Xiaomi conquered the Indian market in 2014 with great success and sold its Mi 3 with the then flagship processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 at an extremely low price. However, the company has been focusing more on its entry-level and mid-budget models from Redmi for some time. The new Redmi K20 Pro builds on the popular name Redmi, but puts Xiaomi back in the high-end range. Starting at Rs. 27,999 with its top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, this phone even undercuts OnePlus, which has been the brand for affordable flagship phones for quite some time. The Redmi K20 Pro offers many of the functions of the OnePlus 7 and even the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro.
The new Redmi K20 Pro, known as the "flagship killer 2.0", sparked great interest in India thanks to several leaks and teasers before its official unveiling this week, not to mention its price. This is now the cheapest smartphone in India with a Snapdragon 855 processor. However, it also has three rear cameras, a built-in fingerprint sensor, a large, notchless screen with a hinged selfie camera, and a fascinating design. Should OnePlus worry? Read on to find out.
Redmi K20 Pro design
We have seen in the recent past that flagships have chosen innovative design approaches to achieve borderless, stepless displays. The Asus 6Z (Review) has a rotating camera module, while the OnePlus 7 Pro (Review) has a pop-up selfie camera. Of course, Xiaomi didn't want to be left behind. For this reason, the Redmi K20 Pro has a selfie pop-up camera.
In this way, the large 6.39-inch AMOLED display dominates the front of the smartphone and offers the Redmi K20 Pro a screen-to-body ratio of 91.9 percent. This is also the first Redmi smartphone with an AMOLED display. The Redmi K20 Pro's FHD + HDR panel (1080 x 2340 pixels) is matched to the DCI-P3 color space, has good viewing angles and is bright enough to be easy to read outdoors.
Since it is an AMOLED panel, the Redmi K20 Pro also offers an always-on display function that shows the time and icons of apps with notifications when the device is in standby mode. You can adjust the contrast and the color temperature of the panel. This phone also has a built-in fingerprint scanner.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a glass sandwich design with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back and a metal frame in the middle that gives the phone a first-class appearance. The rear glass is curved so that the device can be comfortably held in the hand. Xiaomi positioned the power and volume buttons on the right, and we found the volume buttons are a bit too high, so we have to stretch our thumbs to reach them. The power switch is highlighted in red, which looks good on our Glacier Blue test device.
The Redmi K20 Pro is available in three colors: Glacier Blue, Flame Red and Carbon Black.
The hinged selfie camera module also has LEDs that light up when it rises. It glows blue on the Glacier Blue units and red on the other color variants. Some may like the light effect, others may find it sticky, but luckily it can be turned off. The pop-up module also has a small window at the top where the phone can use these LEDs to notify you of incoming notifications.
The Redmi K20 Pro has a 3.5 mm audio jack and a second microphone. At the bottom are a USB-C connector, the main microphone, a speaker grill and the SIM compartment. The left side of the phone is blank. The phone has no IP protection class, but according to Xiaomi, it has a P2i nano coating and rubberized connectors. This could help you survive smaller splashes of water.
Xiaomi has opted for a gradient finish on the back of the Redmi K20 Pro. The finish is darker in the middle and changes to a catchy blue on the sides. The pattern has several arcs that are visible when the light hits them at right angles. This is a new type of design finish and fingerprint stains are largely hidden. However, if you prefer no gradients, the carbon black color with kevlar pattern may be better for you.
There are three cameras on the back of the Redmi K20 Pro, which are lined up in the middle. The first sensor is positioned separately, while the other two are arranged in a raised, pill-shaped module with a metal rim to protect the lenses from scratches. A two-tone LED flash is located under the cameras.
Redmi K20 Pro specifications and software
It is now common knowledge that the Redmi K20 pro is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC after it was referred to as the "flagship 855" during development. The Snapdragon 855 is very popular and the first choice for many manufacturers when designing a flagship. It currently supports many premium smartphones, including the Asus 6Z (test), OnePlus 7 (test), OnePlus 7 Pro (test), Nubia Red Magic 3 (test), Blackshark 2 and Oppo Reno 10X Zoom (review).
This popular SoC has eight CPU cores and is based on a 7 nm manufacturing process. Xiaomi mentions that it used eight layers of graphite plates to aid in heat dissipation. The Redmi K20 Pro is available in two versions, one with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage for Rs. 27,999, and the other with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage at Rs. 30,999.
The Redmi K20 Pro uses UFS 2.1 storage, which is not as fast as the UFS 3.0 storage of the OnePlus 7 twins. A microSD card slot is missing, but this shouldn't be a big problem when you consider that even the basic version has 128 GB of storage.
Like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, the Redmi K20 Pro has DC dimming. This function uses DC voltage to reduce the brightness of the screen instead of the commonly used pulse width modulation. This reduces flickering and is easy on the eyes.
In terms of connectivity, the Redmi K20 pro phone has dual-band WiFi according to 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, dual GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and dual 4G VoLTE.
Like any other Redmi smartphone, the K20 Pro MIUI 10 runs on Android 9 Pie. The Redmi K20 Pro supports topics with which you can customize the appearance of the user interface. A system-wide dark mode is also provided, which uses the AMOLED display to save energy and is easy on the eyes when the phone is used at night.
This implementation of MIUI has an app drawer thanks to the use of Poco Launcher, which was first seen on the Poco F1 (review), but is also available as a standalone app on the Play Store. Some apps are pre-installed on the Redmi K20 Pro, including games like Ludo Master and Block Puzzle Guardian as well as Facebook, Dailyhunt, Amazon, Google Duo, Paytm and WPS Office. There are also various Xiaomi apps such as Mi Community, Mi Music, Mi Video, Mi Pay, Mi Store and a security app. These apps tend to push notifications, but we've found that the frequency of these spam notifications is slightly lower compared to other Xiaomi phones.
The Redmi K20 Pro is also equipped with Game Boost 2.0, which aims to improve game performance by managing your internet connection, reducing latency and improving the touch response of the panel. This game boost mode is activated via the security app. This is the last place anyone would look for it. Xiaomi should have implemented it in the Settings app or offered it as a separate standalone app. In this mode, users can individually adjust the touch response and sensitivity of the panel for repeated taps for each game. It is also claimed to improve graphics by making darker areas in games lighter.
Gesture navigation is also available, and you can abandon the traditional three-button Android navigation scheme in favor of swipe gestures. Xiaomi also offers you six sound effects to choose from when the camera module is raised. Digital Wellbeing, a popular Android function that you can use to keep an eye on your smartphone, was missing from the Redmi K20 Pro at the time of this review.
Redmi K20 Pro performance and battery life
The Redmi K20 Pro is a fast smartphone and we have never noticed any delays or stuttering when we used it. Loading apps is fast and with 8 GB RAM, our test device could multitask with some apps that run in the background.
The Redmi K20 Pro has a built-in fingerprint scanner and a hinged selfie camera for facial recognition. We found that the built-in fingerprint scanner unlocks the smartphone quickly, but not as quickly as that of the OnePlus 7. The selfie camera module opens when needed to scan your face and retracts itself after a successful scan. This makes facial recognition a bit slower than with the built-in fingerprint scanner. The Redmi K20 Pro also has fall protection, so the module can be retracted quickly when the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer detect a fall.
We watched several HDR videos on YouTube that could use the HDR display. It is bright and has good viewing angles. The single bottom-firing speaker is loud, but is very thin at higher volumes. We wish this phone had stereo speakers like the OnePlus 7.
We ran some benchmarks to find out where the Redmi K20 Pro is compared to other devices with similar hardware. In AnTuTu, the phone achieved 368,332 points and was between the Asus 6Z with 355,965 points and the OnePlus 7 with 375,219 points when we tested it. In the Geekbench 4 single-core and multi-core tests, the Redmi K20 Pro scored 3,421 and 10,775 points, respectively.
In the graphics benchmarks, the Redmi K20 Pro reached 60 fps in the GFXBench T-Rex scene and 57 fps in the Manhattan 3.1 scene. This phone also scored 5,620 in 3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL. We noticed that these values are comparable to those of the OnePlus 7.
The Redmi K20 Pro is packaged in a 4,000 mAh battery and supports fast charging of up to 27 W. However, it is only supplied with an 18 W charger in the box. Xiaomi also announced a 27W SonicCharge adapter at the Redmi K20 series launch event. 999. This should be on your list if you want to speed up the charging process and don't have a powerful charger yet.
We played PUBG Mobile on the Redmi K20 Pro and found that the default setting for the game was "High" with graphics set to "HD" and the frame rate to "High". We raised the quality to HDR and the frame rate to Ultra. Even with these higher settings, the game ran smoothly. With these settings, we played a full match, and after about 30 minutes the battery level dropped by 13 percent. The phone felt only slightly warm.
In our HD video loop test, the smartphone managed to measure 19 hours and 26 minutes of continuous runtime. In our daily use, which consisted of using an active WhatsApp account, using Google Maps for navigation, running benchmarks and taking camera samples for a whole day, the phone still had 50 percent of the battery. If you are economical with your usage, you should be able to extend for a day and a half or even two.
If the battery was empty, we could charge it 45 percent in 30 minutes and 80 percent in an hour using the included 18W charger.
Redmi K20 Pro and cameras
The Redmi K20 Pro has a triple camera setting on the back. The main camera uses a Sony IMX586 sensor with 48 megapixels, an aperture of 1: 1.75 and 1.6 micrometer pixels. There is also a 13 megapixel ultra wide angle camera with a field of view of 124.8 degrees and an aperture of f / 2.4. The third camera is an 8-megapixel unit with an optical 2x telephoto lens and an aperture of 1: 2.4. The Redmi K20 Pro offers both laser autofocus and PDAF. There is a 20 megapixel popup selfie camera with sapphire crystal on the front of the phone to avoid scratches.
Xiaomi hasn't changed much in its camera app compared to what we've seen so far, and it's easy to switch between different camera modes. The camera app has several modes, including short video, slow motion, portrait, night, panorama and pro, which are different from the standard modes for photo and video. There are quick switching options between the three different camera sensors. Thanks to the AI functions, the app can recognize what the camera is pointing at.
The camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning to deliver 12 megapixel shots by default. However, you can also take photos at the full 48 megapixel resolution. In portrait mode, the K20 Pro uses the telephoto lens, which means that you are a little far from your subject. There is a quick change, the so-called full body mode, which you can tap if you want to take a full body portrait of your subject. This causes the phone to use the primary sensor instead.
Photos taken with the Redmi K20 Pro in daylight had a lot of detail, and even text on distant objects was legible. Xiaomi has implemented distortion correction for the ultra-wide camera. The run distortion is corrected by trimming the side of the frame. However, the photos appear stretched around the edges. Photos taken with the telephoto camera were bright, but not as bright as those taken with the main camera.
For close-ups, the Redmi K20 Pro was quickly focusable and could usually see what it was shooting. There was also a very good depth effect between the motif and the background. Edge detection was also good, and the K20 Pro recorded details well. The camera app gives you the ability to adjust the level of blur before taking portraits.
Tap to see full-size examples of Redmi K20 Pro cameras
Photos taken in low-light conditions looked as good as they are, but when you zoomed in, you could see a fine grain. The telephoto camera also performed well at night, but we found that the pictures taken with the wide-angle camera were more granular and less sharp. Close-up shots in poor lighting conditions were good and the pictures looked razor-sharp. Thanks to laser autofocus, the phone was able to focus quickly. There is also a special night mode that allows multiple exposures. Photos taken with night mode were brighter and had slightly better details.
Selfies taken with the Redmi K20 Pro were good, and both subjects and backgrounds could be properly exposed on the phone. The front camera provided many details and managed to get the right color. We had to be a little clear about how we angled the phone when recording with the pop-up selfie camera so that our faces remained properly framed.
The maximum video recording is 4K 60fps for all three rear cameras and 1080p 30fps for the selfie shooter. However, you cannot switch between sensors while recording video. When recording videos at 1080p / 30fps, a mild shimmering effect can be observed, which is acceptable. Videos recorded in 4K had a pink sheen and the colors were saturated, making them look artificial. The video recorded with the selfie camera was not stabilized.
The K20 Pro is Xiaomi's flagship in the Redmi range and offers a lot at an affordable price. Yes, it lacks wireless charging and an IP rating, but that can be forgiven given its lower price. The Redmi K20 Pro has the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and the variants offer a lot of RAM and memory for their prices. The pop-up selfie camera and an AMOLED display are the first for a Redmi device.
The Redmi K20 Pro offers a versatile set of cameras on the back that have done a good job in most lighting conditions. While the 4,000 mAh battery isn't the largest we've seen with the Snapdragon 855, the resulting battery backup of over a day and a half is more than acceptable.
This phone lacks the UFS 3.0 memory that comes with the OnePlus 7, and we would also have liked stereo speakers. The most important thing the Redmi K20 Pro has to offer is its pricing. From Rs. With 27,999, the Redmi K20 Pro is currently the cheapest smartphone with the Snapdragon 855 SoC in India. The more expensive version is also cheaper than the Asus 6Z (test) and the OnePlus 7 (test) and offers an excellent price-performance ratio. However, given the aggressive prices, it could be difficult to get a grip on one.