camera, you cannot switch to the ultra-wide camera (if you want to use that camera, you have to first switch to it BEFORE hitting the record button). You do have zoom and it works quite smoothly, but it is digital and the quality is just as you’d expect: quite bad.

Redmi Note 13 5G Performance & Benchmarks

Here goes nothing

The Redmi Note 13 5G comes with a MediaTek MT6080 chip inside it, a mid-range affair with decent – but not exceptional – performance. It works in combination with a respectable 8GB of RAM.

We have run a few benchmarks, so you understand just how fast this chip is.

Performance Benchmarks:

Compared to its rival Moto G54 Power Edition, this Redmi is way behind in benchmarks and particularly the graphics performance is just abysmal.

For daily use that is not much of a problem (we did encounter the occasional stutter, but nothing too troubling), but for gaming this phone is a no-go.

We do, however, like how this phone comes with a plentiful 256GB of storage in the base model, more than sufficient for most users.

Redmi Note 13 5G Software

MIUI 14 and a word of warning about notifications

When we talk about Xiaomi / Redmi phones software, we always start with a warning: these phones are killing background apps very aggressively, which leads to a well known problem with push notifications. Some apps just will not show notifications in time, even if you try and tweak all available settings in MIUI, and if you rely on these notifications this can be a dealbreaker.

With that cleared out of the way, we should say that the Redmi Note 13 5G comes with Android 13 and MIUI 14 on top of it.
MIUI 14 has generously drawn inspiration from iOS, but its main advantage is that it runs smoothly and is well refined when it comes to animation and transition speeds. Unfortunately, you do not get the latest HyperOS software here.

In terms of software updates, the Redmi Note 13 5G will get 2 years of major OS updates and 4 years of security updates. This simply means that you will receive the following:

Redmi Note 13 5G Battery

Okay battery life, fast charging

Like the rest of the series, you have a 5,000mAh battery on board with the Redmi Note 13 5G, a solid size.

The frugal MIUI software helps make the best of it too.

And below, you can find how this phone scored on our independent battery tests.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

On our lightest web browsing test, the Redmi Note 13 5G scores around 12 hours with some change, a mediocre result. However, in the YouTube video streaming test, the Redmi does better with a respectable result of 10 hours and 18 minutes.

Redmi Note 13 5G Charging Speeds

Sporting 33W charging speeds and a charging brick included in the box, we can say this phone offers more than many other budget and even flagship phones.

There is no wireless charging on board, though.

Redmi Note 13 5G Audio Quality and Haptics

Speakers on the Redmi Note 13 5G are of middling quality.

The lower frequencies are not completely missing, but there is very little bass which makes most songs sound flat, with no depth.

The phone does get quite loud though.

Haptics are also definitely a weak point: they are vague and feel like the buzzing of bees in a can rather than being sharp and controlled.

Well, at least you do have a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top, which some people will be very happy to see.

Redmi Note 13 5G Competitors

At a starting price of 300 euro for a base model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the Redmi Note 13 5G is a great budget phone for many people.

However, there is quite a bit of competition in this price range, including devices like the Moto G84 5G and Samsung Galaxy A34 5G.

They don’t have such a flashy design as the Redmi, nor as much storage or the fast charging, but they do seem to offer more with performance.

Learn more here:

Redmi Note 13 5G Summary and Final Verdict

When you draw the bottom line, the Redmi Note 13 5G comes up as a well balanced phone with solid performance, decent camera quality and very good battery life, all at a reasonable price.

The quirky MIUI software, however, seems like the big stumbling block, and we specifically mean the way it kills background apps and fails to deliver push notifications on time for some apps. This issue has been around for nearly a decade, and we have no idea why it’s not fixed yet.

If you can live with that, the Redmi Note 13 5G seems like a pretty good choice.



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