Poco X5 Pro Review: A midrange performance champ!
The Poco X5 Pro comes with a familiar design, a 6.7-inch AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 778G chipset. But is it enough to woo the consumers in one of the most demanding price segments? Find out.
Poco X5 Pro is the successor to the much loved Poco X4 Pro which impressed everyone with its bold design, performance upgrades and price competitiveness. Needless to say, Poco has continued its tradition of rebranding Redmi smartphones. Last year, the Poco X4 Pro was essentially a rebranded Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus with a new design language and this year, the Poco X5 Pro is the rebrand of the Redmi Note 12 Pro Speed edition which was launched in China. But rebranding is not a bad thing as long as consumers get a price-competitive and feature-packed smartphone. After all, performance and looks are what people want.
And while the smartphone does not offer an entirely new design or a completely new set of specifications, it has made sensible upgrades that add quite a lot of value. Compared to its predecessor, the Poco X5 Pro gets a more powerful chipset, better cameras and a slightly redesigned camera module to set itself apart.
One thing that did make Poco X4 Pro such a loved device was its price competitiveness. The smartphone came with a starting price of Rs. 18,999. But this year, Poco has decided to increase the price of the smartphone to Rs. 22,999, likely due to rising cost of components. But this decision has also placed it in a much more demanding sub-Rs. 30,000 segment, albeit at its lower end, where pleasing the consumers can be a tough job So, the question is, has Poco done enough to meet the expectations set by last year's device or does it fall short of it?
mobile to buy?
We have used the smartphone for more than a month now and in this time, we have found some interesting insight into this stylish performance-centric smartphone. So, let's get down to the brass tacks.
Poco X5 Pro: Design
The Poco X5 Pro retains the broad design elements from its predecessor and offers a flat frame and thin body. The back panel suffers a minor downgrade as the glass panel from Poco X4 Pro has been replaced with a polycarbonate body. Yes, the body is made up of plastic entirely but it does not feel cheap. The plastic body also helps in giving the smartphone a lightweight feel to it. However, the smartphone is quite broad which makes it not very suitable for one-handed use.
While the back has a matte finish and is resistant to fingerprint smudges, the camera module has a glossy finish and does attract fingerprints. The camera module still captures the design-led boldness of Poco, although the X5 Pro edition gets a slight rearrangement of the cameras.
The volume rockers, the power button and the punch hole front camera cutout are exactly the same as its predecessor.
Overall, it feels like Poco is finally settling on a design theme and have figured out the general aesthetics of their lineup. I found the design to be quite stylish without feeling too gaudy. Fans of minimalism may not be a fan of it, however.
Poco X5 Pro Display
The Poco X5 Pro features a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz. The smartphone is both tall and broad and has thin bezels all around which results in excellent display real estate.
Coming to the quality of it, the display produces vivid colors and has great viewing angles. The brightness is also enough for a comfortable usage outdoors. The combination of all these elements makes it great for multimedia consumption. I spent hours watching Netflix, scrolling through Instagram Reels and playing games and the display felt great no matter the use case. The display is paired with Dolby Atmos stereo speakers which definitely enhance the experience.
However, at around the same price range, the Redmi 12 Pro provides an OLED display which is slightly better than what Poco offers and can be a minor letdown for those who want to buy the smartphone for its display.
Poco X5 Pro Performance
The Poco X5 Pro gets a big upgrade in terms of performance with the Snapdragon 778G chipset. The chipset is fairly powerful and can handle both everyday tasks as well as intensive ones such as gaming and photo editing without a hitch. The smartphone is fast and you feel it every step of the way.
Gaming especially is a lot of fun on the Poco X5 Pro. I played Call of Duty: Mobile on very high graphics at max frame rate settings and it never struggled or lagged. Another game I extensively played on the device was eFootball. I was able to play the game at 60fps and high graphics, which is the highest setting for the game. Games with low graphics requirements such as Brawl Stars, Subway Surfer and Hill Climb 2 did not even make the smartphone flinch.
Binge-watching was another aspect of the Poco X5 Pro which I quickly became a fan of. I could watch Netflix or Disney+ Hotstar for hours, binging on shows like The Office and the latest Marvel movies and the experience was entirely lag-free and smooth.
But I have to talk about one of the disappointing aspects of the smartphone, which is its operating system. The phone comes out of the box with the Android 12-based MIUI 14. Not getting the latest Android version when it has been around for a year was a letdown. The Redmi Note 12 Pro is something you can opt for alternatively if you want the latest Android experience.
Additionally, the smartphone also contains a lot of pre-installed third-party apps that you may never use and will have to go through the pain of uninstalling manually. If you do not like that, Motorola G73 could be another alternative for you which comes with a clean OS experience with minimal pre-installed apps.
Overall, the performance of the smartphone was very satisfactory, except for some minor hiccups in the OS department.
Poco X5 Pro Camera
The Poco X5 Pro gets a triple rear camera setup with a 108MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide camera and 2MP macro camera. The primary camera is pretty impressive and is capable of taking detailed shots. During the daytime, I was able to capture sharp images with great color reproduction. The dynamic range of the photos were also pretty good.
But low-light photography could be a hit or a miss. It did capture lesser details than daytime as expected, but color saturation also increased on these photos, making them look somewhat artificial. In most cases, it is not very distinctively noticeable unless you're taking an image of a brightly colored object. I have to appreciate the dynamic range in photos, however. The shadows and the bright areas were clearly distinguishable and the camera did a consistent job of it.
The ultrawide photos came out with less details and I would not use it unless in a space with enough lighting. The dynamic range of the ultrawide camera was pretty good and it was able to capture decent shots in daytime.
The smartphone gets a 16MP selfie camera on the front, and it took generally good photos and the skin tone came out nearly natural. In portrait mode, the edge detection was quite accurate but I noticed the skin tone feels a bit over-processed and smoothened.
Overall, the camera performance of the Poco X5 Pro is decent, but it does not do enough to stand out from its rivals in the segment. If you are truly looking for a great camera experience, Realme 10 Pro Plus is a viable alternative on a similar budget.
Poco X5 Pro Battery
The Poco X5 Pro comes with a 5000 mAh battery and it is a beast. It easily lasted me more than a day with moderate usage which included gaming, voice and video calls, watching movies and shows, scrolling through social media and clicking pictures. For heavy users, it should still easily last till the end of the day.
You also get up to 67W fast charging support with the smartphone which can take it from zero to 100 percent in less than an hour.
Poco X5 Pro verdict
The Poco X5 Pro gets a lot of things right. It has a great multimedia experience thanks to its large and dynamic display, loudspeakers and powerful chipset. It is also performance-centric and can handle any day-to-day tasks and heavy gaming with ease. I'm even a fan of its design, although it may not be for everyone.
However, it also has quite a few downsides. Its camera performance, while being decent, is not better than some other smartphones in the market. The OS is also a disappointment and Poco should really try to ship its smartphones with the latest Android versions, especially in the above Rs. 20000 price range.
To answer the question of whether the Poco X5 Pro has upgraded the device enough to live up to the standard set by its predecessor, I sadly have to say no. There are obvious upgrades in performance, but most other aspects feel similar to the Poco X4 Pro. While that would still have made it a segment-leading phone in 2022, this year it is struggling to stand out from the rest.
But comparisons do not tell the full story. Looking at the device and judging it on its merits, it is still impressive. And you will definitely find value in smartphone or just someone with heavy usage. Shutterbugs and those who value the Android experience on the other hand, should look for alternatives.
- Low-light photography
- No in-display fingerprint scanner
Display6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz
Rear Camera108MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh; 67W wired charging
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