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Redmi Note 13 Pro+ review - A new mid-range fighter

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ review - A new mid-range fighter
  • Redmi has launched the new Note series line-up
  • Redmi Note 13 Pro+ starts at ₹31,999
  • The smartphone features an all new design & SoC
Redmi has finally launched the all new Note series line-up. A smartphone that helped Redmi solidify their foothold in the mid-range market, Note is definitely an important brand for Redmi. Following what we saw last year, we have three different avatars of the Redmi Note this year, the regular 13, then a 13 Pro and Finally a 13 Pro+. I am reviewing the 13 Pro+ the upper end of the bracket. With an all new design, improved cameras and a curved screen this device looks worthy of the note name on paper. However, is this the best device in the market today? Competition has caught up with Redmi and we have some serious alternatives in the market. So, who is the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ for? And is it the best Redmi Note this year? I answer in my full review.


Price & Availability
Redmi Note 13 Pro+ will be available in three variants. You can buy the smartphone from Amazon or select offline stores.
8GB RAM + 256GB Storage

₹31,999

12GB RAM + 512GB Storage

₹35,999



Design

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ is the biggest leap we have seen on a Redmi smartphone since it was first introduced back in 2014. Calling the design innovative would be a stretch, what we can call it is - updated. In line with what we see on most upper mid-range smartphones these days, the 13 Pro+ also follows a sleek design language paired with a curved screen.

What I find amusing about the 13 Pro+ is the execution, since the material Redmi has used here definitely feels premium. The device feels light in hand and gives you confidence since you can maintain a firm grip around it. I have a personal bias towards more traditional glass sandwich designs, but I make exceptions when a device gets the curve right.

The variant with me is in the fusion purple color which follows a mondrian pattern dividing the colors in square blocks. It’s definitely done tastefully and the textured back adds to the appeal. However I personally incline to the more subtle black variant. But if you want to flaunt your new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ then the fusion purple is definitely the color for you.

Also on the back we have the triple camera system which is now updated, more about it later. Keeping in line with the overall experience the execution of the module is also in good taste, with a new placement for the dual flash. It is now placed on top right, a new favorite spot for OEMs. We saw this with Vivo X100 Pro & OnePlus Open as well.


Getting back to the quality here the device comes with IP68 water resistant rating, a definitive advantage over its competition. Moreover the front display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus + something we don’t see at this price point. Always good to know your display will be protected against minor scratches or sudden falls especially if you are clumsy like me.


Moving to other design elements, on the right edge we have the volume rockers next to the power button. At the bottom we have the Type-C port next to the speaker grill. We also have the SIM tray, the device supports 2 nano SIMs. On top we have the second speaker alongside the IR blaster.

Overall the Redmi Note 13 Pro+’s new design can be dubbed as a necessary upgrade for the current times. While it does look a lot like its contemporaries like the Realme 11 Pro+ the color scheme and build quality creates a noticeable distinction.

Display

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ features a 6.6-inch AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1220 x 2712 Pixels. Like the previous iteration, this is a punch-hole screen with very thin bezels except and an improved chin. This is a new panel altogether with an improved peak brightness at 1800 nits. Like last time the max refresh rate of the display is 120Hz.

The screen is highly convenient for outdoor use, allowing easy text readability. However, I wouldn't suggest leaving the auto brightness feature on. While it effectively adjusts brightness indoors, I found myself manually readjusting it when outdoors.

Regarding display capabilities, it supports a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, with options for 60Hz or auto-refresh. I usually have reservations about auto-refresh rates due to their inconvenience when switching between web pages and games, often resulting in visible lag. Surprisingly, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ impressed me here. The auto-switch function was smoother than anticipated, making transitions between web pages, games, and apps easy on the eyes.Nevertheless, for my testing, I preferred sticking to the maximum setting of 120Hz.

Overall, the experience is seamless. Whether reading online articles or gaming, the display performs exceptionally well in every aspect.

While the display is indeed gorgeous you will face some mistouches on this one sometimes. Now I have been around curved displays a lot lately so I know how to avoid mistouches. So let me tell you a simple trick, avoid using the slide in menu on the right corner for short cuts. Rest it's a solid experience.

I've spent nearly two weeks with the Note 13 Pro+, including a holiday week when it became my primary device for binge-watching content. To start, the device impressively supports HD formats across all OTT applications, delivering a noticeable enhancement. As part of my Christmas tradition, I watched the remastered HD version of "Home Alone 2," a movie from the early '90s, and the Note 13 Pro+ truly brought it to life. Though the colors leaned slightly towards the colder side, it didn't significantly affect the viewing experience.

The display output was sharp, allowing me to easily perceive all the traps set by Macaulay Culkin's character, Kevin, in the movie. The HDR performance was equally impressive, delivering deep blacks on the screen.

Furthermore, the display boasts Dolby Vision, enhancing compatible content. Watching "What If" on Hotstar, I experienced a noticeable improvement in both visual and audio output. The colors appeared more accurate, and the audio output retained finer details.

Paired with this display is a fairly loud dual-speaker system. While the sound quality isn't top-tier, it's certainly sufficient to fill a room. With the device's sizable screen, you might even consider skipping a Bluetooth speaker when watching content with someone else.

We also get an optical in-display sensor here which is fairly quick to register and unlock the device. It’s standard and familiar in terms of results and process.

Software
The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ series comes pre-installed with Android 13 alongside MiUi 14. An imminent update to Android 14 for this smartphone is expected, which will likely impact its functionality.

Compared to its predecessor, the Note 13 series notably carries significantly less bloatware, a contrast from the excessive preloaded software and ads that plagued the Note 12. Redmi has made substantial improvements in managing these issues, leading to a cleaner MiUi layout that's intuitive to navigate and comprehend upon interaction.

MiUi 14 maintains the familiar Redmi device interface with its recognizable and vibrant animations. A successful UI, in my opinion, resonates well with a diverse user base, and MiUi 14 achieves this by being sleek and user-friendly.

The range of customization choices offered is extensive, featuring various wallpapers and themes. While some may prefer third-party skins, I find that the stock skin offers the most visually appealing experience. However, one drawback common to many third-party skins is their departure from Google's standard skin layouts.

Furthermore, additional features have been incorporated to enhance specific experiences, notably the Game Turbo. This feature acts as a game hub, displaying the smartphone's temperature and allowing users to configure custom profiles while gaming. Additionally, there's a handy shortcut for screen recording, which might not attract every user but can greatly benefit serious gamers.

In my experience, the UI has remained stable without encountering any disruptive bugs, despite being a new device operating on a stable UI with a well-established operating system. It will be intriguing to observe the performance post the anticipated Android 14 update.

Performance
The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ runs on the Mediatek Dimensity 7200+ SoC, a new processor positioned within this price range. It promises surprises, setting itself apart in terms of performance metrics.

According to Geekbench scores, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ achieves 1121 and 2630 for single-core and multi-core performances, respectively.

This hardware prowess translates into slightly enhanced gaming performance on the device. I tested its capabilities using COD: Mobile as my benchmark game. Impressively, the smartphone effortlessly handled high-quality graphics and maintained very high frame rates. The gaming experience felt smooth, aided by a robust internet connection and the flat display, contributing to an exceptional gameplay performance.

However, gaming with lower battery levels, particularly under 20%, tends to warm up the device, especially when operating at maximum settings with a 120Hz refresh rate. At this point, even the vapor chamber cooling system struggles to contain the heat.

The model I have boasts 12GB of RAM, with an option for a RAM boost that adds an additional 3GB. Despite this, understanding the necessity of this feature has been somewhat challenging, given that 12GB typically suffices to handle all tasks efficiently.

During my two weeks of usage, the phone consistently exhibited lightning-fast boot-up speeds, accommodating both heavy-duty applications and lighter ones like calculators, weather apps, and similar utilities.

For storage, my variant offers 256GB of internal space, which should meet the needs of most users. Nevertheless, if reliance on cloud storage solutions is preferred, the 128GB option would suffice.

The standout feature of the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ is its battery performance. On intense usage days involving heavy camera usage, constant social media engagement, and continuous content consumption, the smartphone managed an average screen-on time of 5 hours. On lighter usage days focused mainly on emails and WhatsApp, the screen-on time could extend to 6 hours.

Remarkably, the 120W fast charging capability stands out as a significant highlight. With mobile data activated, the smartphone can reach a full charge, going from 0% to 100%, in approximately 25 minutes.

Camera
The Note 13 Pro+ brings back the triple-camera setup. It features a primary 200MP sensor equipped with OIS, alongside an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro camera. While the ultra-wide and macro cameras are familiar, the inclusion of the 200MP sensor is a new addition and worth exploring.

By default, the primary camera captures pictures in a 50MP resolution, delivering impressive results, especially outdoors under natural lighting. These images maintain natural color tones and exhibit no oversaturation. Additionally, the camera excels in shadow detail and HDR accuracy.

While the 50MP resolution captures excellent images, switching to the 200MP resolution elevates the quality further.

Switching to the 200MP resolution in the camera settings might not be immediately noticeable, but it significantly enhances the ability to capture intricate details. The resulting images maintain respectable quality even after cropping.

The heavily advertised OIS performs admirably, producing sharp shots even when taken from a moving car. However, under artificial lighting conditions, the camera struggles, exhibiting noticeable noise and reduced detail, which improves when utilizing the night mode.

Night mode proves effective, delivering accurate colors and precise details, albeit requiring careful framing and focus adjustment. The camera's potential shines through these shots.

The portrait mode yields promising results, showcasing edge detection comparable to flagship phone cameras, a notable improvement over previous Redmi Note models.

While the ultrawide sensor expands the frame, it noticeably alters color tones, rendering frames undersaturated. Despite its basic 2MP setup, the macro sensor impresses with sharp images and accurate colors.

In the video department, while the performance is decent, it lacks standout features. Focus shifting is slower than ideal, potentially causing missed moments. The camera records 4K videos at 30fps, ideal for tripod-based shooting. Moreover, the built-in microphone captures impressive audio, effectively reducing background noise.

The selfie camera, a 16MP shooter, performs well for images and even better for videos, enabling swift focus shifts suitable for vlogs. The dedicated vlog mode within the camera app, although complex, offers the capability to create video compilations, akin to video editing apps.

The camera app of the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ includes a favored feature: document mode, which functions as a native document scanner—a convenient addition appreciated for its usefulness.

Added features like voice shutter and assist cam in the camera app add to the strength of the camera. Overall, the camera setup impresses, albeit with minor limitations and notable strengths.

Verdict
Redmi Note 13 Pro+ definitely has an advantage over its competitors, with revised specifications, updated design and a superior camera. It is definitely a healthy upgrade over last years 12 Pro+ and takes the note legacy forward in the right direction.

However if you find it pricey for a ‘note’ device then I suggest checking out the Redmi Note 13 Pro. With a small compromise on the design it will provide you solid benchmarks and competitive performance.

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