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Redmi K20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro: Which should you buy?

Redmi K20 Pro

Redmi K20 Pro

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Xiaomi has done it again: the Redmi K20 Pro delivers the kind of value that you just don't get with any other phone today. This is the most affordable device with a Snapdragon 855, and that's going to remain unchanged in 2019. You also get a great camera, outstanding battery life, absolutely gorgeous design, and there's even a 3.5mm jack.

Redmi K20 Pro

Unmatched value

Incredible value
Outstanding battery life
Snapdragon 855 chipset
MIUI finally feels stable
Has a 3.5mm jack
Limited availability
No water resistance

OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus 7 Pro

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The OnePlus 7 Pro is the company's most ambitious device to date. The new QHD 90Hz display is stunning, and it makes everyday interactions that much smoother. OxygenOS continues to lead the pack in terms of software, providing useful additions without any bloat. The OnePlus 7 Pro is without a doubt one of the fastest phones money can buy today.

OnePlus 7 Pro

Smooth operator

Stunning 90Hz display
30W fast charging
Snapdragon 855 chipset
Clean software with fast updates
Gorgeous design
No headphone jack
Average battery life
No water resistance
No wireless charging

OnePlus has dominated the value space over the last three years, even managing to overtake Samsung in the premium category in India. That's no small feat, and is a testament to OnePlus' efforts in the country. With the Redmi K20 Pro, Xiaomi is looking to steal some of that market share in the value flagship segment, allowing the brand to consolidate its position as India's number one phone manufacturer.

The Redmi K20 Pro changes the paradigm for value

Year after year, Xiaomi manages to redefine the value segment. We saw that last year with the POCO F1, and the Redmi K20 Pro delivers on the same ideals. The Redmi K20 Pro is packed with the latest tech available today in the form of a Snapdragon 855 and retractable front camera, and combines that with a 4,000mAh battery that lasts for two days and a software experience that finally feels cohesive.

When you consider the fact that the Redmi K20 Pro starts off at just ₹27,999 ($405), it's easy to see why it's getting so much attention. To put things into context, the OnePlus 7 Pro retails at ₹48,999 ($710) in India, or ₹21,000 ($305) more than the Redmi K20 Pro.

The Redmi K20 Pro proves Xiaomi is the brand to beat when it comes to value.

So let's see what you get for that added premium. The OnePlus 7 Pro's main selling point is the 90Hz display and 48-megapixel camera at the back, but let's talk about the display first. The QHD+ Fluid AMOLED panel on the OnePlus 7 Pro is absolutely stunning, and it makes everyday actions like web scrolling much more enjoyable. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the panel has a 90Hz refresh rate, leading to buttery-smooth navigation.

The 90Hz screen is a differentiator, but it's also limited in scope: you can't play most titles — like PUBG or Fortnite — at 90Hz because those are locked to 60Hz. For the most part, you'll only see the difference in day-to-day tasks. I'm not disparaging the screen here — it's one of the best features on the phone — but OnePlus should have done more to make sure there are more games playable at 90Hz to take full advantage of that display. The Redmi K20 Pro, meanwhile, comes with a FHD+ display, but the AMOLED screen is one of the best you'll find for under ₹30,000.

Coming to the design side of things, both phones have notchless designs thanks to retractable camera modules and glass backs. The OnePlus 7 Pro in Nebula Blue has an understated effect with a matte finish, and it ends up looking very classy. The Redmi K20 Pro, on the other hand, has much more aggressive styling, with the gradient effect showing up under the right lighting conditions. Both phones look the part, but I'm more inclined toward the Redmi K20 Pro just because of that shifting gradient pattern.

On the subject of design, the Redmi K20 Pro has a 3.5mm jack, and the OnePlus 7 Pro does not. There's also a token notification LED on the K20 Pro, but it's tucked away on the retractable camera and is not useful at all. Elsewhere, the OnePlus 7 Pro has stereo speakers that actually sound great, with the Redmi K20 Pro featuring a single speaker at the bottom. That speaker gets loud, but you jus don't get the same audio separation as the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Both phones dominate when it comes to day-to-day usage, and you're not missing out on any core features.

Both phones have the same 4,000mAh batteries, but the OnePlus 7 Pro is heavier by 15g, making it unwieldy. What makes the OnePlus 7 Pro uncomfortable to hold is the weight distribution — it doesn't have the same balanced heft as other phones that weigh as much, like the Reno 10x Zoom.

Switching over to the internal hardware, both phones are running the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset. OnePlus 7 Pro has that little bit extra because it's using a UFS 3.0 storage module, but you're not going to see any difference in day-to-day usage. The newer UFS 3,0 format is purely for future-proofing the device. As you'd imagine from two devices that put so much focus on performance, there are no slowdowns or lag anywhere during regular usage. These are two of the fastest phones in the market today.

You also get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard on both devices, as well as Wi-Fi ac 2.2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and AptX HD — you're not missing out on any core features on either device. That said, water resistance and wireless charging are missing from both phones, and while it's forgivable on the Redmi K20 Pro, you'd think that OnePlus would have added the features considering how much its flagship costs.

CategoryRedmi K20 ProOnePlus 7 Pro
Operating systemAndroid 9.0 Pie
Android 9.0 Pie
OxygenOS 9.5
Display6.39-inch Super AMOLED
2340x1080 (19.5:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED
3120x1440 (19.5:9)
90Hz, HDR10+
Gorilla Glass 6
ChipsetSnapdragon 855
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
Adreno 640
Snapdragon 855
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
Adreno 640
MicroSD slotNoNo
Rear camera 148MP, f/1.8
Dual Pixel PDAF
48MP, f/1.6
0.8um, OIS
Dual Pixel PDAF
Rear camera 28MP, f/2.4
8MP, f/2.4
OIS, telephoto
Rear camera 313MP, f/2.4
124-degree field-of-view
16MP, f/2.2
117-degree field-of-view
Front camera 120MP, f/2.2
16MP, f/2.0
ConnectivityWi-Fi ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
Audio3.5mm jack
Single speaker
Stereo speakers
ChargingUSB-C 2.0
USB-C 3.1
Water resistanceNoNo
SecurityIn-display fingerprintIn-display fingerprint
Dimensions156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8mm
162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
ColorsCarbon Black, Flame Red, Glacier BlueMirror Gray, Nebula Blue, Almond

The OnePlus 7 Pro has the best third-party software today

Redmi K20 Pro vs. OnePlus 7 Pro

Over the last two years, OnePlus has established itself as the brand to beat when it comes to software. OxygenOS is just about the best third-party skin around, and it continually gets better with updates. Xiaomi, meanwhile, decided to put ads in MIUI at the end of last year, a move that didn't go down well with its vocal community.

OxygenOS is great out of the box, and it continues to get better over time.

For what it's worth, the Redmi K20 Pro doesn't have any ads itself, but you'll still get notifications from Xiaomi services like Mi Video and Mi Music. Aside from that, MIUI in its current iteration on the Redmi K20 Pro is its most refined yet, and the fact that you get the POCO Launcher out of the box is an added bonus. Doing so allows Xiaomi to bundle an app drawer before the feature is baked into MIUI later this year.

Of the two, it's obvious that OxygenOS is the better option. OnePlus has done a magnificent job with the skin, and year after year it sets the standard for other manufacturers. OnePlus is also rolling out features exclusive to the Indian market, with the new additions slated to debut sometime in August.

Too close to call on the camera front