Xiaomi 13 Pro: Did it take a better picture than my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Xiaomi 13 Pro
Xiaomi 13 Pro (left), Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Right) (Image credit: Josh Vergara/Kimberly Gedeon)

Wait a minute! "Did the Xiaomi 13 Pro just obliterate my beloved Galaxy S22 Ultra?!" was a painful question I had to ask myself when my Samsung phone seemingly produced crappier photos than the device tech YouTuber Joshua Vergara used.

You see, last week, I attended a press-only Asus event in downtown Los Angeles where the innovative company showcased a wild new RTX 4070 gaming laptop you can wear: the Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM.

The location of the event, taking place inside an unpolished, bare-bones warehouse, matched the industrial, gritty, raw vibes of the newly revealed gaming rig. Adding to the Fast & Furious feel, there was a bad*ss Porsche 935 MOBY X placed inside — and of course, all the car lovers couldn't wait to snap some pictures next to the striking set of wheels.

One of the excited attendees was an Asus rep. He ran in front of the car, but wailed that his phone ran out of juice (he has a Google Pixel 7, which, according to our in-house testing, has an awful 7-hour battery runtime). As such, he asked Vergara and I to take some snapshots of him.

When I showed the Asus rep (and other nearby friends), the photo I took, it generated a lukewarm response — the type of murmur you'd hear when a stand-up comedian tells a kind of funny joke.

Man standing next to a Porsche

(Image credit: Kimberly Gedeon)

However, when Vergara showed his photo, taken with the Xiaomi 13 Pro, the whole room erupted in impressed chaos. Hell, even I was taken aback. "Holy sh**!" I told Vergara. "That is sick!"

Photo of man standing next to a Porsche

Photo taken by Joshua Vergara with the Xiaomi 13 Pro (Image credit: Joshua Vergara)

If I didn't know any better, I'd think this is a still from a steamy, smoky music video. The contrast of the rep's dark clothes against the hazy background is hypnotizing. And not to mention the angry, menacing red lights radiating from the Porsche next to him. This photo screams Instagram perfection.

Meanwhile, my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra photo looks corny. There's too much illumination on the rep's face, and quite frankly, the picture looks basic, uninteresting and amateurish. At that moment, I couldn't help but wonder, "Should I get the Xiaomi 13 Pro if it's going to take such spectacular photos?"

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Xiaomi 13 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Row 0 - Cell 0 Xiaomi 13 ProSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Starting price$872$919
Battery life (tested by us)13 hours and 7 minutes10 hours and 15 minutes
Display6.73-inch, LTPO AMOLED, HDR10+, 120Hz6.8-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2x, HDR10+, 120Hz
CPUQualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM8GB to 12GB8GB to 12GB
Storage Options128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
Selfie camera32MP40MP
Wide camera50.3 MP108MP
Ultra-wide camera50MP12MP
Dimensions and weight6.41 x 2.9 x 0.33 in., 7.4 oz6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in, 8.04 oz

Is the Xiaomi 13 Pro a better phone for pictures?

Unfortunately, it's difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison here. For a fair photo analysis between the Xiaomi 13 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, I'd want to make sure all the settings between the two phones are as equivalent as we can get them to be. 

Xiaomi 13 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Xiaomi 13 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Image credit: Joshua Vergara/Kimberly Gedeon)

Secondly, I'd want to take far more photos with the two phones to truly get into the nitty gritty between how both phones perform in different settings, including well-illuminated rooms and low-light environments. 

As such, I refuse to say that the Xiaomi 13 Pro is better than my Samsung from just one photo comparison. Plus, I suspect that it's not a matter of one phone being better than the other. It's just that Vergara, an ambitious YouTuber and phone expert who often conducts photo comparisons from two popular phones, knows his way around camera software better than myself.

Xiaomi 13 Pro

Xiaomi 13 Pro (Image credit: Future)

Vergara told me that it'd be easy for me to get the same results as he did with my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Simply get behind the subject and turn down the exposure — that's it! This tip is particularly useful if your subject is in a dark environment with awkwardly placed lights. For example, if you're snapping a photo of a singer who's dancing inside a concert arena, turn that exposure down for the best results.


♬ original sound - lys

Whether you have the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you can do this by tapping on the screen with the camera app open. A yellow sun icon should appear, allowing you to use a drag down or up gesture to manage the exposure.

Check out our full review of the Xiaomi 13 Pro.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!