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Xiaomi Redmi K20 First Impression: Raises Mid-Range Segment Standards
Xiaomi disrupted the budget smartphone segment with the launch of Redmi Note 7 series earlier this year. With a 48MP primary camera sensor, the Redmi Note 7 Pro was the first device in the sub Rs. 20,000 segment to offer this feature. Since then, the Chinese brand has launched a bunch of smartphones.
The latest entry is the Redmi K20 series, which was announced a few months ago in China. And now, it has gone official in India. The primary highlight of the Redmi K20 and the K20 Pro is the FullView notch-less display with an in-display fingerprint scanner, a pop-upelfie camera, and the premium Snapdragon chipset.
The Redmi K20 is the affordable variant which will retail at Rs 21,999 for the 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage and Rs. 23,999 for 6GBRAM/ 128GB storage. This makes the device a rival of the company's popular Poco F1, Nokia 7 Plus, Honor Play, and Huawei P20 Lite. Let's have a look at how the Redmi K20 stands against the competition.
Bulky But Appealing Design
It won't be wrong to say that the Redmi K20 is a doppelganger of its elder sibling - the K20 Pro. Both the smartphones offer fire and ice-themed designs dubbed Aura Prime and are available in Glacier Blue and Flame Red.
The rear panel features a 6-layer design with Kevlar print sitting under a 3D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The device looks brilliant while reflecting light; primarily because that's when the 3D design glows.
This not only adds to the appeal but also protects it from scratches and accidental drops. You get a shimmering back panel and unlike the other gradient smartphones, it doesn't pick up fingerprints instantly. This should come as a relief to the users who don't like to wrap their phones in cases.
We received the Glacier Blue color and it looks premium. At the rear, you get a triple-lens camera setup stacked vertically at the center top with an LED flash. The Redmi Logo is inscribed below the camera setup.
You get a neatly designed smartphone with the volume rockers and power key resting on the left. The motorized selfie camera is placed on the top along with the 3.5mm audio port, while at the bottom you get a USB Type C port sandwiched between the speaker grille and the hybrid microSD.
The curved edges allow for a good grip, but the device still feels a bit slippery. Thankfully, you get a hard plastic case inside the retail box. Using the smartphone with a single hand is easy, specifically for basic tasks.
However, reaching the corners might take some efforts. It wouldn't' be wrong to say the Redmi K20 is one of the most good-looking smartphones in the mid-range category.
High-Resolution Delivers Crisp Output
Xiaomi has used a 6.39-inch AMOLED display on the Redmi K20 with a 1080 x 2340 pixels FHD+ resolution and 19:5:9 aspect ratio. This is also Xiaomi's first offering with a notch-less design.
The handset integrates anin-display fingerprint reader which we found to be quick and accurate. The display appears a bit warmer in the default settings, however, you can change the color temperature and contrast manually.
Besides, you get various features such as eye protection, full DC dimming, Night mode, and Ambient display. The handset also has the Widevine L1 certification, so you will be able to stream 1080p videos on Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos.
The brightness levels and viewing angles are good. But, we still need to check the sunlight legibility. Overall, the K20 offers a stunning display with a fullView design suitable for binge-watching your favorite shows. Stay tuned with us for our feedback on the display performance.
Proficient AI Triple Rear Cameras Accompanied By Pop-Up Lens
The 32MP pop-up selfie is what bags the attention. With the launch of Redmi K20 series, Xiaomi has buckled up against other manufacturers that offer a smartphone with elevating selfie camera. The lens is housed within a thick casing that glows blue when you turn on the front camera.
I personally found the fall detection to be fast and the camera retracts quite smoothly. Selfies look good and sharp; however, it is yet to be tested to its full potential.
The primary camera module comprises of three sensor including a 48MP (f/1.75) Sony IMX586 sensor, a 13MP superwide sensor (124.8-degree FoV), and an 8MP (f/2.4) teephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. Some of the features offered by the camera are AI scene detection, Night mode, Portrait, and Pro.
The device supports 960fps slow-motion, Time-lapse, and 4K video recording at 30fps. In our brief testing, the camera performed at par with the competitions.
The triple rear cameras capture some high-resolution images with ample detailing in daylight. It is good in edge-detection and retains the color balance in the captured shots. We haven't tested the camera in challenging light situations.
What It Packs Inside?
The device churns its power from a Snapdragon 730 chipset which is downgrade over the Snapdragon 855 used on the K20 Pro. That explains the affordable price tag. Moreover, you can select from two configurations - 6GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB. Sadly, you don't get the support for external microSD card.
The hardware is powerful enough to perform multitasking smoothly and run graphics-intensive games like PUBG and Asphalt 9. Besides, the Game Turbo Mode 2.0 support will definitely enhance the gaming experience.
On the software front, you get Android Pie OS layered with an MIUI 10 skin. The app drawer can be summoned by a swipe-up gesture on the home screen. The apps are neatly cataloged and you can toggle between Communication, Entertainment, Photography, Tools and other categories.
The handset comes pre-installed with third-party apps such as Amazon Shopping, Dailyhunt, Paytm and WPS office. However, you get the option to uninstall them. The device is quick in firing up apps and offers a refined experience.
The K20 comes pre-installed with an intuitive wallpaper Carousel app- Glance that could change the way millennials consume content on their smartphones.
Glance gives the K20's lock screen a visual makeover by adding visually rich informative content categorised in various themes such as sports, wildlife, lifestyle, and fashion to name a few.
Every time you wake up the phone, the wallpaper refreshes with new content to inform and entertain at the same time for an enriching user experience.
Rounding off the specification sheet is a beefy 4,000mAh battery with 18W rapid charge support. It is big enough to make the device last through an entire day with moderate usage. Moreover, the fast charging support will allow for a quick refuel. We will perform an extensive battery test in the coming days and will be sharing its performance in our detailed review.
Overall, the Redmi K20 is one of the strongest contenders in the mid-range smartphone segment. The top-of-the-line hardware and a unique 3D painted design are expected to grab massive attention.
The primary rival of the device is the Realme X which went official recently in India. Priced at Rs. 20,990 for the top model with 128GB storage, the Realme X offers a similar configuration and a pop-up selfie camera. However, it packs a Snapdragon 710 chipset which is slightly less powerful compared to the Snapdragon 730 on the Redmi K20.
It would be hard to bet on any of the devices just yet as we need to test their performance thoroughly. We will be soon coming up with a review and will give a final verdict on which one you should go for.