Technophile

Xiaomi’s Redmi K20: The other twin

Mala Bhargava | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

If you’re not interested in shelling out ₹27,999 for the Pro, there’s a cheaper sibling that could very well fit your needs

When Xiaomi launched its K series phones recently, they knew they should offer a lower priced option for those who are only used to seeing the Redmi brand as strictly budget. With the K20 and K20 Pro, the Chinese giant is stepping up its game somewhat by getting into premium territory. And why not, as there’s no shortage of action in the ₹20,000 to ₹30,000 range and the company that has done so well in India doesn’t want to miss out on this category. And so we have two smartphones that are surprisingly twin-like in many ways but come with a few differences.

Similarities

Both K20 Pro and K20 come with a design that is one of the main draws of these smartphones. We reviewed the K20 Pro recently but as a quick reminder, the back panel has this unusual pattern that is dark in the middle and tapers out to rainbow streaks that glint in the light, looking elegant without being garish. This “Aura Prime’ design is in red and blue, with a black available for those who want to keep it stark and stealthy. The K20 is exactly the same size as the K20 Pro and you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart at all. On the front, the K20 has the same look as the K20 Pro with a 6.39-inch screen, a 91.9-per cent screen to body ratio, and a pop-up front camera also with the same fancy light that comes on when the camera slides out or when you have a notification. One warning: kids might get too fond of that. The 20 MP pop-up camera is the same on both phones and even has the same fall protection.

The screen too is the same, a FHD AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The K20’s screen is just as much a pleasure to look at with its vibrant colours and good viewing angles. More similarities include an in-display fingerprint sensor, dual SIM support, no memory card slot, a headphone jack, the same software, the same 4,000 mAh battery with an 18W charger although the K20 Pro can work with an optional 27 W charger that one could additionally buy.

What’s different?

The biggest difference between the two phones is that the K20 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 855, a totally flagship processor, while the K20 comes with a Snapdragon 730 processor. Now, not everyone needs the 855 or even uses the phone in a way that requires the power of the processor. For most people, the 730 will be more than good enough, even if one is planning to do some solid gaming. On the K20, the variants available include 6 GB/64 GB and 6 GB/128 GB. The K20 Pro has higher specs with 6 GB/128 GB and 8 GB/256 GB variants. Again, the lower variants are perfectly adequate for most.

Another difference is with the primary camera set-up with different Sony sensors being used for both. Otherwise, both phones have a 48 MP main shooter with an f/1.75 lens, a 13 MP secondary wide-angle lens, and an 8 MP f/2.4 telephoto lens. A Sony IMX582 sensor on the K20 doesn’t support the same 60 fps 4K recording while the Sony IMX586 sensor on the K20 Pro does both 30 fps and 60 fps. This isn’t likely to bother the average user.

Both phones are great performers. The K20 is likely to be fairly sought after because of the difference in price. The K20 Pro starts at ₹27,999 and the K20 at ₹21,999. If you’ve been considering the K20, you may know that there’s been no end of noise on social media to protest at its price, which many feel should have been much lower and more in line with other Redmi offerings and Xiaomi’s year-old Poco F1. Reviewers disagreed but were immediately accused of being paid by Xiaomi. The truth is that the K20 phones are a huge step-up in design and include features such as the in-display sensor and the pop-up camera that are no doubt expensive additions that are only now making their way down the chain from flagships to mid-range devices. The price still maintains the value-for-money ratio and is in any case the company’s prerogative to raise should they want to, leaving enough budget and lower priced options for those who are on a shoestring budget.

Price: ₹21,999 and ₹23,999

Pros: Unique eye catching design, sound performance, pretty good cameras, solid build, good battery life, fun camera pop-up

Cons: Somewhat crowded software

Published on July 31, 2019
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