Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review

GSMArena team, 26 Aug 2019.

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.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review

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.

Always-on screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Always-on screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Always-on screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Always-on screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Always-on screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
Always-on screen

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.

Unlocking options - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Unlocking options - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Unlocking options - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Unlocking options - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
Unlocking options

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.

Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
Dark mode

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.

Wallpapers - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Wallpapers - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Wallpapers - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Wallpapers - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
Wallpapers

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 - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review The app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review The app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review The app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review The app drawer - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
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 - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Homescreen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Homescreen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Tools - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review  - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Quick Card - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
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 - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Recents and Split Screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Recents and Split Screen - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
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.

Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
Themes

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 - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Security app - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review File Manager - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review FM radio - Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review
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.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro review

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 Pro
    11155
  • OnePlus 7
    11075
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    10800
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    10721
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    10684
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    10114
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    10081
  • Huawei P30
    9789
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    6863
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    6017

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    4518
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    3505
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    3499
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    3479
  • OnePlus 7
    3461
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    3351
  • Huawei P30
    3295
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    3000
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2537
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    1905

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 Pro
    71
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    71
  • OnePlus 7
    71
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    71
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    71
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    67
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    56
  • Huawei P30
    54
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    27
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    26

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    57
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    57
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    57
  • OnePlus 7
    57
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    57
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    57
  • Huawei P30
    48
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    48
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    24
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    24

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    42
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    42
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    42
  • OnePlus 7
    42
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    42
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    42
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    33
  • Huawei P30
    29
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    16
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    15

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    40
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    36
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    36
  • OnePlus 7
    36
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    36
  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    36
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    28
  • Huawei P30
    26
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    13

Finally, the Redmi K20 Pro aced the compound AnTuTu benchmark furthermore cementing its flagship narrative.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 6 (Zen Power Boost)
    377024
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro
    368846
  • OnePlus 7
    367812
  • Asus Zenfone 6
    361679
  • Lenovo Z6 Pro
    357672
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
    325192
  • Huawei P30 (perf. mode)
    314595
  • Huawei P30
    287960
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    211915
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    180057

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?

Reader comments

  • sene 696

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