- The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro is the flagship Xiaomi phone for the Indian market and it comes with a price of Rs 27,999.
- In this Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro review, India Today Tech finds that it has speed, dazzling design, capable cameras and tons of useful features.
- The Xiaomi Redmi K20 consequently gets 8.5 points out of 10 in this review, making it one of the best phones out there.
Redmi. You hear the brand name and think of the Redmi Note. Or Redmi A series. These are the phones that offer incredible value for money, but they are not the phones that dazzle. In fact, until the Series 7 of the Redmi Note and Redmi A, these phones were extremely utilitarian. That has started to change, and along with whatever changes Xiaomi has brought to the brand Redmi in the last one year, today it puts the brand in India on to a new course. This, the company is doing with the Redmi K20 Pro which has now arrived. The Redmi K20 Pro is a premium and high-end phone masquerading as a mid-ranger. But don't be fooled by the price of the phone. As we find in this Xiaomi Redmi K20 pro review, this phone is as good as any high-end premium phone for all practical purposes.
The Redmi K20 Pro is the cheapest Snapdragon 855 processor phone yet. In a good way. Alongside the Redmi K20 Pro the company also launched the Redmi K20. But today's star is the K20 Pro so let's keep the focus on it. Let's take a closer look at the Redmi K20 Pro in this review.
Should you really "Believe the hype" as Xiaomi claims? Yes. After spending a good one week with the Redmi K20 Pro, I can say that you should believe the hype.
Looks enticing. And solid
Xiaomi is finally thinking beyond affordable pricing and hardware and taking factors like the design very seriously. The good bit is the company has already applied this new strategy to all the recently launched Redmi phones and the same continues with the just launched Redmi K20 Pro as well.
The latest Redmi flagship comes in three colours -- Glacier Blue, Carbon Fiber Black and Flame Red. I'm using the Carbon Fiber Black variant of the phone and I must say the Redmi K20 Pro feels extremely compact and premium in the hands. The Carbon Fiber Black variant of the Redmi K20 Pro is lovely. The Blue and Red colour options are also good but my personal favourite is the Carbon Fiber Black.
The Redmi K20 Pro offers a glass body held together with a metal frame. This not only makes the phone feel premium in the hands but also extremely solid, sturdy. The overall fit and finish of the phone makes it hard to believe that it is an under Rs 30,000 smartphone.
The phone includes Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both front and back, and that adds up to the overall design and aesthetics of the smartphone. The edges of the Redmi K20 Pro are nicely curved and polished. This offers a good hand feel and makes the Redmi K20 Pro a compact phone despite a big 6.39-inch display. I believe, the Redmi K20 Pro has the right size and it slides in jeans pocket easily.
I like the fact that there's not much of camera bump on the back panel. Many phones nowdays have prominent camera bulges, and that doesn't look too nice. The main 48MP camera sensor of the phone sits inside a module separated with red ring, and that is followed by a dual camera module, and then comes the LED flash. Everything in place and neatly designed.
Another highlight of the rear cover of the Redmi K20 Pro is the "Redmi - designed by Xiaomi" logo. It looks extremely classy and adds to the design. The pop-up camera of the Redmi K20 Pro sits on the top-left side and it also sports a clean design. The LED notification light on the top and sides of the pop-up looks pretty cool. However, if you want a more subtle look there's the option to disable the LED lights.
Overall, I feel the Redmi K20 Pro is one of the best looking smartphones, not just in its segment but overall.
Finally an AMOLED display in Redmi phone
If you have read the India Today Tech review of the Redmi Note 7S, Redmi Note 7 Pro, Redmi 7, Redmi 7A, Redmi Y3 or any of the latest Xiaomi phone you'll know about the one constant: dull LCD display. In the Redmi Note 7 Pro review I had mentioned: "I wish the phone offered an AMOLED display". Looks like Xiaomi was taking notes. The Redmi K20 Pro comes with an AMOLED display that measures 6.39-inches in size and offers screen resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.
It is good to see a Redmi phone with an AMOLED display. Finally! I have used the Redmi K20 Pro as my primary smartphone for nearly a week now and can say that in both indoors and outdoors the screen is extremely bright. Indoors, keeping the brightness around 40 - 50 per cent is adequate for while outdoors I had to often increase the brightness level to 80 - 90 per cent but it was good enough for me to allow watching videos even under the Delhi sun.
There are slim bezels around the Redmi K20 Pro screen. As a result it offers a screen-to-body ratio of 91.9 per cent. In other words, the front is all screen. I used the Redmi K20 Pro to watch videos on YouTube, World Cup 2019 final, browse social media apps like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, play Asphalt 9 and PUBG. In almost all scenarios the Redmi K20 Pro offers great viewing angles. The Redmi K20 Pro's display also includes fingerprint sensor beneath it and it turns out to be pretty smooth and fast at unlocking the smartphone.
Redmi phone with pop-out camera
With the Redmi K20 Pro, Xiaomi brings its first pop-up camera phone in the Indian market. The pop-up camera of the K20 Pro sits on the top left side. While I like the fact that it gives the phone a seamless design, and an expansive screen without any breaks, I don't particularly like the speed of the pop-up camera. The module pops out somewhat lowly compared to what I have seen on Vivo or OnePlus phones. This also makes using face unlock slower on the phone.
The pop-up camera of the Redmi K20 Pro uses a 20MP image sensor. I believe the selfies clicked with the Redmi K20 Pro could have been slightly sharper, detailed and better at capturing colours. There is lots of megapixels here, but given the hype I expected better performance from the selfie camera of the Redmi K20 Pro. The selfies are decent -- take a look at the image samples -- but that is all. The details in particularly seem mushy. In portrait mode the camera blurs out the background pretty well, with pretty sharp edges. Sadly, here too the details are lacking.
On the rear, the Redmi K20 Pro comes with triple cameras. The Redmi K20 Pro comes with a 48-megapixel primary camera that uses Sony IMX586 primary sensor (f/1.75 aperture), an ultra-wide camera with 13-megapixel sensor, and an 8-megapixel camera with 2X telephoto lens. The pictures clicked with the Redmi K20 Pro main camera look crisp, vibrant, and details are captured well, especially in daylight.
In good light the pictures clicked with Redmi K20 Pro turn out to be full of fine details, although the camera also has a tendency to over-sharpen the photos. Colours too are boosted, which makes most of the photos clicked with the Redmi K20 Pro over-saturated. Some will like the enhancement that camera sensor adds to the photos while others won't. I personally wish the pictures clicked with the K20 Pro looked natural. Additionally, compared to the normal photo mode, the pictures clicked in 48MP mode appear to be more natural and detailed. Surprising but that is how it is.
The portrait mode works pretty well as it captures pictures with background nicely blurred out and edges sharp. The Redmi K20 Pro also includes an ultra-wide sensor and 2x telephoto lens. I used both these camera modes and found that both produce good results. The pictures shot in the ultra-wide mode turns have punchy colours as well as good amount of details. The same can be said for the 2x telephoto lens as well. The pictures captured in 2X mode also capture details very well and look crisp.
In low light or night, the Redmi K20 Pro clicks decent pictures, although the details get mushy and colours lose their contrast. Night Mode helps, though, as it allows users to take better low light photos at the (slight) cost of speed. The Redmi K20 Pro also gets AI scene recognition which will automatically detect the scene and adjust the setting accordingly.
Overall, I believe the camera performance of the Redmi K20 Pro is a mixed bag. It is good for a phone that costs under Rs 30,000, but it's definitely not the Pixel or Galaxy S class or even OnePlus 7 class. But do understand that those phones cost much more. I also feel that the camera performance of almost all phones, including OnePlus 7, tend to improve after their launch as companies take into account feedback and work to fine-tune image processing. The camera hardware nowadays is similar in similar class of phones. It's the software that truly differentiates camera performance of one phone from other. And I have a feeling that in the coming days, Xiaomi may fine tune its camera app for the Redmi K20 Pro to improve its performance.
Cheapest Snapdragon 855 phone and impressive speed
There's just one way to describe the overall performance of the Redmi K20 Pro: Extremely smooth. The Redmi K20 Pro is the cheapest Snapdragon 855-powered phone right now, and it comes paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There's no way you can expand the storage space but I believe 256GB storage is more than enough for even power users, if you go for the top-end variant that is.
Xiaomi has been touting for a long time that the Redmi K20 Pro is the fastest smartphone in the world. Well, world or not, but the Redmi K20 Pro is definitely the fastest smartphone available at this price segment. The Snapdragon 855 chip powering the Redmi K20 Pro is pretty fantastic and snappy at running graphic-intensive games like PUBG and Asphalt 9. The Redmi K20 Pro isn't like one of your typical Redmi phones. It is fast. It is smooth. It doesn't lag at any point. It is the best performing phone at this price segment. Period.
I'm also impressed with the gaming performance of the phone. A 30-minute session of PUBG on high graphics runs smooth with no noticeable drop in frame rate. The good bit: despite running such a heavy GPU game the phone barely gets warm. Not just PUBG, I also breezed through a season of Asphalt 9 and the phone handled that perfectly well.
As far as the overall performance is concerned, the Redmi K20 Pro handles almost everything you do throughout the day smoothly and without any lag. In my Redmi K20 Pro, apps open and load in a jiffy despite several apps already running in the background. Also scrolling through social media apps like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is smooth.
In addition to the flagship processor, I give credit to the well-optimised software of the Redmi K20 Pro. The phone runs Android 9 Pie with MIUI 10 on top out of the box. Interestingly, the Redmi K20 Pro comes with Poco Launcher pre-installed and that makes the difference. The Poco Launcher brings the Dark Mode and App drawer to the K20 Pro. These are two things I missed in all the recently launched Redmi phones. So, plus points to the new Redmi K20 Pro for this.
MIUI offers option between navigation keys and gestures. I used the latter and found it to be pretty smooth. The Apps drawer is also a good thing to see here. It comes with a search bar that makes it easy for the users to find the apps they are looking for pretty quickly. The MIUI brings features like anti-flicker mode, reading mode, second space, dual apps, among other things.
What is not nice? My only gripe is that the software is slightly cluttered and that's due to the innumerable pre-installed third party applications. And of course the annoying advertisements are still there. But maybe they are annoying to me, and some users don't mind them. But the ads in MIUI are there in the Redmi K20 Pro.
Battery lasts long
The Redmi K20 Pro gets it right on battery. The Redmi K20 Pro comes packed with a massive 4000mAh battery. That's great, but what's even better is the 27W charging support. Yes, the Redmi K20 Pro comes with 27W charge support, but the 27W charger is sold separately and doesn't come in the box. That, though, shouldn't worry you because Xiaomi has bundled the Redmi K20 Pro with 18W fast charger in the box.
The 18W charger takes around 1.5 hours to charge from 0 per cent to 100 per cent, which is actually good. We at the India Today Tech also used the 27W charger to juice up the Redmi K20 Pro and it is incredibly fast. It takes around 20 min to charge 40 per cent of battery.
I used the Redmi K20 Pro as my primary phone, which means I used the phone to send emails, play games, listen to music, WhatsApp, browse social media apps, watch videos, among other this. Despite using the Redmi K20 Pro so rigorously, I found the phone easily lasting one full day on a single charge.
Redmi K20 Pro for Rs 27,999: Worth buying?
Absolutely. If you want a good flagship class phone under Rs 30,000, I can recommend the Redmi K20 Pro. It is definitely the most complete phone available at this price point in India right now.
After spending a week with it I believe the Redmi K20 Pro ticks all the right boxes as far as the consumer requirements are concerned. Be its design, battery, software, overall performance or display, the Redmi K20 Pro gets it right. I just wish the cameras could have been slightly better, particularly the selfie camera.
The Redmi K20 Pro is way more than just an affordable Snapdragon 855 smartphone. It is beautiful. It offers premium design and feels great in hands despite the affordable price. It clicks decent pictures. It has a gorgeous display. It's battery lasts long. And it is fast, fast and then fast some more.
What more you need from a phone at this price? I believe absolutely nothing, the K20 Pro delivers on everything that matters.
Redmi K20 Pro review8.5/10
- Very fast
- Good battry
- AMOLED display
- Premium design
- Selfie camera
- MIUI ads