Redmi K30 launched with 120hz display and cheap 5G variant, some downgrades


Following their successful Redmi K20 (Mi 9T) sub- and value-flagships earlier this year, Xiaomi’s followups have just launched featuring high-refresh displays but also some downgrades.


Xiaomi‘s value-oriented brand Redmi launched their excellent debut sub-flagship and its near-identical value-flagship Redmi K20 and K20 Pro, known globally as the Xiaomi Mi 9T and 9T Pro, in only May this year, featuring just about all the specs and features you could want from a phone at incredibly low prices.

Even in only these last six months, though, the mobile industry has found a new obsession; high refresh displays. While most displays on TVs, computers, laptops, and phones run at the standard 60hz (60 updates per second), the last year has seen a dramatic uptick in the number of smartphones offering 90hz and even 120hz displays. Growing from only expensive Razer and Asus ROG offering high-refresh phones in 2018, 2019 has seen phones as low as that value-flagship bracket offering the technology.

Not to be outdone by their keen Realme imitators and competition with their Realme X2 Pro offering a 90hz AMOLED amongst other value-flagship specs, Xiaomi has now updated their sub-flagship brand with their own high-refresh display – but unfortunately, they seem to have sacrificed other particulars of the phone in order to achieve this. The wonderfully low price remains intact though:

Redmi K20 (Mi 9T) Redmi K20 Pro (Mi 9T Pro) Redmi K30 Redmi K30 5G
Display 6.4″ 1080x2340p 19.5:9 AMOLED 6.4″ 1080x2340p 19.5:9 AMOLED 120hz 6.67″ 1080x2400p 20:9 IPS 120hz 6.67″ 1080x2400p 20:9 IPS
Processor Snapdragon 730 (2 x 2.2Ghz A76 + 6 x 1.8Ghz A55)
with Adreno 618 GPU
Snapdragon 855 (1 x 2.84Ghz A76 + 3 x 2.42Ghz A76 + 4 x 1.80Ghz A55)
with Aredno 640 GPU
Snapdragon 730G (2 x 2.2Ghz A76 + 6 x 1.8Ghz A55)
with Adreno 618 GPU (overclocked)
Snapdragon 765G (1 x 2.4Ghz A76 + 1 x 2.2Ghz A76 + 6 x 1.8Ghz A55)
with Adreno 620 GPU
RAM 6/8GB LPDDR4x 6/8GB LPDDR4x 6/8GB LPDDR4x 6/8GB LPDDR4x
ROM 64/128/256GB UFS2.1 64/128/256GB UFS2.1 64/128/256GB UFS2.1 64/128/256GB UFS2.1
Rear Cameras 48MP (binned 12MP) F/1.8 26mm (standard) 1/2″ 0.8µm with PDAF autofocus
13MP F/2.4 12mm (0.5x ultrawide) 1/3″ 1.12µm
8MP F/2.4 53mm (2x zoom) 1/4″ 1.12µm with PDAF autofocus

Up to 4k30, 1080p960 (interpolated), 1080p240, 720p960 video

48MP (binned 12MP) F/1.8 26mm (standard) 1/2″ 0.8µm with PDAF autofocus, OIS
13MP F/2.4 12mm (0.5x ultrawide) 1/3″ 1.12µm
8MP F/2.4 53mm (2x zoom) 1/4″ 1.12µm with PDAF autofocus

Up to 4k60, 1080p960 video

64MP (binned 16MP) F/1.9 26mm (standard) 1/1.7″ 0.8µm with PDAF autofocus
8MP F/2.2 13mm (0.6x ultrawide) 1/4″ 1.12µm
2MP F/2.4 (macro) 1/5″ 1.75µm
2MP F/2.4 (RGB depth) 1/5″ 1.75µm

Up to 4k30, 1080p960 (interpolated), 1080p240, 720p960 video

64MP (binned 16MP) F/1.9 26mm (standard) 1/1.7″ 0.8µm with PDAF autofocus
8MP F/2.2 13mm (0.6x ultrawide) 1/4″ 1.12µm
2MP F/2.4 (macro) 1/5″ 1.75µm
2MP F/2.4 (RGB depth) 1/5″ 1.75µm

Up to 4k30, 1080p960 (interpolated), 1080p240, 720p960 video

Front Camera(s) Motorized pop-up 20MP (4MP binned) F/2.2 0.8µm Motorized pop-up 20MP (4MP binned) F/2.2 0.8µm Dual notched
20 MP (5MP binned) F/2.2 27mm (standard), 1/3.4″ 0.8µm
2MP F/2.4 (RGB depth) 1/5″ 1.75µm
Dual notched
20 MP (5MP binned) F/2.2 27mm (standard), 1/3.4″ 0.8µm
2MP F/2.4 (RGB depth) 1/5″ 1.75µm
Battery 4000mAh with 18W USB-PD/Quick Charge 4 fast charging 4000mAh with 27W USB-PD/Quick Charge 4+ fast charging 4500mAh with 27W USB-PD/Quick Charge 4+ fast charging 4500mAh with 27W USB-PD/Quick Charge 4+ fast charging
Software MIUI 11 on Android 10 MIUI 11 on Android 10 MIUI 11 on Android 10 MIUI 11 on Android 10
Connectivity USB 2.0 Type-C, WiFi 802.11 a/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Radio, 3.5mm headphone jack USB 2.0 Type-C, WiFi 802.11 a/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Radio, 3.5mm headphone jack USB 2.0 Type-C, WiFi 802.11 a/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Radio, 3.5mm headphone jack USB 2.0 Type-C, WiFi 802.11 a/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Radio, 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors Under-display fingerprint, GPS, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass Under-display fingerprint, GPS (dual band), Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass Under-display fingerprint, GPS, Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass Under-display fingerprint, GPS (dual band), Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
Dimensions 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8mm or
6.17 x 2.93 x 0.35 inches
156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8mm or
6.17 x 2.93 x 0.35 inches
165.3 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm or
6.51 x 3.02 x 0.35 inches
165.3 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm or
6.51 x 3.02 x 0.35 inches
Weight 191g or 6.74oz 191g or 6.74oz 208g or 7.34oz 208g or 7.34oz
Colours Carbon black, Flame red, Glacier Blue Carbon black, Flame red, Glacier Blue Blue, Red, Purple, White Blue, Red, Purple, White
Prices Starts at CNY2000/$300US/$400AU/€250 for 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM Starts at CNY2500/$400US/$550AU/€3500 for 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM Starts at CNY1600/$250US/$350AU/€200 for 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM Starts at CNY2000/$300US/$400AU/€250 for 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM

As you can see (I bolded the notable differences), the Redmi K30 offers a slightly better processor, 120hz, and a few other small improvements over its Redmi K20 older brother, however it does sacrifice quite a bit to achieve this.

The Redmi K20 (Mi 9T) for design comparison

The two most notable and poignant downgrades are the change to an inferior IPS display type over the absolutely excellent sAMOLED display of the K20 generation, meaning a dimmer, less-contrasted, and more power-hungry panel for the gain of 120hz. The other most notable downgrade is in the cameras; not only does the Redmi K30 lose the (debateably useful) zoom camera, but it downgrades the ultrawide sensor significantly while also switching to Samsung‘s 64MP GW1 sensor which has been repeatedly tested to be somewhat inferior to the previous 48MP Sony IMX582.

Also notable, but less important, is the switch from the fancy but vulnerable pop-up camera to a dual-cutout camera; a choice which I do not fancy from a visual perspective, but which is inarguably more functional. Even less important, but still interesting, is the fact that the progenitor K20 had a slightly higher screen:body ratio, is more compact overall, and will likely maintain a battery life lead despite the K30’s marginal battery size increase due to the new IPS panel and its 120hz refresh rate.

Of course, that cost in some (important) specs is for the potentially significant gain of high-refresh technology, and even 5G on the incredibly priced Redmi K30 5G – speaking of price, and the Redmi K30 may suffer a few downgrades but it also somehow manages to downgrade the price as well, while the 5G variant is only equivalent to the original 4G Redmi K20 in price; an incredible consumer achievement (even if the 5G network is pretty wonky at the moment).

With all that said, and the K30’s flaws and strengths covered, I see the K30 line as more of a companion family to the K20 rather than a true successor – especially given its lower pricing; and in that task, it succeeds spectacularly.

That $300 5G though

Source: NDTV


Located in Melbourne, Australia, Oscar has been a tech enthusiast for a decade, though only finally getting his first smartphone with an HTC One M7, and moving to a OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3, and now an Essential Phone. Now studying astrophysics and linguistics, Oscar has become immersed in the evolving phone industry, with a great memory for specs and details, he is always looking to find the greatest value and most innovative phones.




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