Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro first impressions: Can this take on the OnePlus 7 Pro?https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/mobile-tabs/xiaomi-redmi-k20-pro-first-impressions-is-this-a-flagship-killer-5833843/

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro first impressions: Can this take on the OnePlus 7 Pro?

The Redmi K20 Pro is clearly aimed at the OnePlus 7 Pro and Xiaomi is making no qualms about this given the tagline, which is ‘Flagship Killer 2.0’. Here's our first impression of the device.

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Redmi K20 Pro is the company’s latest smartphone at Rs 27,999. Here’s our first look. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Xiaomi’s popular Redmi lineup is headed in a new direction with the latest Redmi K20 series. This is the first Redmi series to sport flagship-level specifications, but at a much more modest pricing that starts at Rs 27,999 and goes up to Rs 30,999. There’s an exorbitant version as well, a Redmi K20 Pro made of gold and diamonds at Rs 4.8 lakh for those who want something more flashy — Xiaomi says it will only be making 20 of these.

The Redmi K20 Pro is clearly aimed at the OnePlus 7 Pro and Xiaomi has no qualms about this given the tagline, which is ‘Flagship Killer 2.0’. Redmi K20 Pro ticks all the boxes that you would expect in a premium phone; the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a maximum of 8GB RAM, triple cameras at the back, the new edge-to-edge full screen with a popup selfie camera, and 27W fast-charging support.

But does the Redmi K20 Pro have enough to take on the flagships like OnePlus, Samsung’s S10 series, Google Pixel, and others? Here’s what we thought after using the Redmi K20 Pro for the last three days.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro first look: Design, Display

The display is probably the most impressive part of the Redmi K20 Pro. The full-screen display without a notch looks stunning, though the bezel is visible at the bottom and the side bezels are very much present. Still, the lack of a notch should appeal to purists. At 6.39-inches, Redmi K20 Pro has a SAMOLED display with 1080 x 2230 pixel resolution. The fingerprint sensor is under the display, which has become common on many flagships.

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Redmi K20 Pro has a curved back glass with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

While the full-screen design and the curved glass back with the striped pattern design add a premium look to the Redmi K20 Pro, the phone is heavy and slippery. We have the Carbon Black variant for review, though it comes in a Blue and Red coloured variant as well, which look equally stunning. Xiaomi also has some new covers specifically for the Redmi K20 Pro which give a sturdier grip and I would highly recommend using one.

With the Redmi K20 Pro’s design, there are little tweaks to make it look more premium. The power button has a distinct red accent, the main sensor of the rear camera has a red accent as well. It’s also nice to see that the camera does not jut out too much, only barely. The camera module arrangement is very minimalistic.

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The popup selfie camera on the Redmi K20 Pro. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Redmi K20 Pro’s display works wells with excellent colour reproduction and view-angles. The display can be a little too reflective under bright sunlight, but it is not impossible to view content under such conditions. The blacks though could be richer on the Redmi K20 Pro. Overall the Redmi K20 Pro’s display with its notchless design is excellent for video consumption, which is what you want on a phone that claims to be a flagship.

Setting up the in-display fingerprint sensor can be a bit tedious. The sensor has been accurate so far when it comes to unlocking the phone, though it does take an extra few seconds to open the device. Interestingly, when setting up the fingerprint sensor, the phone warns that one should not use a screen protector, and if they wish to use one, it should be among authorised compatible options.

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In Redmi K20 Pro, the phone warns against using a screen protector. When setting up users have the option of turning off the personalised ads as well. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro first impressions: Performance, Software and Battery

The phone packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage in our review unit. Xiaomi has introduced this in another variants as well with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

Where performance goes Redmi K20 Pro is unlikely to give any trouble. Playing games, running basic apps like WhatsApp, Facebook has worked smoothly. On Antutu, the Redmi K20 Pro scores 324,888, which puts it well below the OnePlus 7 Pro, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series, Black Shark and Mi 9. But these scores are not the overall indicator of performance.

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The user interface is similar to the Poco F1. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The Redmi K20 Pro packs a 4000 mAh battery and has support for the company’s own 27W fast charging. The 27W fast charger has to be bought separately. It’s almost like Xiaomi has made 4000 mAh battery as standard on its Redmi phones, and this is good because you can easily get more than a day with heavy-duty usage thanks to the bigger battery. We are yet to run extensive battery tests on the Redmi K20 Pro and will have to wait till the full review for a final verdict.

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Redmi K20 Pro Antutu benchmark scores.

Let’s talk about the Redmi K20 Pro’s software. The user interface is similar to what we got on the Poco F1 and not the traditional MIUI look that one is used to on Redmi phones. Swiping down you can see all the apps, which are also categorised according to Entertainment, Photos, Communications, Games, Lifestyle, etc. For some strange reason, Google Maps appears under lifestyle. You also have the option of viewing apps based on colour icons, which was something that we saw on the Poco Launcher as well.

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Redmi K20 Pro triple camera. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The addition of an app drawer will certainly be appreciated by many users. The gestures though could be smoother on MIUI as a whole. And for those wondering about ads on the Redmi K20 Pro, you have the option of turning off personalised ad recommendations when turning on the phone and I would suggest that you do this.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro: Camera

This is the part where most aspiring flagships struggle to compete with the big boys like Apple, Google, Samsung and Huawei. The Redmi K20 Pro relies on a 48MP+8MP+13MP camera combination with the 8MP being the telephoto lens with 2x zoom, while the 13MP is the ultra-wide.

In the camera interface, the Redmi K20 Pro now has a short video option along with the Slow Motion video (960 fps) and regular video options. Interestingly, you can shoot video in 2X zoom and ultra-wide mode as well. There’s the regular Photo mode, a dedicated mode for 48MP resolution, Night mode, Pro mode, along with the Portrait mode as well.

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Redmi K20 Pro sample image. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)
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Redmi K20 Pro sample image. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)
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Redmi K20 Pro sample image taken in Night Mode. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)
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Redmi K20 Pro sample image. (Image source: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

The camera looks promising, though the colours are warmer and very saturated in some instances. The ultra-wide mode does not seem so impressive when it comes to preserving details. In the Night Mode, the colours are off and details missing.

The 2X zoom is quite good I would say and does a better job of preserving details. With the selfie camera, I’m not a fan of the skin smoothing effects, which are too strong. I will have more to say on the camera in the full review, but right now it looks like this could be a weak point in the device.

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Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro: First impressions

With Redmi phones, price is key and the Redmi K20 Pro is very appealing on that front. At Rs 27,999, Xiaomi is promising the latest processor, a stunning display, a large battery which could make this the first choice for many consumers. For brands like OnePlus, Huawei, and even Samsung, the Redmi K20 series could prove to be a worrisome competitor.