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Xiaomi announced, believe it or not, five Redmi Note 13 smartphones. We managed to get our hands on all of them and will separate the review process across two reviews. In this article, we’ll talk about the Redmi Note 13 4G and Redmi Note 13 5G. Some of you may think that they’re exact same smartphones with the difference of one supporting 5G. That’s not the case at all. In the first 30 minutes of use, we realized how different these two phones are, which should make this review interesting, that’s for sure.

They sure do look similar, and Xiaomi apparently wants you to think they’re very similar based on their names. Well, that’s not really the case. Before we even get into it, I’ll just say that the 5G model is a much better smartphone, and we’ll get into details down below. I was actually quite surprised when I realized how different these two phones are. There is a price difference between them, though, so let’s see what’s what.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Hardware / Design

At first glance, these two devices do look very similar, but it’s not a problem to differentiate them. First and foremost, the Redmi Note 13 4G is ever so slightly taller, wider, and thicker, despite the fact they have the same display size. That’s because the 5G variant has thinner bezels all around. Those bezels are not uniform, but they’re noticeably thinner than the ones on the 4G model (which also does not have uniform bezels, by the way).

The 5G model is a bit lighter

The 5G variant is also about 14 grams lighter, and you can feel that. Maybe not everyone will, but when you swap the two phones in your hand, it is noticeable, even though it’s not a big deal, both are quite light considering what we’re dealing with these days. There is also one major difference between the two, the 4G variant has a glossy plastic backplate, while the 5G variant has a matte plastic backplate. Is this important? Well, if you’ll use the phone without a case, yes, very much so. The Redmi Note 13 4G managed to get extremely smudgy really fast. It also feels semi-greasy when you hold it, even though my hands are not sweaty at all. Holding the Redmi Note 13 5G is a much more pleasant experience, to say the least.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 image 1001

Glossy back aside, both are rather easy to use despite their size. The weight distribution and the fact that they’re not heavy has a lot to do with it. Both phones have physical buttons on the right-hand side only. The 4G model has a SIM tray at the bottom, while the 5G model’s sits on the left-hand side. Both phones have an IR blaster at the top, and a Type-C USB port at the bottom. Do note that the 4G model includes an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, while the 5G variant has a side-facing one. More on that later. These two phones are IP54 certified for dust and splash resistance.

Both phones have three cameras on the back

Both devices include three cameras on the back, and the camera islands do look quite similar. The camera sensors are not entirely the same, however, and the 5G model has horizontal and vertical lines inside that camera island so that it’s easier to recognize. You’ll also find ‘5G’ branding on its back, which is something the 4G variant does not have. The sides on both smartphones are flat with chamfered edges for comfort. That’s basically it as far as the design is concerned. The Redmi Note 13 5G is definitely our preference in terms of the design, between these two. Not only because of the matte backplate but its thinner bezels and the fact that it’s lighter overall.

Accessories

You will find a protective case in both retail boxes with these phones. The cases are not the same, but they’re similar. They’re made from the same material. We’re looking at regular rubber cases here, but they do offer plenty of protection. They’re not thick either. The case for the Redmi Note 13 5G is a bit thinner, and it has a thinner ‘lip’ on the front. Both do offer plenty of screen protection. The case for the 4G model does offer better camera protection, as it covers everything except the camera holes themselves. These are solid cases,  not see-through ones, and the colors vary from one model to the next.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G cases 1AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G cases 1

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Display

Based on looking at some specifications, some of you may presume that these two models have the same displays. They do not. Both smartphones include 6.67-inch displays, and they’re both flat. That’s true. Both of them also have a centered display camera hole, but even that hole is different. The one on the 4G model has a silver ring around it, which is quite distracting. We’ve seen the same thing on the ASUS ZenFone 9 and ZenFone 10. We’re not sure why is this a thing, but it is. The hole punch on the Redmi Note 13 5G does not have that silver ring around it, which is what we prefer.

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There is a screen protector pre-installed on both devices

Both displays do come with a plastic screen protector pre-installed. The resolution on both displays is 2400 x 1080, and both displays have a 20:9 aspect ratio. You’re also getting a 120Hz refresh rate on both panels, but neither of them is an LTPO panel. The Redmi Note 13 5G has better protection with the Gorilla Glass 5, though, compared to the Gorilla Glass 3 on the Redmi Note 13 4G. It’s a good thing Xiaomi included a screen protector, as the Gorilla Glass 3 is prone to micro-scratches. The spec sheets state that the Redmi Note 13 4G’s display is brighter, at 1,800 nits of max brightness. The one on the Redmi Note 13 5G goes up to 1,000 nits maximum.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G image 8AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G image 8

The Redmi Note 4G’s panel does get a bit brighter

Is the difference in brightness visible? Well, yes, it is. The Redmi Note 13 4G’s panel does get brighter when needed. In fact, if you do spend a lot of time in direct sunlight, that one may be the better one to go with. Other than that, both displays are quite good. The viewing angles are excellent, they’re both more than sharp enough, and a 120Hz refresh rate does make everything look nice and smooth while scrolling and so on. Both panels are also vivid, and even though I can see the difference between them and higher-end panels, that’s not something that will bother people who are aiming for these two phones. The point is, these are good displays, with good touch response. At these price points, there’s really not much to complain about. I just wish that the Redmi Note 13 5G’s panel was a bit brighter, that’s all.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Performance

The performance is where the Redmi Note 13 5G stands apart. It comes with a much more powerful processor, which not only does better in single-core and multi-core aspects, but its GPU also performs a lot better. The Redmi Note 13 4G is fueled by the Snapdragon 685 SoC from Qualcomm, a 6nm processor. The Redmi Note 13 5G includes the MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC. That is a 6nm processor as well, but it’s considerably more powerful.

In addition to those chips, these two phones include LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 flash storage. Neither is the latest and greatest, but keep in mind their price tags. The Redmi Note 13 4G comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. The former includes 128GB of storage, while for the latter you can choose between 128GB and 256GB of storage. The 5G variant is also available in 6GB and 8GB RAM models, the former comes with 128GB of storage, while the latter includes 256GB of storage.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G thermalsAH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G thermals

The 5G variant does offer better performance, in our experience

These are not the most powerful specs around, but the 5G model does offer better performance. I noticed the difference in both general usage and gaming. Benchmarking tools only confirm that, nothing else. Neither phone has outstanding performance, just to be clear. However, I did notice a lot less stutters on the 5G model. You will see skipped frames/stutters on both devices, though, depending on how hard you push them. Even when you’re not pushing them hard, those stutters will happen. Don’t get me wrong, they both work fine, especially the 5G model, but don’t expect outstanding performance here. Those of you who are coming from more powerful phones will definitely notice the performance dip.

In terms of games, you can play a wide range of them, but more demanding titles will work at lower FPS rates, and will not work at their most powerful settings. That is to be expected. Neither of these two phones is made for gaming, though, so if you stick to games that are not that graphically intensive, you’ll be fine. The good news is that neither phone gets too hot while gaming. I did not play a lot of games, that’s true, but from what I’ve seen, they do keep the temperature in check.

The Redmi Note 13 4G has an in-display fingerprint scanner, but it didn’t exactly perform well

The Redmi Note 13 4G has an in-display optical fingerprint scanner. The 5G model, on the other hand, includes a side-facing fingerprint scanner. The one on the 5G model performed considerably better across the board. It was not only faster but more precise too. Don’t expect the same performance as on top-tier phones, though. I’ve noticed the difference between this and something you’d find on the ASUS ZenFone 10 or the OPPO Find N3, for example. I also want to note that I disabled the one on the Redmi Note 13 4G after a short while, it was really not up to par, and was more of annoyance than anything else.

Benchmarks

We reached for two benchmarking tools to run on these two smartphones, Geekbench 6 and one specific test from 3D Mark. That test is the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test, which really pushes phones it runs on. Geekbench 6 will give you a better idea of what these two phones are capable of based on their hardware alone. The 3D Mark test will simulate really demanding usage on both devices and run 20 cycles of usage in order to get a better grasp of what they’re capable of. You can check out the results below.

Geekbench 6

Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G GeekbenchRedmi Note 13 4G and 5G Geekbench

3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test

Redmi Note 13 4G: Best loop: 139; Lowest loop: 138; stability: 99.3%

Redmi Note 13 5G: Best loop: 1,334; Lowest loop: 1,326; stability: 99.4%

Genshin Impact thermals (after 1 hour of gameplay)

Redmi Note 13 Genshin Impact thermals in F (after 1 hour of gameplay)Redmi Note 13 Genshin Impact thermals in F (after 1 hour of gameplay)

Video export test

Redmi Note 13 Capcut video export test (seconds)Redmi Note 13 Capcut video export test (seconds)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Battery

Both the 4G and 5G variants of the Redmi Note 13 have a 5,000mAh battery on the inside. I actually tried to mimic a rather similar usage on both smartphones in order to get a grasp of the battery life. In other words, for a couple of days, I used them both at the same time, and both with active SIM cards. I’ve watched 15 minutes of YouTube on one phone, then the other. I’ve used Chrome for 15 minutes on one, and then on the other. Took pictures for that amount of time on one, and then the other, and so on. You get the idea.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G image 5AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G image 5

What I’ve found out is that they have very similar battery life, actually. Yes, both of these phones can last a full day without a problem. The battery life is not outstanding, but it’s more than good enough. I was able to the 7-hour screen-on-time mark when I used them separately, and they kept up with the other when used at the same time. Gaming did have a more significant impact on battery life, though, considerably more than anything else I was doing, including image processing, video processing, and multimedia consumption. Your results may be considerably different than mine, of course. Also, do note that both phones were used mostly while on Wi-Fi.

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It’ll take you over an hour to fully charge them

What about charging? Well, that part is identical here. They both do include a charger in the box, and support 33W wired charging. The charging is not particularly fast, but it’s not that slow either. It’s actually a good offering compared to other phones in this price range. I was able to reach a full charge (from 0%) in around an hour and 10 minutes, or 70 minutes, if you will. To be more exact, one phone charged up in 71 minutes, while the 5G model took 73 minutes. I do believe that it could easily be the other way around if I test it again, though. In any case, you can count on around 70 minutes for a full charge. In terms of a 50% charge, that’ll take you about half an hour.

Redmi Note 13 Charging time 0 100% (default 33W charger)Redmi Note 13 Charging time 0 100% (default 33W charger)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Camera

Xiaomi included rather similar camera setups on these two devices, but they’re not the same. The fact their processors are also different also impacts the end results. I did notice differences when it comes to camera performance and experience in general, quite a noticeable difference actually. Xiaomi used the same sensor for the main camera. Both devices include a 108-megapixel camera from Samsung. It’s the ISOCELL (S5K)HM6 sensor. This is a 1/1.67-inch sensor, and it has a pixel size of 0.64um. It has an f/1.8 aperture 24mm lens on it. The 5G model is almost identical, save for one thing, its lens. It has an f/1.7 aperture lens.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G image 2AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G image 2

They have different ultrawide cameras

The ultrawide cameras are different. They’re both 8-megapixel units, but they’re not the same. The Redmi Note 13 4G has an ISOCELL S5K4H7 sensor. That is a 1/4-inch sensor with a 1.12um pixel size. There is an f/2.2 aperture lens on top of it. This is a fixed-focus camera. The 5G model includes an 8-megapixel unit from OmniVision. it’s the ov08d10 sensor, which is a 1/4.4-inch sensor with a 1.0um pixel size. There is an f/2.2 aperture 16mm lens on it, and this is also a camera with fixed focus.

The third camera on the back of both smartphones is a 2-megapixel unit. It’s different, though. The 4G model has a macro camera with a 1.75um pixel size and an f/2.4 aperture lens. This is also a fixed-focus camera. The 5G model utilizes that same sensor (SmartSens sc202cs) as a macro camera. They’re the same sensors used differently. essentially. Both phones have a rather standard 16-megapixel unit on the front.

Redmi Note 13 1080p recording thermals (F) 5min & 10minRedmi Note 13 1080p recording thermals (F) 5min & 10min

The Redmi Note 13 5G launches the camera app faster

One thing I’ve noticed is that the 5G model launched the camera faster. It was also able to take shots quicker when the light was not around. That’s probably due to the SoC used in the phone, but it’s worth noting. In regards to the camera quality, well, let’s talk about the main camera first. Both phones end up providing 12-megapixel shots after pixel binning, and the results during the day are good. The colors are good for the most part, though can be considered a bit muted, as they’re really trying to be as natrual as possible. The processing in general is good, but the 4G model does rely on sharpening a bit more in some scenes, which is odd. The dynamic range won’t blow you away, but it’s generally not bad. You will notice that some images are a bit softer than they should be, though.

It would be best if you’d stuck to using the main camera

If you end up using the ultrawide camera a lot, you will notice the dip in details. The main camera is definitely the better choice. Photos from the ultrawide unit do end up looking softer, and the details are nowhere near as good. There’s also some visible noise in those shots. The colors are matched pretty well with the main camera, however. That goes for both phones. In regards to the macro camera on the 4G model, it’s good for what it is. A 2-megapixel macro camera is not a good choice in my opinion, ever. But given the good lighting, you can pull out a usable shot. The 5G model is supposed to use this as a depth camera, but it works the same way the unit on the 4G model does. As a macro camera, and the results are very similar.

Low-light photos look better on the 5G model

What about low-light shots? Well, first of all, they don’t look as good on the 4G model as they do on the 5G. The difference is not big, but let me explain. Low-light photos do look good in general. The thing is, the highlights do look a bit better on the 5G model, plus there seems to be a bit less noise there. Other than that, they do look quite similar when it comes to the main camera.

Both smartphones do a very good job, especially considering their price tags. They handle light sources well, and there’s even some details in the shots. You will notice more noise in the shots than you would on considerably more expensive phones, but that is to be expected. Do note that both phones process photos as low light automatically. The night mode is there, but there’s absolutely no reason for you to use it.

Ultrawide shots in low light are a completely different story. Their ultrawide cameras didn’t exactly shine in good lighting, and the same is the case in low light. The photos look… well, not good. They’re passable, but not good. There’s a lot of softness included in them, and plenty of noise. The exposure is good, though, for the most part. The light sources are often blown out, which does affect the general impression quite a bit.

Main camera samples Redmi Note 13 4G:

Main camera samples Redmi Note 13 5G:

Ultrawide camera samples Redmi Note 13 4G:

Ultrawide camera samples Redmi Note 13 5G:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Software

Just to be clear, I’ve tested these phones on MIUI 14 (on top of Android 13). The latest updates that were available at the time I started the review process. HyperOS has started rolling out to both phones at this point, but the updates were not available for me. Even if they were, however, I would have kept the software where it is. Once I start the review process I don’t like to update the software, as the software that I updated to when the phones arrived is considered final software. In any case, I may do an update in regards to HyperOS down the line, if necessary.

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Xiaomi doesn’t play well with third-party launchers… if you’re using navigation gestures

The first thing I’ve noticed was during the setup process itself. It was shorter than on other Android phones I’ve used in the recent past. Xiaomi tends to skip a part of the initial setup process and allows you to change things once you’re already using the phone. That may change with HyperOS, though, but it’s something to note. Also, on-screen buttons are on by default, and you have to change that to navigation gestures yourself, if that’s your prefered method of using your devices. Do note that Xiaomi doesn’t play well with third-party launchers when the navigation gestures are on, it’s even worse in that regard than other phones. If you use navigation gestures, and install a third-party launcher, you won’t be able to use your phone, basically. Swipe up to go home doesn’t work at all, for example. So… keep that in mind.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 6AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 6

It’s quite different than stock Android

In general, however, MIUI 14 is exactly what you’ve seen on other phones. It’s a mix of stock Android, iOS, and Xiaomi’s very own style. It’s not for everyone, but many people got used to it and they love it. HyperOS won’t really bring all that much different from the design standpoint, even though some elements will look more polished. One thing that’ll go away are the status bar icons, partially. You will be able to see only a new notification icon from the last notification that arrived, that’s it. In MIUI 14, however,  you can see plenty of them, as long as there is space left.

The MIUI 14 is very colorful, and has a ton of options

MIUI 14 is very colorful, and the notification shade is separated from quick toggles. There are some options to customize this in the settings, however, in case you don’t like it the way it is. Apps are also all placed on home screens by default, but you can activate the app drawer if you want. You’ll find plenty of s such customization options in MIUI 14, that’s for sure. The overview menu aka task switcher is split into two columns, and from there, you can activate mini app windows, split screen mode, and so on. You can also lock apps, in case you want to force them to work in the background.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 2AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 2

Plenty of Google apps come pre-installed here, though you can remove many of them as well, in case you won’t use them. Meet is removable, as is Google TV, Home, and more. More popular apps such as Gmail are non-removable. There are also some Xiaomi apps included here, and some bloatware too, such as Jewels Blast game, FitBit, and so on. The point is, the vast majority of apps that come pre-installed here are removable, not counting in Xiaomi’s and Google’s system apps. You can clean up the app list really good.

Both smartphones offer the Always-On Display (AOD) function, a Wallpaper Carousel, and various other features such as One-handed mode, Floating windows, Memory extension, Second space, and so on. The notifications were mostly coming on time, but for some apps, I had to lock them in the background in order to function properly. Once I did that, everything ran fine. The animations are good, and overall MIUI 14 performed really well on both phones.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 3AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G UI 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G Review: Audio

What’s interesting here is that the 4G model has a stereo speaker setup, while the Redmi Note 13 5G has a single bottom-firing speaker. That speaker is actually quite good, so it’s not much of a difference, but it’s still a single speaker, which you will notice. The 4G variant’s second speaker is basically the earpiece. Both the Redmi Note 13 4G and 5G speakers offer good loudness. They’re not exactly remarkable in any way, but the loudness is okay.

The sound quality, on the other hand, is mediocre, that’s the best way to describe it. The high-end sounded… very odd too us, based on our own audio samples that we use for testing speakers. Low and mid-range were okay, but nothing to write home about. Vocals in general were good, but the bass was more or less non-existent, and that goes for both smartphones. You can’t really expect miracles at these price tags, so… both speakers are good considering how much you’re paying for the whole package.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G: Should you buy it?

Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphones have always been a great choice for people on a budget. If they’re within your budget, and you’re not looking to spend too much on a phone, these two devices are solid choices. The 5G model is the better phone of the two, though. I’m not saying that just because it supports 5G connectivity. The camera performance is slightly better, the performance in general is better, and I even liked the case it comes with the phone a bit more. So, if you have the option to get the 5G model over the 4G one, go for it. Both of them are worth the money, though, I’d say.

AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G image 5AH Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G image 5

You should buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G if you:

…want to save a bit of cash compared to the 4G model
…don’t care about a fingerprint scanner
…want a solid display for the money
…have very limited budget
…don’t care about cameras all that much

You should buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 5G if you:

…can spare the extra cash compared to the 4G model, as it’s worth it
…want a passable camera at this price point
…require better performance than the 4G variant offers
…want a comfortable and yet not too heavy smartphone
…need a solid display

You shouldn’t buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G & 5G if you:

…can set aside more money for a better Redmi Note 13 model (Pro or Pro+)
…plan on using your cameras a lot in various use cases
…want a blazing-fast performance and charging



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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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