I tested the Xiaomi 13T Pro for a week — 3 shocking ways it beats the iPhone 15 Pro Max – LSB

The Xiaomi 13T Pro brought out the inner brand snob in me that reared its ugly little head when the Beijing-based tech giant contacted Mashable with a review device.

I’ve always thought I was brand agnostic, but the truth is, I found myself turning my nose up at the 13T Pro because Xiaomi isn’t one of the three biggest smartphone giants in the US: Apple, Google, and Samsung. Time to get my head out of the sand though. Looking beyond its backyard and from a global perspective, Xiaomi is nipping at the heels of big players like Samsung and Apple.

And given the phone’s regional origins, I wondered if our American readers would even be able to purchase the Xiaomi 13T Pro. As it turns out, they can, but they have to order it from third-party sellers (eg Amazon).

Despite my reservations, I decided to give the Xiaomi 13T Pro a chance. Now that I’ve spent a week with the Xiaomi 13T Pro, I’m really surprised by its performance. And in a few cases – few as the operative word here – even beats my iPhone 15 Pro Max.

But before we dive in, let’s break down the price and specifications of the Xiaomi 13T Pro.

Xiaomi 13T Pro price and availability

The Xiaomi 13T Pro we tested is priced at $699 on Amazon and comes with the following specifications:

Compare that to my iPhone 15 Pro Max, which will set you back a whopping $1,599 via Apple’s official website. Here are its specifications:

  • 8GB of RAM

  • 1TB storage space

  • A17 Pro chipset

Now that you have a brief overview of the insides of both phones, let’s talk about the amazing ways in which the Xiaomi 13T Pro beats the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

1. Xiaomi 13T Pro beats iPhone 15 Pro Max in battery life

When it comes to Android phones, we usually use PCMark 10 to test battery life. The problem with this though is that PCMark 10 doesn’t support iOS. So I had to come up with a different way to test the power efficiency of the two phones. Hence, I decided to run a TikTok exhaustion test. With both phones’ brightness set to maximum, I kept the app on a TikTok loop until they ran out of power.

Here are the operating times for both phones:

Xiaomi 13T Pro: 11 hours and 5 minutes

iPhone 15 Pro Max: 10 hours and 50 minutes

Both phones have excellent battery life, but the Xiaomi 13T Pro managed to beat the iPhone 15 Pro Max by 15 minutes. This is not a significant delta, but to be honest, I did not expect the Xiaomi 13T Pro to even touch the battery life of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But I shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, the Xiaomi 13T Pro has a bigger battery (5000 mAh vs. 4441 mAh).

2. Xiaomi 13T Pro has ultra-fast charging

The Xiaomi 13T Pro actually comes with a brutal 120W charging brick (iPhone 15 Pro Max does not come with loading a brick at all).

Xiaomi 13T Pro

Xiaomi 13T Pro
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

The problem, however, is that the charging brick that comes in the box is not compatible with North American wall outlets. It appears to be designed for the EU. In any case, I have a non-Xiaomi 120W charging brick that I used to fast charge the 13T Pro, and as Xiaomi claims, it charged to 100% in less than 20 minutes.

Even though the iPhone 15 Pro Max has finally ditched the Lightning port in favor of USB-C, you still get 20W charging speeds. I can charge the iPhone 15 Pro Max to 50% in about 30 minutes, which is much slower than the Xiaomi 13T Pro.

3. Xiaomi 13T Pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner

One thing I liked about my iPhone SE 2022 is the fingerprint scanner — and I miss it on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Face ID was never mine steez. I always seem to miss the Face Unlock window, especially if the phone is too far away from my face, which ends up prompting me to enter my passcode. With the Xiaomi 13T Pro, on the other hand, I can simply scan my fingerprint for seamless login.

As a bonus, I also prefer the touch keyboard on the Xiaomi 13T Pro. Texting on it feels clickier and provides more tactile feedback; it’s almost addictive.

I still recommend the iPhone 15 Pro Max over the Xiaomi 13T Pro

Although the Xiaomi 13T Pro won a few battles, the iPhone 15 Pro Max won the war. The new action button is elite. I can customize it to trigger any app or action I want. For now, I’ve set the action button to launch the Notes app since I use it so often. But hey, next time I might configure it to launch an iMessage window to send a message to a friend I communicate with frequently.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also has a much better display. When I put the two phones side by side, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 6.7-inch display is noticeably more attractive than the Xiaomi 13T Pro’s 6.67-inch panel. It is more colorful, brighter and sharper.

Xiaomi 13T Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is clearly on the left.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It shows if I play Genshin Impact or viewing I am selling Zalez on Netflix. However, it is worth noting that the 13T Pro can emit better brightness (peak brightness of 2600 nits compared to 2000 nits on the iPhone 15 Pro Max).

And most importantly, the cameras on the iPhone 15 Pro Max are, as you might have guessed, far superior to those on the Xiaomi 13T Pro. I tested the selfie camera on both phones, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 12MP front-facing camera produced sharper, more realistic photos compared to the Xiaomi 13T Pro’s 20MP camera.

Xiaomi 13T Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max selfies

Xiaomi 13T Pro selfie (left) vs iPhone 15 Pro Max selfie (right)
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

It is also understood that the A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro Max is absolute a beast per chipset. I’d even say there is too much power. Plus, I could never give up iOS, which has a clean, minimalistic, smooth interface, for the clunky MIUI software that underpins Android.

Finally, if you’re an American resident, I’d be wary of buying the Xiaomi 13T Pro. In theory, you can buy a model from a third-party seller (you can’t buy one directly from Xiaomi), but double-check that your carrier offers satisfactory coverage for the marginalized Android phone.

iPhone smartphones

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