Xiaomi’s budget sub-brand Redmi are known for making some of the absolute best value phones (only BBK group’s Realme can really compete), and the latest Note series from Redmi continues the trend with a series of phones each covering a price segment seemingly destined to appeal to more budget-conscious consumers in Southeast Asia or Latin America, and chunks of Europe. It’s the highest end model, the Note 13 Pro Plus, that drew my interest though, because this is Redmi most premium looking and feeling phone yet.

The Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus brings a curved OLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, and in the hand, it feels every bit as nice as the curvy panels in pricey $1,000 phones. The resolution of 2712 x 1200 and 1800 nits brightness are both high marks for a value Redmi phone.

The back design of the phone looks gorgeous to my eyes with a pastel color scheme and an artsy pattern.

There’s a 200-megapixel camera (sourced from Samsung, with a 1/1.4-inch image sensor), Gorilla Glass Victus protection, and a large 5,000 mAh battery. These components so far are all premium. The areas where the phone falls back down to mid-range territory is the mid-tier Dimensity 7200 Ultra chip from Mediatek, sub-par ultra-wide camera, no zoom lens nor official IP water resistance rating. Still, the Mediatek silicon is more than powerful enough for daily use, and the phone’s $380 price (converted from the India retail price) mean you really can’t complain too much there.

The main camera in particular does a good job, using 16-in-1 pixel binning to grab images that punch far above its price range. The shutter speed is a bit slower than some of the best flagship phones I use, so there are some motion blur when shooting at night. But for a phone at this price, again, I can’t complain.

The battery life lasts all day, and Xiaomi’s software has some of the most fluid animations around. Overall, this is the most premium Redmi phone ever, and the closest a sub-$400 phone has gotten to feeling like it could be a flagship phone.

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