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Redmi K20 Pro 9 months long-term review: Is it still a worthy buy?

The Redmi K20 Pro is still a flagship offering for Xiaomi India and despite its age, it is one of the best deals you can get in mid-2020.

twitter-logoAmritanshu Mukherjee | April 28, 2020 | Updated 16:52 IST
Redmi K20 Pro

Highlights

  • The Redmi K20 Pro still sells as Xiaomiís flagship phone in India.
  • You can get the K20 Pro starting at Rs 26,999.
  • Xiaomi may unveil the Redmi K30 Pro in a few weeks.

As a tech writer, I keep getting a lot of queries regarding smartphone buying decisions and one of the most prominent ones is this, "Which is the best phone to buy under Rs 30,000?" Everytime, my answer carries one name that's always on top of the recommendation list, the Redmi K20 Pro. Xiaomi's 2019 flagship for the Indian market has been around for some considerable time now and despite the increase in GST rates, it still manages to impress me.

The Redmi K20 Pro sits in a price bracket where it ends up having fierce competition from phones such as the Realme X2 Pro, Asus 6Z and various midrange options from Samsung, Oppo and Vivo. While it's easy to consider this given the specifications it offers, the K20 Pro is more than that. In fact, I have been daily driving this phone for a few months now and I don't see myself switching to any other handset.

Redmi K20 Pro: Why is it an unmissable deal?

-The main reason has to be Xiaomi's aggressive pricing for the K20 Pro. Despite the increase in prices, the K20 Pro still starts at Rs 26,999, which is a bargain when you consider what this phone has to offer. A Snapdragon 855 chip, a versatile rear triple camera system, a stunning AMOLED display with no notch or cutout, a good battery and a great design.

-The design of the K20 Pro is still novel. There are very few phones that offer you a completely bezel-less display with no notch or cutout and the K20 Pro does it best. Moreover, the pop-up camera that makes this design possible even houses a notification LED, which is a luxury in premium phones these days.

-Xiaomi missed out on a high refresh rate display with the K20 Pro but it compensates for it with a good quality AMOLED panel. The display is tuned to throw up punchy colours and for hours of Netflix binging, it makes it a joyous experience. There's also an in-display fingerprint sensor present here.

-For a phone under Rs 30,000, the K20 Pro has great cameras. You get a 48-megapixel main camera using a Sony IMX586 sensor that's accompanied by a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera with 124-degrees FOV. There's even an 8-megapixel 2x optical zoom camera, a feature that's no more making it to many premium phones this year.

Redmi K20 Pro: My experience

As a tech writer, I get to review a lot of smartphones throughout the year and hence, changing my phone every week has become a habit. That said, when I am done reviewing a phone, I find myself reaching for the Redmi K20 Pro. There are a couple of good reasons behind it.

-The Redmi K20 Pro is one of the most comfortable phones I have used in a while. It weighs 191 grams but the weight distribution has been done exceptionally. Currently, in the COVID-19 lockdown, I have spent hours reading news on Twitter or various websites and the phone never tires my hands. It's also one of the few phones that can be used single-handedly, despite flaunting a 6.3-inch display.

-The K20 Pro has truckloads of performance to offer. Despite the Snapdragon 855 being a year-old chipset now, it delivers like any other new smartphone. Moreover, Xiaomi's MIUI 11 based on Android 10 has been tuned in a way to make the most out of the resources. I agree that MIUI is not for everyone but if you like a little flair in your phone's operating system, the experience is great. The customisation options are galore on the K20 Pro and you will be left tinkering your phone for months. MIUI 11 on the K20 Pro has no ads or bloat, which makes this a joy to use. Some updates do bring a few bugs but Xiaomi is quick to take feedback and issue new patches for them.

-One other reason I love the K20 Pro is for its cameras. The main 48-megapixel camera is a breeze to use and with subsequent updates, the image quality has been improved vastly. I use a GCam mod on my K20 Pro and that makes the experience even better. Throughout the lockdown period, it's fun to capture sunrises and sunsets from my terrace, given the impressive levels of details this camera can capture.

-I personally love the design of the K20 Pro. The bezel-less display on the front looks futuristic. My unit wears the Flame Red colour scheme and it is as striking even today as it was when the phone launched last year. Moreover, I have been using my phone without a case and the Gorilla Glass 5 protection does a good job of resisting scratches. It has even survived a couple of drops on the floor.

-The K20 Pro still has a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is a luxury and that means I can use my favourite wired earphones from Sony.

-Lastly, the pop-up camera has held up well over the last few months. My K20 Pro has seen torrential rains of the monsoon, dust storms of April, sweltering heat of Delhi's September and freezing cold of Delhi, and yet the pop-up camera continues to function normally. No wonder why Xiaomi chose to stick to the pop-up camera for the K30 Pro.

On the whole, I have been satisfied using the Redmi K20 Pro. The COVID-19 lockdown has made us tech writers glued to our screens all day and I am happy to do that on the Redmi K20 Pro.

In a few weeks (or months), Xiaomi may bring the Redmi K30 Pro to India and when that happens, it remains to be seen whether the new boy lives up to the high standards set by the older model. Till then, if you have to buy a premium phone for less than Rs 30,000, the Redmi K20 Pro still stays on the top of my list. It's got everything just right for an everyday dependable phone.

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Tags: Xiaomi
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