Xiaomi's latest Redmi Note refines the midrange
The Note 13 Pro+ is the highest-end Redmi yet
Xiaomi recently launched the international version of the Redmi Note 13 Pro+, following its announcement in China a few months ago. The Redmi Note series has been extremely successful in other markets, particularly India, because of its effective bang-for-buck approach.
With the 13 Pro+, though, Xiaomi is pushing the series further into the high end than ever. This is the most expensive Redmi yet, though it'll still seem like a bargain if you're based in the US. (Where, as usual, it won't be sold.)
Let's start with the design, which I think Xiaomi really nailed. The "Aurora Purple" 13 Pro+ I've been testing has a neat pastel colour scheme with shades of blue and green around the camera modules and flash; it reminds me a little of Naoto Fukasawa's classic Infobar phones. The frame of the phone is plastic, but the back panel is glass, and overall this doesn't feel much different to a high-end device in use.
A big part of that is the curved OLED screen, which may or may not be to your preference but nonetheless is a rarity on this class of phone. (It's the first curved screen ever on a Redmi.) Personally I'm fine with it as long as the curves aren't too dramatic, which is true of the 13 Pro+. The 6.67” panel itself is impressive, too, with a 120Hz refresh rate, 2712 x 1200 resolution, and 1800-nit peak brightness. Even the chin at the bottom is tiny.
One more note on the 13 Pro+'s build quality: Xiaomi actually forked out for an IP68 dust and water resistance certification, which you don't always see on non-flagships.
The 13 Pro+ uses a mid-range Dimensity 7200 Ultra chip from MediaTek, which handles general phone tasks very smoothly but isn't going to be the best choice for high-end gaming. The entry-level model has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, or you can go for 12GB/512GB. The 5,000mAh battery can be charged to 100% in 19 minutes with the pack-in wired charger, though there's no wireless option.
The camera system is the most noticeable compromise over a flagship phone. Xiaomi is using Samsung's 1/1.4" 200-megapixel ISOCELL HP3 sensor for the main camera, flanked by an eight-megapixel ultrawide and a two-megapixel macro camera.
As is all too common on this kind of phone, some camera modules have clearly just been included for the sake of it. The ultrawide isn't great, with obvious colour fringing and soft details, though it does at least take functional photos in good light. The macro camera is truly pointless, though — you'll almost always get better results by cropping in from the main camera.
The main camera isn't bad, but it doesn't come close to Xiaomi's high-end phones like the 13 Ultra. The 200-megapixel sensor can resolve a lot of detail, even when using a native 2x or 4x crop, which makes it quite versatile in use when there’s enough light around. But the images often feel flat and overprocessed, which is exactly what Xiaomi does such a good job of avoiding on its more advanced devices.
The 13 Pro+ runs on MIUI 14, which is based on Android 13. Xiaomi says it will get three full Android updates, but it's unfortunate not to see Android 14 on this device at launch, particularly as Xiaomi is promising an imminent overhaul across its lineup with HyperOS. There is also a ton of pre-installed bloatware to sift through right out of the box, which doesn't do much for the 13 Pro+'s premium aspirations.
With a starting price of Rs. 31,999 (about $385) in India, though, I think Xiaomi has put together a credible offering that holds up well against any other phone in this range. The Pro+ performs well and really does look great.
The catch is that the Redmi Note line might be pricing itself out of its usual customer base. 2022's 11 Pro+, for example, started at Rs. 20,999. Depending on your market, you might have a choice to make between the 13 Pro+ and something like Google's Pixel 7A, and at that point it's about your own priorities.