Xiaomi 13 Ultra finally makes its much-awaited global debut

Four 50MP cameras plus a 1-inch sensor with variable aperture



Xiaomi first launched their very first smartphone with a 1-inch sensor through last year’s Xiaomi 12S Ultra. But unlike its predecessor, the Mi 11 Ultra, the 12S Ultra was only available in China.

After numerous speculations from leakers and much anticipation from fans, the company has revealed their latest and greatest flagship smartphone yet.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra isn’t limited to their home turf anymore as it simultaneously made its much-awaited global debut.

The Ultra-fication of the Pro

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra isn’t that different from its “Pro” sibling. You still get that already great flagship-grade experience with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset plus Adreno 740 graphics.

However, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra has better configurations up in its sleeve. The base model starts at 12+256GB (versus 8+128/256 on the Pro). Getting a 512GB or a 1TB UFS 4.0 storage automatically gives you a whopping 16GB of LPDDR5X memory (instead of just 12GB). What a smartphone overkill!

While both are equipped with the same 6.73-inch 120Hz 2K (or WQHD+) display, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra boasts the LTPO3 technology while the Pro variant relies on first-generation LTPO. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is also 100 nits brighter (at 1300 nits) when in HBM (High Brightness Mode). Meanwhile, its peak brightness maxes out at 2600 nits (versus 1900 nits on the 13 Pro).

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra also features a bigger 5000mAh battery (compared to 4820mAh) but uses the less speedy 90W proprietary charging support over Xiaomi 13 Pro’s 120W HyperCharge. However, the Ultra keeps the Pro’s 50W wireless charging + 10W reverse wireless charging support.

Other premium features still remain such as the Gorilla Glass Victus glass protection as well as being IP68-rated.

Lastly, instead of relying on a silicone polymer or a smudgy ceramic glass back, all Xiaomi 13 Ultra colorways have an eco-leather back. Not only it features a better design, it also adds more grip thanks to that leather texture backing that will truly remind you of professional Leica cameras.

Quad-boggling 50MP cameras

Xiaomi has already marketed the Xiaomi 13 Pro as an ultimate mobile photography companion with its triple 50MP camera setup. But the Xiaomi 13 Ultra takes everything on a whole new level.

The headlining (and the biggest, literally) feature of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is none other than its ultra-massive Leica-branded circular camera bump that houses not just one, but four massive 50-megapixel cameras beneath.

While both of these Xiaomi phones sport a similar 50MP 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra has an extra handy feature — its dual-variable aperture that lets the user choose between f/1.9 or f/4.0 depending on the photography subject being taken. This rivals the Huawei P60 Pro as well as the Mate 50 Pro.

The rest of Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s 50MP cameras are then based from Sony’s IMX858 sensor (versus Samsung JN1). But aside from the existing 3.2x telephoto lens, they’ve added an extra f/3.0 5x periscope zoom lens (or a 120mm-based “Super Telephoto lens” according to Xiaomi) with EIS for blurry-free zoomed shots.

It seems like Xiaomi is trying to hit two birds with one stone as the newly-added periscope lens directly hits the 10x lens of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Looking further at the nitty-gritty camera differences, the ultra-wide and 3.2x telephoto lenses of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra vs Pro are also different (in particular order):

  • 122 versus 115 degree UWA FoV (Ultra-Wide Angle Field of View)
  • f/1.8 on both lenses versus f/2.2 (UWA) / f/2.0 (3.2x telephoto)
  • OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) is present on Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s telephoto and periscope lenses; Xiaomi 13 Pro only relies on PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus)

These cameras also have Leica’s color modes and Summicron optics. A ToF 3D depth sensor is also present that the Pro model lacks.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is available in three colors: black, white, and the signature olive green.

Even though the smartphone will be available globally, Xiaomi only revealed Chinese pricing in three configurations:

  • 12GB + 256GB = CNY 5999 (US$ 873 / EUR 795 / GBP 701 / SG$ 1162 / PhP 49,090  / INR 71,568)
  • 16GB + 512GB = CNY 6499 (US$ 945 / EUR 862 / GBP 759 / SG$ 1259 / PhP 53,182 / INR 77,533)
  • 16GB + 1TB = CNY 7299 (US$ 1062 / EUR 968 / GBP 853 / SG$ 1414 / PhP 59,729 / INR 87,077)

Xiaomi also offers the Professional Photography Kit for CNY 799 (US$ 116 / EUR 106 / GBP 93 / SG$ 155 / PhP 6538 / INR 9532). This includes a 67mm filter ring adapter, lens cap, nano skin protective case, and a wireless camera handle with lanyard/strap for that added grip.


Going cashless? GCash now accepted in Europe

United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy



Thinking of going cashless on you next trip to Europe? GCash can offer just that, as the mobile wallet app is now accepted in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.

The cross-border payment service is part of the e-wallet’s strengthened partnership with Alipay+, offering users a seamless and secure payment experience without the need for money changers and carrying to much actual cash on your pockets.

Among the popular merchants that will be accepting GCash from now on are:

  • Harrods
  • Liberty London
  • Harvey Nichols
  • Printemps
  • Müller
  • dm-drogerie markt
  • itTaxi
  • IVS Group

To pay using GCash at these establishments, travelers will simply have to look for the Alipay+ logo at the checkout.

Open the GCash app, select the QR or PayQR button, scan the merchant’s QR code, or tap “Pay Abroad with Alipay+” to have a generated QR.

Finally, check the amount, and tap Pay to see the receipt.

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth coming early 2024

Second of the Remake trilogy



Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Square Enix has released a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth to excite gamers even more for its 2024 release in Asia on PlayStation 5.

The Summer Game Fest 2023 trailer previewed the title’s gameplay. It also showed story elements and its expansive world that players can look forward to experiencing starting in “early 2024.”

Thanks to Square Enix’s previous easter eggs, it can be expected that there will be new characters with more action outside of Midgar.  This mimics the feeling players of the original game. The world opened up following the events that transpired in Midgar.

The trailer also showcased new combat mechanics. Characters like Yuffie and Red XXIII were seen doing team-up attacks. Our main girls Tifa and Aerith were also shown doing the same.

Though yet to get an exact release date and price, the second entry to the Final Fantasy VII remake project is already anticipated by many. Oh and something that caught people’s eyes — the end of the trailer says Rebirth will have two (2) discs. 

It will continue the story in Final Fantasy VII Remake, which has earned tremendous praise from players and critics globally.

The first of the remake trilogy garnered more than 20 perfect scores. It also became the highest-selling digital release on PlayStation in Square Enix’s history.

Watch the trailer.

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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown announced

A fresh take on a legendary franchise



Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Ubisoft has announced Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a new action-adventure title to be released on January 18, 2024. It will be available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One. It will also be on Windows via Ubisoft and Epic Games.

The brand-new adventure which is a fresh take on the legendary franchise. It was announced at Ubisoft’s Summer Game Fest live showcase.

It will feature Sargon, a young gifted warrior who is part of an elite group called The Immortals.

The group is tasked to rescue Prince Ghassan, and they will explore Mount Qaf. It is a cursed and hostile place that was once wondrous. It is here where Sargon and the rest discover a treacherous foe they must defeat to restore balance in the world.

Well-represented culture

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown lets players explore a Persian mythology-inspired world at their own pace. This includes everything from the Citadel of Knowledge to the Hyrcanian Forest.

Along the way, players will acquire time powers to unlock unique abilities for combat. Sargon will then delve deeper into Mount Qaf to solve puzzles, uncover secrets, and complete side quests.

The game also highlights original soundtrack created by Iranian-born composer Mentrix, who mixes traditional with modern to guide players from one environment to another.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is one of Ubisoft’s upcoming titles that will be previewed during its Ubisoft Forward conference on June 13.

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