Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: top smartphone with 64 GB for $359.49
Redmi, as a subsidiary company of Xiaomi at least officially “independent”, released its first own flagship smartphone. The Redmi K20 comes in two versions: Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro. The K20 is already available as Mi 9T for Europe, but the Redmi K20 Pro is not yet a flagship. Does this mean that the Xiaomi Mi 9 will be taken off the throne?
- Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (6/64 GB)
- Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (6/128 GB)
Technical data of the Redmi K20 (Pro)
|Redmi K20 Pro||Redmi K20|
|Display||6,39″ AMOLED Display (2340 x 1080p, 19.5:9 aspect ratio)||6,39″ AMOLED Display (2340 x 1080p, 19.5:9 aspect ratio)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 @ 2.84 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730|
|Graphic chip||Adreno 640||Adreno 618|
|Main memory||6/8 GB LPDDR4X RAM||6/8 GB LPDDR4X RAM|
|Internal memory||64/128/256 GB UFS 2.1||64/128 UFS 2.1|
|Main camera||48 MP Sony IMX586 with ƒ/1.75 + 8 MP Tele camera with ƒ/2.2 + 13 MP Ultra wide angle (125° angle)||48 MP Sony IMX586 with ƒ/1.75 + 8 MP Tele camera with ƒ/2.2 + 13 MP Ultra wide angle (125° angle)|
|Front Camera||20 MP with AI Scene Detection & Portrait Mode, Panorama Mode||20 MP with AI Scene Detection & Portrait Mode, Panorama Mode|
|Battery||4.000 mAh with 27W Quick Charge 4+||4.000 mAh with 18W QuickCharge|
|Connectivity||LTE Band 1,3,5,7,8 WLAN AC, GPS//BDS, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, Dual GPS, NFC||LTE Band 1,3,5,7,8 WLAN AC, GPS//BDS, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, Dual GPS, NFC|
|Features||Fingerprint sensor in display | USB Type-C||Fingerprint sensor in display | USB Type-C|
|Operating system||MIUI 10.2, Android 9||MIUI 10.2, Android 9|
|Dimensions / Weight||156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm / 191 g||156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm / 191 g|
|Price||from 2499 Yuan; ~ $362||from 1.999 Yuan, ~ $289|
Comeback of the Pop-Up Camera
Even before the official launch, Xiaomi’s promo engine, which released its first render images for the Redmi K20, got off to an easy start. The back is shiny, you use a red-metallic Colorway, which is a real eye-catcher. The camera arrangement on the back is interesting. This time it consists of three sensors, underneath there is a flash. We last saw such a centrally positioned camera on a Xiaomi device with the Xiaomi Pocophone F1.
If you choose the Redmi K20/Pro you get the Redmi lettering on the back, which runs parallel to the long sides. The global Xiaomi version gets the Mi branding. Otherwise there are the same Colorways for all versions, namely blue, red and black. Our test device comes in the “Glacier Blue“- Colorway and we like it very much, because the effect is especially effective on the sides. Here Xiaomi and Redmi have their own design – keep up the good work!
The fact that these are basically the same smartphones can also be seen from their dimensions. The Redmi K20 Pro also weighs 191g like the Mi 9T, with dimensions of 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm. The workmanship of the Redmi K20 Pro is exactly the same. Nothing wobbles, there are no sharp edges and good pressure points on the keys. It’s also worth mentioning here that the two camera modules on the back side protrude relatively little from the case. For example, you have a clear advantage over the Xiaomi Mi 9, because of the thicker design the K20 Pro simply has more space.
AMOLED display with fingerprint sensor in the display
The screen extends over a length of 6.39 inches and Redmi incorporates an AMOLED display. A novelty for the new Redmi series; at Xiaomis Flagships this technology has meanwhile established itself as the standard. Under the display there is also the fingerprint sensor, whose technology originates from the seventh generation. This is the same panel as the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Xiaomi Mi 9T. Rich colors, good brightness and very good functionality. In a direct comparison to the Mi 9T, a really minimal different color profile can be found, the 9T Pro is minimally brighter and tends towards a blue cast, while the 9T tends towards a reddish cast.
Apart from that, nothing really happens between the two models. Both panels offer a brightness of 600 nit, which is enough even for medium settings and strong sunlight. In addition, the AMOLED panel provides a strong contrast ratio of 60000:1, which ensures perfect black and great, rich colors. The viewing angle stability suffers only in acute angles and a slight but negligible color shift comes to light. In this respect, it is definitely a strong screen, but also an appropriate one only for this price range.
Xiaomi can score points for functionality. Finally, the fingerprint sensor is located in the lower part of the screen and, as already mentioned, is in its seventh generation. The reliability rate is very high in our test, the phone actually recognizes my finger in over 90% of cases. I don’t think the speed is any better than with the much cheaper Realme X, though. The unlock speed is mostly 0.5 seconds, with a longer standby time the phone sometimes needs up to 0.8 seconds.
Especially the Always On-Display is a not to be neglected advantage at the desk. So you can be informed quickly about time and messages and read them even from a steep angle. In order to be able to offer a price advantage over the Mi 9, Redmi uses “only” Gorilla Glass 5 and not the sixth generation. But the MIUI operating system leaves many settings to the display: color palette, different AOD designs, dark mode and an anti-flicker mode.
#popupinstyle: but is that awesome?
Redmi is able to do this, because there is no notch or in-display camera installed. This can be avoided by using another popular concept: the pop-up camera. The front camera is hidden in the housing and only appears when it is needed. Then the camera module is moved out mechanically. For example, we know it from the Vivo NEX Ultimate. Since this mechanical part can be quite susceptible to problems, the Vivo NEX Ultimate has already been criticized. But the new OnePlus 7 Pro is also equipped with a pop-up camera. This camera also serves as a direct competitor.
This works like the Mi 9T in principle, but not as fast as the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom’s “shark fin”. Until the camera is fully extended, the front camera needs 1.4 seconds, the Oppo Reno only 0.8 seconds. That’s not so much the problem with a Selfie, but you can also wait the milliseconds. With Face Unlock this is really annoying, here you are much faster (and safer) with the fingerprint sensor in the display or a pattern.
A flagship needs the Top-CPU
It’s a flagship, because the Redmi is equipped with the Snapdragon 855 processor. The top CPU also sits in the Xiaomi Mi 9 and is this year’s top processor for almost all Android flagships. The Octa-Core with a clock frequency of up to 2.84 GHz provides a lot of power, but is accordingly only found in more expensive top smartphones. In the slimmed down version the Redmi K20 or Mi 9T appears with the Snapdragon 730, which is an upper midrange processor.
With the memory there is no big surprise, here the meanwhile usual configurations expect us. The smallest version combines 6 GB RAM with 64 GB internal memory, a second version increases the mass memory to 128 GB and for multitaskers there is also an 8/128 GB and an 8/256 GB version. Of course, the prices vary depending on the memory. However, the mass storage cannot be expanded.
So it’s no big surprise that the Redmi K20 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 9T runs like a cheetah on a hunt. PUBG on HDR and Ultra Framerate runs completely smooth, looks very nice, but the Mi 9T Pro also gets a bit warm. Nevertheless: Multitasking works here without delays! If you switch permanently from a 4K60fps video to PUBG and then to a benchmark, you won’t have any problems here. The performance of the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is really nothing to complain about.
As usual for the Redmi smartphones, the manufacturer uses a large battery. As already suggested in advance by a leak, the Redmi K20 and K20 Pro works with a 4,000 mAh battery. Thus Redmi remains faithful to its line; so far nearly all Redmi devices came since Redmi independence with a 4,000 mAh battery on the market. The battery life is almost two days, in the battery benchmark we end up with about 13 hours. Here it depends of course strongly on the use, the big battery and MIUI provide for enough juice.
The battery can even be charged with 27W Quick Charge, which ensures a fast charging time of 70 minutes for 100% even with such a large battery. But for that you need the 27W Charger from Xiaomi, which is not in the box. To be praised here is that the K20 Pro only needs 30 minutes to reach over 50%. So if you have to go fast once in a while, you can get a good day’s use out in half an hour.
Real triple camera
It was already clear in advance which camera would be used. The main sensor uses a 48 MP resolution, it’s the Sony IMX586 sensor that’s also in the Mi 9 or Honor View 20. The second and third sensor is a wide-angle camera with a 13 megapixel sensor and a shooting angle of 124.8°. The telephoto lens works with the 8 megapixel resolution. Here you get the same setup as in the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE.
It is interesting to note that the Mi 9T is equipped with the Sony IMX582 sensor, which is nowhere used as a sensor. It’s probably just an artificial demarcation to justify the surcharge. Because in practice you won’t notice it. In a 1-to-1 comparison, there might be minimal differences in the exposure here and there, but the colors are accurate with both devices. Also the sharpness is simply right. In contrast to other manufacturers such as UMIDIGI, the contrast is pleasant and the dynamic range correspondingly high.
I’m still not the biggest fan of the skin tones in some situations, they seem a bit pale from time to time. Overall, I’m a bit more satisfied with the Xiaomi Mi 9, but the differences are minimal. The difference is visible in the setup of the second and third sensor, which are simply better in the Mi 9. As with the Mi 9T, the K20 Pro in the Global version also needs a reference point for the white balance in some scenes, otherwise the colors can be off as in our ball bath. A similar problem could also be found with the OnePlus 7.
A small difference in the camera app of the K20 Pro and the Mi 9T Pro is the Dynamic Shot function. This is currently only available with the K20 Pro. Thereby, the mobile phone takes pictures before and after the actual shooting, as it is the case with known “live photos”, afterwards one can choose the best shot.
The pop-up camera consists of a 20 Megapixel sensor with an aperture of ƒ/2.2. Selfies have been a hobbyhorse of Xiaomi for quite some time, even if you still preset the beauty filter. But once this filter is deactivated, the front camera convinces with a good sharpness that reveals more details in the face than one would sometimes like. Also the colors are good and by no means pale as so often with other China manufacturers.
The Selfie-Cam benefits not only from the normal mode but also from the software. The portrait mode for the front camera of Xiaomi is easily among the top 3 of all manufacturers and can shine again with an almost perfect edge detection. In addition there is the new panorama mode introduced with the Mi 9T/Mi 9T Pro. This allows you to record light group selfies by panning the camera to the left and right. The editing works really well and the results can be seen despite some slight distortion.
Differences in video
Even though almost everything is the same, there is still a slight difference in the video recordings. In contrast to the Mi 9T, the Redmi K20 Pro can also film in 4K resolution with 60 frames per second (fps), the Mi 9T only with 30 fps in 4K resolution. In practice, this is hardly likely to be a decisive reason, since both only support slow-motion videos in Full HD 1080p at 120 fps and HD 720p at 240 fps.
Master of connections
Since Xiaomi and Redmi are a bit sparse with NFC and usually only use it in their top smartphones, it is all the more pleasing that the cheaper Xiaomi Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro are also equipped with NFC. So mobile, contactless payment is possible. But that would have been surprising, after all, the Mi 9T Pro is also a top smartphone and comes on the market with a USB type C accordingly.
But one doesn’t forget the traditionalists, as there is still a 3.5 mm jack connector on the top side.
And of course there are a few wireless connectivity standards like Dual Band WiFi, Bluetooth 5, various LTE bands and even Dual GPS. As a global version of the Redmi K20 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro also comes with the LTE bands B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20 and the increasingly important band 28. The support of these LTE bands is the main reason why we would advise you to use the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro instead of the Redmi K20 Pro with Global ROM.
Xiaomi 9T Pro = Redmi K20 Pro Global
If you order the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, even if you order it from China, you get the global version of the Redmi K20 Pro. You’re on the safe side with that. The complete system is usable in several languages from the beginning, all relevant Google services including Google Play Store are pre-installed and even certified. There is a bit of bloatware and apps like Facebook that are pre-installed, but they are easy to uninstall.
Our test device was delivered with MIUI 10.3 in the Global Stable, which is of course based on Android 9. During the test period an update was delivered, which comes from Xiaomi about every 2 weeks. The security patch is already from August 2019, so it is up to date.
If you don’t know MIUI yet: Xiaomis User Interface is a highly customized Android version, which is equipped with many own services. Similar to Apple, Xiaomi quickly built its own infrastructure with the Mi Cloud, Mi Drop or Mi App Store. In addition, the appearance is strongly adapted and an App-Drawer is dispensed with. In addition, the surface is characterized by an aggressive battery management, which ensures a good battery life.
Xiaomi is known for a relatively good update policy, especially the top models like the K20 Pro are regularly provided with security and system updates over the years. We are currently at MIUI 10.3.11, the update to MIUI 11 is expected for autumn 2019.
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro Redmi K20 Pro vs. Xiaomi Mi 9T/K20
With the minimal differences between the two models, the question naturally arises: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro/Redmi K20 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 9T/Redmi K20? Of course, the Mi 9T Pro is more powerful overall, but maybe not everyone needs the Snapdragon 855. Also the Snapdragon 730 is a very strong and future-oriented CPU, the camera leaves nothing to be desired and everything else is very similar, except the price.
Conclusion: Buy Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro?
The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is similar to the Xiaomi Mi 9 in many parts, but in the guise of the Xiaomi Mi 9T. Like the Pocophone F1 last year, the Mi 9T Pro leaves little room for criticism. Top processor, AMOLED display, lots of memory, large battery, fast charging, USB type C, jack and NFC as well as a fingerprint sensor in the display. The only difference is the pop-up camera.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 9 are equally good. Point. Both set their main focus somewhat differently, that’s actually a preference decision. If the battery life is especially important to you, you can grab the Mi 9T Pro. If you want to charge your smartphone wirelessly, you can use the Mi 9. The Battle Pop-Up Cam versus Waterdrop-Notch is just a question of taste. I personally prefer the small Notch, but that’s up to you.
Which version would you choose?To the gadget