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POCO X4 Pro 5G review: a worthy successor

POCO as a brand claims to offer “everything you need, nothing you don’t” through its smartphones. The brand did so very well with POCO F1 offering flagship Snapdragon 845 under Rs 20,000, the POCO X3 (review) with a 120Hz display under Rs 20,000, and the POCO X3 Pro (review), which continues to be one of the top recommendations under Rs 20,000 even today. However, the brand is also known to launch rebranded Redmi devices in India.

Also read: ASUS 8Z review: a compact powerhouse

After being in the original mode with the POCO X3 and X3 Pro, POCO has launched the POCO X4 Pro 5G as the rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ with a different primary camera and a revamped back panel. That being said, the POCO X4 Pro does come with some upgrades over its predecessor. I have been using the POCO X4 Pro 5G for the past week and here’s what I make of it.

POCO X4 Pro 5G: complete specifications

Specs
POCO X4 Pro 5G
Display
6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED (120Hz)
Processor Snapdragon 695
RAM 6GB|8GB
Storage 64GB|128GB
OS
MIUI 13 based on Android 11
Rear cameras 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 16MP
Battery 5,000mAh battery
Fast charging 67W fast charge
Dimensions 164.19 x 76.1 x 8.12mm
Price Rs 18,999 starting price

Design and display

  • 164.19 x 76.1 x 8.12mm, 205gm
  • 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch response rate, WideVine L1 certification, 1,200 nits, DCI-P3, Gorilla Glass 5

As I mentioned before, the POCO X4 Pro 5G is the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G albeit with a stretched camera module and a different finish on the glass panel. The camera island on the back stretches across the whole width of the panel and houses a smaller POCO branding, which is a refreshing change from the obnoxiously large POCO logo on the X3 Pro. POCO has also traded the weird dual-tone glossy and matte finish on the back for a glossy, light-refractive pattern that looks like spotlights emanating from the bottom corners when it catches the light. The camera arrangement itself is similar to Note 11 Pro+ with the main camera on the top with a 2×2 grid below housing two cameras on two perforations on one side with AI branding and an LED flash on the other side.

POCO has launched the X4 Pro 5G in Laser Black, Laser Blue, and POCO Yellow. I personally am a fan of the POCO Yellow colourway but the Laser Black unit that I received for this review has a timeless appeal as well. The glossy finish on the back got dirty within 5 minutes of me handling the phone and I would highly recommend putting on the provided protective case. Otherwise, you will have to carry a microfiber cloth around and wipe it every time you take it out. POCO has managed to reduce the weight down from POCO X3 Pro’s 213g to 205g despite switching to glass construct, which is a plus. And at 8.12mm, it’s considerably thin as well. The smartphone is protected against the elements to some extent as it retains the IP53 rating.

In terms of I/O, the bottom edge is home to the 67W-supported USB Type-C port flanked by a speaker grille and SIM tray on each side. The SIM tray is hybrid, which means the second slot can be used for either a second nano-SIM or a microSD card. On the top, you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack, a second speaker grille, and the universal IR sensor. The left edge of the smartphone is bare and on the right, you’ll find the physical volume buttons along with the power button, which also doubles up as the fingerprint scanner. Setting up the biometrics took some fiddling for me but once done, the sensor worked quite fast and accurately.

On the front, the POCO X4 Pro 5G has the same 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz display but with an upgraded AMOLED panel instead of LCD. As a result, the display is much more vibrant and sharper than it was on the predecessor. The brightness and viewing angles have improved as well. At 1,200nits peak brightness, the screen is perfectly legible in all lighting conditions. POCO has also bumped the touch sampling rate from 240Hz to 360Hz, which means the display picks up your gestures and taps that much faster. On the flip side, the display is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5 layer, which is a downgrade from the Gorilla Glass 6 on the POCO X3 Pro.

While the display check app showed HDR10 compliance, the smartphone cannot play HDR content from Netflix and other OTT platforms. However, there are not many HDR titles out there and the phone does come with Widewine L1 certification, which means you can playback online content in HD resolution. Most people—myself included— won’t be able to tell the difference on a phone screen at least, so it’s not a deal-breaker. I enjoyed watching the Dulquer Salmaan-starrer Salute on SonyLIV and Ajith-starrer Valimai on Zee5 over the weekend. The dual stereo speakers also enhance the whole experience.

Cameras

  • Rear: 64-megapixel ISOCELL GW3 primary sensor, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro sensor
  • Front: 16-megapixel f/2.4 sensor

I was surprised to see that the Indian variant of the POCO X4 Pro 5G comes with a downgraded two-year-old ISOCELL GW3 64-megapixel primary shooter. The global variant that the brand launched at its debut MWC event features the same 108-megapixel shooter as the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G. The accompanying cameras remain the same including an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro lens. There’s a 16-megapixel shooter on the front for selfies and video calling.

Regular
Regular
Regular
Regular
Macro
Closeup
Wide angle
1X
2X
4X
6X
8X
10X
Regular Mode
Night Mode

The primary camera does take good images in broad daylight with punchy colours and decent dynamic range. However, the camera tends to lose out on details in shadows and foliage often has watercolour effect on them. I also noticed overexposure issues in brightly-lit scenes. Switch to low-light, the standard mode clicks passable images but has tons of noise and zero details. Turn on the dedicated night mode, and the camera bumps up the exposure considerably and also pulls out details from the shadows but introduces more noise and blows out well-lit areas.

Coming to the wide-angle lens, the 8-megapixel unit does capture more in the frame but images appear stretched leading to loss of details. What I liked here is that there’s no major colour shift from the main sensor to the wide-angle lens. As for zoom, POCO has decided to stick to 2x digital zoom increments and you can go up to 10X. As for the macro lens, it’s a filler unit that clicks washed-out images and since it’s a fixed focus lens, it’s hard to get sharp images.

As for the selfies, the 16-megapixel unit clicks well-detailed self-portraits with near-accurate skin tone. The portrait mode also works very well but I did find the edge-detection to go astray at times. The quality of selfies takes a dip in less than ideal lighting situations, which is to be expected.

Performance, software, and battery

  • Snapdragon 695
  • 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB
  • MIUI 13 based on Android 11
  • 5,000mAh battery, 67W fast charging

Powering the POCO X4 Pro 5G is the Snapdragon 695, which is a 6nm chipset with 5G support that is claimed to be faster than some Snapdragon 7 series chipsets as well. The chipset works alongside LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 storage. POCO is offering the smartphone in 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB, and 8GB + 128GB. I received the top-end variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The handset performs admirably in day-to-day usage with great multitasking. I was able to jump between streaming platforms and games with ease. For those who are looking for a great everyday phone that can handle basic usages like social media, web browsing, and streaming, POCO X4 Pro 5G is a reliable device. The smartphone can also handle intense games like BGMI at HD graphics and a high FPS preset. It does get slightly warm over longer gaming durations but doesn’t face any issues like frame drops.

Out of the box, the POCO X4 Pro 5G boots the latest MIUI 13 interface with Android 11 and POCO Launcher on top. I would have loved to see the smartphone come with Android 12. That being said the MIUI 13 interface comes with a lot of customisation options including fonts, Always-on display, themes, and more. There is also bloatware present on the device but thankfully most of them can be uninstalled to free up space.

Powering the POCO X4 Pro 5G is a 5,000mAh battery with support for 67W fast charging. With my usage of social media, YouTube, and non-stop instant messaging, I was easily able to push the smartphone through an entire day even with the display refresh rate set at 120Hz. Moreover, the 67W fast charger provided with the smartphone juices up the battery from zero to 100 percent in just under 60 minutes, which is impressive.

Bottomline

If you look past the obvious rebrand, the POCO X4 Pro 5G comes across as a solid upgrade for POCO X3 Pro uses. The smartphone brings a 120Hz AMOLED display, more industrial design as well as stylish looks, a great audio setup, the latest MIUI interface, and good battery backup with fast charging. The cons like no HDR support and bloatware in the interface can be ignored.

It competes with the likes of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G and iQOO Z6 5G, which are both powered by the Snapdragon 695 SoC. The former goes toe-to-toe with the POCO X4 Pro 5G in terms of specifications but offers a better 108-megapixel primary shooter and a matte finish that remains smudge-free. On the other hand, the iQOO Z6 5G offers the latest Android 12 out of the box and 4GB virtual RAM. However, the iQOO offering loses out in terms of display, cameras, and fast charging.

If the camera is not your priority and you prefer a loud design, POCO X4 Pro 5G is a good option. For the price tag, it does get a few things right.

Pricebaba rating: 7 / 10

What works

  • Beautiful and sleek design
  • Good performance
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Stunning display
  • Fast charging

What doesn’t

  • Android 11
  • Bloatware
  • No HDR streaming
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman has over 8 years of experience in content development. He is a Senior Writer and Social Media Manager at Pricebaba. He covers technology news, feature articles, and tech reviews, apart from managing the official Facebook and Instagram handles. Despite a degree in marketing, his love for latest gadgets and technology steered him towards consumer technology coverage.