Xiaomi Redmi K30 review

GSMArena team, 27 Jan 2020.

MIUI 11 and Android 10

Xiaomi Redmi K30 is the first smartphone to boot Android 10 with MIUI 11 out of the box. The new MIUI launcher introduced a cleaner interface, an improved always-on screen, expanded Dark mode, smart notification sounds based on Mother Nature, and a better document editor.

Unlike the Redmi K20, which had the Poco launcher pre-installed, the Redmi K30 features no such thing. We guess the split between Xiaomi and Poco has something to do with that.

Xiaomi Redmi K30 review

For starters let's mention that the Redmi K30 lacks support for Always-on display, probably because it has switched from OLED to LCD panel since the K20.

You can unlock the screen via the blazing-fast and always-on fingerprint scanner that's mounted on just below the power key on the right side of the K30. You can also set up face unlock in addition to it - it's equally fast as the K30 wakes up the moment you pick it up. Note that the face unlock option may not be available in all regions and is far less secure than fingerprint unlock.

The Redmi K30 may lack an OLED screen, but it still supports the new Dark mode - it will switch all system colors from white to black, and this way, you can save some battery juice. With MIUI 11 it has been improved, and now more apps support Dark mode, and the icons and their colors have been redesigned to suit it better.

Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Dark mode - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review
Dark mode

MIUI 11 supports nature alarm and notifications, which sound different depending on the time of the day. Nature sounds have been tailored for alarms and notifications and are far less stressful through the day.

Nature-inspired notifications - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Nature-inspired notifications - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Nature-inspired notifications - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Nature-inspired notifications - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review
Nature-inspired notifications

There is no app drawer in MIUI, so all your apps are just sitting there on your homescreen, but you can still add them to folders. Of course, you can always install a third-party launcher if you miss the app drawer.

Here are the default home screens on Redmi K30. There's a weather widget in the upper right corner across from a large clock widget. There is an App Vault 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.

MIUI 11 has refined looks with less clutter, and you easily spot the Xiaomi efforts towards minimalistic design in the new Settings app.

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Lockscreen • Homescreen • Homescreen • Tools • App Vault • Settings

The task switcher has not changed. 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.

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Notifications • Toggles • Recents • Split Screen

Themes are supported on the Xiaomi Redmi K30, but the app appears only when the phone is set to a supported region, say India.

Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Themes - Xiaomi Redmi K30 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 apps include paid streaming options. FM radio app is available, too.

MIUI 11 also introduced a new document viewing app, which supports all popular formats and makes it easier to view docs on your phone no matter what app they came out from. It makes for a seamless experience.

There is also a new Notes app that now supports Tasks.

MIUI 11 brings an improved Health app, too.

Security app - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Security app - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Gallery - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review Music - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review File Manager - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review FM radio - Xiaomi Redmi K30 review
Security app • Security app • Gallery • Music • File Manager • FM radio

In some markets, the pre-installed applications by Xiaomi will show ads, which is how Xiaomi is compensating for the relatively low prices of its devices. We're reviewing a version of the Redmi K30 with a so-called Global ROM, and we still saw ads within some of the system apps and processes, as well as various unwanted notifications from Chinese ad services lurking underneath MIUI. Still, they are not a major nuisance, and we've heard other regional MIUI revisions have it worse.

Performance and benchmarks

The Xiaomi Redmi K30 employs the Snapdragon 730G chip - one of the most powerful upper-midrange platforms from Qualcomm. Hardware-wise, the Snapdragon 730G is pretty much identical to its vanilla sibling we saw on the Redmi K20.

The CPUs of both 730 and 730G are identical - octa-core processors with two Kryo 470 Gold (Cortex-A76) cores clocked at 2.2 GHz, and six Kryo 470 Silver (Cortex-A55) ones, working at 1.8 GHz. They are all built on an 8nm LPP node and hence pretty power-efficient.

Both chips also have the same Adreno 618 DSP. But the one on the 730G is clocked 75 MHz higher and sits at 575 MHz. This is the only difference between the two chips and so is the only thing different between the hardware of Redmi K20 and Redmi K30.

Finally, depending on the storage option you choose, the Redmi K30 will be with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

Xiaomi Redmi K30 review

The Snapdragon 730G may have just two high-performance A76-derived cores, but those were enough to put a great fight. The single-core scores are great, too.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    7008
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    6999
  • Realme X2
    6926
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    6863
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    6017
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    5620
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    5566
  • Nokia 7.2
    5440
  • Honor 9X
    5345

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    2558
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2537
  • Realme X2
    2508
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    2472
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    1905
  • Honor 9X
    1559
  • Nokia 7.2
    1534
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    1519
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    1489

GeekBench 5.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Realme X2
    1750
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    1703
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    1692
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    1622
  • Nokia 7.2
    1398
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    1288

GeekBench 5.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    548
  • Realme X2
    545
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    542
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    493
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    349
  • Nokia 7.2
    332

The Adreno 618 GPU sounds beyond promising on paper and should be more than adequate to handle all 1080p content. The GPU inside the K30's S730G SoC is clocked higher than the one inside the regular S730 (K20/Mi 9T), and you can spot the difference in the scores.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    27
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    24
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    24
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    24
  • Realme X2
    24
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    14
  • Nokia 7.2
    13
  • Honor 9X
    12
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    11

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    14
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    13
  • Realme X2
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    8.7
  • Nokia 7.2
    8.1
  • Honor 9X
    6.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    5.9

3DMark SSE OpenGL ES 3.1 1440p

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    2467
  • Realme X2
    2402
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    2363
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2182
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    2082
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    1425
  • Nokia 7.2
    1333

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1440p

Higher is better

  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    2447
  • Realme X2
    2263
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    2244
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2035
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    1989
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    1502
  • Nokia 7.2
    1277

If we are to trust AnTuTu, the Redmi K30 is ahead of every other midranger and on par with the Redmi Note 8 Pro.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    224759
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    218200
  • Realme X2
    215578
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    211915
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    180057
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    152075
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    141077
  • Honor 9X
    140362
  • Nokia 7.2
    139495

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Redmi Note 8 Pro
    279355
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30
    272229
  • Realme X2
    257443
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    257146
  • Honor 9X
    187528
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
    180321
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
    167395
  • Nokia 7.2
    164484

It's quite apparent that the Redmi K30 performance is on par with the Redmi K20 most of the times, and only the GPU tests can reveal a small graphics advantage. The higher clock speed of the Adreno 618 does make a small difference in theoretical performance, but we doubt anyone would notice it in real life.

Then again, the Snapdragon 730G is one very potent chip, and we are there are games that would be able to exceed 60fps and make use of the 120Hz display. But those are probably a handful at best and our testing confirmed our doubts. Even games like Alto's Odyssey can't go north of 60fps. We tried a dozen of 120FPS-enabled games and the only one that was able to go beyond 60fps was Dead Trigger 2 - it hovered around 85fps.

Still, for a mid-ranger, we'd say the Xiaomi Redmi K30 is over-equipped, and any user will be happy with it performance-wise.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Yes

  • Anonymous

It had plastic frame. There are alot of teardown and durability video on this phone.

  • Anonymous

Someone created a teardown video ok redmi k30 amd says that the frame is aluminum