The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro (also Mi 9T Pro) has the same triple-camera on its back as the Redmi K20/Mi 9T. It is a setup with a familiar arrangement and is quite promising on paper.
Just like the Mi 9T and K20, the Pro model's main camera has a huge 1/2" 48MP sensor behind f/1.75 26mm lens that spits out 12MP images. On top of it, somewhat separated, is the 8MP (1/4") telephoto snapper behind f/2.4 52mm lens for 2x optical zoom. And below the main snapper, sharing the same piece of front glass is the 13MP (1/3") sensor behind an f/2.4 15mm lens for ultra-wide-angle shots.
The Pro model's primary sensor is Sony IMX 586, while the regular model had IMX 582. Those two are the same thing, but the supposedly better one can do 4K video capturing at 60fps. And this is indeed the only difference between the K20 and K20 Pro snappers.
The 48MP sensor sits is behind an f/1.75 lens and is not stabilized. In fact, none of the three snappers features optical stabilization. The main sensor has 0.8µm pixels, the tele and ultra-wide snappers have 1.12µm pixels.
The 48MP main sensor has a Quad-Bayer color filter, which combines four adjacent 0.8µm pixels into one 1.6µm pixel and this helps capturing more light and reducing the noise at night. When shooting in bright light, the sensor performs array conversion, and this allows snapping highly detailed 48MP images.
The camera app hasn't changed that much. Swiping left and right will shuffle through the camera modes, including a 48MP one, and you will find additional settings in the tab above the viewfinder. It lets you adjust some settings like beautification, HDR, AI, video mode, and picture quality. The usual 0.6x/1x/2x toggles are on the viewfinder itself.
Night Mode is also available on the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro for those long-exposure hand-held shots when light is limited.
The default 12MP images you'd get from the main camera have excellent level of detail and true-to-life colors. The contrast is superb, while the dynamic range is notably wide. The images are sharp but (mostly) not over-sharpened and among the best daylight snaps you can squeeze from a smartphone these days. There is only one visible issue and that's the moire fringes on the first photo below.
There is a dedicated 48MP mode if you want to shoot in 48MP. As we mentioned the sensor does an array conversion and will save what looks like a very detailed photo in 48MP resolution. The detail is nothing that special and you can notice various smudged areas and artifacts. It is also noisy and if you downscale it to 12MP you won't get a better picture than the default 12MP ones. In fact, often you'd get a worse one.
The 8MP zoom camera produces great images with plenty of detail. Some of them are a little bit noisier than the ones from the primary shooter but as far as tele shooters go this is one of the better ones out there.
The 8MP tele camera works only in optimal conditions and when there is not enough light, you'd get cropped image from the 48MP snapper. But more on that in a bit.
Then we snapped some 13MP images with the ultrawide-angle camera. Its per-pixel quality is lower than the other two, but the colors are still nice, and noise levels are low. And we are happy to report this is one of the few ultrawide snappers that indeed gets the colors right, while many others went for cooler or warmer hues.
You can opt for lens correction on the ultrawide shots and you will get less distorted buildings at the expense of softer corners.
Xiaomi has an AI toggle, which is a simple scene recognition and it doesn't do much. But it can offer suggestions for which camera you should use in some scenes, so if you are new to this multi-camera setups, you might want to give the AI a try.
Moving on to the low-light shots, then. The 12MP default photos from the main 48MP camera turned pretty good, with less aggressive noise reduction that what we saw on previous Mi phones. The images are bright enough and detailed, and with pretty tolerable noise levels. Those are not the best 12MP low-light stills we've seen, but we'd say they are overqualified for the class. Optical stabilization would have helped to avoid blurry photos (about 30-40% of the samples we took), but let's not forget the K20 Pro is not a flagship.
You can use the 48MP mode in low-light, too, but even if you shoot in this high-resolution and then resize the image to 12MP, the benefit in the detail would be minor, if any. And it's just not worth the hassle.
The Night mode is present on the Redmi K20 Pro, takes about a second to shoot, and it's the place you go to for good low-light photos. It makes a big difference by being able to get proper exposure even in the darkest environments. The result is nicely balanced and bright image, and subjects still look detailed. This mode rarely gave us blurry images and in most of the times took excellent shots, so we highly recommend opting for it at night.
Just as expected, the tele camera isn't working when the light is low. Instead, you'd get a 12MP crop from the center of the original 48MP image from the main camera. And indeed, the picture is pretty good - we think the camera stacks a few frames and then does the crop from the center, without any digital zoom involved in the process.
Finally, photos from the ultra-wide-angle camera are not impressive at all. The noise reduction is very aggressive and smears much of the fine detail, while the exposure is often quite dark.
And once you're done with the samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro stacks up against the competition.
The quality of the portraits taken with the rear camera of the Redmi K20 Pro is highly dependent on the light conditions since those are taken with the telephoto snapper that has smaller pixels and f/2.4 aperture. But that's valid for any similar telephoto camera on a smartphone.
So, when the light is right you will be rewarded with some very nice portrait shots - detailed, with excellent subject separation and convincing faux blur.
You can also apply various background effects or choose the blur's strength.
The Redmi K20 Pro features a 20MP selfie shooter on its motorized pop-up module. It won't save the most detailed 20MP photos, but there is enough detail and sharpness, while the colors and contrast are great.
You have a limited range for the focus sweet spot as no autofocus is available, but there is enough leeway to cover the different arm lengths and those who prefer closeup shots.
The snapper can also take images with blurred background and it does that quite proficiently even though there isn't a depth sensor. There is a drop in the sharpness, though.
The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro captures video up to 4K @ 60fps, and all other common modes are available - 1080@30fps and 1080p@60fps. It seems at first that you can capture in these resolutions with all three cameras, but you actually can't. Naturally, the main camera can do all of these, the utrawide snapper can't shoot in 4K @60fps, but the 2X zoom toggle won't switch to the telephoto camera at all and you will continue to shoot with the main one instead, no matter the resolution.
Slow-mo video are available - 1080 @120 or @240fps, and 720p @960fps.
The video bit rate is 40-42Mbps in 4K at both 30fps and 60fps, about 18Mbps in 1080p at 30fps, and 20Mbps in 1080p at 60fps. Audio is recorded in stereo with a 96Kbps bit rate.
We found 4K videos shot at both 30 and 60 fps from the main camera sharp and detailed, though not class-leading when you examine them from closely. If we look closely, the 30fps clips are a bit more detailed than the 60fps, but you have to be quite pixel peeping to notice it.
The noise is kept reasonably low. Contrast is excellent, color rendition is quite nice and true to life, and the dynamic range is about average. Overall, we are happy with the 4K footage.
And the same findings are valid across the 1080p videos, both at 30 and 60fps.
The ultrawide 4K videos (at 30fps) are softer than the regular ones and less detailed, the dynamic range is lower as well. The 1080p videos at 30fps taken with the ultra-wide-camera are mostly on par with the ones from the main snapper. But the 60fps clips are less detailed and look pixelated.
As we said the 2X toggle isn't using the 8MP sensor with the 52mm lens. Sure, we can understand that 8MP can't do 4K and that's why Xiaomi uses its main camera, but it's still beyond our understanding why not at least allow it for the 1080p resolution. Still, the 1080p 2X videos turned up pretty good reaping the benefits from that 48MP large sensor, but the 4K clips are a rather simple and obvious digital zoom.
EIS is available for all snappers and resolutions at 30fps. The digital stabilization does a great job smoothing the camera shake at the expense of minor loss of FoV.
Here's a glimpse of how the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro compares to other smartphones in our Video compare tool. Head over there for the complete picture.