Xiaomi’s 13 Ultra pulls out all the photography stops
The phone has four 50-megapixel rear cameras, including one with a one-inch type sensor and a variable aperture.
Xiaomi has just announced a new Ultra variant of the Xiaomi 13 that features not one but four 50-megapixel cameras in its substantial rear camera bump. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra will be available in China this month but will eventually release in international markets, according to Lei Jun, the company’s founder and CEO.
Like the Xiaomi 13 Pro before it, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra utilizes a massive one-inch type sensor for its main camera. But new for this version is that the aperture of the Ultra’s main camera is variable and supports an aperture of either f/1.9 or f/4.0. That should give photographers more control in their photography, particularly when it comes to how much depth of field their shots have.
Xiaomi isn’t the first company to have released a smartphone camera with variable aperture. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 had a dual aperture feature that offered a choice of f/1.5 and f/2.4 when shooting with its main camera. Samsung’s implementation of the feature felt a bit gimmicky and was dropped a couple of generations later, but we’ll be interested to see if Xiaomi’s take benefits from being paired with a larger, more capable camera sensor.
Although the Xiaomi 13 Ultra only uses a massive one-inch type sensor for its main camera, its three secondary cameras are still 50 megapixels in resolution. These secondary cameras include a 3.2x telephoto (equivalent to a 75mm focal length), 5x telephoto (equivalent to 120mm), and an ultrawide (12mm focal length) with support for macrophotography from 5cm away.
If you want to take the Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s photography chops to their logical extreme, Xiaomi is also selling a ¥999 (around $145) case accessory that adds a grip with a traditional shutter release button and zoom lever to the phone to emulate the feel of shooting with a standalone camera. There’s even a mount to allow you to place a filter over the camera’s lenses.
Aside from its cameras, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra has a 6.73-inch OLED display with a 1440p resolution, a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, and 2,600 nits of peak brightness. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, same as the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, and comes with between 12 and 16GB of RAM and between 256GB and 1TB of onboard storage. It’s got a 5,000mAh battery that can be fast-charged at up to 90W with a wire or 50W wirelessly. It’s got an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and will be available with a vegan leather coating in a choice of green, black, or white.
In China, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will go on sale starting at ¥5,999 (around $873) for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The 16GB / 512GB version will cost ¥6,499 (around $945), while the 16GB / 1TB model is ¥7,299 (around $1,062). The exact timing of its international launch is yet to be announced.
Porter, J. (2023, April 18). Xiaomi’s 13 Ultra pulls out all the photography stops. https://www.theverge.com/2023/4/18/23686633/xiaomi-13-ultra-price-release-date-specs-features-cameras