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Redmi K20 faced flak for “un-Xiaomi-like” high pricing

It is an excellent choice for the sub-Rs 25,000 bracket, but faces stiff competition

By Tushar Kanwar

  • Published 10.08.19, 6:52 PM
  • Updated 10.08.19, 6:52 PM
Design-wise, there’s little to tell the K20 and K20 Pro apart and the K20 is identical to the Pro in terms of build quality, design, materials and colours, heck even the feel in the hand is indistinguishable!
Design-wise, there’s little to tell the K20 and K20 Pro apart and the K20 is identical to the Pro in terms of build quality, design, materials and colours, heck even the feel in the hand is indistinguishable! Redmi

Redmi K20
Price: Rs 21,999/ 23,999

For a smartphone that shares as much as it does with its Pro variant, the Redmi K20 got quite a bit of flak for its “un-Xiaomi-like” high pricing. The K20, with its combination of design, the all-screen display and top-notch battery, is an excellent choice for the sub-Rs 25,000 bracket, but faces stiff competition not only from within the family from the pricier Snapdragon 855-sporting K20 Pro and the significantly cheaper Poco F1 with last year’s Snapdragon 845 chipset, but also from the capable Realme X.

Design-wise, there’s little to tell the K20 and K20 Pro apart and the K20 is identical to the Pro in terms of build quality, design, materials and colours, heck even the feel in the hand is indistinguishable! Beyond the looks, the two share the same snappy in-display fingerprint scanner and pop-up selfie camera, allowing the K20 to maximise the expansive 6.3-inch full-HD AMOLED display for multimedia consumption and gaming. The newer Snapdragon 730 chip does well to handle everyday tasks and demanding workloads with elan and starts to blur the lines between flagship chips and mid-range chips. No lags whatsoever, and many folks will prefer the MIUI10 with POCO launcher skin for its app drawer and system-wide dark mode features. The capacious 4,000mAh battery lasts long, well past the heaviest of days of use.

Slow pop-up selfie camera mechanism renders face unlock almost unusable. The rear camera with the IMX582 sensor delivers bags of detail with excellent dynamic range, but leaves a lot to be desired in low-light conditions.

Tata Sky Binge
Price: Rs 249 per month

From one-too-many-TV-channels, we’re now at the one-too-many-streaming-services phase, and the Tata Sky Binge is an attempt at streamlining those rising monthly streaming services bills. Pay a subscription of Rs 249 per month and you get access to premium content from Hotstar, Eros Now, Hungama Play, Sun Nxt, Tata Sky’s online video-on-demand (VOD) library and the last seven days’ content from Tata Sky’s DTH channels — along with a co-branded Amazon Fire TV Stick to use these services.

Set up the Fire TV Stick and launch the pre-loaded Binge app, which offers the above streaming services under one roof. Now, whether you find utility and value in the selection of services — Hindi content (Eros Now), South Indian content (Sun Nxt), music and movies (Hungama Play) and Tata Sky’s VOD service — is something you have to decide for yourself, but there’s a wealth of choice here. You can connect this on an additional TV and access regular TV content via this device, but I’d have much preferred an option to sign up for this without needing an existing connection, so you can truly cut the cord and use your cable connection anywhere in the house. Streaming quality goes up to full HD resolution, which is par for the course for most content on these services.

To use the service, you’ll need to be an existing Tata Sky subscriber and order the hardware directly from Tata Sky. The FireTV Stick on offer is the older non-4K variant. The Binge app interface is occasionally sluggish, which takes some of the shine off the service if you’re a heavy user. The bouquet lacks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which will be an added expense (three months of free access to Amazon Prime Video is included).

Realme 3i
Price: Rs 7,999 onwards

Realme launched the 3i alongside the flagship X recently. It fills the gap in the company’s portfolio between the Realme C2 and the Realme 3 in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. The base 3/32GB variant of the 3i is a good pick, but the pricier 4/64GB variant (Rs 9,999) doesn’t compare favourably against the competition from Asus and Xiaomi.

Straight out of the box, the 3i is identical (and similarly ergonomic) in the hand compared to the Realme 3, with the diamond-pattern matte finish serving as the only differentiator. The 6.2-inch HD+ notched display scores well on brightness and colours, though you will note the slight lack of sharpness due to the lower resolution. The MediaTek Helio P60 processor is no slouch for the price segment, and it runs the ColorOS 6 (based on Android 9 Pie) snappily, with apps loading quickly and jitter-free gaming, albeit at reduced graphic quality settings. Excellent longevity on the 4,230mAh battery.

Audio quality is rather average. Landscape images shot from the phone are quite usable, but close-up shots and nightscapes lack good detail. Decent selfie camera, though.

Shemaroo Shrimad Bhagavad Gita

Price: Rs 4,499

A Bluetooth speaker that is preloaded with all the 18 chapters and 700 verses from the Bhagavad Gita, the Shemaroo Bhagavad Gita replicates the ancient scripture in Hindi, Sanskrit, and English in the voice of Suresh Wadkar and Roop Kumar Rathod. A rather unique devotional product, one that makes for an excellent gift to family members.

Packaging the Bluetooth speaker in the shape of the sacred book (and not like a traditional speaker) is a masterstroke by Shemaroo, letting you display it proudly on a bedside or a puja room while still being compact enough to carry it along with you on a journey. Instead of having a fiddly set of buttons, the product has a user-friendly remote with dedicated keys to access the Gita content, plus a curated collection of top 100 Krishna Bhajans. Battery life is a decent nine to 10 hours. Folks looking at additional devotional content can look at the Bhajan Vaani (bhajans, mantras, jaaps, Rs 3,999) or the Ibaadat Quran Majeed (Quran Sharif translated into 15 languages, multi-city azan time setting, Rs 4,499) speakers as well.

The 6W speaker is suited for personal listening and isn’t meant to be cranked up loud, even if you’re connecting it to your phone as a Bluetooth speaker.

Tushar Kanwar is a tech columnist and commentator. Follow him on Twitter @2shar. Mail your tech queries to t2onsunday@abp.in

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