Overall, Xiaomi had a pretty good year, at least when it comes to its product lineup. Sales weren’t that great, but that’s understandable given the global economic situation and the limited availability of certain models.
We were able to review a good chunk of Xiaomi’s smartphones and we liked most of them. So here are the winners and losers from Xiaomi’s 2023 portfolio.
Winners: Xiaomi 13 series, but above all 13 Ultra
This year’s Xiaomi 13 series is a big success in. The small Xiaomi 13 is a potent compact flagship that’s worth the recommendation for sure, while the 13 Pro strikes the perfect balance between premium performance without unnecessary extravagance.
It offers a substantial upgrade over its predecessor and is definitely a more desirable device compared to some of its direct rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S23+, for example. It’s just an excellent all-rounder and comes with a 1-inch main sensor to boot.
Last but not least, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra became global this year, although in quite limited quantities. The handset offered a huge upgrade over its predecessor by adding another 3.2x telephoto camera and improving the 5x shooter as well. Charging is faster and battery is bigger too.
All in all, this year’s Xiaomi 13 family is competitive and stays on top of they industry’s trends. No complaints here.
Loser: Xioami Mix Fold 3
Sure, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 was a solid upgrade over its predecessor, especially in the camera department. In fact, the Mix Fold 3 is one of the foldables with the best camera equipment on the market.
However, the device continues to be a China exclusive and fails to right some wrongs of its predecessor. For instance, the current state of MIUI fails to utilize the Mix Fold 3’s big display and doesn’t offer optimized multi-tasking experience. Moreover, the foldable still has some thermal control issues and tends to overheat. And when you add the lack of 4K video recording using the telephoto camera, some stabilization issues and the absence of AF for the ultrawide camera, the list of cons becomes a bit too long for an expensive smartphone like the Mix Fold 3.
Winner: Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro
This year’s top-tier Xiaomi smartwatch finally makes the transition to Wear OS, opening up new possibilities for users as well as deeper integration into the Google’s ecosystem. We can now confidently say that this isn’t just a glorified fitness band anymore, but a full-fledged smartwatch with apps and everything.
It’s also quite stylish product and offers dependable battery life for a Wear OS product. After all, smartwatches with proprietary OS tend to have considerably longer battery life, but lack the functionality of Wear OS.
Loser: Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro
While we are on smart accessories, we can’t miss mentioning the Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro. We really liked the sound quality, battery life and feature set the pair provides. However, the absurd MSRP and the buggy software are hard to swallow.
The Buds 4 Pro’s launch price was hard to justify, especially compared to similar premium products with great sound quality. While the software bugs like the inconsistent wear detection and audio cut-offs took away from the otherwise premium experience.
Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 series
As often happens, the Redmi Note series is one of the most popular mid-range series in the industry and for a good reason. Most of the devices in the series are well-rounded, pack decent and recent hardware and carry a competitive price tag. Even the vanilla Redmi Note 12 (both the 4G and 5G variants) surprised us with great hardware for the asking price.
Our only complaint remains the confusing naming scheme and the endless list of market-specific versions. The Redmi Note 12 family is still a mess in this regard and it’s hard to keep track of all the phones for different markets, even for experienced tech geeks like us.
Loser: Xiaomi Poco series
We feel like the Poco series never quite recovered after the first few releases. This year’s Poco lineup is somewhat dull, even the top-end Poco F5 and F5 Pro phones. Neither truly impressed and they lack decent camera hardware, even when you factor in the price tag.
The more affordable Pocos are also far from ideal when it comes to hardware. Most run on really old SoCs and even within their own family, they frequently pale in comparison to the Redmi Note 12 series.
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