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Xiaomi Redmi K20 Review: Premium Looks Complemented By Potent Hardware
Xiaomi has launched some quality smartphones in its Redmi series this year. The Chinese brand has been at the forefront of the budget smartphone segment and the Redmi Note 7 series has been the flag bearer for this segment. Following which, the company announced the K20 smartphones in the Redmi series.
- Premium looking design
- Bright and crisp display
- Fast in-display fingerprint reader
- Missing OIS support for camera
- Slightly slippery design
While the Redmi Note 7 was the company's first smartphone lineup that offered a 48MP primary camera, the K20 is the first Redmi smartphone to feature a pop-up selfie camera setup. Additionally, the smartphone offers some potent hardware such as a mid-range chipset, triple-rear cameras, and a capacious battery unit.
We have been using the Redmi K20 for a while and this is what we feel about its performance, battery, camera, software, and benchmark results.
Good Looking Design
Featuring a design similar to the K20 Pro, the K20 offers a gradient panel and comes in Glacier Blue, Flame Red, and Carbon Black colors. The 6-layer design with Kevlar print sitting under 3D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protects it from external damages.
While most the smartphones with shining back panel pick up fingerprints easily, the Redmi K20 doesn't. However, for extra cautious users, there is a hard case inside the retail box.
The Glacier Blue variant which we received looks premium with a bluish pattern diffusing inwards. The rear panel accommodates the triple-rear cameras aligned vertically followed by the Redmi branding at the bottom.
At the top of the handset, you get a 3.5mm audio jack and the elevating selfie camera, while the bottom packs a SIM card tray, USB Type-C port, and the speaker grille.
On the right, there are the volume and power keys. The smartphone not only looks good but offers a good grip. But, it's slightly slippery, so using a case is recommended.
Thanks to the curved edges, single hand operability is quite easy. We were able to perform basic tasks such as scrolling through the screen, answering/making calls and texting. However, it is a bit tricky to reach the corners.
Suitable For High-Resolution Media
The handset offers a 6.3-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with thin bezels. The big form factor with high-resolution allows for an immersive viewing experience. The Widevine L1 support makes it possible to stream 1080p videos on OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos.
The display delivers sharp and crisp images but lacks vividness compared to its counterparts. It has a bit neutral output in the default settings but you can tweak it manually. Viewing angles are good and the sunlight visibility is also legit.
You won't strain your eyes while viewing the content (text or media) under direct sunlight. Some additional features offered by the display include eye protection and DC dimming feature which protects your eyes from harmful blue rays.
Besides, the display incorporates a fingerprint scanner for security besides the standard face unlock feature. The scanner is fast and accurate and the process of logging a fingerprint is also simple. Overall, the display is optimum for binge-watching shows and movies.
Good For Imaging
The Redmi K20 is equipped with a triple rear camera module with similar sensors as its Pro variant. There is a 48MP (f/1.75 aperture) Sony IMX582 primary sensor, a 13MP superwide sensor with 124.8-degree FoV, and an 8MP (f/1.4) telephoto sensor with 2x optical zoom.
You get multiple features to enhance your images such as HDR, Portrait, Pro, AI scene detection. There is no OIS (optical image stabilization) feature, but EIS (electronic image stabilization) which does its job quite well.
You can also record 960fps slow-motion videos, 4K video at 30fps, and Time Lapse. The camera performs well in both daylight and challenging light situations. Notably, in the default mode, the main sensor will work as 12 MP sensor and will capture images via pixel-binning technology. There is a dedicated 48MP mode as well which can be selected from the camera app.
The camera offers crisp images with a good amount of detailing in the default settings, but with some level of oversaturation. Edge-detection is also to the point, so is the dynamic range.
It performs decently in low light conditions but you will notice some noise in the images. Besides, you can always use the Night Mode for enhanced low-light shots. Bokeh shots are good with the blur effect doesn't appear artificial. Videos also have good stability
The device offers a 20MP pop-up selfie camera encased within thick plastic and LEDs that glow blue when you summon the camera. The camera has a fall-detection feature that retracts the camera in case of accidental drops. Selfies have a good level of detailing, edge-detection, and sharpness.
If you are a social media fanatic and constantly capture selfies, then you won't be disappointed. You can also capture bokeh selfie shots, but shouldn't expect much from the feature.
Capable Hardware But Missing External MicroSD Support
An octa-core Snapdragon 730 chipset with eight Kyro 470 cores and Adreno 618 GPU is what powers the handset. This is the first smartphone that offers this latest mid-range chipset and allows it to deliver well on performance.
The device has been announced in two different configurations including 6GB RAM+ 64GB storage and 6GB RAM+ 128GB storage. The hardware is undoubtedly top-of-the-line, but it is missing an external microSD card support. Therefore, selecting a variant depending on usage is suggested.
The handset is smooth with high-resolution gaming and you will enjoy playing PUBG, Asphalt 9 and other high-end games without much hassle. We didn't experience any lags or frame drops with continuous gameplay sessions and there was hardly any heating issues.
The handset is equipped with a Game Turbo Mode 2.0 feature which improves the overall gaming experience. The device is swift with day-to-day tasks as well and activities like web surfing, media playback, and gaming are fuss-free.
Software, Benchmark, And Battery
The unit runs on Android Pie layered with MIUI 10 skin which is neat and easy to use. There is an app drawer support where you can club similar apps and summon it using the swipe-up gesture. The main menu is cataloged where you can see the Communications, Entertainment, Photography, Tools and some other categories.
Similar to the other recent Redmi launches, the unit comes pre-loaded with some bloatware such as Dailyhunt, Paytm, WPS Office and Paytm. Apps fire up instantly and you can toggle between multiple apps running in the background swiftly.
Notably, there is also an intuitive wallpaper Carousel app called Glance. This feature shows various themes based on sports, wildlife, and lifestyle, etc when you wake up the device and helps you stay updated on the current affairs.
We also ran PC Mark 2.0, 3D Mark Gaming, and AnTuTu benchmark tests on the handset and were impressed by the results. In the Work Performance 2.0 test, the handset logged a total of 7900 points.
In the 3D Mark benchmark, the device scored 2136 points in the Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL ES 3.1) and 1963 points in the Vulkan test. Lastly, it scored 205938 points in the AnTuTu benchmark v7.2.2.
The handset packs a 4,000 mAh battery which is standard in most of the mid-range smartphones in the market. Similar to the other aspects, the battery also delivers well on performance.
It offers a backup of almost an entire day with moderate usage like occasional media playback and gaming, web browsing. It takes approximately an hour for the unit to get a full charge using the 18W charger.
Redmi K20 Also Comes Pre-installed With Glance App
Redmi K20 also features a built-in wallpaper carousel application called Glance. The lockscreen app is designed to make the Redmi K20's lockscreen much more informative than just a standard lokscreen. It essentially gives the lockscreen a rich visual makeover.
By default, the lock screen displays high-resolution wallpapers. The pictures are accompanied with useful information, which can be a piece of news, advice, poem, science fact, etc. depending upon the particular image displayed.
Moreover, if you want to turn down the information bit, you can see the high-resolution images shot by world-renowned photographers without any interruptions. Glance refreshes the lockscreen feed everytime you unlock the screen. If you like a particular glance, you have the option to share the story or the wallpaper through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook etc.
Is It A Good Bargain?
Yes, the K20 is undeniably a feature rich-mid range smartphone available out there. This segment has been getting some good launches lately and the competition is getting stiffer with each passing day. The primary competition of this unit is the Realme X which also offers a pop-up selfie camera and packs some quality hardware below Rs. 20,000 segment.
Besides, the Redmi K20 not only performs well, but it also looks quite appealing. This is a highly recommended smartphone in the mid-range segment if you want a fast all-rounder, captures good images, and is suitable for high-resolution videos and gaming.