The launch of the Redmi K20 Pro variant would be Xiaomi’s gesture to celebrate its fifth anniversary in India. The company came to the country back in July 2014 with its Mi 3 phone. While most of us would associate Redmi with mid-range phones offered at a budget, the now independent brand has come out with a flagship that does sound quite convincing. It boasts of most of the flagship features with a few key things missing, like water resistance, high refresh rate display and the likes. And then there’s the price that makes the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro come off as one of the attractive deals this year. Then again, a lower price also triggers the question of whether there are any significant compromises you should know about. Let’s look into it.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) AMOLED panel with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 91.9 percent screen to body ratio. The phone also an in-display fingerprint sensor and comes with hardware DC dimming support. Inside, there is an octa-core Snapdragon 855 SoC, paired with Adreno 640 GPU and up to 8GB of RAM. The Redmi K20 Pro packs a triple rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor with an f/1.75 lens, a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a wide-angle lens, and a third 8-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 lens. For selfies, there is a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera. The Redmi K20 Pro houses 256GB of internal storage. The smartphone also boasts a 4,000mAh battery along with 27W fast charging support. The phone has three color option for the back – Flame Red, Glacier Blue, and Carbon Fiber Black.
Even though this is the first flagship by Xiaomi, the company has flirted with the premium segment in the past with the Poco F1 and a handful of Mi phones. The Poco F1, obviously was an instant hit among smartphone lovers, probably giving Xiaomi the confidence to further push its game.
The phone is priced at a decent 27,999 Rupees. Price-wise, the K20 Pro’s rivals fall far behind in terms of performance, but not so much in the design and camera departments. The real rivals to the phone are all priced above Rs 30,000 and most of them offer the same level of performance. It thus comes down to the software and the brands you prefer. The K20 Pro will please power users as the battery life, display, and performance. These are right up there with the best. The camera, however, needs improvement. It’s not as good as the one on the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom or the OnePlus 7 Pro. Compared to the Zenfone 6z and OnePlus 7, the performance will be similar but each of the two come with their own unique features. The K20 Pro is a viable candidate for this year’s flagship killer.
Can it take on the big flagships?
The OnePlus 7 Pro price in Indian starts at Rs 48,999 and goes up to Rs 57,999 which is a lot more than what Xiaomi has priced its phone. But the K20 series’ main competition in the Indian market could be the recently launched Realme X which costs between Rs 16,999 and Rs 19,999. The phone comes with some impressive features like a 48MP camera and a powerful Snapdragon 710 processor. While the price does come close to what other Snapdragon 855-powered flagships ship for, it’s still the most affordable flagship you can buy right now.
The K20 Pro would definitely be a challenge to the flagships, but new upcoming models with lower prices would become a hitch in the sales.
Detailed Review of Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro
Performance and Battery
Xiaomi claims it to be the fastest smartphone in the market. It’s a big statement to make, and honestly, there’s nothing in the real world to either back up the claim or oppose it. Redmi K20 Pro is significantly faster on some tests like AnTuTu and Geekbench but slower on some like 3DMark and GFXBench. Based on his it seems the K20 Pro’s CPU is much more well-optimized than the OnePlus 7 Pro but the GPU works better on the latter.
In real-world usage, one may not find any significant difference compared to other Snapdragon 855-powered flagships. The fact that this is the most affordable phone powered by the flagship processor makes it notable, but otherwise, there’s nothing new per se in terms of performance. Daily tasks like shooting photos, browsing and launching apps are all blazing fast and happen without a hitch, Using the phone’s in-game FPS counter, PUBG Mobile on the K20 Pro uns at a maxed-out frame rate of 40 FPS while Asphalt 9 also maxed out at 30 FPS. We don’t have the stability number, but based on the experience, it mostly should be stable at the peak frame rate.
The software on the Redmi K20 Pro is not like a regular Xiaomi. A swipe up from the home screen will bring the app drawer up and it automatically divides apps into different categories which are accessible by swiping right. There are some other new additions too. A Game Turbo mode, which houses all the installed games in a carousel, gives you some granular access to game settings. PUBG Mobile, as in most phones these days, has got some special treatment. You can control the touch and the repeat touch latency as well as a marked area to prevent accidental touches.
As the battery is concerned, the 4000mAh battery on the K20 Pro managed to last 9 hours 46 minutes on Geekbench battery test, which is pretty impressive and should easily convert to over a day’s usage. In real-world conditions, 15 minutes of PUBG Mobile drained the battery by 5 percent while 30 minutes of Netflix drained the battery by 4 percent.
The Redmi K20 Pro boasts of a triple camera setup on the back and a 20MP pop-up shooter in front. While the segment has a few more triple camera phones on offer, others do not offer a flagship chipset along with it. The triple camera setup is similar to the likes of the Vivo V15 Pro or the Oppo F11 Pro with one exception. The K20 Pro packs an 8MP telephoto lens with 2X optical zoom too. This is combined with a 13MP wide-angle camera and a 48MP Sony IMX586 primary sensor. This is pretty impressive considering the next phone to offer something similar is priced at Rs 40,000 (Oppo Reno 10X Zoom).
In typical daylight conditions, the Redmi K20 Pro is pretty good. The details come out sharp and but even though the phone tends to saturate the colors to an extent, they look quite aesthetic. It is not all perfect though as the camera tends to clip the highlights and overexpose the shot more often than not. Also, the 48MP mode on the K20 Pro is much better than on the Redmi Note 7 Pro, even though both phones have the same Sony sensor. The difference is likely brought up by the ISP of the Snapdragon 855, which applies Xiaomi’s sharpening and noise-reduction algorithm in the 48MP mode. As a result, the 48MP shots are no longer blurry and lack in details. They are now much sharper, and when zoomed in 100 percent, the sharpening algorithm is pretty apparent. Still, it is pretty impressive how the sensor is finally showing some extraordinary results. The HDR mode, on the other hand, manages to salvage details from the shadows and expose the highlights better.
The Redmi K20 Pro also has one of the best wide-angle cameras in this range. Samsung and Vivo have made the ultra-wide cameras mainstream, but most of the phones which offer the feature suffer from excessive distortion. The Redmi K20 Pro’s ultra-wide-angle shot not only gets the exposure and sharpness right but also corrects the shape in post-processing, which does lead to a narrower field of view. There’s also 960 FPS slow-motion recording which is nowhere close to what the Galaxy S10 offers since it is done using the software, and the camera stack lacks any sort of stabilization.
Design and Display
While the performance and camera are pretty impressive for the price it’s offered at, the phone’s design is what will catch your attention. This is one of the best-designed phones by Xiaomi. Aura Prime is what the company calls the design and the dual-tone of colors look fascinating. The front is full screen, with very thin bezels on all sides. Xiaomi is not new to the bezel-less trend. In fact, it was a pioneer with the Mi Mix series. The K20 Pro though achieves the full-screen design by stowing the front camera in a pop-up setting. It pops up fairly fast while unlocking, but not as fast as the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The in-display fingerprint sensor is also really accurate. It will unlock four out of five times, and will likely be your default mode of unlocking as the pop-up face unlock works only when you swipe up from the lock screen. There are no navigation buttons in the gestures mode, the keyboard now starts from the absolute bottom. This leads to a lot of mistakes and typos and one must retrain his hands to grip the phone in a new way
Talking of the display, the Redmi K20 Pro has an impressive AMOLED panel that stretches to 6.39-inches without any interruptions. This is the first Redmi phone to come with an AMOLED display and that brings out the expected boost in contrast levels. It is also a bright panel with 724 lux, On the other hand, the brightness falls down to 7 lux, which is pretty impressive. The display is also HDR rated, but it is not sure what standard it is. Presently, HDR videos play only on YouTube and not on Netflix and Amazon Prime, but Xiaomi did state they are working with the streaming services to enable HDR playback.
XIAOMI REDMI K20 PRO PRICE IN INDIA
Redmi K20 Pro (6GB+128GB) is priced at Rs 27,999 while the 8GB+256GB variant is available for Rs 30,999. Redmi K20 with 64GB storage is priced at Rs 21,999 and the 128GB variant is Rs 23,999. The pricing of these smartphones has left many users disappointed as they were expecting the price to be somewhere around Xiaomi Poco F1 that started at Rs 20,999. Some users complained that the K20’s India price is higher than the price in China.
“We want to tell you that we worked day and night to ensure Redmi K20 series provided a true flagship experience to all our consumers without compromises,” wrote Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi India’s director in response to this. According to him, the K20 series come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and 730, which are the latest processors, and these are much more expensive than their predecessors. Please note, latest technology gets cheaper with time; we could have used older generation processor to save money or we could have waited for 6 months for component costs to go down, and hence further reduce the price of Redmi K29. But that would’ve gone against our philosophy of bringing the latest innovation to you, he added. He also highlighted some of the premium features in the device such as AMOLED display with hardware DC dimming, high-resolution DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that are usually available on phones priced between Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000.
The K20 and the K20 Pro are indeed priced aggressively. Saying otherwise is ignoring what these phones are all about, it’s ignoring the kind of hardware packed in, it is ignoring their beautiful design and the fact it costs money to use beautiful material to make beautiful phones, ignoring the fact that Xiaomi is not a charity, but a company that wants to make money while at the same time providing value to people who buy its phones.
Here’s what Unbox Therapy, Mrwhosetheboss, & Frankie Tech, leading global tech reviewers have to say about Redmi K20 Series.
While the price does come close to what other Snapdragon 855-powered flagships sell for, it’s still the most affordable flagship you can buy right now that comes with everything that is in vogue this year. We cannot outright call it a premium flagship since there are still some features that are missing that makes a device premium. If you are wondering, the Redmi K20 Pro is also much more than what the Poco F1 offered. The Poco flagship focused only on performance, while the K20 Pro is an all-rounder of sorts. While the price does come close to what other Snapdragon 855-powered flagships ship for, it is still the most affordable flagship you can buy right now.