The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ (review) takes the spotlight in this year’s revamped Redmi Note series, but the standard Note 13 5G will likely emerge as the smartphone most favoured by customers. That’s because the Redmi Note series is generally synonymous with eye-catching features paired with a mouth-watering price tag.
The story with this year’s Redmi Note 13 5G remains more or less the same. For an unchanged price of Rs 17,999 for the base variant, the Redmi Note 13 5G offers a revamped design inspired by the iPhone 14‘s flat edges. The rear camera system now packs an upgraded 108MP primary camera, and the chipset under the hood has also been upgraded to MediaTek’s Dimensity 6080 SoC. Plus, the base variant offers an increased memory bandwidth of 6GB RAM. Combined, all the good ingredients for a promising smartphone in the segment.
However, one aspect that remains unchanged and is hard to overlook in 2024 is the lack of stereo speakers on the Redmi Note 13 5G, which I believe is critical for all smartphones across different price points. The custom MIUI 14 skin out of the box is still based on Android 13, while the Android 14 is on the horizon. In that case, is the Redmi Note 13 5G worth considering? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
The Redmi Note 13 5G offers a bunch of thoughtful improvements over the Redmi Note 12 (review), making it a value-for-money option for many customers. Its tall AMOLED display is still one of the best in the segment. The new MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC also offers a decent performance, gaming included. However, Xiaomi needs to work on refining the Android experience. Its cameras (in daylight) are decent if not the best.
Design and display
Traditionally, Redmi Note smartphones have been known for their bright colours and flashy accents. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 13 5G’s white and black colour options adopt a minimalistic approach. The white model (Arctic White) that I am reviewing offers a marble-like finish, which I quite like. The white surface also does a decent job of hiding scratch marks and fingerprint smudges. There’s still a gold variant if you prefer a flashy design.
As a part of the revamped design, the Note 13 adopts a flatter build. The result is reduced weight and thickness – 173.5 grams and 7.6mm, respectively. The in-hand grip is also refined due to the overall weight distribution.
Other ports and buttons, including the USB-C and power button, remain standard. The power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which is responsive, provided your thumb is clean and dry. Rests include a 3.5mm audio jack on the top alongside old Note phones’ beloved IR blaster to manage home appliances, like TVs and air conditioners.
The regular Note 13 still incorporates a flat 6.67-inch display, while the Note 13 Pro+ now packs a curved screen. Xiaomi continues to leverage a Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080 pixels) and 120Hz refresh rate. The company claims the phone’s display can achieve a peak brightness of 1800 nits. While it’s tough to verify the claim without proper equipment, the viewing experience under harsh sunlight remains comfortable.
The colour calibration is also top-notch in the segment, letting you enjoy media content on your favourite app. There’s support for HDR, though it’s worth noting that the Netflix app requires optimisation from the server side to fully utilise this display feature. However, watching movies without headphones can be somewhat underwhelming due to the single speaker at the bottom. If you have Dolby Atmos-supported headphones, then you can enjoy immersive audio.
The reading experience on the Redmi Note 13 5G remains delightful, courtesy of the tall display and the built-in reading mode. The 120Hz refresh rate also provides a smooth scrolling experience.
The regular Note 13 now incorporates a 108MP primary, a first on a non-Pro Redmi Note smartphone. The rear camera module, which also adopts a new design, houses an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2 MP macro camera.
In terms of performance, there’s a lot to like about the 108MP primary camera. Photos in daylight or good lighting conditions maintain a balanced contrast and saturation. Details are also decent, but there’s a slight degree of softening to reduce grains from photos. If you want to preserve the details, the native 108MP camera mode does a great job. However, increasing the level of detail in images will result in a larger file size.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera also treats the scene similar to that of the primary camera, though the grains in photos may appear more prominently. Grains become even more prominent in low light. The macro camera now successfully detects subjects, a significant improvement from the Note 12. However, it still lacks detail despite being dedicated to macro shots.
The Redmi Note 13 5G also carries an upgraded 16MP front camera, which takes sharp images (normal and portrait) in daylight. But skin detection is still an issue, as the Note 13 tends to brighten the complexion. While some users may enjoy it, I prefer an accurate depiction of the complexion. In low light, the selfie camera struggles further.
For videos, there’s no OIS, but the EIS does a fair job at stabilisation. Both front and rear cameras support full HD recording at 30fps. Xiaomi could’ve considered adding support for 60fps to gain an edge.
As mentioned, the Redmi Note 13 5G draws power from MediaTek’s Dimensity 6080 SoC paired with 6GB of LPPDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. The variant I am reviewing offers 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, priced at Rs 19,999. There’s also a variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage available for Rs 21,999.
Compared to last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC-powered Redmi Note 12, the Note 13 showed gains in almost all benchmarks. Its AnTutu score increased by roughly 24 percent while the battery consumption during the test remained the same. In Geekbench’s single-core test, the Note 13 showed a promising upgrade, though the multi-core score remained mostly constant. Fortunately, these gains do not result in throttling as the Dimensity 6080 SoC exhibited a stable performance even under heavy load.
Even in real life, the Redmi Note 13 5G exhibited reliable performance. I did not face app crashes, though MIUI 14 showed a few glitches in animations, which is normal for most smartphones, even the expensive ones. Popular apps like Instagram and WhatsApp also performed smoothly.
I would’ve been happier if the Redmi Note 13 5G shipped directly with Android 14-based HyperOS, which the smartphone should receive soon. Otherwise, MIUI also offers loads of customisations, which users will appreciate. The issue of extra pre-installed apps is also lingering. In that case, credit brands like Infinix for reducing unnecessary apps on their devices. Indian smartphone maker Lava is also doing a fine job of offering a clean Android experience.
In terms of gaming, the Redmi Note 13 5G can run popular games, including Candy Crush and Subway Surfers, without any stutters. Moderately graphically intense games, like Asphalt 9, also ran smoothly at 50-60 fps. The Redmi Note 13 5G 5G can handle heavy titles like BGMI, Call of Duty, and Genshin Impact, though the phone heats up during prolonged use. In some instances, you may also experience more noticeable stutters.
There’s 5G support as well. With an Airtel 5G Plus SIM, the Redmi Note 13 5G achieved 200Mbps 5G speeds in my house in South Delhi. Do note that speeds vary based on locations.
Battery and charging
The Redmi Note 13 5G continues to pack a 5,000mAh battery with 33W charging. The phone performed decently in the PCMark battery test, lasting over 12 hours with flight mode enabled. In day-to-day usage, the Note 13 fetched roughly 10 hours of battery. Mind you, this was with the highest settings enabled. You can extend the backup per charge with moderate settings.
With the bundled 33W charger, the Redmi Note 13 5G attained nearly 28 percent charge in 30 minutes. A full charge takes a little over an hour.
The Redmi Note 13 5G offers modest upgrades without pushing any boundaries. It does face a fair bit of competition in its segment. If your priority lies with a clean Android experience for example, Motorola’s Moto G54 (review) and OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite (review) might seem better options. For cameras, there are some areas where the Redmi Note 13 offers reliable performance, but the Realme 11 5G (review) can offer relatively better results.
All said and done, the Redmi Note 13 5G comes across as a solid choice if you value a long-lasting battery, a tall display, reliable performance (including gaming), and relatively fast charging. While design preferences are subjective, I find it to my satisfaction as well.
Editor’s rating: 7.5 / 10
Reasons to buy
- The Redmi Note 13 5G 5G’s white and black option offers a minimalist design, ideal for office-goers.
- Its 5,000mAh battery provides solid battery backup.
- The tall 6.67-inch AMOLED display is great for reading and watching movies.
- The 108MP camera performs very well in daylight.
Reasons not to buy
The cameras struggle to perform reliably in low light.
The Redmi Note 13 5G 5G lacks stereo speakers.
It still runs on Android 13-based MIUI.