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Redmi 13C as the must-consider affordable smartphone

Selling from PhP4,999, Xiaomi’s Redmi 13C is making waves for those looking for an affordable smartphone that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, and yet looks good and has better-than-okay features.

Answer this quickly: Recommend an affordable smartphone that 1) does not look cheap, and 2) actually has good – even if not flagship – features. I, for one, am certain that, even though the smartphone market is oversaturated, you’d still have a hard time naming any specific model.

But then here comes Xiaomi’s year-ending offering, the Redmi 13C, and suddenly… there’s a unit worth checking out for satisfying the aforementioned requirements.


To start, it must be emphasized that Redmi 13C is sold from PhP4,999 (for the 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM version exclusively available from Shopee and Lazada), to PhP6,499 (for the 8GB + 256GB version). In between these two variants is the 6GB + 128GB that sells for PhP5,499.

Affordable comes to mind, yes, as you open a white with red box that contains: the Redmi 13C itself, SIM card ejector, cell phone charger and adapter, quick start guide + warranty card, and safety info (which, to be honest, you wish used bigger font to be readable). The glaring deficiency, for me, is the absence of earphones, which is a must-have considering the phone has a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

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In any case, the unit itself is… surprisingly better-than-okay looking.

Redmi 13C measures 168 mm x 78 mm x 8.09 mm; meaning, you, basically, get a 6.74″ unit, bearing a MediaTek Helio G85 processor. Weighing 192 g, this truly light unit comes in Midnight Black (basically black, yes), Navy Blue, Clover Green, and Glacier White.

On top of the phone, you get the earlier-mentioned 3.5 mm headphone jack.

At the right side, there’s the power button/side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and the volume button. BTW, though the phone has fingerprint unlock, it actually also has face unlock (you’d see these choices while setting up).

At the left side: you get the dual SIM and microSD slot. The storage is expandable up to 1TB.

And at the bottom: you have the mono speaker, mike, and the USB-C port.

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Camera-wise, you get: the teardrop 8MP front camera; and at the back, the 50MP main rear camera, and the 2MP macro camera. Both the front and rear cameras can record full HD 1080P videos.

Redmi 13C has a non-removable 5000 mAh battery, with 18-watt Power Delivery charging using a USB Type-C charger.

True, Redmi 13C’s overall aesthetic doesn’t scream groundbreaking – e.g. the teardrop notch housing the front camera). But considering the asking price/s, this should be expected, it has to be said. Besides, even out of the box, this smartphone has must-mention features – e.g. the matte finish that limits smudges while providing a comfy grip.


After turning on the unit, the initial setting up took around 3 minutes and 30 seconds (e.g. selecting language, entry of email account, et cetera). But as soon as the smartphone is turned on, the first thing that strikes you is 6.74-inch IPS LCD screen dominating the front panel, which is as big as many flagship units out there. It has to be said, however, that this doesn’t feel “big” or “heavy”, thanks to its 192 g weight, and – it is worth mentioning – the 0.68mm reduction in thickness when compared to the previous generation, so that it now only measures 8.09mm.

Fortunately, too, the bezels have been minimized for more screen real estate. At the bottom of the screen, however, it’s still quite apparent, even if this doesn’t obstruct the viewing experience.

Xiaomi’s PR mats stated that Redmi 13C has a 90Hz refresh rate to allow its users “silky-smooth viewing and interactions”, and for viewing comfort, is equipped with eye protection such as LCD display with DC dimming. The unit also reportedly received dual professional eye care certifications from TÜV, including Low Blue. Now what do these really mean sans the PR talk? Well, with 720 x 1600 pixel resolution at 20:9 ratio and 260 ppi density, there’s no pixelation here. Instead, you get a crisp screen viewing experience that – I’d say thanks to the MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor, and yeah, the 90Hz refresh rate – doesn’t stall or lag or whatever. This makes Redmi 13C more than suitable for general smartphone use.

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This one’s worth mentioning, though: Out of the box, Redmi 13C comes with bloatware, including Netflix; Lazada, Shopee and Amazon Shopping; FB; TikTok; and those games that you may not be into. Fortunately, you can trash them though.

Software-wise, Redmi 13C uses MIUI 14.0.2, which is based on Android 13. This means that there’s a short learning curve; use of the phone is easy since it actually feels familiar.

Key points to consider regarding Redmi 13C’s performance:

  1. Deciding to do a movie marathon of loud-colored flicks (e.g. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Chzhan Imou’s Hero), the display wasn’t bad at all, with the details accurate and vivid. Watching outdoors particularly on a sunny day can cause issues, but this still suffices.
  2. I opened multiple windows (e.g. WordPress account of, YouTube, Gmail, Yahoo!) at the same time, and… it actually surprised me that Redmi 13C didn’t choke. Slight warming was noticed, however, even if it wasn’t at all disturbing or work-interrupting. Meaning, yes, multitasking is possible somehow.
  3. For gaming, casual’s fine with Redmi 13C (e.g. word games, puzzles, Candy Crush), though moderate to heavy gaming (e.g. Genshin Impact) posed some challenge (e.g. frame drops, albeit occasional). Just remember that this isn’t a gaming powerhouse, and so – knowing the limitations – Redmi 13C could still be fun on gaming.
  4. With 5000mAh battery, Redmi 13C lasts over 24 hours on a single charge. It helps that if you are a battery-heavy user, this smartphone supports 18W fast charging, so that a full charge can be achieved in under two hours. This leaves you more time to actually use the unit, instead of spending too much time leaving it while charging.
  5. Nope, this isn’t a 5G unit (though there’s a 5G model available), but uses GSM, WCDMA and LTE for connectivity. I’d have issues with this IF traveling overseas particularly in countries that are more advanced tech-wise; but locally, with many areas still not 5G enabled, the available connectivity is sufficient.


Many more affordable phones tend to sacrifice the front camera, but Redmi 13C’s 8MP front camera is actually more than enough for use both for selfies, or when Zooming or video chatting. Equipped with a soft-light ring, the images are illuminated, which is particularly helpful when in darker locations.

At the back is a triple-camera setup consisting of: the main camera (50MP), macro camera (2MP), and auxiliary camera (0.8MP). I took cityscape pictures along Taft Avenue in the City of Manila, focusing on the grimy aspects of edifices, and some things were noticeable, e.g.:

  • With long shots, the images were not too sharp but were detailed enough, and colors were somewhat muted, though – I suppose – nothing that filters can’t fix.
  • With close-ups, pixelation wasn’t noticed; though again, the colors were a bit pale.
  • For extreme close-ups (this is via pinching to go beyond the 2x zooming setting of the smartphone), the details remained clear.
  • For night shots, noise is apparent; Night mode could help here, which Redmi 13C fortunately has.
With long shots, the images were not too sharp but were detailed enough, and colors were somewhat muted, though – I suppose – nothing that filters can’t fix.

Redmi 13C’s cam modes include: AI Photography (that’s helpful in point-and-shoot moments), Portrait Mode (think of clear subjects with blurred backgrounds), and Pro Mode (which basically allows you to have control over the settings).

With close-ups, pixelation wasn’t noticed; though again, the colors were a bit pale.


Over and over again, I had to remind myself that Redmi 13C only costs from PhP4,999 to PhP6,499. This is because this smartphone has not-too-bad features, and yet Xiaomi still managed to make it affordable. And so for this, this really is a must-check unit particularly for those looking for a good product without breaking the bank account.

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