Almost four months since the launch of one of the flagship killers from a brand that had almost stopped bringing flagships in the market where their stronghold is the mid-range segment. The Redmi K20 Pro from Xiaomi is what we are talking about, a phone that seemed promising at its launch time especially given what it came packed with for the price, but is it still a great choice now?
This isn’t going to be that regular feedback on everything in the phone, and here are my thoughts about the phone on things that I still like and don’t like after using it for quite a while.
What do I still like about the Redmi K20 Pro
The performance, still good
This phone is still one of the best out there when we talk about the core performance, regardless of the kind of usage one would have. I play games for at least a couple of hours every day and believe me, I have come back to Redmi K20 Pro from the ROG Phone II that was here for review, and I don’t regret it at all. The phone doesn’t get heated up much, and the presence of the headphone jack has helped further.
The display, just enough for the experience
It is AMOLED, so already likeable, but it doesn’t have any notches, and there are minimal bezels, and not just for gaming but for any kind of content viewing, it seemed to be a perfect display out there. I wouldn’t call this the best in the market because it is far from that but at least in this price range, there are only a few good phones that offer a great quality display and the K20 Pro is one of them.
That killer design
You know what, the phone has a brilliant design and a very comfortable-to-hold build. It might again not have the best looking design, but the “Aura Prime Design” that the company calls it is kind of different. I have used the Carbon Black option all the time, and while the Glacier Blue and Flame Red ones look much better, I’d any day choose the black or even the gorgeous Pearl White over them as they seem too flashy for my liking. Overall, when holding the device in the hand and using it for a considerable amount of time, it doesn’t feel like the phone is heavy or uncomfortable.
The MIUI 11 now, finally!
This is certainly a big improvement from the previous MIUI version. Based on Android 10, the MIUI 11 brings in some excellent additions to the features and a couple of them also include ones that take advantage of the AMOLED display given here. I’ve been using the Redmi K20 Pro for a week before the phone was updated to MIUI 11 and once the update arrived, things have changed quite a bit in terms of the experience with the new UI.
27W fast charging, addictive
The 18W charger in the box is not bad either, but if you are investing that extra thousand bucks to get the 27W charger, you’ll see the difference. I usually would use a charging hub with the Quick Charge 3.0 output ports, but for the 27W charging, I have made some space because this is 50% faster and while it usually takes about 100 minutes to charge the phone fully, here it is much faster.
Things I am neutral about
The camera output
While I would easily say that Xiaomi has figured out the best camera combination by offering the 48MP camera alongside a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens as well, I certainly wish the optimization was a little better to compete the top-of-the-line devices. Not that I expect Xiaomi to go for the kill and it’s more like “what you pay is what you get”, the sensors offered here are just the best in the market, then why should the compromise be seen in the end captures?
Now, what’s the issue with the cameras here? The saturation is overly done in conditions that include clouds, trees, and flowers. That’s some unnecessary pumping up of the colors and it doesn’t matter if you have the AI mode on or off, the end result is a hit and a miss in most of the cases. Also, while the portrait captures are quite well done, if there’s a brighter background, the exposure control is not so good. When you have a set of capable cameras, I don’t like the fact that the results don’t come out as expected.
It’s a great set of cameras and it does take good pictures in bright conditions, but the consistency should be there like how we see from the top-level flagship phones including the ones from Samsung, Huawei, Apple, and Google.
Full resolution camera samples: Link
What I wish was better on the Redmi K20 Pro
The speed of security options
Both the security options, the in-display fingerprint sensor as well as the face unlock with the pop-up selfie camera are slow. Probably one of the slowest solutions, and phones that cost much lesser work much faster. Just to compare, the phones from Realme and Vivo under Rs. 20000 have faster face unlock option with the pop-up camera functioning much faster, and same is the case with the fingerprint sensor. I wish this was faster, because the first thing I would do with the phone in my hand is to unlock it, and that little extra time taken every time by the pop-up camera feels a bit annoying.
The audio performance
While I don’t have a complain about the earphone performance as it seemed decent on the output and I am not a big audiophile to judge based on the genre of music played, I was pretty satisfied with the audio output while playing games. But, the issue is with the speaker performance. It is not loud enough and I surely miss the stereo speakers that were present even in the POCO F1.
Final Verdict – Is the Redmi K20 Pro a good budget flagship?
Certainly. The K20 Pro is still a good performer, and has a decent set of cameras, and a beautiful display is up on front. Of course, the phone has a set of compromises as well, especially in terms of the audio performance and the core camera performance when compared to the other phones, but I’d not suggest this phone as one for the camera enthusiasts. It is a great performer and is set to give you the same buttery smooth performance for a long time, and with the changes brought in with the MIUI 11 update, there surely has been a betterment in the user experience as well.
Now, the phone does face a stiff competition from some other phones including the OnePlus 7, which though asks you to cash out a bit more. But, in the price range of under Rs. 30000, this is quite a phone to have.