Poco X4 Pro 5G review: An affordable big screen 5G phone with good battery life but average cameras

poco x4 pro 5g thumb


Poco X4 Pro 5G: 6.67-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 695 5G chipset with 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB internal storage (expandable via MicroSD).

Image: Poco

Poco, a sub-brand of Xiaomi, has a new flagship-level smartphone in the form of the X4 Pro 5G, a 6.67-inch handset with a 120Hz AMOLED display, a 108MP main camera, a 5000mAh battery and 67W fast charging.

While a price in the UK has yet to be confirmed, Poco has announced global pricing: the 6GB/128GB entry-level version will cost an affordable €299 (~$329), while an 8GB/256GB version will cost €349 (~$ 384) costs.

I was sent the €299 6GB/128GB version to review, which on paper looks like it could be a great value handset. But there’s a lot of competition in this segment of the smartphone market, so the Poco X4 Pro 5G delivers the goods?

Like

Large 120Hz AMOLED screen5000mAh battery67W fast charge

Not fun

2nd SIM or MicroSD card, but not bothaverage camerasSoftware Bloating

The 6.67-inch, 205g Poco X4 Pro 5G isn’t particularly comfortable to hold.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

This device has a large 6.67-inch screen in a chassis that is 76.1 mm wide and 164.19 mm deep (3.0 inches x 6.46 inches). This results in a screen-to-body ratio of 85.9%. Though it’s only 8.12mm (0.32in) thick, the squared long and short bezels and completely flat back panel give the phone a degree of sturdiness, meaning it doesn’t nest well in the palm of your hand.

Still, compared to its predecessor, the Poco X3, there are some plus points. The massive Poco branding has disappeared from the back, leaving a more subtle Poco branding on the camera bezel. And the camera pane is also improved this time. While it was small and centrally located on the X3, here it stretches the full width of the rear. Some may find that the camera area is too large, and it makes the 205g handset a bit top-heavy. But the advantage is that the screen can be prodded while the phone is on a flat surface without the handset rocking back and forth.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G is available in three colors. There is a Poco Yellow variant, which looks quite striking, a more subdued Laser Blue and the austere Laser Black I got. There is a slight diffraction finish on the smooth plastic back, which can result in diagonal lines, but the effect is quite subtle. The back is quite receptive to fingerprints and scratch resistance can prove to be a long-term issue.

Poco X4 Pro 5G rear cameras: 108MP wide angle, 8MP ultra wide angle (118°), 2MP macro.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

There’s a 3.5mm headset jack on the top edge for those who like to keep their earphones thenewsupdate, in addition to an IR blaster. One of the things I liked about the new flagship Xiaomi 12 Pro was the IR blaster and the accompanying Mi Remote software. This software also appears here, with which you can operate all kinds of infrared devices with the Poco phone.

Unlike the more expensive Xiaomi 12 Pro, the Poco X4 Pro 5G has an IP rating for dust and water resistance, although it is only IP53 (“dust protected”, “water spray”), while the standard for premium handsets is currently IP68 ( ‘dustproof’, immersion in 1-3 m of water).

The X4 Pro 5G’s screen gets Gorilla Glass 5 protection and has several features that set it apart from similarly priced phones. As noted, it’s huge at 6.67 inches, with small, if not minimal, bezels. The centrally located front hole punch camera is extremely small and I barely noticed it. The AMOLED panel is vibrant, with a brightness of 700 nits and 2047 brightness levels, while the FHD+ resolution (2400 x 1080, 395 ppi) delivers good definition and sharpness. A touch sampling rate of 360 Hz ensures that there is no stuttering as the phone responds to taps and swipes.

The 120Hz refresh rate is welcome in a mid-priced phone. There is no dynamic change in refresh rate depending on how the screen is used – which comes with LTPO technology, which is currently the domain of premium handsets. Here you have to manually switch between 60 Hz and 120 Hz, although most users will probably select 120 Hz and never look back. The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button on the right, rather than embedded in the display. I found it acceptably responsive.

The speakers leave something to be desired. It’s nice to see grilles on both the top and bottom edges so that the stereo sound is pushed out evenly and there’s plenty of volume. But I found the sound quality to be mediocre for listening to music and, as so often, I would have appreciated more bass.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G runs on Qualcomm’s mid-range 6nm Snapdragon 695 5G SoC, supported on my review handset by 6GB of RAM. With the refresh rate set to 120Hz, performance under Geekbench 5 was decent, with average CPU scores of 693 (single core) and 2044 (multi core). In comparison, the new OnePlus Nord CE 2, based on the MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset with 8GB of RAM and priced at £299 (~$390), yielded scores of 719 and 2143 respectively.

More Android handset benchmark comparisons are available here.

There’s 128GB of internal storage, which is pretty much entry-level these days, and the Poco X4 Pro 5G consumes 33GB of this out of the box, leaving users with 95GB. Fortunately, you can add more storage space via a MicroSD card, but you’ll have to use a second SIM card for that.

SEE: Best Cheap 5G Phone 2022: You Don’t Have To Pay Flagship Prices For Quality Devices

The huge camera area on the back of the handset houses three cameras: 108MP f/1.9 wide angle, 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle (118°) and 2MP f/2.4 macro. The front camera is a 16MP f/2.4 unit.

Point-and-click photos taken with the main and ultra-wide cameras were good enough, although I was disappointed with the photos taken in bleak indoor conditions, despite 9-in-1 pixel binning on the 108MP main camera. But there are other significant drawbacks.

There’s no optical image stabilization (OIS), which made a key use case — taking pictures of my cat — a challenge. Meanwhile, the macro camera has a fixed focus and doesn’t deliver particularly satisfying close-up photos. Good macro cameras are fun to use, but these are best avoided.

There is more disappointment for those who like to record video. The best you can do is 1080p at 30fps, and even going up to 720p won’t increase that frame rate. In contrast, the comparably priced OnePlus Nord CE 2 manages 1080p at 60 fps and 4K at 30 fps.

Overall, serious photographers will find better performance elsewhere, despite the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s 108MP main camera.

Screen refresh rate settings (left); “Promoted apps” in the More apps folder (on the right).

Screenshots: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

With Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 running on Android 11, there’s quite a bit to master. I noticed this with the premium Xiaomi 12 Pro, and the same is true here. There are many pre-installed apps and uninstalling is not an option. A More apps folder contains some, a Games folder contains more, and others are scattered across the main and second screens. Additionally, if you’re in one of those two folders, the bottom row of icons on the screen will represent “promoted apps.” It’s all quite messy. Mi Remote and the aforementioned IR blaster are welcome, but overall there’s a confusing amalgamation of bits and pieces.

A plus for the Poco X4 Pro 5G is its 5000 mAh battery, which kept the handset going for a whopping 17 hours and 23 minutes under the PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life test with the screen refresh rate set to 120 Hz. When I used the handset to play three hours of YouTube video on a full battery, it lost only 17% of its charge over the period, extrapolating to a total of about 17.6 hours.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G supports 67W fast charging, taking the handset from 14% to 32% in five minutes, to 49% in 10 minutes, 64% in 15 minutes, 76% in 20 minutes, 86% in 25 minutes, 93% in 30 minutes, 96% in 35 minutes and 98% in 40 minutes. Here’s that information in graph form:

Data & Graphics: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

conclusions

Entering a crowded mid-market, the Poco X4 Pro 5G needs to work hard to stand out. While it has a large, high-quality AMOLED screen, large battery and fast 67W charging, there are some significant drawbacks.

For example, it is a pity that users have to make a choice between MicroSD storage expansion and a second SIM card. With only 95GB free out of the box, that external storage option can come in handy. Perhaps more importantly, the proliferation of third-party software is rather overwhelming and the cameras disappointing. The video recording capabilities and the macro camera are both particularly disappointing.

There are many alternatives in this price range, including the new OnePlus Nord CE 2, which offers even better battery life than the Poco X4 Pro 5G.

Poco X4 Pro 5G Specifications

Dimensions

76.1mm x 164.19mm x 8.12mm

Weight

205g

Screen size & type

6.67-inch AMOLED

Solution

FHD+ (2400×1080, 395ppi)

Brightness

700 nits (1200 nits peak)

Refresh rate

60Hz or 120Hz

Touch sampling rate

360 Hz

screen protection

Gorilla Glass 5

IP value

IP53

Mobile platform

Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G

OS

MIUI 13 with Android 11

RAM

6GB, 8GB

Storage

128GB, 256GB

MicroSD card slot

yes (instead of 2nd SIM card)

sim cards

2x Nano SIM card

Networking

2G, 3G, 4G LTE, 5G

rear cameras

108 MP f/1.9 wide angle, 8 MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle, 2 MP f/2.4 macro

Front camera

16MP f/2.5 wide angle

audio

stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack

Battery capacity

5000mAh

thenewsupdate charging

67W

Wireless charging

new

Connectivity

USB-C, NFC, Infrared, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

colors

Laser Blue, Laser Black, Poco Yellow

SKUs

6GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB

Prices

€299 (6GB/128GB), €349 (8GB/256GB)

RECENT AND RELATED CONTENT

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G review: a capable mid-range 5G phone with excellent battery life

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review: a smartphone that exceeds its budget price

Poco M4 Pro 5G, practicality: this capable 5G phone offers excellent value for money

The best 5G phones: which flagship comes out on top?

The Best Cheap Phones: Flagship Features for Under $450

Read more reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.