Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: A Choice Between User Experience and Affordable Price

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Xiaomi India has been in the news over the last few days, thanks to the launch of Redmi K20 series. The Xiaomi Redmi K20, in particular, seems to be taking all the flak from the users as they feel it's priced on the higher side. The Redmi K20 Pro, on the other hand, is well received by the consumers as it's the cheapest phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. Starting at Rs 27,999, the Redmi K20 Pro takes on the Asus 6Z and OnePlus 7 which are the other two phones available in the similar price range with the same flagship chip from Qualcomm. The OnePlus 7 starts at Rs 32,999 and it's one of the best selling smartphones on Amazon India. Last year, when Xiaomi launched the Poco F1 in India, we chose not to compare it with the OnePlus 6 or 6T because the former had several compromises.

However, with the price gap between the Xiaomi flagship and OnePlus flagship coming down from a whopping Rs 13,000 to Rs 5,000 this year, we believe that it's fair to make a comparison between the Redmi K20 Pro and the OnePlus 7. Well, I have been using both the phones for a while now and here's which device has the upper hand between the two and which one I choose.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Design and Display

Kicking off with the design, the Redmi K20 Pro is the better-looking one between the two. The OnePlus 7 boasts of similar design as the OnePlus 6T, albeit the company has introduced new colour variants. The K20 Pro has a rear back that stands apart from the crowd. Xiaomi is calling the design of the Redmi K20 Pro as Aura Prime and the phone comes in three colours- Carbon Black, Flame Red and Glacier Blue. The back glass on the Redmi K20 Pro is a 3D curved one with flame patterns which shows the device in different colours once the light hits it.

Both the phones feature a glass back and they both are prone to fingerprint smudges, which is the reason why both the companies are including a case inside the retail box. In the case of OnePlus 7, users will get a TPU plastic case inside the box, whereas Xiaomi is bundling a plastic hard case which is more durable. The power button on the Redmi K20 Pro has a Red colour accent which adds to the overall look and feel.

Besides the rear panel, the rest of the design elements are pretty functional. On the OnePlus 7, we get the power button and alert slider to the right, while the K20 Pro features power button and volume rockers on the right. The left of the Redmi K20 Pro left empty, but the OnePlus 7 features volume keys and SIM card tray on the same side. To the bottom of the Redmi K20 Pro, we get a SIM card tray, USB Type-C port and single speaker grille, and the OnePlus 7 has two speaker grilles and a USB Type-C port on the bottom. The top of the OnePlus has just the secondary microphone, while the Redmi K20 Pro features a secondary microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack and the pop-up selfie camera.

Besides the looks, one aspect where the Redmi K20 Pro shines when compared to the OnePlus 7 is the phone comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, something which most of the phones are lacking. So, big props to Xiaomi for including the headphone jack.

Both the phones offer similar in-hand feel but do make a note that the Redmi K20 Pro is slightly on the heavier side at 191 grams compared to OnePlus 7's 182 grams weight. And yes, the K20 Pro has a bigger battery as well. With the bundled hard care, the Redmi K20 Pro weighs over 200 grams, something which I felt annoying during my usage. The TPU case on the OnePlus 7 doesn't much affect the overall in-hand feel.

Moving onto the display, both the phones sport an AMOLED panel and it's a huge upgrade on the Redmi K20 Pro compared to the Poco F1 which had an LCD panel. The K20 Pro has a bezel-less 6.39-inch Full HD+ display on the front with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels; The OnePlus 7 rocks a 6.41-inch panel with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The screen quality is very much similar on both the phones since they are AMOLED panels after all delivering inky blacks and punchy colours.

The K20 Pro gets ahead of the OnePlus 7 in the screen-to-body aspect. Thanks to the usage of pop-up selfie camera, the K20 Pro offers almost bezel-less design and the OnePlus 7 has a more practical teardrop notch that houses the selfie camera. Viewing multimedia and playing games on the Redmi K20 Pro is an absolute treat. The display on the OnePlus phone is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 6, whereas the K20 Pro's display has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Both the phones support HDR on Netflix with the Redmi K20 Pro receiving the support just a couple of days ago.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Hardware, Software and Performance

The Redmi K20 Pro is the first flagship from Redmi in India and it comes powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset- the same chip we have seen on the likes of OnePlus 7, Asus 6Z, OnePlus 7 Pro, Black Shark 2 and so on. Both the phones ship in two variants- 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB, and they both lack microSD card slot for storage expansion. The OnePlus 7 offers UFS 3.0 storage, whereas the K20 Pro has the good-old UFS 2.1 storage which is now trickling down to phones under Rs 20,000 as well.

Performance on both the phones is snappy, but what differentiates them is the software. When we say MIUI, what comes to every Indian consumer's mind is 'Ads.' Well, Xiaomi has confirmed that the Redmi K20 series will not have any ads like its mid-range or budget phones. However, MIUI comes with several third-party apps and they push notifications every now and then which is confusing a lot of users who're looking to purchase the device. Xiaomi firmly confirmed the Redmi K20 series would not have any ads; If ads are the reason that's stopping you from buying the Redmi K20 Pro, then you can go and get one right now.

Redmi K20 Pro's counterpart, the OnePlus 7, ships with OxygenOS which is the most loved Android skin out there, thanks to its optimisations, useful features, and more importantly, OnePlus' timely updates. As seen with other OnePlus phones, OxygenOS on OnePlus 7 is optimised very well and the user experience is top-notch.

MIUI on Redmi K20 Pro is optimised well with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, something which we won't see very often from Xiaomi. Usually, when a Xiaomi phone comes out, it's riddled with software issues and the user experience will be far from perfect. Although Xiaomi releases software updates to finetune the experience, it's something every buyer is aware of. Nevertheless, that's not the case with Redmi K20 Pro and even the Redmi K20 as they offer a lag-free experience.

Another area where both the phones compete against each other is in the in-display fingerprint scanner department. In-display scanners on both the Redmi K20 Pro and OnePlus 7 are on-par with each other, but the latter takes you to the home screen faster than the former because of the animation speed. Also, the Face Unlock feature is super fast on OnePlus 7 compared to the slow-opening of pop-up face unlock feature on Redmi K20 Pro.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the K20 Pro and OnePlus 7 offers Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptx HD and GPS. Additionally, the OnePlus 7 has NFC functionality, which the Redmi K20 Pro lacks. The K20 Pro has Dual GPS feature something the OnePlus 7 lacks, so there are on par with each other in terms of connectivity options.

In the LTE/LTE-A connectivity department, the OnePlus 7 and K20 Pro has 4×4 MIMO, LTE Cat-16 model that supports up to 1 Gbps download speeds and up to 150 Mbps upload speeds depending on the carrier. They both support 5CA on downloads and standard CA on uploads.

Here's the interesting part- call quality on the K20 Pro is better than the OnePlus 7. I used the OnePlus 7 with Airtel network in Hyderabad and other cities and noticed significant call quality issues over the entire usage period. I used another Airtel SIM card on K20 Pro, which offered significantly better call quality. Both the phones were on VoLTE during the entire testing period.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Cameras

Well, here comes the major part of this comparison. The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro sports three cameras on the rear side- a primary 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.75 aperture, an 8MP telephoto lens with 2X Optical Zoom support and a 13MP ultra wide-angle lens with 124.8-degree field-of-view. Other camera features of the Redmi K20 Pro include 2X optical zoom, 10X digital zoom, laser autofocus and PDAF.

On the flip side, the OnePlus 7 rocks two rear cameras- a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.7 aperture that works in tandem with a 5MP depth sensor. So the versatility factor is with the Redmi K20 Pro as it offers additional telephoto lens and ultra-wide lens, but what about the real-life performance? Let's find out.

As you can see in the images below, the OnePlus 7 shots come out more natural and the colours look true to life. The Redmi K20 Pro boosts the colours and the overall picture looks oversaturated. Well, in some situations, the K20 Pro captures a better image than the OnePlus 7 and the HDR mode comes to the rescue to the K20 Pro. The portrait shots are pretty much similar on both the phones, but the K20 Pro allows you to switch between full-body mode and telephoto mode for the portrait shots- a nifty feature to have around. The low-light performance again is better on the OnePlus 7 but by a small margin. Both the phones ship with dedicated Night mode to improve the images shot in low-light and they help to some extent.

On the image front, the OnePlus 7 is a winner to me, well at least for now. But in the video department, the Redmi K20 Pro shines. Talking about the video capabilities first, the OnePlus 7 has both Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) support, while the K20 Pro has just EIS support. Both the phones can record 4K video recording at 60fps and 30fps, 1080p video recording at 30fps and 60fps. The K20 Pro allows users to capture super-slow-motion recording in 960fps and that too in 1080p and 720p quality. The OnePlus 7 also has super-slow-motion video recording, but it's capped at 480fps and that too in 720p quality.

In the 1080p video recording, the Redmi K20 Pro records better one as the EIS kicks in; The colours on the K20 Pro are also on the natural side compared to OnePlus 7. However, the 4K video recording department belongs to OnePlus 7 as the footage is stable compared to the K20 Pro.

As for the selfie camera, the OnePlus 7 has a 16MP Sony IMX471 sensor with f/2.0 aperture and fixed focus. The K20 Pro has a 20MP pop-up camera which has an aperture of f/2.2. Features wise, it's the K20 Pro altogether thanks to six Portrait Light effects. The pop-up selfie camera also acts as an LED light indicator for notifications- a cool feature to have around.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Battery

The OnePlus 7 is backed by a 3700mAh battery and comes with a 20W fast charger inside the retail box. The K20 Pro has a bigger 4000mAh battery and supports up to 27W fast charging. However, inside the retail box, the K20 Pro has an 18W fast charger. Talking about the charging speeds using the bundled charger, it's the OnePlus 7 that wins the race by a decent margin. The OnePlus 7 takes just over 90 minutes to fully charge from 0% to 100%, whereas the K20 Pro takes around 105 minutes to do the same with the bundled 18W charger. However, with the 27W charger which Xiaomi has launched for Rs 999, the K20 Pro charges in less than 80 minutes from 0% to 100%.

As for the battery life, it's the Redmi K20 Pro leading the way with a better screen-on time of around six and half hours, compared to the OnePlus 7's five and half hours of SoT. The slightly bigger battery and MIUI optimisations are making the Redmi K20 Pro a winner here.

Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Verdict

In almost every aspect, the Redmi K20 Pro gave a tough fight to the OnePlus 7, and in most departments, it has beaten the latter with ease. Design-wise, it's the Redmi K20 Pro; Display-wise, it's the Redmi K20 Pro, Battery wise- again the Redmi K20 Pro. But OnePlus 7 has some significant advantages going for it. For now, I prefer the cameras on the OnePlus 7 because they offer natural images and the OxygenOS user experience is unmatchable at this point

That being said, the Redmi K20 Pro has the price going its way. The K20 Pro's base variant is priced at Rs 27,999 which is Rs 5,000 lower than the same variant of OnePlus 7. The 8GB+256GB variant of the OnePlus 7 costs Rs 37,999, whereas the same model of Redmi K20 Pro costs Rs 30,999.

Well, which phone I would've chosen between the two. I would've liked a Redmi K20 Pro with OxygenOS, but we all know that's not going to happen, and I will go with the Redmi K20 Pro, especially because of the huge price gap it brings along. The OnePlus 7 is a great smartphone, but the K20 Pro undercuts it by delivering similar experience at a lesser price of Rs 5,000/Rs 7,000. What's your pick between the two phones? Let us know by commenting below.

Reported By

Managing Editor

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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