Redmi K20 Pro Teardown – Value Champion is Clear!?

by birtanpublished on October 1, 2020

Today we're going to take apart the devilishly good-looking Redmi K20 Pro. This could very
well be the most bang-for-your-buck budget cellphone released so far in 2019. And today
we're going to see it all from the inside and maybe see if a clear version is possible
since we haven't made one of those in a while.
Let's get started.

The back panel of this Redmi K20 Pro is made from glass, and it's the typical glued shut
glass sandwich design we've been seeing in smartphones for years. With a bit of heat
and a sharp pry tool to slice the adhesive between the glass panel and metal frame, it
should come off easy enough. We'll be digging around inside of the phone to check out the
water resistance as we take it apart.
Once all the adhesive is cut, I can twist the panels off of each other revealing the
internals of the phone. The mechanical pop-up camera is still hidden underneath the top
plastics which we can get to in a second. Interestingly enough though, there are red
rubber fillers inside each of the button cavities. This might be the first sign of water resistance.
These red rubber strips tucked inside each of the button holes aren't used to push the
button back out like we've seen in some of the old Nintendo controllers. The rubber's
just there to take up space. And the more the holes are plugged up, the harder it is
for water to get inside. So far so good.
Getting deeper into the K20 Pro we find 20 screws which are surprisingly green. Maybe
the strange playful screw coloring is to help offset the evil vibe of the back panel. In
some electrical applications a green screw means a grounding screw, which might be the
case here….but could also just be the favorite color of the guy who designed it.
Once the screws are out I can lift off the top black plastic panel. The K20 Pro has a
square NFC pad on the back. It's a smaller signal coil and not the larger power sharing
wireless charging coil. But the technologies are still pretty similar.
The bottom plastics can come loose. These include the loudspeaker and check this out…the
speaker has the same water resistant mesh we've seen on ingress protected phones. I'm
beginning to think that Redmi added the water protection but didn't pay for the certification.
Kind of like OnePlus did a while back.
I'll mosey my way up to the top of the phone. Here we can see the internal stepper motor
system that raises and lowers the front camera. Redmi said this thing is good for 300,000
motions, just like the OnePlus and Vivo phones. It's still fascinating to see them in motion
though. The internal motor spins that threaded shaft, and as the threaded shaft spins, the
camera motors on up out of the phone. And then motors back down into the phone when
the threads rotate the opposite direction. The motor can overheat with too much use though.
Hence this warning about using the camera too frequently.
Where was I? Oh yeah. The difference between this pop up camera and other pop-up cameras
though is the LED sidebars that light up as the camera protrudes and again as it retracts.
These kinds of flashy LED RGB's are things we normally only see inside of gaming phones
or PC's.
We're going to for sure find out what these LED's look like. But first let's see what
the phone would look like clear. I'm a huge fan of psychedelic phones so honestly I would
probably just leave this one's coating intact, but it's still cool to see how the layer of
color works. It's kind of like a giant sticker that's just applied permanently to the bottom
side of the glass. Personally I think they should be sticking holographic designs under
here like the Pokemon cards used to have.
The K20 Pro sticker peels off cleanly from the underside of the glass leaving no residue
behind. I'm being very careful not to flex the glass as I peel it off though, because
glass is glass and glass can break. Some of the internal black plastics are important.
You can see the silver metallic antenna lines so I'll keep those and the connectors for
the NFC pad. And I'll also keep the lower loud speaker with it's contact pads. Once
those are cut, the clear glass can be stuck back into place, and I think it looks pretty
cool half and half like this, showing the different layers inside of the K20 Pro. The
pop up motor is visible which is the most important part. And you know, obviously, the
warranty and water resistance is now gone, so I wouldn't recommend attempting this unless
you have nothing to lose.
If you're looking for a non-permanent phone modification, it's probably safer to stick
with something like dbrand. You can get something a bit more angelic and classy like the marble
or white carbon. Or my personal favorite – the stealthy swarm or black camo. And if you know
you like playing with wood, you can always get real crazy with bamboo or something. And
since the skins are protective, yet non-permanent, they don't void any warranty. I'll put a link
down in the description for you. And thanks to dbrand for sponsoring this video. Let's
go deeper.
I'll unplug the battery connector like a little Lego, and then I can unplug each end of this
long extension ribbon and then we can remove the battery. This is one of my favorite styles
of battery adhesive: the strong tangible pull tabs. The adhesive is thinner than the magical
pull tabs we see inside iPhones or even the permanent adhesive we see inside the Samsung
phone. And look how strong it is. Before I release tabs one and two, the battery was
attached to the phone stronger than I can physically remove. But once tabs one and two
are released, the whole battery comes out easily and cleanly with no bending or dangerous
prying. Plus no broken pull tabs. Huge thumbs up for that. The battery is a 4,000 milliamp
hour capacity.
I can unplug the bottom motherboard ribbon and the lowest camera, the 13 megapixel wide-angle.
Pulling this guy out to get a closer look reveals that there is no optical image stabilization.
We can pop out the other two rear facing cameras out of the housing to get a closer look at
them. The top 8 megapixel telephoto camera and the middle normal perspective 48 megapixel
Sony sensor, neither of which have the physical image stabilizing that we've come to expect
on high-end phones. But this budget phone is extremely feature rich at like $350, so
we can't complain too much.
I'll remove the one massive stand off screw holding down the motherboard and motor. Then
I can unclip the super long front facing camera extension ribbon with my plastic pry tool.
And that releases the motherboard. The motherboard has a built-in headphone jack and a pretty
solid glob of thermal paste on the back for the thermal cooling. The motherboard sits
on top of this copper foil. It's not pure copper like we've seen in some of the major
flagships, but still enough that it's sufficient. It kind of has a rubberish feel and look when
I pulled it out, so I grab my lighter and since rubber will start to burn and melt before
copper will, I started it on fire. The copper foil did not melt, but very efficiently transferred
the heat from my flame right into my fingers holding the other side of the foil. So we
definitely know it works.
Let's take a closer look at the light up pop up camera and see where that red frontal glow
comes from. Surprisingly there is only one more screw left holding it in place – another
green little guy. I'll remove that and then lift off the motor power ribbon and pull the
stepper motor out. Then I can slide the pop up camera up and out of the phone.
Since there are no LEDs shining up into the lower portion of the housing, it means everything
must be self-contained inside the boxy camera. So in order to find it, we have to remove
the camera covering – the red plastic with the translucent bars along the side. My razor
blade can slice through the housing and leverage off the top revealing some pretty cool internals.
The LEDs are actually located around the base of the camera and they shine up into the cloudy
clear plastic rainbow. The light rays reflect off of the intentional cloudiness of that
plastic allowing the entire sides and top to glow. We've seen the same effect achieved
in the ROG gaming phone. And, you know, not to toot my own horn, but I also included this
in the LED wall mounted PC that I built 5 years ago. I'll put a link for that incredibly
old video in the description.
Fun side note: this pop up camera has the same rubber ring around the base to help keep
water and dust out that we saw inside the OnePlus phone. Just another indicator that
Redmi has put effort into water resistance. I'll get the motor situated back into it's
grooves in the metal frame. Then let's see what the K20 Pro has down here at the bottom.
Right off the bat we see the old school rotating mass vibrator motor. I can unclip all the
attached ribbon cables and there are no screws holding the bottom board in place. But for
some reason it's still won't come out of the phone.
On a completely unrelated note, the dual SIM card tray is down here. It also has a very
thin rubber ring around the base to keep water and dust out. And now magically the charging
port board is ready to come loose, showing us it's 27 watt quick charge capable USB-C
port with a white hexagon shaped water damage indicator. There is rubber around the tip
of the port. And if we look closely we can see another tiny water resistant screen inside
the phone over the microphone hole. It's hard to call this phone totally water resistant
since it has so many large openings. But it does have a lot of protections against water
and that's always a good thing.
The under display fingerprint scanner is right here under the display. Redmi's calling this
a 7th generation optical scanner and I don't have any complaints with it. Personally, I
think underscreen fingerprint scanners are pretty cool. Overall I'm pretty excited about
the K20 Pro. It just proves that a lot of the latest and greatest flagship features
are now popping up on budget devices. Cheap phones are catching up and catching up quick.
There's really no reason to spend $1000 on a smartphone…unless of course you use it
for business and the phone is paying for itself.
With all the cameras clipped back into place and the ribbon cables connected, I'm ready
to add the battery and the long extension ribbon with it's upward facing arrow. Then
I can get the back plastics screwed in with all my green screws. This phone is all kinds
of fun.
I'll put the clear glass into place on top of the phone, and lucky for us the whole thing
still turns on. The power button has a very interesting connection with the gold contact
pads resting up against the bottom side of the motherboard so if the motherboard's not
screwed down, it doesn't start. If your phone ever does get wet and stops working, cleaning
off those contact pads would be a good place to start. It's a weird connector.
And there you have it, a fully functional Redmi K20 Pro with a light up mechanical camera,
all reviewed from the inside. Let me know your favorite part of this phone down in the
comments and if you enjoy seeing technology reviewed like this…from the inside. Hit
that subscribe button, we've got some fun videos on the way.
Don't forget to see what your phone looks like with a skin on it using the dbrand link
in the description. And come hang out with me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks a ton
for watching. I'll see you around.

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