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Redmi K20 Pro first impressions: a David to take on the Goliaths of the smartphone market

Last year, Xiaomi destroyed the “Flagship Killer” niche with the launch of its POCO F1, at a time when ASUS and OnePlus were having a go at the title. From flagship-grade processor to a custom launcher designed for performance, the POCO F1 had everything going in its favour. This year the torch has been handed to the newly-minted brand, Redmi, to take it forward and the phonemaker didn’t disappoint. The latest Redmi K20 series takes forward the legacy of the POCO F1 with a gradient design and flagship-grade internals. The smartphones went official in India today and we managed to spend some time with the Redmi K20 Pro. Here’s how we feel about the latest ‘Knockout punch’ as Xiaomi likes to call it.

Straight off the bat, Redmi K20 Pro is the best-looking smartphone that has come out in the last couple of years in my personal opinion. The cheap and practical plastic design that defined the POCO F1 is long gone and in comes a more premium glass finish. What sets the Redmi K20 Pro apart is that while the smartphone flaunts the now-in-fad gradient finish, it has an aurora kind of pattern on sides giving it a distinct look. On the back, you will find the triple camera module with primary camera lens isolated on top and other two placed inside a pill-shaped module, and Redmi branding in a straight line along the middle.

The smartphone is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back. The K20 Pro is being offered in three hues – Carbon Black, Flame Red and Glacier Blue, with the latter two featuring the unique aurora design.

The fingerprint scanner is missing from the back as the Redmi K20 Pro is also the first from the brand to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, which was fast and accurate. The use of under-display biometrics has allowed the company to offer an all screen-fascia with an AMOLED display measuring 6.39-inches. The Horizon Display, as Redmi calls it, offers DC dimming, 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 2,340 x 1,080 pixels screen resolution. The display was pretty sharp and vivid with good viewing angles. The selfie camera has been moved to the motorised elevating mechanism on top, which is yet another first for the brand.

Redmi has made sure that the elevating selfie camera of the K20 Pro stands out from the crowd by placing two led lights on either side of the module, which light up every time the camera pops up. There is a small cutout on the top of the module, which serves as the notification light. Xiaomi’s attention to detail on this smartphone is close to perfect. The actual camera sensor inside the elevating module is a 20MP sensor that also supports AI face unlock. On the rear, the smartphone ships with a 48MP + 13MP + 8MP setup with features like EIS, laser autofocus, 960fps slow-motion recording and 4K video recording. As for the imaging prowess, we will reserve our judgement for the detailed review, which should be up soon.

In the performance department, the K20 Pro flaunts the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855 SoC, which flaunts a 2.84Ghz clock speed and 7nm die size. The smartphone is being offered in two configurations – 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB. During the short time we spent with it, the smartphone felt very snappy as we jumped between multiple apps. However, we will once again reserve our judgement for the full review, where we will put the K20 Pro through its paces. As for the software, the Redmi K20 Pro boots the MIUI 10 based on Android 9 Pie, which brings features like system-wide dark mode and full-screen gesture navigation. A 4,000mAh battery with support for 27W fast charging completes the package.

The Redmi K20 Pro starts in India at Rs 27,999 and for what it brings to the table, it’s completely worth every penny. However, it might face stiff competition from the Realme X (First impressions) which has the same design and slightly under-powered spec sheet but is also a lot cheaper. If you don’t have the budget for the K20 Pro but want the same looks, Redmi K20 is the identical twin of the Pro variant but with a Snapdragon 730 SoC.

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