Ever since the OnePlus 7 was announced, Xiaomi has been taking potshots at OnePlus (on both online and offline advertising platforms), the brand which once marketed its phones as “flagship killers”. Xiaomi has been aggressively promoting its upcoming Redmi phone as “Flagship Killer 2.0”. (Xiaomi Redmi K20 review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
Initially, this led Mi fans to speculate of a possible Poco F2 in the making, but Xiaomi’s Flagship Killer 2.0 is actually Redmi K20 Pro. The handset goes by the same name in China and as Mi 9T Pro in Europe. While Xiaomi is planning to launch the Redmi K20 Pro in India sometime in July, the phone is available globally in several markets and we managed to source a unit from China.
Once it officially arrives, the Redmi K20 Pro is expected to be the most affordable Snapdragon 855 phone in the country. There are a lot of things Xiaomi is doing differently this time, and we will be talking about the overall experience in our Redmi K20 Pro review.
Note: We will revisit this review after the K20 Pro India launch.
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Box Contents
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Design and Build
- Redmi K20 Pro Review: Display
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Performance and Software
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Camera Performance
- Redmi K20 Pro Review: Battery
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Audio and Biometrics
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Xiaomi K20 Pro Specification
|Specs||Redmi K20 Pro|
|Platform||Android 9 based MIUI 10|
|Screen||6.39-inch full HD+ AMOLED display, 19:5:9 aspect ratio|
|Biometrics||In-screen fingerprint (optical)|
|Main Rear Camera||48MP (f/1.8) Sony IMX586|
|Secondary Rear Camera||13MP (f/2.4)|
|Additional Rear Cameras||8MP (f/2.4)|
|Battery||27W Quick Charge 4+ fast charging support|
Xiaomi K20 Pro Unboxing: What’s inside?
- Redmi K20 Pro/ Mi 9T Pro handset
- USB cable (Type-C)
- 18W Wall charger
- Sim ejector tool
- Hard plastic case
ALSO READ: OnePlus 7 Review
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Design and Build
Last year when we reviewed the Poco F1(review), we concluded that it offered extraordinary value but had an uninspiring design. Well, Xiaomi seems to have taken a note of that. The Redmi K20 Pro design is fresh and seems well thought out.
In China, the Redmi K20 Pro is offered in three hues: Carbon Black, Glacier Blue, and Flame Red. We have the Carbon Black variant with us which indeed looks and feels fantastic, especially if you compare it against the Poco F1. I am also intrigued by the flashy Red color variant and hopefully, Xiaomi will bring that to India as well.
The Redmi K20 Pro has a glass-metal construction where the front and rear glass are firmly held by a metal side rail. The 3D curved design has a meticulously drawn carbon fiber texture beneath the Gorilla Glass 5 layer, giving it a distinctive, more congenial look compared to the gradients we have seen on affordable phones in recent times.
There’s a triple rear camera module on the rear where the 48MP primary sensor is highlighted by a red ring. Thanks to tapered edges, the Redmi K20 Pro fits snugly in our palms. Unlike the Poco F1, the volume rocker and power button are both metallic, giving excellent tactile feedback. The Red accent on power key also adds to the K20’s overall appeal.
Front on, it’s just all display. There is no notch and the AMOLED screen is uninterrupted, just as on Asus 6Z (review). Where’s the selfie camera you may ask? Well, same as the OnePlus 7 Pro (review) and Vivo V15 Pro (review), the Redmi K20 Pro also uses a motorized pop-up module to accommodate the selfie camera.
Interestingly, Xiaomi engineers did some creative thinking and placed LED lights on the right and left edges of the selfie camera module, which ads a dash of character to the phone.
It is also worth pointing out that the Redmi K20 Pro pop-up mechanics feel a little lethargic in comparison to some of its adversaries. The notification light also finds a place on the top surface of the selfie camera module. Sure, that’s unconventional but that’s any day better than not having one at all.
As for build quality, there are no flexes or creaks in the body. The Gorilla Glass 5 protection on front and rear is also a confidence booster. The handset is not water resistant certified, but there is p2i nanocoating for splash resistance. Xiaomi bundles a rubberized texture case in the box, which is worth appreciating.
If I had to nitpick, the Redmi K20 Pro’s glossy design catches finger smudges rather easily. At 190 grams it is on the heavier side. And if you are upgrading from other Redmi phones, you might miss the IR blaster on K20 Pro.
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Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review: Display
Xiaomi has notched its game up as compared to the Poco F1 from last year. The edge-to-edge 6.39-inch Super AMOLED screen has about 86 percent screen-to-body ratio and is so much better than what Xiaomi’s previous flagships in the country offered.
The screen has native full HD+ resolution with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Being an AMOLED panel it theoretically offers infinite contrast which means the dark mode looks really appealing on the phone. Xiaomi has also introduced Always On feature that it terms Ambient Display. The user can schedule it to turn on/off or continuously keep it on.
The screen is bright, vivid and as sharp as the best available options in the segment. We tested the panel under direct Sun and it was comfortably legible. The k20 Pro display also supports HDR content and DC Dimming. Also, the MIUI 10 has controls to adjust contrast and colors tones under display settings.
ALSO READ: Honor 20 Review
Redmi K20 Pro Review: Performance and Software
Performance-wise there is hardly anything to complain about with the Redmi K20 Pro. For anyone who doesn’t know, the 7nm process-based Snapdragon 855 that drives the handset is currently the best Qualcomm chipset and has a tri-cluster architecture. There is one extreme performance cores clocked at 2.84GHz followed by a couple of performance cores ticking at 2.41GHz, and four most power-efficient cores at 1.78GHz.
The combination of best of Qualcomm SoC, Adreno 640GPU, 6gigs of RAM and fast 64GB storage (UFS 2.1) makes it snappy and capable of handling every app or game I’ve tried convincingly.
While I was using the K20 Pro as my daily driver, it responded well to almost everything. The UI felt responsive and apps loaded without any hitch. Xiaomi claims that there is a custom graphene cooling tech that can keep the system cool by 8°C.
Playing PUGB Mobile with maxed game settings on the Mi K20 Pro was a great experience and we didn’t experience any throttling in performance. In the controlled room temperature, there were no signs of overheating.
Back at its home turf and in Europe, Xiaomi offers Redmi K20 Pro (or MI 9T Pro) in the combination of 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB options as well. Xiaomi India hopefully will follow suit. As far as performance hardware goes, the OnePlus 7 will have the slight advantage of UFS 3.1 that should be noticeable while installing large game files.
As for the software, it is based on Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 10 which is a heavily customized version of Android 9 Pie. It is feature-rich with dark mode, navigation gestures, lots of animation, Picture-In-Picture mode and autofill support.
The biggest concern about Xiaomi phones has been the system level ads in MIUI. Well, the Chinese unit didn’t show any ads as of yet. It remains to be seen if Xiaomi will serve these ads in Indian units (Most probably it will). The good thing is that Xiaomi has the Redmi K20 under the radar for Android Q update.
We will need to test the India unit to determine if the handset supports HD streaming on popular apps. But, considering all the headlines Poco F1 grabbed for this wrong reason, it most probably will.
ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy M40 Review
Redmi K20 Camera Review
The Redmi K20 Pro camera is pretty loaded on paper. Conforming to modern flagship trends, it brandishes triple rear sensors. Out of the three, there is a 48MP (f/1.75) IMX586 primary sensor, teamed with a 13MP (f/2.4) ultra-wide one and an 8MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens. For selfies, there is a 20MP selfie camera that pops every time you need it.
The 48MP primary camera is the same one that Xiaomi employs on its Redmi Note 7 Pro (review). The primary camera essentially will act as a 12MP sensor with very large 1.6µm size pixels. There is a dedicated 48MP mode as well, just in case you need to print a billboard.
There is no optical image stabilization (OIS) or any form of electronic stabilization for the cameras. Now let’s see some of the camera samples we took with the Redmi K20 Pro cameras:
The Redmi K20 Pro camera manages to capture good pictures in most conditions. It has a decent dynamic range but in harsh light, the highlights tend to blow up slightly.
One thing that I have noticed in my time with the phone is that some of the photos don’t have the same crispness as others. Low light camera performance is average and not far from the likes of OnePlus 7 and Asus 6Z. For better low light photos, the night mode in the default camera app is recommended as it outputs balanced images. However, you have to hold the phone with steady hands. As for videos, it can record 4K videos at 60FPS, but again, lack of OIS means you will have to keep the phone really stable.
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Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Battery Life
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro draws power from a 4,000 mAh battery. With normal day-to-day usage, it lasts through a day without breaking a sweat. With more demanding use, the battery depletes fast. Overall, we are happy with the mileage we are getting. The phone supports Quick Charge 4+ out of the box which means it can handle 27W fast charging.
However, Xiaomi ships it with only an 18W charger. There aren’t many QC 4.0 chargers available in case you wish to buy one separately. There is no wireless charging, either.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Audio and Biometrics
The Redmi K20 Pro audio output is about average. The phone has a bottom-firing mono speaker which is loud enough, but not the best in its class. The good thing is it retains the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The K20 Pro has both face unlock and more secure fingerprint scanner. The slower pop-up mechanism means the face unlock isn’t as seamless. The seventh generation in-display optical scanner works well. It is as fast as the best available optical sensors on the market.
Redmi K20 Pro Review Verdict: Should You Buy it?
The Redmi K20 Pro screams value from every nook and corner and is one phone that can be seen as a successor to the Poco F1. The handset offers Snapdragon 855, a gorgeous AMOLED display, and decent battery mileage. The camera isn’t perfect but should be apt for a phone with a presumed under Rs. 30,000 price tag.
That said, the K20 Pro is still an affordable flagship, and Xiaomi is cutting a few corners. If buyers keep their expectation realistic, they would be really happy with the value they get for their money.
- Design and build
- Battery mileage
- Retains 3.5mm audio jack
- Average haptic motor
- No IR blaster
- No OIS