The long-awaited Redmi K20 is now official, and it is Redmi’s first-ever flagship smartphone. Sporting a fast processor, an all-screen design, and a 48MP camera, the K20 is priced very competitively. In fact, this could very be the most attractive sub-RM2,000 flagship smartphone yet.
On top of that, there’s a very good chance the K20 will arrive in Malaysia sometime next month in June 2019. Should you be excited about Redmi’s first flagship phone? Well, let’s find out.
There are two variants of the Redmi K20: the standard K20, and the K20 Pro. Interestingly, what separates the two phones from each other are only the choice of chipset and charging rate. The K20 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with support for 27W fast charge, while the regular K20 sports a Snapdragon 730 and 18W charging rate.
Beyond that, these two devices are identical to each other. They have 6.39-inch 1080p AMOLED displays, 4,000mAh batteries, in-screen fingerprint sensors, 48MP f/1.75 + 8MP f/2.4 (telephoto) + 13MP f/2.4 (wide angle) triple camera systems, and 20MP f/2.2 pop-up selfie shooters.
In terms of RAM and storage capacities, both phones can be configured with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
Aesthetically, the K20 and K20 Pro are pretty sleek-looking devices, thanks to the all-screen design without any notch or hole-punch cutout. However, like most modern smartphones in the market now, there is a small chin at the bottom of the display, though it doesn’t really take away from the phones’ sleek look.
On the back, the K20’s rear panel has a “flame texture,” which is said to change in appearance based on ambient lighting. Personally, I quite like the unconventional design. Those who want a more subdued look can opt for the black model; it has a carbon fibre-like finish instead.
As mentioned, the K20’s all-screen design is possible with the use of a pop-up selfie camera. According to Redmi, the camera mechanism can be activated over 300,000 times without any issue. Chances are, it should be durable enough to outlast the phone itself – emphasis on the “should.” With all moving parts, there is always risk of it breaking.
If you’re a music lover, you’ll appreciate the K20’s audio-centric feature. It’s equipped with Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio codec (WCD 9335), which has an integrated DAC that “supports Hi-Fi audio playback up to 192kHz/24bit PCM,” as Qualcomm puts it. Naturally, this phone also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Redmi also emphasised on the K20’s improved in-screen fingerprint sensor. Even though it’s still an optical sensor (instead of an ultrasonic one found in Samsung’s latest flagships), it’s said to be faster and more reliable. If the Xiaomi Mi 9‘s fast in-screen sensor is any indication, the K20’s sensor should perform really well too.
When it comes to photography, users will appreciate the K20’s flexible triple camera system. It has all the tools you need for all kinds of shots: there’s the 48MP primary shooter, a 13MP wide angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto sensor.
Of course, the 48MP sensor takes advantage of pixel binning to improve the camera’s low light performance, which also reduces the image size down to 12MP. So far, this is the most sophisticated camera system on a Redmi smartphone – it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in real life.
Pricing has always been the main appeal of Redmi smartphones, and the Redmi K20 continues this tradition. In China, the standard K20 with 64GB of storage retails at 1,999 Chinese yuan (about RM1,210), while the 128GB model goes for 2,099 yuan (approximately RM1,270). Both models also come with 6GB of RAM.
But the model you really want is the K20 Pro: the 6GB variants with 64GB and 128GB storage capacities go for 2,499 (RM1,515) and 2,599 (RM1,575) yuan respectively, while the 8GB models in 128GB and 256GB options retail at 2,799 (RM1,695) and 2,999 (RM1,820) respectively.
Needless to say, these are very competitive pricing for a device of the Redmi K20’s calibre. If Xiaomi Malaysia can offer the K20 on our shores in the neighbourhood of this price range, the company may have a winner on its hands. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long for the Redmi K20 series to arrive here.