The Redmi K30 Ultra was announced last month with almost the same hardware as the Redmi K30 Pro or Poco F2 Pro but switching the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 to a Mediatek Dimensity 1000+.

With an attractive price of $399 for the 8GB/128GB model, my impulse took control, and I decided to import the Redmi K30 Ultra to see how good the Mediatek chipset is compared to Qualcomm.

As I don't have the Poco F2 Pro, I have done all my testing against the affordable Realme X50 Pro which currently sells for £569 on Amazon for the 8GB/128GB which makes the Redmi K30 Ultra look like a tempting proposition. However…

Word of caution – I don't recommend buying the Redmi K30 Ultra

I admit, I have a little buyers remorse, so before you do the same as me, there are multiple warnings:

  • The Redmi K30 Ultra is not getting a global release, so there will be no global ROM.
  • The xiaomi.eu ROMs for the K30-series which are based on Chinese ROMS are all based on the SD865, because the K30 Ultra uses Mediatek, these ROMs will almost certainly not work, or not work as expected.
  • Customising the phone running a Chinese ROM to English is a massive pain in the arse.
  • Google Pay doesn't work (it won't load properly, but the phone does have NFC)
  • Being Chinese, this has reduced support for UK/EU 4G and 5G bands.
  • The 6GB/128GB is only 389-Euros (£350) vs $349 (£265) of the K30 Ultra, with an £85 difference, I don't think the K30 Ultra is worth the hassle of being imported.
  • You may also get stung with VAT and duty fees taking the price above the Poco

Redmi K30 Ultra UK and Europe Availability

Redmi have stated:

For the moment, we don't have plans for official global channels, but stay tuned for future news!

Currently, no Dimensity based phones have been launched in the UK or EU, though a new MediaTek Dimensity 1000C has found its way to the US in the LG Velvet.

I wouldn't be hopeful about the K30 Ultra ever seeing a global release, even under the Poco brand name.

Mediatek Dimensity 1000+ vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Specification

A brief overview of the Mediatek Dimensity 1000+ and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865:

Redmi K30 Ultra 4G/LTE and 5G bands

There are a total of 9 different frequencies used in the UK used by the mobile networks to deliver their 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile services.

  • 800MHz (Band 20)
  • 900MHz (Band 8)
  • 1400MHz SDL (Band 32)
  • 1800MHz (Band 3)
  • 2100MHz (Band 1)
  • 2300MHz (Band 40)
  • 2600MHz FDD (Band 7)
  • 2600MHz TDD (Band 38)
  • 3400MHz (Band 42)

The Redmi K30 Ultra has:

  • 5G: n1/n3 /n41/n78/n79;
  • 4G LTE-FDD: B1/3/5/7/8; TDD-LTE: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41, LTE B41(2496-2690 194MHz)
  • 3G WCDMA: B1/2/5/8, CDMA EVDO: BC0
  • 2G GSM: B2/3/5/8, CDMA 1X: BC0;

So it lacks the important 800MHz (Band 20) for 4G

In comparison, the Poco F2 Pro global version has:

  • 5G: Sub6G: n77/n78
  • 4G: FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28, TDD-LTE: B38/B40/B41.
  • 3G: WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8, 3G: EVDO: BC0
  • 2G: GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8

Therefore if you decide to import the Redmi K30 Ultra it won't work as well on 4G and 5G compared to global models.

Redmi K30 Ultra vs Realme X50 4G performance

I have not had the phone long, and there is no 5G near me to test. But 4G throughput is reduced when connecting to Vodafone in and around my home (it's still pretty good though)

In my office, the Realme X50 can achieve 97Mbits down and 18Mbits up, with multiple tests hitting similar speeds.

With the Redmi K30 Ultra that drops down to around 66Mbits and 23Mbits up. No idea why the upload speed is better, but that's what I get.

Things like ping and jitter are about identical.

Antutu Benchmarks

I have added the Black Shark 3 into the results as the I suspect the Realme over-inflates the results in benchmarking.

The Mediatek can't quite compete, but it isn't far off from the Qualcomm. With the Black Shark the difference is 11% with the CPU suffering the most with a 19% difference in performance then the GPU is 9% behind. Memory is 12% behind, and UX is almost identical with 0.1% difference.

Comparing to the Realme, the score is 18% behind.

 TotalCPUGPUMemUX
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Kirin 9000
531270 (normal)
686835 (performance)
Huawei P40 Pro
Kirin 990 5G
49828314992317691310002271425
Redmi K30 Ultra
Dimensity 1000
4822571348221975687391675951
Realme X50 Pro
SD865
59091418319221862310422284877
BlackShark 3
SD865
5450491674192175898400976032
Huawei P30 Pro
Kirin 980
3954151334691318646795662126

PC Mark Benchmarks

In PC Mark, things are closely matched. Again, Realme inflates the results by keeping the clocks high, but in comparison to the Black Shark, things are more even.

  • Redmi K30 Ultra: 9431
  • Black Shark 3: 9981
  • Realme X50 Pro: 13307 in smart mode, 8839 in its low power mode

So again, comparing to the Black Shark, this time the Dimensity is just 5.5% behind Qualcomm

Androbench – Storage Benchmarks

Not really chipset related but important nonetheless. The Redmi K30 Ultra has mixed result in comparison. With a much lower sequential read speed, it looks to be far worse than the Realme X50 Pro or the Huawei P40 Pro (I don't seem to have a record of the Black Shark). It is also behind with sequential write against the Realme X50 Pro.

However, moving onto the random results and the input/output per second it beats both the other phones in all the tests.

 Realme X50 ProRealme X2 ProHuawei P40 Pro
Seq Read MB/s167813691807
Seq Write MB/s736388392
Rd Read IOPs521394433256768
Rd Write IOPs560154252466295
Rd Read MB/s203173221
Rd Write MB/s218166258

3D Mark Benchmarks & Geekbench Benchmarks

For whatever reason, I have been unable to complete these two benchmarks. 3D mark just won't download the additional benchmark files, and Geekbench crashes out at 100%

Overall

Even though I wouldn't recommend importing this phone due to the frustrations of the Chinese ROM and reduced 4G/5G support, it is still an amazing phone in its own right.

Performance isn't quite as good as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 equivalents, but it is so close I don't many people would notice.

For that small drop in performance, you may potentially get big savings in price. It is hard to compare properly, but the Redmi K30 Pro is at least $50 more expensive on Giztop, the Poco F2 Pro global is $180 more expensive.

Mediatek has stated they will launch Dimensity chipsets globally this year and I would hope that extends beyond the US LG Velvet with the MediaTek Dimensity 1000C.

If the K30 Ultra didn't face as many issues as it does, I would quite likely swap to it vs the Realme for my main phone. I prefer the size of it; the hardware feels nicer, I am not a selfie fan, so a pop up works perfectly for me, and performance is superb on both devices.

Last update on 2021-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API