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Redmi K20 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review

         Xiaomi entered the Indian market with a big fanfare in 2014, selling its Mi 3 at an extremely low price with the then flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. However, the company has for some time focused more on its entry-level and mid-budget Redmi models. The new Redmi K20 Pro builds on the popular Redmi name but takes Xiaomi back into the high-end segment. Priced at Rs 27,999 with its top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, the phone also underlines OnePlus, a brand for affordable flagship phones for quite some time. The Redmi K20 Pro offers many features and capabilities of the OnePlus 7 and even the over-priced OnePlus 7 Pro.

Dubbing the dubbed flagship killer 2.0 ', the new Redmi K20 Pro has generated huge amount of interest for several leaks and teasers ahead of its unveiling this week in India, not to mention its price. It is the lowest-priced smartphone in India with Snapdragon 855 processor so far, but it has three rear cameras, an in-display fingerprint sensor, a large notchless screen with pop-up selfie camera, and an intriguing design. Should OnePlus be worried? Read on to find out.

Design and Look

In recent times, we have seen that the flagship has adopted innovative designs for achieving borderless, notchless displays. For example, the Asus 6Z (Review) has a rotating camera module, while the OnePlus 7 Pro ₹ 52,999 (review) is a pop-up selfie camera. Naturally, Xiaomi did not want to be left behind. As a result, the Redmi K20 Pro has a pop-up selfie camera.

This allows the larger 6.39-inch AMOLED display to dominate the front of the smartphone, giving the Redmi K20 Pro a screen-to-body ratio of 91.9 percent. It is also the first Redmi smartphone with an AMOLED display. The FHD + HDR panel (1080x2340 pixels) on the Redmi K20 Pro is tuned to the DCI-P3 color gamut, has good viewing angles, and is bright enough to be digestible.

Since it is an AMOLED panel, the Redmi K20 Pro also offers an Always-On Display feature that shows the time and icon with notifications when the device is in standby. You can also twist the contrast as well as the color temperature of the panel. This phone also sports an in-display 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 this phone a premium look and feel. The rear glass is curved, making the device comfortable to hold in hand. Xiaomi has deployed the power and volume buttons on the right side, and we found the volume buttons to be too high, requiring us to stretch our thumbs to reach them. The power button is highlighted in red, which looks good on our Glacier Blue Review Unit.The Redmi K20 Pro is offered in three colors: Glacier Blue, Flame Red and Carbon Black.

The pop-up selfie camera module has LED lights that rise up. It shines blue on Glacier Blue units and red on other color variants. Some may like the lighting effect, while others may find it difficult, but thankfully it can be turned off. The pop-up module also has a small window at the top that allows the phone to alert you about incoming notifications to use these LEDs.

The Redmi K20 Pro has a 3.5mm audio jack on top with a secondary microphone. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port, primary microphone, a loudspeaker grille and a SIM tray. The left side of the phone is empty. The phone has no IP rating but Xiaomi says that it has P2i nano-coating and rubber-lined ports. This can help avoid small splashes of water.

Xiaomi has opted for gradient finish on the back of the Redmi K20 Pro. The finish is deep in the center and our review unit has an attractive blue transition on the sides. The pattern consists of several arcs that appear when hit at the right angle of light. It is a new type of design finish and it manages to hide fingerprint smoothies to a great extent. However, if you don't like the gradient finish, you may like the Kevlar-patterned carbon black color variant.

There are three cameras on the rear of the Redmi K20 Pro, which are lined in the center. The first sensor is positioned separately, while the other two are mounted in a raised pill-shaped module, surrounded by a metal rim, which helps protect the lens from scratches. A dual-tone LED flash sits below the cameras.

Specification and Software ( OS )

It is now well known that the Redmi K20 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, after it was developed and referred to as the "855 flagship". The Snapdragon 855 is quite popular, and is the first choice for many manufacturers when designing a flagship device. It currently powers many top-of-the-line smartphones including the Asus 6Z (Review), OnePlus 7 (Review), OnePlus 7 Pro (Review), Nubia Red Magic 3 (Review), BlackShark 2 and Oppo Reno gives 10X Zoom.

This popular SoC has eight CPU cores and is based on the 7nm manufacturing process. Xiaomi mentions that it has used eight layers of graphite sheets to help disperse the heat. The Redmi K20 Pro is available in two variants, with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage priced at Rs. 27,999 and another with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage at Rs. 30,999.

Redmi K20 Pro uses UFS 2.1 storage which is not as fast as UFS 3.0 storage on OnePlus 7 twins. It lacks a microSD card slot, but it shouldn't be a big issue, given that the base variant also has 128GB of storage.

Redmi K20 Pro has DC dimming like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. This feature uses a DC voltage to reduce screen brightness rather than the commonly used pulse width modulation. It reduces light headedness and may be easier on the eyes.

In terms of connectivity, the Redmi K20 Pro phone has dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, dual GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beadoo and dual 4G VoLTE.

Like every other smartphone on Redmi, the K20 Pro runs MIUI 10 on top of Android 9 Pie. Redmi K20 Pro supports themes that allow you to customize the look of the UI. It also has a system-wide dark mode that takes advantage of the AMOLED display to save power and is easier for the eyes when using the phone at night.

This implementation of MIUI has an app drawer for use with the Poco Launcher, first seen on Poco F1 (review), but is also available as a standalone app through the Play Store. The Redmi K20 Pro also has some preinstalled apps including games such as Ludo Master and Block Puzzle Guardian, as well as Facebook, Dailyhunt, Amazon, Google Duo, Paytm and WPS Office. There are also many Xiaomi apps like Mi Community, Mi Music, Mi Video, Mi Pay, Mi Store and Security Apps. These apps push notifications, but we have seen that the frequency of these spam notifications is slightly lower than other Xiaomi phones.

Redmi K20 Pro also features Game Boost 2.0, which claims to improve gaming performance by managing your Internet connection, reducing latency and improving the touch response of the panel. The game is activated via the Boost Mode Security app, which is the last place anyone will see it for. Xiaomi should implement it in the Settings app or offer it as a separate standalone app. This mode allows users to tap the touch response and sensitivity of the panel repeatedly for each game individually. It also claims to enhance the scenery by making darker areas brighter in sports.

Gesture navigation is also available, and you can dig out the traditional three-button Android navigation scheme in favor of swipe gestures. Xiaomi also gives you six sound effects from which the camera module is being lifted. Digital Wellbeing, a popular Android feature that helps you monitor your smartphone usage, was missing from the Redmi K20 Pro at the time of this review.

Performance and Battery Life

The Redmi K20 Pro is a fast smartphone and at any point we did not notice any lag or stutter while using it. Loading apps is quick, and with 8GB of RAM, our review unit can multitask with some apps running in the background. 

The Redmi K20 Pro features an in-display fingerprint scanner as well as a pop-up selfie camera for face recognition. We got an in-display fingerprint scanner to unlock the smartphone, but it's not as fast on OnePlus 7. The selfie camera module pops up to scan your face when needed and withdraws itself after a successful scan. . This makes facial recognition a bit slower than using an in-display fingerprint scanner. Redmi K20 Pro also has drop protection, so the module can be quickly retracted if a drop is detected in the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer.

We watched many HDR videos on YouTube, which could take advantage of the HDR display. It is bright and the viewing angles are good. The single bottom-firing speaker is loud but we found it to be thin at a high volume. We wanted this phone to have stereo speakers like OnePlus 7.

We ran some benchmarks to see where the Redmi K20 Pro stands out compared to other devices powered by similar hardware. At AnTuTu, the phone managed to score 368,332 points, placing it between the Asus 6Z, which has scored 355,965, and the OnePlus 7, which we managed 375,219 upon testing. In Geekbench 4K single-core and multi-core tests, the Redmi K20 Pro scored 3,421 and 10,775 points respectively.

For the graphics benchmark, the Redmi K20 Pro managed to hit 60fps in the GFXBench T-Rex and 57fps in the Manhattan 3.1 scene. This phone scored 5,620 in the 3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL. We found that these scores are equal to OnePlus 7.

Redmi K20 Pro is packed in a 4,000mAh battery and supports fast charging up to 27W. However, it only ships with an 18W charger in the box. Xiaomi also announced the 27W SonicCharge adapter at the launch event of the Redmi K20 series, and is priced at Rs. 999. If you want to speed up the charging process and you don't already have a high power charger, this should be on your list.

We played PUBG Mobile on the Redmi K20 Pro and found that the game defaults to higher presets with HD and set frame rate graphics. We bumped the quality up to HDR and the frame rate for Ultra. Even with these high settings, the game ran smoothly. We played a full match in these settings, and after about 30 minutes, the battery level had dropped to 13 percent. The phone was only slightly warm to the touch.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone managed to watch 19 hours and 26 minutes of continuous runway. With our day-to-day usage, which included using an active WhatsApp account, using Google Maps for navigation, running benchmarks, and taking camera samples for the entire day, the phone still had 50 percent battery was left. If you are frugal with your use, then you should be able to move beyond one or a half or two days. When the battery ran out, we were able to charge up to 45 percent in 30 minutes and up to 80 percent in an hour using a bundled 18W charger.

Camera and Image Quality

Redmi K20 Pro has a triple camera setup at the back. The primary camera uses a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with f / 1.75 aperture and 1.6 micron pixels. There is also a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with 124.8 degree area and an f / 2.4 aperture. The third camera is an 8 megapixel unit with 2x optical telephoto lens and f / 2.4 aperture. Redmi K20 Pro offers laser autofocus as well as PDAF. At the front, this phone has a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera with sapphire glass to prevent scratches.

Xiaomi has not changed much in its camera app compared to before, and cycling between different camera modes is easy. The camera app has several modes including short video, slow motion, portrait, night, panorama and pro, in addition to the standard photo and video modes. There are quick toggles for switching between three different camera sensors. The app is able to detect where the camera points thanks to its AI capabilities.

The camera uses 4-in-1 pixel-binning to deliver 12-megapixel shots by default, but you have the option of taking photos at full 48-megapixel resolution. In portrait mode, the K20 Pro uses a telephoto lens which means that you stand somewhat far from your subject. There is a quick toggle called Full Body Mode that you can tap if you want to take a full-body portrait of your subject. This makes the phone use primary sensors instead.

In broad daylight, the photos taken with the Redmi K20 Pro had a good amount of detail, and the text on the objects at some distance was also legible. Xiaomi has implemented distortion correction for ultra-wide cameras. Croping the edge of the frame fixes the barrel distortion, but photographs are drawn on the edges. Photographs taken using the telephoto camera were bright, but not as much as those taken with the primary camera.

For close-ups, the Redmi K20 Pro was quick to focus and could usually detect what it was shooting. It also manages a very good depth effect between the subject and the background. Edge detection was also good, and the K20 Pro captured the details well. The camera app gives you the option to set the level of blur before taking portrait shots.

Photos taken in low light look good, but when zoomed in, fine grain appears. The telephoto camera also gave good output at night, but we found that shots taken with the wide-angle camera had more noticeable grain and were not as sharp. Close-ups taken in low light were good, and the images looked crisp. The phone can focus quickly due to laser autofocus. There is also a dedicated night mode, which takes multiple-exposure shots. Photos taken with Night Mode were brighter and had slightly better detail.

The selfies taken with the Redmi K20 Pro were good and managed to highlight the phone subjects as well as the background. The front camera produced a good amount of detail and managed to get the color tone right. We need to be a little conscious of how we engaged the phone while shooting with a pop-up selfie camera to correctly position our faces.

Video recording maxes out at 4K 60fps for all three rear cameras and 1080p 30fps for the selfie shooter. However, you cannot switch between sensors while recording video. While recording the video at 1080p 30fps, we noticed a mild flicker effect, which was acceptable. Videos shot at 4K had a pink tint to them and colors were saturated, making them look artificial. The video shot with a selfie camera was not static.

Verdict : Should Buy It?

The K20 Pro is Xiaomi's flagship model in the Redmi range, and a lot at an affordable price. Yes, it lacks wireless charging and IP rating, but it can be forgiven given its low price tag. The Redmi K20 Pro has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and the variant has moderately priced RAM and storage. The pop-up selfie camera and AMOLED display are the first for the Redmi device. 

The Redmi K20 Pro features a versatile set of cameras on the rear, and they did a decent job in most lighting situations. While the 4,000mAh battery is not the largest we've seen with the Snapdragon 855, the resulting battery backup is more than half acceptable in a day.

This phone lacks UFS 3.0 storage, which is OnePlus 7 sports, and we have also liked the stereo speakers. The main thing for the Redmi K20 Pro is its price. Starting from Rs. 27,999, Redmi K20 Pro is the cheapest smartphone powered by Snapdragon 855 SoC in India right now. Even the higher-priced variant is cheaper than the Asus 6Z (review) and OnePlus 7 (review), making it good for the money. However, keeping in mind the aggressive pricing, it can hardly get your hands on one.




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