The Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi broke every rule of the smartphone market and pretty much redefined the term flagship killer. But it’s been over a year now and a Pocophone sequel is still nowhere to be found. What if we tell you that not only one has been unveiled, but that it’s already on sale? Get ready to meet the spiritual Pocophone successor – the Redmi K20 Pro, also known as Mi 9T Pro.
The Redmi K20 phones, available outside India as Mi 9T, truly feel and look like flagships. We’ve already reviewed the regular K20/Mi 9T version and it did spectacularly. It had the screen, the camera, the battery, and the connectivity of a flagship, but there was one place with room for improvement – performance. And this is where the Pro model steps in swapping the Snapdragon 730 with the flagship Snapdragon 855 chip.
So, the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro features a 6.39″ notch-less Super AMOLED screen shielded by a Gorilla Glass 5. The 20MP selfies camera hides on a motorized pop-up module – a common solution of the notch problem nowadays. Then on the back there is a triple camera, which aced all our tests the last time we tried it with its 48MP f/1.8 primary, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto, and a 13MP f/2.4 ultrawide arrangement.
A bunch of premium features indeed, but what really elevates the flagship status of the K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro is the Snapdragon 855 chip inside, which not only adds an excellent value to this already great package, but also makes the Redmi K20 Pro one of, if not the cheapest Snapdragon 855 smartphone on the market right now. And that’s what the Pocophone was all about, wasn’t it?
But wait, there is more. Indeed, the Redmi K20 Pro and Mi 9T Pro are super affordable phones with cutting-edge features, but if you need a further proof they are the spiritual successors of the famous Pocophone, look no further than the launcher. The Redmi K20 Pro runs on the latest Poco launcher 2, based on MIUI 10 with Android Pie core. Convinced already?
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro / Mi 9T Pro specs
- Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front, glass back;
- Display: 6.39″ AMOLED, notch-free, 2,340×1,080px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 402ppi; HDR 10 and DCI-P3 compliant.
- Triple rear camera: Wide – 48MP f/1.8, 1/2″, 0.8µm pixel size, PDAF; Telephoto – 8MP, f/2.4, 1.12µm pixel size, 2x zoom; Ultra-wide – 13MP, f/2.4, 1.12µm pixel size; [email protected]
- Front camera: Motorized pop-up 20MP, 0.8µm pixel size, f/2.2; 1080p/30fps video recording; drop detection.
- OS: Android 9 Pie; MIUI 10 with Poco launcher 2.0
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: octa-core CPU (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 Gold + 3×2.42 Kryo 485 Gold + 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485 Silver), Adreno 640 GPU.
- Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64/128GB storage or 8GB of RAM, 128/256GB storage
- Battery: 4,000mAh Li-Po (sealed); 18W fast charging.
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 4-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.15/13 (800Mbps/150Mbps); USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; dual-band GPS; Bluetooth 5.0
- Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader; single down-firing speaker; 3.5mm jack
We have to admit there is one feature we are going to miss from the K20 Pro and Mi 9T Pro and that’s the stereo speakers. But considering the jaw-dropping price and that premium selection of features, we are going to live just fine without the earpiece acting as a tweeter.
Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro
The K20 Pro is packed within a stylish black box with a purple back that has a Godzilla-like monster printed on it. This is one of the few boxes that made us wait a bit and enjoy the view before peeling off the wrapper.
Inside this cool box is the Redmi K20 Pro, an 18W charger, and a USB-C cable.
There is a paper compartment, that also contains a thin plastic case for some extra protection, though it will compromise the phone’s dazzling looks.
All four Redmi K20 and Mi 9T phones are identical on the outside. They are made of the same materials, and they even share the same paintjobs. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And they are all great – beauty runs in the family, and so is durability.
The Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro is a device with captivating looks and an immersive screen. And that notch-less AMOLED is as cool as it looks. Xiaomi calls it a Horizon AMOLED, but no matter the marketing name, not having a cutout is one very nice change.
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro vs Mi 9T
There is no universal solution to the notch problem, yet, but the pop-up selfie camera seems to be the prevailing one so far, and that’s where the selfie shooter is on the Redmi K20 Pro. And getting rid of the front cam allowed the K20 Pro to enjoy this uninterrupted 6.39″ Samsung-made OLED screen of extended 1080p resolution. Oh, and it’s shielded by a flat Gorilla Glass 5 piece.
The earpiece is just that – an earpiece – and it’s so thin, that it’s barely visible between the screen glass and enclosure.
There is an under-display optical fingerprint reader around the bottom of the K20’s screen. Those type of sensors have come a long way since their launch, and the one on the K20 Pro is as fast as any conventional fingerprint reader. The moment you touch the glass, the sensor lights up and unlocks the screen as soon as it has recognized your finger. It is very accurate and blazing-fast, and smudges didn’t seem to slow it by much.
The pop-up module is containing the 20MP selfie snapper is on top of the K20 Pro. It is quite interesting for two reasons – the whole thing lights up in red while popping up and looks very cool. Unfortunately, having this LED only as decoraction seems like a missed opportunity of implementing an LED selfie flash.
The second reason we were quite intrigued by the motorized pop-up is that it contains the LED notification light. It’s a small circle on top of the module and it flashes in red for missed notifications. This sure isn’t the best spot, but unique it is.
The back of the Redmi K20 Pro is also one large piece of Gorilla Glass 5 by Corning. But unlike the front one, the rear glass is bent towards the longer edges. As usual, this is hardly a grip booster, just on the contrary, but it sure makes the K20 look and feel thinner and more stylish.
And if you are looking for even more Pocophone DNA, the back is a very reminiscent to the F1’s Kevlar panel. The K20 Pro Carbon Black model has the same texture as seen on the all-Kevlar Pocophone, but it is underneath the glass and fades to black around the center. The effect is really cool, and we like this unusual mix of gradient hues and patterns.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro
There are three cameras on the back of the K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro – and it’s the same arrangement as on the K20/Mi 9T. Separated at the top is the 8MP snapper with 52mm zoom lens. Its metal halo is painted in red, matching the red power button and the red LED on the pop-up piece.
Following on a shared piece of glass are the primary 48MP cam and the 13MP ultrawide shooter. In between those two are hidden the sensors for the laser-autofocus. And outside this formation is the dual-LED flash.
The alone tele camera is not building at all, while the dual-setup protrusion is so small that it’s almost unnoticeable. There is no wobbling because of the camera and it’s safe to say the back of the K20 Pro is one of the most beautiful and well-designed panels we’ve seen in a while.
A metal frame with curved edges runs on the sides of the Redmi K20 Pro. It is painted in very dark gray and has a very glossy finish adding even more points for looks but taking a whole lot more from grip.
The USB-C port, the loudspeaker, and the SIM/microSD card tray are all at the bottom of the K20 Pro. On the opposing side you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack, and don’t forget the notification LED on the pop-up.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro measures 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm and weighs 191g – the same size as the OnePlus 7 but 9g heavier.
The Redmi K20 Pro is a glass smartphone and that’s great but making a glass device always leads to an argument that cuts both ways. Using high-end Gorilla Glass and polished metal is the very definition of premium build today, good looking, even captivating when using the right paintjob. But the K20 Pro is very slippery and all those curves around its body aren’t helping either. And while you can’t have the best from both worlds, you can at least secure the K20 Pro with the provided case when necessary.
The Redmi K20 Pro packs a 6.39″ Horizon AMOLED, also called Super AMOLED, meaning Samsung makes it. It is not disturbed by a notch, and the only things eating some pixels are its rounded corners. The resolution of the panel is very common – 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (403ppi) – meaning a 19.5:9 screen aspect ratio.
The 6.39″ 1080p+ AMOLED has become the most common screen on the market nowadays, notch or no notch. They all have a Diamond PenTile subpixel arrangement on their pixel matrix, and the K20 Pro screen is no different.
The K20 Pro OLED supports HDR10 content and fully covers the DCI-P3 color space. It is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5.
The screen has an excellent brightness for an OLED panel of 450 nits – that’s in line with what Xiaomi promises (430 nits). But it can go as high as 643 nits in bright light if you leave it on Auto, also matching and even exceeding Xiaomi’s official promise for 600 nits.
The minimum brightness when displaying purely white color was 2.2nits – pretty impressive.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Contrast ratio|
|Xiaomi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro||0||453||∞|
|Xiaomi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro (Max Auto)||0||643||∞|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T||0||449||∞|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T (Max Auto)||0||646||∞|
|Xiaomi Mi 9 SE||0||444||∞|
|Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (Max Auto)||0||637||∞|
|OnePlus 7 (Max Auto)||0||642||∞|
|Lenovo Z6 Pro||0||450||∞|
|Nokia 9 PureView||0||531||∞|
|Asus Zenfone 6 ZS630KL||0.353||424||1201|
|Asus Zenfone 6 ZS630KL (Max Auto)||0.399||455||1140|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e||0||389||∞|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e (Max Auto)||0||803||∞|
Xiaomi offers three different Contrast settings, each one representing a specific color space. The Automatic contrast fully covers the DCI-P3 color space, and we measured an average deltaE of 3.8. Only in this mode, you can choose the color saturation (default, warm, cool) and the deltaE of 3.8, which we measured was taken at the default preset. Choosing Warm will offer an even more accurate presentation with an average deltaE of 2.5.
The Standard Contrast corresponds to sRGB, and we also recorded an average deltaE of 2.4 for the color accuracy, meaning it’s a pretty great one.
Finally, the Increased Contrast makes the colors pop and they are no longer as accurate.
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro is powered by a 4,000mAh Li-ion battery. It supports Quick Charge, and the supplied 18W charger fills about 50% of a depleted battery in 30 mins. A full charge takes about 100 mins. We tried charging the phone with Xiaomi’s 27W charger we had lying around, but it did not charge the battery faster than the supplied one.
The Redmi K20 Pro scored an excellent endurance rating of 103 hours and had great times across the board. The screen-on times are fantastic – we measured 13 and a half hours runtime in our web browsing test and north of 20 hours in our video playback test.
The standby performance was better on the Mi 9T/K20 when compared to the Pro model here, probably meaning its Snapdragon 855 modem is less power efficient in standby than the K20’s S730.
Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.
There’s a single bottom-firing loudspeaker on the Redmi K20 Pro. It is quite loud and scored an Excellent mark on our test. The output is also very good – there is rich sound, but there are some high-pitched notes that come out wrong at maximum volume, and this keeps us from giving it an excellent mark for quality of output.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Pink noise/ Music, dB||Ringing phone, dB||Overall score|
|Realme X||67.9||73.5||80.4||Very Good|
|OnePlus 7||68.1||73.1||82.2||Very Good|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e (Dolby Atmos)||70.0||73.9||80.4||Very Good|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T||70.6||74.8||81.2||Very Good|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e||71.2||76.8||80.6||Excellent|
|Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro||71.5||75.2||84.0||Excellent|
|Lenovo Z6 Pro||66.4||74.3||90.8||Excellent|
|Asus Zenfone 6||77.0||75.9||81.2||Excellent|
|OnePlus 7 Pro||79.6||77.7||87.2||Excellent|
|Xiaomi Mi 9 SE||86.2||79.0||87.0||Excellent|
The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro did well with an active external amplifier. With super high volume and top marks for clarity, it properly aced the first part of the test.
Headphones dropped the volume a bit, but the Mi 9T Pro remained louder than most smartphones out there. The accuracy of the reproduction took a much bigger hit with stereo crosstalk and intermodulation distortion worsening significantly and frequency response going a little shaky. So while the Mi 9T Pro does have the power to drive high impedance headphones to significant levels of loudness, it won’t necessarily be the best experience.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro||+0.03, -0.03||-93.9||93.9||0.0015||0.0065||-94.2|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (headphones)||+0.60, -0.03||-92.7||92.9||0.021||0.446||-49.1|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T||+0.02, -0.01||-93.5||93.9||0.0025||0.0068||-93.8|
|Xiaomi Mi 9T (headphones)||+0.60, -0.04||-92.9||93.2||0.020||0.454||-49.4|
|Honor 20||+0.02, -0.05||-96.3||96.2||0.0016||0.0070||-52.1|
|Honor 20 (headphones)||+0.22, -0.21||-97.7||96.3||0.0049||0.223||-64.7|
|Honor 20 Pro||+0.14, -0.31||-92.9||92.9||0.476||0.574||-46.8|
|Honor 20 Pro (headphones)||+0.14, -0.24||-88.7||88.1||0.0053||0.223||-53.6|
|Xiaomi Mi 9||+0.02, -0.01||-93.9||93.1||0.0015||0.0066||-91.9|
|Xiaomi Mi 9 (headphones)||+0.05, -0.04||-92.6||93.5||0.0026||0.072||-58.7|
|Asus Zenfone 6||+0.03, -0.01||-85.8||86.8||0.0012||0.014||-76.2|
|Asus Zenfone 6 (headphones)||+0.05, -0.01||-81.1||82.7||0.0068||0.059||-52.0|
Android 9 Pie, MIUI 10.3, and Poco launcher 2.0
Both the Xiaomi K20 Pro and Mi 9T Pro boot the latest MIUI 10.3 ROM based on Android 9 Pie. There is one difference though – the K20 Pro comes with Poco launcher 2.0 pre-installed, which adds a feature-rich app drawer, while keeps the rest of the MIUI 10 intact.
The Redmi K20 Pro supports Always-on display and you can schedule it or leave it on/off all the time. There are various themes you can choose from and make it yours.
You can unlock the screen via the latest-generation under-display fingerprint scanner. The reader is very easy to set up and works surprisingly fast. The accuracy is superb, too, and overall, it’s great for your daily unlocking.
You can also set up face unlock in addition to it – it’s equally fast as the Redmi K20 Pro wakes up the moment you pick it up. Note that the face unlock option may not be available in all regions.
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro has a Dark mode – it will switch all system colors from white to black and this way you can save some battery juice by making the best use of the power-efficient AMOLED screen. Note that not all apps support the dark mode, but the majority do.
The K20 Pro also comes with various live wallpapers including the cool 24-hour wallpaper – it changes depending on the time of day and is quite nice, indeed.
Having a Poco launcher means you get an app drawer over the MIUI 10 UI. It is quite powerful and supports automatic categories, you can change backgrounds and transparency, icon arrangement and size, among other things. The thing is we never felt the need for an app drawer on MIUI, but it’s on the K20 Pro and it can be disabled, of course, so we don’t mind it.
And if you are getting the Mi 9T Pro, which doesn’t come with Poco launcher installed by default, but want an app drawer – just go to the Play Store and download the Poco launcher app. It’s free, of course.
The app drawer
Here are the default home screens on Redmi K20 Pro. There’s a weather widget in the upper right corner across from a large clock widget. There is a Quick Card pane, the leftmost one. It contains different cards with relevant information – recent apps, step counter, notes, calendar events, the weather, and favorites, among others. You can configure what shows up here, or you can disable this altogether.
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Homescreen • Tools • • Quick Card • Settings
The task switcher felt a bit awkward at first, but we’ve grown to like it. It shows all of your recent apps in two columns. Tap and hold on a card for the split-screen shortcut, or just swipe it left or right to close it.
Recents and Split Screen
Themes are supported on the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro, but the app appears only when the phone is set to a supported region, say India.
MIUI also offers a Security app. It can scan your phone for malware, manage your blacklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, and free up some RAM. It can also manage the permissions of your installed apps and allows you to define the battery behavior of selected apps and applies restrictions only to the apps you choose.
MIUI also offers proprietary Gallery, Music, and Video player. In some regions, the music and video app include paid streaming options. FM radio app is available, too.
Security app • Security app • Gallery • File Manager • FM radio
Performance and benchmarks
The biggest difference between the Redmi K20 and K20 Pro, as well as the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro, is the chipset upgrade. The Pro models are powered by the flagship Snapdragon 855 chip, though it’s not the overclocked Plus revision. The SoC employs an octa-core processor with 1+3+4 configuration – there is a single Kryo 485 Gold core (a Cortex-A76 derivative) clocked at 2.84GHz; three more Kryo 485 Gold cores clocked at 2.42GHz and a cluster of four Kryo 485 Silver cores (Cortex-A55 derivative) ticking at 1.78GHz.
The GPU is Adreno 640 and it’s Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line graphics processor that can handle pretty much everything you throw at it. And it will surely ace every test running at the K20’s 1080p screen.
The K20 Pro is available in four different versions – the 6GB RAM model is available with 64GB and 128GB storage options, while the K20 Pro with 8GB RAM can be bought with 128GB or 256GB storage.
The international Mi 9T Pro comes only with 6GB of RAM in either 64GB or 128GB.
The Redmi K20 Pro has a dual-sided advanced cooling around its chipset. There are 8 layers of graphite and thermal silica just below the screen glass and a copper foil plus thermal silica behind the rear glass. These should allow for a balanced and sustained performance when the phone uses the maximum power of the Snapdragon 855 SoC.
The GeekBench CPU test still paints that Snapdragon 855’s processor as the champ for multi-core tasks. But as far as single-core performance is concerned, the newest custom core by Samsung does much better.
GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)
Higher is better
- Lenovo Z6 Pro11155
- OnePlus 711075
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)10800
- Asus Zenfone 610721
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro10684
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)10114
- Samsung Galaxy S10e10081
- Huawei P309789
- Xiaomi Mi 9T6863
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE6017
GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)
Higher is better
- Samsung Galaxy S10e4518
- Asus Zenfone 63505
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)3499
- Lenovo Z6 Pro3479
- OnePlus 73461
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)3351
- Huawei P303295
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro3000
- Xiaomi Mi 9T2537
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE1905
The GPU benchmarks revealed no surprises – the Adreno 640 is among the best GPUs in a smartphone and delivers unprecedent performance under a 1080p screen.
GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)
Higher is better
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro71
- Lenovo Z6 Pro71
- OnePlus 771
- Asus Zenfone 671
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)71
- Samsung Galaxy S10e67
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)56
- Huawei P3054
- Xiaomi Mi 9T27
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE26
GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)
Higher is better
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro57
- Lenovo Z6 Pro57
- Samsung Galaxy S10e57
- OnePlus 757
- Asus Zenfone 657
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)57
- Huawei P3048
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)48
- Xiaomi Mi 9T24
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE24
GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)
Higher is better
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro42
- Lenovo Z6 Pro42
- Samsung Galaxy S10e42
- OnePlus 742
- Asus Zenfone 642
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)42
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)33
- Huawei P3029
- Xiaomi Mi 9T16
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE15
GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)
Higher is better
- Samsung Galaxy S10e40
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro36
- Lenovo Z6 Pro36
- OnePlus 736
- Asus Zenfone 636
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)36
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)28
- Huawei P3026
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE14
- Xiaomi Mi 9T13
Finally, the Redmi K20 Pro aced the compound AnTuTu benchmark furthermore cementing its flagship narrative.
Higher is better
- Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)377024
- Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro368846
- OnePlus 7367812
- Asus Zenfone 6361679Chipset: Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm), CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485), GPU: Adreno 640
- Lenovo Z6 Pro357672
- Samsung Galaxy S10e325192
- Huawei P30 (perf. mode)314595
- Huawei P30287960
- Xiaomi Mi 9T211915
- Xiaomi Mi 9 SE180057
The Redmi K20 Pro delivers similar performance to some of the most powerful smartphones on the market today. We played a couple of modern games on it and we didn’t notice any bottlenecks or drops in the games’ frame rates.
There is a dedicated Game Boost menu within the Security app, go figure, and it is basically a game launcher that allows for better resource management. We tried it, but we didn’t notice any benefits. Maybe when the chipset gets older and more demanding games arise – the Game Boost might be useful, but for now – well, it’s there.
Despite the cooling solutions within the K20 Pro – it may get hot at a spot but only after prolonged processor benchmarks. This could lead to some potential drop in performance, but once gain – it happened only while doing multiple runs of CPU stress tests.
So, the K20 Pro is delivers cutting-edge performance on the jaw-dropping price of €399/INR 27,999. That sounds quite Pocophone-ish, doesn’t it?
A flagship trio of cameras
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro (also Mi 9T Pro) has the same triple-camera on its back as the Redmi K20/Mi 9T. It is a setup with a familiar arrangement and is quite promising on paper.
Just like the Mi 9T and K20, the Pro model’s main camera has a huge 1/2″ 48MP sensor behind f/1.75 26mm lens that spits out 12MP images. On top of it, somewhat separated, is the 8MP (1/4″) telephoto snapper behind f/2.4 52mm lens for 2x optical zoom. And below the main snapper, sharing the same piece of front glass is the 13MP (1/3″) sensor behind an f/2.4 15mm lens for ultra-wide-angle shots.
The Pro model’s primary sensor is Sony IMX 586, while the regular model had IMX 582. Those two are the same thing, but the supposedly better one can do 4K video capturing at 60fps. And this is indeed the only difference between the K20 and K20 Pro snappers.
The 48MP sensor sits is behind an f/1.75 lens and is not stabilized. In fact, none of the three snappers features optical stabilization. The main sensor has 0.8µm pixels, the tele and ultra-wide snappers have 1.12µm pixels.
The 48MP main sensor has a Quad-Bayer color filter, which combines four adjacent 0.8µm pixels into one 1.6µm pixel and this helps capturing more light and reducing the noise at night. When shooting in bright light, the sensor performs array conversion, and this allows snapping highly detailed 48MP images.
The camera app hasn’t changed that much. Swiping left and right will shuffle through the camera modes, including a 48MP one, and you will find additional settings in the tab above the viewfinder. It lets you adjust some settings like beautification, HDR, AI, video mode, and picture quality. The usual 0.6x/1x/2x toggles are on the viewfinder itself.
Night Mode is also available on the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro for those long-exposure hand-held shots when light is limited.
The default 12MP images you’d get from the main camera have excellent level of detail and true-to-life colors. The contrast is superb, while the dynamic range is notably wide. The images are sharp but (mostly) not over-sharpened and among the best daylight snaps you can squeeze from a smartphone these days. There is only one visible issue and that’s the moire fringes on the first photo below.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 12MP 26mm photos
There is a dedicated 48MP mode if you want to shoot in 48MP. As we mentioned the sensor does an array conversion and will save what looks like a very detailed photo in 48MP resolution. The detail is nothing that special and you can notice various smudged areas and artifacts. It is also noisy and if you downscale it to 12MP you won’t get a better picture than the default 12MP ones. In fact, often you’d get a worse one.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 48MP photos
The 8MP zoom camera produces great images with plenty of detail. Some of them are a little bit noisier than the ones from the primary shooter but as far as tele shooters go this is one of the better ones out there.
The 8MP tele camera works only in optimal conditions and when there is not enough light, you’d get cropped image from the 48MP snapper. But more on that in a bit.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 8MP 52mm photos
Then we snapped some 13MP images with the ultrawide-angle camera. Its per-pixel quality is lower than the other two, but the colors are still nice, and noise levels are low. And we are happy to report this is one of the few ultrawide snappers that indeed gets the colors right, while many others went for cooler or warmer hues.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 13MP 15mm ultrawide samples
You can opt for lens correction on the ultrawide shots and you will get less distorted buildings at the expense of softer corners.
Normal • Corrected • Normal • Corrected
Xiaomi has an AI toggle, which is a simple scene recognition and it doesn’t do much. But it can offer suggestions for which camera you should use in some scenes, so if you are new to this multi-camera setups, you might want to give the AI a try.
Moving on to the low-light shots, then. The 12MP default photos from the main 48MP camera turned pretty good, with less aggressive noise reduction that what we saw on previous Mi phones. The images are bright enough and detailed, and with pretty tolerable noise levels. Those are not the best 12MP low-light stills we’ve seen, but we’d say they are overqualified for the class. Optical stabilization would have helped to avoid blurry photos (about 30-40% of the samples we took), but let’s not forget the K20 Pro is not a flagship.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 12MP low-light photos
You can use the 48MP mode in low-light, too, but even if you shoot in this high-resolution and then resize the image to 12MP, the benefit in the detail would be minor, if any. And it’s just not worth the hassle.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 48MP low-light photos
The Night mode is present on the Redmi K20 Pro, takes about a second to shoot, and it’s the place you go to for good low-light photos. It makes a big difference by being able to get proper exposure even in the darkest environments. The result is nicely balanced and bright image, and subjects still look detailed. This mode rarely gave us blurry images and in most of the times took excellent shots, so we highly recommend opting for it at night.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 12MP Night Mode photos
Just as expected, the tele camera isn’t working when the light is low. Instead, you’d get a 12MP crop from the center of the original 48MP image from the main camera. And indeed, the picture is pretty good – we think the camera stacks a few frames and then does the crop from the center, without any digital zoom involved in the process.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos
Finally, photos from the ultra-wide-angle camera are not impressive at all. The noise reduction is very aggressive and smears much of the fine detail, while the exposure is often quite dark.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 13MP low-light ultrawide photos
And once you’re done with the samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro stacks up against the competition.
12MP: Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro against the Realme X and the OnePlus 7 in our Photo compare tool
48MP: Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro against the Realme X and the OnePlus 7 in our Photo compare tool
The quality of the portraits taken with the rear camera of the Redmi K20 Pro is highly dependent on the light conditions since those are taken with the telephoto snapper that has smaller pixels and f/2.4 aperture. But that’s valid for any similar telephoto camera on a smartphone.
So, when the light is right you will be rewarded with some very nice portrait shots – detailed, with excellent subject separation and convincing faux blur.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 12MP portraits
You can also apply various background effects or choose the blur’s strength.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a 20MP selfie shooter on its motorized pop-up module. It won’t save the most detailed 20MP photos, but there is enough detail and sharpness, while the colors and contrast are great.
You have a limited range for the focus sweet spot as no autofocus is available, but there is enough leeway to cover the different arm lengths and those who prefer closeup shots.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 20MP selfies
The snapper can also take images with blurred background and it does that quite proficiently even though there isn’t a depth sensor. There is a drop in the sharpness, though.
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro 20MP portrait selfies
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro captures video up to 4K @ 60fps, and all other common modes are available – [email protected] and [email protected] It seems at first that you can capture in these resolutions with all three cameras, but you actually can’t. Naturally, the main camera can do all of these, the utrawide snapper can’t shoot in 4K @60fps, but the 2X zoom toggle won’t switch to the telephoto camera at all and you will continue to shoot with the main one instead, no matter the resolution.
Slow-mo video are available – 1080 @120 or @240fps, and 720p @960fps.
The video bit rate is 40-42Mbps in 4K at both 30fps and 60fps, about 18Mbps in 1080p at 30fps, and 20Mbps in 1080p at 60fps. Audio is recorded in stereo with a 96Kbps bit rate.
We found 4K videos shot at both 30 and 60 fps from the main camera sharp and detailed, though not class-leading when you examine them from closely. If we look closely, the 30fps clips are a bit more detailed than the 60fps, but you have to be quite pixel peeping to notice it.
The noise is kept reasonably low. Contrast is excellent, color rendition is quite nice and true to life, and the dynamic range is about average. Overall, we are happy with the 4K footage.
And the same findings are valid across the 1080p videos, both at 30 and 60fps.
The ultrawide 4K videos (at 30fps) are softer than the regular ones and less detailed, the dynamic range is lower as well. The 1080p videos at 30fps taken with the ultra-wide-camera are mostly on par with the ones from the main snapper. But the 60fps clips are less detailed and look pixelated.
As we said the 2X toggle isn’t using the 8MP sensor with the 52mm lens. Sure, we can understand that 8MP can’t do 4K and that’s why Xiaomi uses its main camera, but it’s still beyond our understanding why not at least allow it for the 1080p resolution. Still, the 1080p 2X videos turned up pretty good reaping the benefits from that 48MP large sensor, but the 4K clips are a rather simple and obvious digital zoom.
EIS is available for all snappers and resolutions at 30fps. The digital stabilization does a great job smoothing the camera shake at the expense of minor loss of FoV.
Here’s a glimpse of how the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro compares to other smartphones in our Video compare tool. Head over there for the complete picture.
2160p: Xiaomi K20 Pro against the Realme X and the OnePlus 7 in our Video compare tool
Xiaomi has done it yet again – the maker has launched another market disruptor. Sure, it isn’t called a Pocophone, but it doesn’t matter really. The Redmi K20 Pro, or Mi 9T Pro, is a spiritual successor to a rare smartphone blend known as flagship killers, a series that OnePlus may have conceived, but has since forgotten.
The phone is available as Redmi K20 Pro in India, while the rest of the world gets it as the Mi 9T Pro. There is just this one difference between these – the Redmi has an app drawer, while the Mi doesn’t (though you can get the Poco launcher from the Play Store as a free download). And no matter which of those Xiaomi phones you have access to – you will enjoy a handset jam-packed with premium features – all at a bargain price.
Indeed, Xiaomi has got almost, if not everything, right with the Redmi K20 Pro and no matter how long and deep we have looked, the phone kept acing everything we threw at it – design, screen, battery life, loudspeaker, fluid software, chart-topping performance, awesome cameras, and a price to beat.
It is really difficult to pick competitors for a phone that’s pretty much without a viable alternative on the market right now. The first phone that popped in our heads is the Lenovo Z6 Pro – one really surprising phone that somehow escaped its Chinese exclusivity. Its availability is scarce, but it will give you a dedicated macro camera and a low-light video shooter at the expense of a screen notch and €100 over the K20 Pro.
OnePlus 7 is an amazing smartphone with speedy Oxygen OS, but it has a cutout on its screen, it has less snappers on its back, and costs €150 over the Xiaomi. It’s quite similar with the Samsung Galaxy S10e – a beautiful waterproof design but there is a hole in the screen, reduced camera count, and it’s still more expensive than the K20 Pro.
We can think of a better deal – the Redmi K20/Mi 9T is €70 cheaper than the Pro variant. It is an identical phone to the K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro, but instead of Snapdragon 855 it comes with Snapdragon 730 and loses the 4K at 60fps video capturing. And if you are on the budget, that’s an offer you may want to accept as the S730 chip is still quite the powerhouse.
Lenovo Z6 Pro • OnePlus 7 • Samsung Galaxy S10e • Xiaomi Redmi K20
The verdict is in and quite expectedly the Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro is guilty of being the best smartphone €400, or even €500, can buy you today. The phone has everything starting with a flagship looks, a premium notch-free OLED, the latest Snapdragon chip, then there is an enviable camera setup, and top-notch battery life. We just couldn’t wish for more. Except, maybe for a microSD slot.
- Excellent notch-free AMOLED screen
- Ultrafast under-display fingerprint reader
- Attractive design with Gorilla Glass protection
- Top-notch battery life, fast charging
- Flagship Snapdragon 855 chip and performance
- Class-leading camera experience, great quality all day long
- Rich video recording options and very good picture quality
- Poco, MIUI, and Android Pie form an easily likeable desert
- 3.5mm jack, FM radio
- No water or dust resistance (not that we expected)
- The pop-up selfie cam is prone to damage
- No microSD slot