These days, mid-range smartphones are all about offering specs that lure a large chunk of users. But usually, with real-life experience, they end up compromising on several aspects. In such a case, overall performance with minimum bugs is all that we need. In the crowded mid-range segment, Poco has now introduced its new Poco F4 5G. Packed with a fast Snapdragon 870 processor, good cameras, fast charging, an AMOLED display, and… so on - this is all Poco F4 has to offer. But does it stand out on the expectations in the real-life experience? To find out, I have used the Poco F4 5G for over a week.
It’s not a secret! Poco usually packs an "already seen" design from Redmi phones. And this Poco F4 is essentially a rebranded version of the Redmi K40s. The minimalist look with a glass matte finish is something we have seen in several phones by now. However, that double-staged camera module featuring triple-camera lenses gives fresh air in a glut of vertical and diagonal camera placement designs. Overall, it is handy to use even for long hours despite having 195g of weight.
The experience with the 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED display of Poco F4 has been smooth, which comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 360Hz of touch sampling. The display offers a rich viewing experience with its bright and sharp colours. The display even manages to bring vivid colours under the bright sunlight with its 1300nits of peak brightness. It is certified with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ to let you enjoy the high quality content from the OTT platforms.
Poco F4 5G packs the same processor that we have recently seen in iQOO Neo 6 5G, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chip. Whether it is about the daily tasks such as surfing the internet, scrolling social media, or taking calls or the heavy tasks such as gaming - the Poco F4 performs well without any slowdowns. Even during an hour-long gaming session of high-end graphics titles such as COD: Mobile and Asphalt 9, the phone performed without any hiccups. Though, after heavy usage, you may find the device getting heated up to some level, but that doesn't last its impact on the performance.
The software experience of Poco F4, which runs MIUI 13 based on Android 12, was all like any Redmi or Poco smartphones - loaded with pre-installed apps and ready to customize with a plethora of themes and wallpaper options. The pre-installed apps bring unnecessary notifications, but the option to mute them works in your favour. One of the best parts of Poco F4 is its stereo sound output, which offers clear and loud audio even at the maximum volume. Sadly, Poco missed out on the 3.5mm audio jack but for music lovers, Poco offers a USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter inside the box! Quite interesting to see such freebies when these days many smartphone brands miss out on offering even the charging adapter!
If you are someone who loves to play with camera modes, then Poco F4 is going to treat you with some DSLR kind-of effects! Primarily, it features a 64MP camera with OIS coupled with a common setup of an 8MP wide-angle camera and a 2MP macro lens. The main camera offers impressive shots while maintaining good details, sharpness and balanced contrast all over the frame. Though the colour saturation seems a little spiced up, the results will not end up being unnatural.
It comes with 10x digital zoom, which works fine only till 2x of zoom. After that, the noise in the photos is clearly visible. It is much better to click with your primary camera and crop the shot accordingly. Well, the wide-angle camera also does a decent job while maintaining colours; you may find a lack of details in the photos.
In night photography, Poco F4 brings bright and colour-saturated images. Still, I would say, it managed to get decently well-lit photos sans noise in the darker areas. The portrait shots get a good bokeh effect while the selfies with its 20MP lens also capture details; although you may notice slight skin tone variation. And as I said, Poco F4 offers several effects and modes such as the slow shutter, time freeze, and long exposure modes to click neon trails and moving crowds. And enjoyed all the modes with decent output. For videography, you can record up to 4K videos with rear and 1080p recording with the selfie camera.
After getting adapted to the usual 5000mAh battery smartphones, heavy phone users (like me!) will have to struggle with its 4500mAh battery, which can last only for a day on a full charge. With regular tasks from taking calls, listening to songs, and moderate use of social media to gaming for an hour, the Poco F4 can live up to an entire day. To boost it, Poco offers 67W fast charging which can juice it up from 0-100 percent within 40 minutes. Even within 15 minutes of quick charge, you can get up to 50 percent battery. The charger comes in the box.
I can name the Poco F4 5G as one of those mid-range smartphones which offers a decent overall experience with minimum complaints. If you want a strong performance-oriented smartphone to handle your gaming sessions well, and offer the goodies such as a 120Hz AMOLED display, decent camera performance, and fast charging, then Poco F4 5G is for you, especially with its starting price of Rs. 27,999. That said, the reliability issues with the past software experience of Poco should be considered before going with Poco F4 5G.
Compared to the competition, the Poco F4 5G gives a tough challenge to the iQOO Neo 6 which offers an 80W charging. If you want a notch better photography experience with decent overall performance and trendy design, then you have Oppo F21 Pro 5G. All things taken into consideration though, it is the Poco F4 that is the easiest to recommend to gamers and non-gamers alike.
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