POCO X5 Pro review: 'Budget' price, premium phone
This phone has no business being this good with its price
The POCO X5 Pro is POCO's latest entry and refresh of their 'premium' line of budget mid-tier phones.
Originally a sub-brand of Xiaomi, POCO has branched out to be its own independent company, much like its sister brand, Redmi.
The POCO X5 Pro that was provided to us for review bears POCO's signature company colours, the black and yellow.
Here are its basic specs:
Snapdragon 778G chip
6 or 8GB of RAM
128 or 256GB of memory space
5000mAh battery with 67 watt charging
108 Megapixel (MP) wide camera
8MP ultra-wide camera
2MP macro lens camera
6.67" FHD+ AMOLED Display with 120hz refresh rate, 2400 x 1080 resolution
The packaging comes with a transparent protective case, a charger (which is mostly not provided with a lot of phones these days) that can output 67w and a USB-A to USB-C charger.
The phone has a glass protector already pre-installed on it, so you do not need to get one to protect your screen.
The version that we are reviewing today has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of memory space. I have personally used this daily for 3 weeks.
I'm stating the price this early simply because this is the main attraction for the phone, in my opinion.
The 6GB RAM/128GB memory version retails at S$429, with an early bird special price of S$399. The version that we have with 8GB RAM/256GB memory goes for S$469, with an early bird price of S$449. Early bird prices will end on 13 February 2023.
I have to say, for a phone that retails for under S$500, the POCO X5 Pro is a clear winner.
It doesn't perform anything like a 'budget' phone, and is a testament that phones at this price point can do so many things that are similar to phones in the S$1,000 range.
The Snapdragon 778G chip in the X5 Pro may not be the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, but it is more than sufficient to provide a snappy user experience.
Having eight cores for its CPU power, this provides a very smooth experience when loading apps and barely breaks a sweat when running multiple applications at once.
Not once did the X5 Pro hang on me, having been consistently good as a daily driver.
In my Google Pixel 6a review, I stated that 6GB of RAM is still very sufficient to run Android apps and for the phone to function normally without any drawbacks. I imagine that the 6GB version of the X5 Pro would be no different from the 8GB unit that we tested for this review.
Gaming on the phone is pretty great as well, and while the phone tends to run a little hot, it is nothing alarming. Most games run well with it, but heavier titles such as Genshin Impact need to be run on 30fps for it to be stable.
The 5000mAh battery also gives the phone good battery life. I only needed to charge it after one and a half days of moderately heavy usage.
The 67w charging is really something else as well, charging the phone from zero to 50 per cent in just 15 minutes. A full 100 per cent charge took about 45-50 minutes.
The 120hz AMOLED display is bright and crisp, while the face and fingerprint unlocks are also extremely fast and snappy.
For a phone with this price, it is crazy to think that they managed to fit a 108 megapixel lens on it. But megapixels are only a small part of the story.
Colours are a little saturated on photos with the AI touch up, but it is still a good phone for day-to-day capture. Gone are the days when the photos were super saturated to make the colours pop more.
The phone can also take 4K videos, which is a win.
Other pros and cons
With the X5 Pro being at this price, the phone has to have some downsides, right?
Well, once again, it really depends on what you are looking for.
The POCO's interface, MIUI, is a much more stock experience than Redmi's or Xiaomi's version of MIUI.
If you prefer a stock Android phone, this may be up your alley. Since I have been a Google Pixel user (they do not come with excessive menus and bloatware), I welcome this with open arms.
The phone does not have wireless charging. This is also a preference, but with how fast the phone charges, I would even go as far as to say that you probably do not even need it.
The POCO X5 Pro is really a testament that you do not need to purchase a S$1,000-priced phone to get a good one.
Despite being only S$469, it punches way above its class by functioning and performing similarly to high-end phone models.
I don't really know what you would use the more expensive phones for than what you would do with the X5 Pro.
The price is a steal, the phone looks gorgeous, it functions great, and it comes with a charger.
What more can you ask for?
Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.
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