Redmi K20 Pro Review
Xiaomi’s Redmi brand has garnered a reputation across the community for putting out great devices that would cost more if they were made by other brands. Redmi is almost synonymous with bang-for-your-buck in the smartphone arena. So when we got our hands on the Redmi K20 Pro, we were naturally impressed by just how much you get with this phone for its ballpark price of around PHP20,000.
So aside from the Snapdragon 855, hefty RAM and storage options, and pop-up selfie camera, well what do you get?
Design and Construction
For the design, it’s surely a combination of form and function, but it is missing a few things. It’s a pretty hefty phone. It’s got a huge screen, and it’s relatively thick, so do expect a bit of a bulge in your pants.
The back panel sports 3D curved gradient glass that looks amazing, by the way. This flame red color we got here has that Jean Grey Dark Phoenix look going on, it’s a fresh look that isn’t super common right now. Also note the lack of a fingerprint scanner here, because we have an in-display fingerprint scanner.
And of course, we get the amazing bezel-less look thanks to the pop-up selfie camera. It does make a sound when it’s activated, and it has red LEDs, so everyone around you knows you’re taking a selfie. What’s cool about it though is that it doubles as an LED notification light, so if you’re into that, big points for the function. The device can also detect when it has been dropped, so if you happen to drop it and the selfie camera is out, it will automatically retract.
You get a USB-C port AND a headphone jack, however, the headphone jack is on top, which I understand a lot of people don’t prefer. I don’t mind it being on top. I like it better than the bottom, but yeah. That’s that.
One thing I don’t like though is that we don’t get expandable storage. Yeah, the card slot only accommodates two nano SIM cards, and neither of them is even hybrid. Sure, there IS a 256GB storage variant available, but a microSD card slot is something a lot of people look for in a phone.
Other things we lack are honestly just flagship grade features, such as wireless charging and water and dust resistance — which I can forgive simply because of the K20 Pro’s mid-range price point.
So yeah, for design, K20 Pro — it’s pretty, it’s functional, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it’s good.
Display and Multimedia
For the screen, we get a 6.39-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. It’s nice and sharp, it’s bright, colors are amazing, blacks are deep, and it supports HDR content, which is a nice little flagship feature.
The OLED-based panel also means you get an always-on display, and with MIUI 10, you have a variety of cool options at your disposal. And for protection, you get Gorilla Glass 5 which is nice, though, for whatever reason, ours got scuffed pretty quickly even if the phone wasn’t dropped or mishandled. Anyway.
Checking out audio real quick, the down-firing speaker is pretty loud, it has clear mids and slightly less clear highs, but the bass is lacking a lot. I guess it’s okay to use for listening to music, but as with any phone with down-firing speakers, it’s easy to cover it up with your hand when watching videos.
Let’s get to the cameras. So for the rear, we get a 48MP primary camera, 8MP telephoto camera, and a 13MP ultrawide camera. The pop-up selfie camera is a 20MP sensor.
For the most part, photo quality is good under bright natural lighting, and shots are comparable to the Mi 9’s, though still inferior. Stay tuned for our full comparison between the two. The shots tend to be on the softer side, with more muted natural colors, which makes it useful if you’re fond of editing your photos before posting.
You can get an incredible amount of detail with the 48MP mode, though note that you cannot zoom in when you’re using it. It also works great for night photos, since the pixels are bigger, you don’t generate as much noise. If you do want to zoom in for night situations though, there is a dedicated night mode that supports the telephoto lens. It brightens up the scene a lot and increases the dynamic range seen in the image, but it’s not perfect. As you can see in the glow of the lights in the distance, there is quite a bit of noise and haziness.
There’s a lot of flexibility to be had in shooting situations because you have three different focal lengths I like that the ultrawide camera’s quality though isn’t too far off from the primary sensor. You get a lot of dynamic range for those beautiful landscape shots and color is about the same. Though I will say that the telephoto camera isn’t that particularly useful as you only get up to 2x zoom. It is, however, the sensor used for portrait mode, so as long as you have a lot of distance between your subject and background, you get a very pleasant bokeh effect and an appropriate look for portrait shots.
For the pop-up selfie camera, you get nice detailed selfies with right skin tones. The beauty mode is decent at smoothing out blemishes without looking too unnatural, but I mean you still know that something’s been going on. And in portrait mode, subject-background separation is good, though at times it’s not perfect.
For videos, you can shoot up to 4K at 60fps. Quality is impressive with sharp detail and good colors, just like with the still photos, and electronic image stabilization is present. You also have slow motion and time-lapse available if you want to use them.
So final verdict for the cameras — they’re pretty decent, especially for this price range,
OS, UI, and Apps
We get MIUI 10 on top of Android Pie — our unit, unfortunately, has the China ROM, but we did manage to install the Google Play Store, so all hope is not lost.
But yeah, it’s MIUI, it’s simple, clean, and easy-to-navigate — admittedly less so with the Chinese ROM, but hey, there are tons of tutorials online on how to switch to the Global ROM if you need to once it becomes available.
Standard features on MIUI 10 is available like Mi Drop, Mi Remote, Cleaner, Deep Clean, Security Scan, Dual Apps, and Second Space. You get extras though like apps tailored for the Chinese market like its own App Store, Mi Home, and BaiduMap.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the K20 Pro, of course, is a Snapdragon 855 chipset with an Adreno 640 GPU, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage. Our unit here has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Nonetheless, even if we don’t have the maximum possible RAM for this device, performance is impressive! The Snapdragon 855 is indeed one hell of a beast, I mean look at our benchmark scores. Almost 370,000 in AnTuTu.
So needless to say, anything you throw at it, heavy graphics games, multitasking, productivity, the K20 Pro can handle it all. Check out the benchmark scores below:
• AnTuTu – 369,585
• Geekbench – 3,497 (Single-core), 11,175 (Multi-core), 7,598 (RenderScript)
• 3D Mark – 4,972 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 4,125 (SSE – Vulkan)
• PC Mark – 9,288 (Work 2.0)
• AndroBench – 798.08 MB/s (Sequential Read), 193.89 MB/s (Sequential Write)
Connectivity and Battery
For connectivity, we have the same features as the Mi 9 and that includes dual-SIM with 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and dual-band GPS. Everything works as advertised as calls are loud and clear, connects quickly to the internet, and gets a solid lock on our location.
Keeping it running is a 4,000mAh battery that lasts a long time. I mean, check out our test results — 27 hours and 36 minutes of playback in our video loop test. And this does translate to actual usage. Even on moderate to heavy use at around 60% brightness, it takes a while for the battery to drain. The K20 Pro is a 2-day phone as long as you don’t go too crazy on usage.
And charging is pretty fast as well. Using the 18W charger only takes 1 hour to get from 20% to 100%. You’ll want to get a 27W charger to cut down that charging time.
While the Redmi K20 Pro is not officially the Pocophone F1’s successor, it has everything it takes to be it. It’s not as cheap as the F1, but it checks all the boxes that made the F1 so great last year, plus more. With everything you get — the S-tier performance, the cameras, the display, design, battery — it’s shockingly affordable.
For around PHP 20,000 (reseller price), you can get your hands on one of these guys, and the value you get is just unreal. So far in 2019, there have been a lot of excellent smartphones to come out, but right now, it seems that the Redmi K20 Pro has made it to the top of my recommendation list. You just can’t beat that price. Now, we have to wait for its official arrival.
Redmi K20 Pro specs:
6.39-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) AMOLED 19.5:9 display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (7nm) 2.84GHz octa-core CPU
Adreno 640 GPU
6GB RAM + 64GB / 128GB internal storage
8GB RAM + 128GB / 256GB internal storage
48MP Sony IMX586 F1.75 + 13MP F2.4 (ultrawide) + 8MP F2.4 (telephoto), rear cameras
20MP F2.0 front camera (elevating)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS (Dual-band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
USB 2.0 Type-C
Fingerprint scanner (in-screen)
MIUI 10 (Android 9.0 Pie) w/ Game Turbo 2.0
4,000mAh battery w/ 27W fast charging
156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8mm (dimensions)
191 grams (weight)
What I liked:
• Attractive design
• Nice notch-less display
• Decent cameras
• Great performance
• Big battery capacity
• Competitive price
What I didn’t:
• Screen gets scratched easily
• Non-expandable storage
• Thick and hefty
• No Global ROM as of the writing
With additional input and editing by Louie Diangson.