Know why this feature-rich phone has stirred up a controversy in India

Despite that Xiaomi has lost grounds in homeland China, the brand has been on a dream run in the Indian


Despite that Xiaomi has lost grounds in homeland China, the brand has been on a dream run in the Indian market, becoming the number one brand in a short span of five years. The reputation of being a disrupter in the Indian market with its aggressively priced but impressively speced phones has worked in its favor.

In India Xiaomi mainly caters to the budget and low-midrange market. But last year it launched the POCO F1, with flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC, yet again it priced it at a jaw-dropping INR20,999 (now selling at INR17,999) initial price tag for 6GB RAM+64GB storage base model.

The POCO F1 with Snapdragon 845 SoC though it was compromised with a plastic build design reinforced the users’ belief that Xiaomi can pack its phones even with the latest hardware at an enticingly low price. And probably this notion held by its users is haunting the company now after the launch of the Remi K20 and K20 Pro in India.

Xiaomi touts the phones as flagship killers with modern features, design, and the hardware and has priced their base variants at INR21,999 and INR27,999 respectively, much to the dismay of fans who think the phones are overpriced by Xiaomi’s standards.

Let’s first have a quick understanding of what the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro are offering for their prices. Both the phones come with the 32MP pop selfie camera, triple rear cameras with a 48MP primary sensor, in-display fingerprint scanner, and a 4,000mAh battery.

The displays are AMOLED with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 91.9 percent screen-to-body ratio, HDR support, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The back of both the phones is made up of glass with shiny gradient design and the edges are adorned with metal frames, providing the handsets a truly premium look.

The main difference lies in the processor used in both the devices. The Redmi K20 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 855 SoC while the Redmi K20 packs a recently launched Snapdragon 730 SoC.

Another difference, a small one though, is related to their 48MP sensor. While the K20 Pro uses a Sony IMX586 lens the K20 uses a Sony IMX582 lens. A few features here and there- like the K20 Pro comes with Dolby Atmos sound- the phones are otherwise identical.

So all things considered, the prices of both the phones are still aggressively set relative to the flagships from other premium brands, but this has not satisfied Xiaomi’s fans who continue cribbing about the pricing, particularly of the vanilla Redmi K20.

The disappointment of the fans is so great that they have floated an online petition asking the fans to sign on it to put pressure on the Xiaomi officials to reduce the price of the Redmi K20 to the tune of INR2,000 at least.

While some of the YouTubers have come to the rescue of Xiaomi by saying the pricing is fine, most have trashed the company for overpricing the phone. Most of them believe that Realme X which was launched just a day ahead of the Redmi K20 is a better choice for a value-for-money device than the Redmi K20.

The Realme X is priced at INR16,999 for the base 4GB RAM+128GB storage model while features the same full HD+ AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner, and pop-up selfie camera. But unlike the Redmi K20, it has less powerful Snapdragon 710 SoC, only a dual-rear-camera setup, and a selfie camera with half the resolution.

The controversy has forced Xiaomi to issue a public statement justifying the pricing. It says that the Redmi K20 uses the third-fastest Snapdragon 730 SoC which is costly for being newly launched, as well as the phone, has 6GB RAM with glass back design.

To calm the critics, Xiaomi has also declared that it won’t put ads on the Redmi K20 series. Despite that, the controversy refuses to die down. Meanwhile, the Redmi K20 lineup goes on sale today in India. And it is the customer’s response which will finally decide if the device is going to get accepted with its current price tag or not. Stay tuned.

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