Rs 21,999 (6/64GB)
Rs 23,999 (6/128GB)
Price - K20 Pro
Rs 27,999 (6/128GB)
Rs 30,999 (8/256GB)
K20 specifications: 6.39-inch FHD+ amoled display (Gorilla Glass 5, 2340 x 1080 pixels, DCI-P3 colour, HDR, 19.5:9 aspect, 403ppi), Snapdragon 730 octa core (8nm), 6GB DDR4X RAM, 64/128GB UFS 2.1 storage, AI triple camera (48MP f1.75 + 13MP f2.4 ultrawide + 8MP f2.4 2x telephoto), front pop-up camera (20MP f2.2, built in notification light, tested 3,00,000 times), P2i water repellent coating, WiFi ac, BT5.0, USB type C, 4,000mAh battery, 191 grams
K20 pros: Stunning design, edge-to-edge amoled display, Gorilla Glass 5 front & back, 8 layer graphite sheet for heat dissipation, fast in-display fingerprint scanner, dedicated 24-bit/192kHz DAC with 3.5mm jack, outstanding battery life
K20 cons: No IR emitter, no IP rating, tops out at 18W charging, no microSD slot
K20 pro specifications: 6.39-inch FHD+ amoled display (Gorilla Glass 5, 2340 x 1080 pixels, DCI-P3 colour, HDR, 19.5:9 aspect, 403ppi), Snapdragon 855 octa core (7nm), 6/8GB DDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 2.1 storage, AI triple camera (48MP f1.75 + 13MP f2.4 ultrawide + 8MP f2.4 2x telephoto), front pop-up camera (20MP f2.2, built in notification light, tested 3,00,000 times), P2i water repellent coating, WiFi ac, BT5.0, USB type C, 4,000mAh battery, 191 grams.
K20 Pro pros: Stunning design, edge-to-edge amoled display, Gorilla Glass 5 front & back, 8 layer graphite sheet for heat dissipation, fast in-display fingerprint scanner, dedicated 24-bit/192kHz DAC with 3.5mm jack, outstanding battery life.
K20 Pro cons: No IR emitter, no IP rating, 27W charger not included (18W included), no microSD slot, no stereo speakers.
A Flagship Redmi
Consumers are terribly demanding of flagships, and rightly so. But there are two camps of consumers: one that is willing to pay top Dollar for the most premium devices and one that wants the value flagship – best specs for a lower price. OnePlus has cornered a fair chunk of this value market and others like Asus are close by with their innovations too. Meanwhile, Redmi has been known for sub Rs 15,000 phones with the Note series being the bread and butter. The K series marks the first time that Redmi is stepping up into flagship territory and it brings all the necessities: flagship specs, AI triple camera, premium materials, eye-catching design. It’s basically the whole premium package, offered to you at a lower price than any of the competition.
Redmi vs Mi vs Poco
They’re all sub-brands of the same company. Redmi was always the more affordable range while Mi was always the premium range. Poco came by last year with the F1 and disrupted this status quo somewhat. Poco offered a flagship experience at a low price and without any ads. But with no sign of the next Poco or several of the other Mi flagships, it’s time for the Redmi series to step into flagship territory. The issues they will likely face are perception (since Redmi was seen as budget) and dilution (Redmi range now starts at Rs 4,499 for Redmi Go and goes up to Rs 30,999 for the top-end K20 Pro).
A Difference in Design
Premium phones tend to stick with the same formula: glass metal sandwich. This means a metal framework (the strong structural component) with a glass screen and glass back. The repeated formula also means that a sort of boredom sets in with all premium phones looking the same. But there are some good reasons to use glass in a flagship. It’s permeable to all sorts of radio signals (unlike metal) and still feels premium. With all the multi-layer under glass coating that brands are doing, it’s also possible to create differentiation in design. Which is why the multi-reflective gradient designs are so popular. With the K20 and K20 Pro, Xiaomi is going for a similar reflective design, with inspiration from fire and ice (Flame Red and Glacier Blue colours). The pattern on these phones is very unique and a lot more dynamic that the traditional gradient you see on other glass back phones. For someone who doesn’t want the bling, there is the Carbon Black colour that has a subtle carbon fibre pattern under the glass.
K20 vs K20 Pro - What’s the Difference?
Not a lot Is different, which is puzzling to us. Normally, brands like to create a lot of difference at different price points. In this case, the K20 Pro gets a faster processor, faster charging speed (27W vs 18W on K20 – though the charger in the box is still 18W) and a slightly different camera sensor. We should clarify about the primary 48MP camera sensor though. The K20 Pro has a half inch Sony IMX586 sensor while the K20 has a half inch Sony IMX582 sensor. The sensors are actually identical in terms of specs and performance except for video – IMX586 supports 4K video recording while IMX582 does not (the Snapdragon 730 processor is limited to 1080p video recording). The other small difference is that the Pro gets laser autofocus and phase detection autofocus (faster and more reliable in different light).
K20 vs K20 Pro - How Similar Are They?
They’re more similar than you realise. You won’t be able to tell them apart by just looking at them and many will not be able to tell them apart even after using them. They have the exact same dimensions (cases are cross compatible), they both have the unique Aura Prime design in three colours (Glacier Blue, Flame red, Carbon Black), the same screen, same cameras and same battery size. In fact, they’re so similar in looks and experience that if you don’t really care about having flagship specs (like a Snapdragon 855), you can easily save some cash and get the K20.
The issue of Ads
This has long since been a bone of contention between users and the company. Fact of the matter is, the so-called Ads in the MiUI interface are part of the company's strategy. It's a big reason why they are able to price the products the way they do. The K20 and K20 Pro do not have ads but they do have a bunch of MiUI native apps like File Manager, Mi web browser, Themes, Calendar, Notes, Mi Drop, Security & Cleaner. Some of these have extra features enabled by default and they will show notifications. You can disable these extra features (like Horoscope, Cricket, Health etc features in the native Calendar). You can also disable notifications for any app individually or just choose to not use them.
K20 & K20 Pro – Display
The new amoled display is one of the highlights of the phone – it’s bright, vibrant, HDR capable and generally a very high quality display worthy of any flagship. Both phones get the same FHD+ display. Bezel size is thinner than other full screen phones like Realme X and MiUI has some nice additions to take advantage of the OLED screen, such as a system-wide dark mode and always-on display features.
K20 & K20 Pro – Performance
As you know, the performance on offer depends on the hardware (the type of CPU/GPU, speed/amount of RAM, speed of storage) and software (operating system optimisations). That being said, both phones offer a similar level of performance when it comes to day-to-day use. It’s only for gaming and very intensive use that the SD855 of the K20 Pro comes into play.
K20 & K20 Pro – Camera
Both phones have nearly identical cameras. Compared to the standard K20, the K20 Pro has the slight edge because it offers 4K video recording and a laser autofocus system. These are the best cameras on any Redmi phone and it shows. We got amazing portraits, close ups and wide angle photos. There’s a night mode that combines multiple photos into one and it works well most of the time. There’s even a dedicated 48MP mode for extra detail and a Pro mode. There is EIS for video (up to 4K30 on Pro) but the lack of OIS is felt at times. Special mention to the AI sky filters on both which are nothing short of magic. If you take a photo outdoors, you can apply different filters (sunny, cloudy, rainbow, dusk, sunset) that completely change the way the sky and the overall colour temperature of the photo. The front 20MP pop-up camera is the same on both and it also has a nice design highlight – built in LEDs that glow whenever the camera is raised or lowered. The same LEDs serve as the notification light for the phone with the camera stowed away (it has a small aperture on top for the light to shine through). In case you’re wondering, the pop-up camera will retract if it detects a fall. It also feels very sturdy and has been rated for 3,00,000 uses.
Samsung Galaxy A80, Redmi 7A: Hot New Smartphones To Watch Out For
First it was unofficial leaks. Now, social media teasers (many from the smartphone companies themselves) have become the norm to drum up interest about a new launch. Thanks to all these ‘official’ teasers, we now have a fair idea of what’s coming, says Karan Bajaj. You might want to hold off on that purchase, just for a few weeks.
The Question of Value
Giving consumers a high value product has always been part of Xiaomi’s philosophy. The value proposition is high in this case too but not by a very wide margin. For instance, if a full screen display and pop-up front camera is what you want, Realme X and Oppo K3 are around and start at a much lower Rs 16,999. They will have some compromises when compared to K20 (processor, plastic build, thicker bezels) but price may matter more to some. At the other end, we can look at competition for the K20 Pro. Asus 6Z offers an innovative flip camera and glass-metal design for Rs 31,999 (6/64GB variant). And the latest OnePlus 7 is also more expensive (Rs 32,999 for 6/128GB) but it offers OIS for the primary camera, faster & lighter interface (Oxygen OS) and even better performance thanks to UFS 3.0 storage.
As a new series for the Redmi range, these phones can easily carve out a niche for themselves. If OnePlus has managed to grab a chunk of the market as the Rs35k flagship, this Redmi can be the sub Rs30k flagship. It all depends if the extra features that OnePlus offers matter to you. If they do matter, by all means, stretch to the OnePlus because the overall experience is still a tad better. If not, you can’t go wrong with either of the two K series phones – they’re the complete package in their own right.