Before inserting the SIM card into Redmi Note 13 Pro PlusI’ve seen several reports and videos on YouTube claiming that this would be a great buy if you don’t want to buy an expensive smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S24 or even Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. Wow, I thought: it must be Very special. Even though Redmi’s latest phone isn’t particularly cheap, it does look inexpensive, at least on paper.

It’s good enough good, but there is absolutely no point in buying it if you can reach a more expensive phone. While this hasn’t been a problem, I’m eager to upgrade to another phone that costs exactly the same amount of money to purchase. The reason is not the characteristics as such, but life with the phone.

These are not all numbers

Top of Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

The numbers are the basis for many arguments about why mid-range phones like the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus are a smart buy over a luxury model like the Galaxy S24 Plus or iPhone 15. The Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus has a big score of 6. 67%. inch screen, 200-megapixel main camera, 5000 mAh battery and 120 W fast charger. Impressive numbers and big which can put even more expensive phones to shame when compared to each other.

It’s easy to get distracted when trying to narrow down the most important number involved in buying a new phone: price. The Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus costs around $570, which is half the price. Google Pixel 8 Pro And iPhone 15 pro. None of them have 120W charging so they are clearly ripping us off and brands like Xiaomi (owner of the Redmi brand) are doing us all a favor by exposing this.

But the numbers don’t tell you what it’s like to use a phone every day. I’m not going to criticize the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus; This is actually not a bad thing, but I want to point out that by spending more, you improve the quality of life with your chosen device and reduce friction. Yeah, frictionas the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus can really make things difficult at times and who wants to add that to their life?

Large screen with no features

Screen of Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

The Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus features a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2712 x 1220 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate, covered with Gorilla Glass Victus. It’s bright and reasonably detailed, although a little cold compared to the cozy warmth of the iPhone 15 Pro’s screen. Outdoors in the sun it gets very bright if you turn on the Sunlight mode (though you have to do this manually, and I have no idea why it’s not automatic). Although the refresh rate increases to 120Hz, it does not reduce it enough to extend battery life.

For the most part, though, none of this bothers me. Much more glaring is the lack of an always-on external display. I consider this an important feature of any phone, regardless of price, as long as the technology allows it. I don’t see any reason why the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus skips it and only allows it to be displayed on demand. This is annoying on Motorola phones, and here too.

I just want to see missed notifications when I look at my phone screen without touching it or pressing the power button. Because? When I test the Redmi Note 13 Pro, facial recognition tries to activate and if it doesn’t see me, I have to manually unlock the phone to see the notifications. This happens regularly and the phone gets very confused, which leads to slow operation. This is friction, and all of this could be avoided if the external display was always on.

Great camera, but with a catch

Camera Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

I was very impressed with the 200MP main camera of the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus and the photos it takes. It’s almost the savior of the phone as I like the balanced colours, contrast and exposure, as well as the amount of detail in good lighting. Even at night it works well. If I only wanted to take photos with the main camera, the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus would satisfy me.

Except I don’t, and other phone cameras are a bit disappointing. Adding a 2MP macro camera is almost unforgivable these days. While I like the tones and colors of the photos taken with the 8MP wide-angle camera, they lack detail when viewed closely. Although I don’t shoot a lot of video, the maximum speed is 30 frames per second (fps) at 4K resolution and the quality isn’t very good either. The camera looks great on paper, but upon closer inspection it doesn’t live up to its promises.

Photo taken on Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

The main camera is the only one I would regularly use on the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus and it seems like a waste as this spec is definitely selling something better. However, while the specs appear to be the same as the Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus, the camera on the 13 Pro Plus is a significant improvement. This is my favorite part of the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus, but I also know that other phones are just as good or even better.

Very fast charging

Side view of Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

Very fast charging is technically interesting (in my test, the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus battery took just 23 minutes to reach 100%) and can be extremely useful, but not everyone will like it. I charge my phone overnight, so in the end it doesn’t matter whether it takes 23 minutes or five hours to fully charge. I find improving energy efficiency more attractive.

Improved efficiency can completely negate the need for fast charging, as it modulates power consumption based on your usage and potentially extends battery life by up to several days. This doesn’t happen with the Redmi 13 Pro Plus (although the battery lasted two full days on a single charge for me), nor does it happen with the Redmi 13 Pro Plus. OnePlus 12 or Galaxy S24 Ultra. Don’t get carried away with the cargo numbers; Think about how you use your phone before they sell you a feature you don’t always use.

Outdated and frustrating software

Rear of Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus.

No matter how much money I spend on a new smartphone, I want it to have the latest version of the operating system. Redmi Note 13 Pro has MIUI 14 interface, which may lead you to believe that it is Android 14 below, but this is not true. Instead, this new phone runs on Android 13. There’s simply no excuse for that, regardless of whether there’s that much of a difference between Android 13 and 14. This is a 2024 smartphone and should have the latest version of Android.

Xiaomi’s software update schedule is shorter than many pricier phones, but that’s a little more understandable given the price and the likelihood that someone will keep it for years to come. But there’s no reason why the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus doesn’t have Android 14. Well, that’s not a good reason. for the consumerbut Xiaomi will look at how many updates it has promised to release, as well as when it plans to release its new HyperOS software, as reasons to hold back.

But much worse than this general impression. I don’t want to think too much about the software and I’m forced to do that on the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus. There is a lot of friction. When you set a PIN or configure other important settings, the next step button has a timer to make sure you read it. every time. Apps appear on multiple home screens even when I tell them not to, Android buttons rather than gestures are still the default control system, the notification bar is split in two and is awkward to use with one hand, there are so many pre-installed apps and timed advertising appears when I go to change the wallpaper. I’m looking for a much simpler life than this.

What else is there?

The Google Pixel 7a is lying face down on the table.

The Redmi Note 13 Pro is a good smartphone, but it’s not always a lot of fun to live with. The only smartphone I would consider switching to from the Redmi Note 13 Pro as it solves almost all my frustrations with the Redmi phone is the Google Pixel 7a. It’s the same price, has newer and better Android 14 software, an always-on display, the same quality camera, and I don’t really care about the charging speed.

If my budget could expand a little more, the Nothing Phone 2 would have personality, a powerful processor, a decent camera, and fun software running Android 14. Or the next step would be the Google Pixel 8, which has all the benefits of the Pixel 7a with a much improved Tensor G3 processor. I like phones that offer great value for money and they all do the job well, including the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus. But I like less those who bring unwanted disagreements into my life. Unfortunately, the Redmi phone adds too much and its specs can never make up for it.

Original review by Andy Boxall

Source: Digital Trends

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