We were a little bit surprised at first when Xiaomi announced to roll out the Android 10-based MIUI 11 update to Redmi K20 (aka Mi 9T in some regions) in the first phase (October 22–31) prior to Redmi K20 Pro (aka Mi 9T Pro) in the second phase (November 4–12).
We were wondering about the sequence of MIUI 11 release for the Redmi K20 series mainly because Redmi K20 Pro was one of the non-Pixel phones that had received the stable update of Android 10 on the same date as Pixel phones in China. During the same time, Xiaomi also rolled out the stable Android 10 update to limited Redmi K20 Pro devices in India. However, the Android 10 update of Redmi K20 Pro was running on the custom skin MIUI 10 (10.4.4.0 in China and MIUI 10.4.7.0 in India) instead of the latest MIUI 11.
The rollout of the MIUI 10.4.4.0 to Redmi K20 Pro was not successful as it was reportedly having some bugs (erratic reboot when full-screen gestures are enabled). The erroneous rollout might be attributed to the hasty rollout of Android 10 by the Chinese OEM on the Pixel release date to hold the brand reputation of Redmi phones. It was, for this reason, Xiaomi pushed another stable version of Android 10 (MIUI 10.4.6.0) to Chinese devices in batches later on with an identical changelog.
The broader rollout of Android 10 to Redmi K20 Pro started to happen at the last week of September as some Indian users were greeted with a 2.2GB-sized update to MIUI 10.4.8.0 that intends to bring a couple of changes – optimization for 32-bit apps and fix of the random reboot issue on activation of full-screen gestures. However, as the version number suggests, it was still based on MIUI 10.
Redmi K20 has a different story. In fact, its update module was just opposite to Redmi K20 Pro. Redmi K20 had received a stable update to the latest custom skin (MIUI 11) based on the older Android version (Android 9 Pie) while Redmi K20 Pro received the stable update to the latest Android version (Android 10) with older custom skin (MIUI 10).
It was in the second week of October when Xiaomi released the 689MB-sized stable update of MIUI 11 (version number MIUI 18.104.22.168.PFJCNXM) for Redmi K20 in China. The update brought a lot of changes to MIUI as was reflected in its huge changelog but kept the Android version same (Android 9 Pie).
Notably, Xiaomi began developing the latest Android for Redmi K20 as part of the Mi Pilot Program, meant for porting some selected devices to Android 10, right after its release. As per the user feedback in the MIUI China forum, Xiaomi also rolled out a closed beta of Android 10-based MIUI for internal testing at the same time. Although the closed beta was based on MIUI 10, the adaptation to MIUI 11 must have taken place from that time itself.