The Poco X4 Pro 5G may not be the Poco(phone) for you. As we sat down to discuss the X4 Pro, we could literally hear these lines shouted in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice in our heads.
And, unfortunately, if you come searching for a real Poco X3 Pro successor, you won’t find one. If you’re looking for an economical mid-range phone, a redesigned Poco X3 NFC, you’ve come to the correct spot.
We can’t and won’t disguise the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s true nature: it’s a repackaged version of the worldwide Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G with a revised rear panel. Here’s how these two stack up.
It’s not the first time Poco has done something like this, and it won’t be the last. However, the Poco X4 Pro 5G design, as always, shines out.
Xiaomi’s direction with the Poco X4 Pro is less obvious, which is exacerbated by the fact that it is essentially a near-replica of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro with a few adjustments.
The performance of the classic Poco models is not replicated. And, while the 108MP camera is adequate by series standards, it cannot compete with a Google Pixel 5a or OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G.
Is it effective? Somewhat. The design is less obnoxious than on some Poco phones. Its OLED screen is generally good, its dual speakers are above average, and its battery life is excellent. A glass rather than plastic rear is also a lovely touch.
There are, however, certain problems. The Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro has a bothersome habit of closing down any apps that are running in the background, which is inconvenient if you use your phone to stream audio.
Its charging behavior is also unusual, with a flaw causing the screen to flash incessantly. Furthermore, the Snapdragon 695 processor seems out of place in a Poco phone, as they are normally more powerful.
According to some gaming benchmarks, the Poco X3 Pro is nearly three times as powerful as the Poco X4 Pro 5G. While the 108MP camera appears to compensate on paper, it falls short in practise because to a poor Auto HDR feature that commonly produces in overexposure and dull-looking images.
With subsequent software updates, this phone’s overall performance may improve. However, if the aforementioned faults are linked to the concessions inherent in its Snapdragon 695 CPU, it is possible that it will not. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but we have a feeling that Poco series enthusiasts will be let down by the Poco X4 Pro 5G.
So, let’s go through the Redmi, uh, Poco X4 Pro 5G specifications immediately.
Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G specs at a glance:
120Hz refresh rate
360Hz touch sampling rate
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 695|
MicroSD card slot
|Audio||3.5mm headphone jack|
|Software||MIUI 13 for Poco|
|Durability||IP53 splash resistance|
|Dimensions and weight||164.19 x 76.1 x 8.12mm|
When we compare the €250 Poco X3 Pro to the €300 Poco X4 Pro, we can’t help but believe it’s a bit unfair. The entire economy has shifted, and the globe is still being reshaped as you read this. So, no, the Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro isn’t a phone with premium performance at a low price; it can’t even record 4K videos.
However, it appears to be one of the new generations of phones that will soon replace the old bang for the buck offerings as their stock runs out. And we can see that new Poco still has the same enthusiasm by attempting to pack every current technology imaginable, including 5G, and offer it at an exceptionally low price.
The Poco X4 Pro shares 99 percent of its DNA with the Redmi Note 11 series , and despite the modified design, you can clearly sense this shared ancestry. The pleasantly smooth sides of the Redmi phone remain, as does the basic back lens configuration.
However, Poco has added a large camera housing that extends from the left side of the plastic rear cover all the way to the right. For the most part, this is unneeded, and we could do without the Poco branding in the housing. Still, it means that when you tap on the screen while the phone is on a level surface, it doesn’t jiggle.The phone also has IP53 splash resistance, which is becoming more prevalent on budget phones from Xiaomi’s increasingly tangled supply chain but is nonetheless welcomed at this price point.
Switch to the front, and you’ll find the Poco X4 Pro’s finest feature: a 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen (with Gorilla Glass 5). The panel has some vivid hues and inky blacks, and it shines brightly when exposed to intense sunlight outside. The 120Hz refresh rate is similarly adaptive, albeit it only switches to 60Hz rather than anything lower in order to conserve battery life. Nonetheless, it’s one of the nicest screens I’ve seen on a low-cost phone.
Those looking for power user features like as microSD expansion, a headphone port, and an IR blaster will also be satisfied. There are also dual stereo speakers with plenty of volume and well-balanced audio. The topping on that wonderful I/O cake is a quick, accurate side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The phone’s fantastic screen and pleasant additions, however, do not come at the sacrifice of battery life, since it has a 5,000mAh battery that will comfortably last one and a half days of intensive usage. In reality, we got two days of regular use out of the Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro, including Telegram, Reddit, gaming, and some web surfing, as well as seven and a half hours of screen-on time. This endurance was also reached at an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, indicating that there is still room for increased battery life.
When you’ve depleted the battery, you’ll be relieved to know that the 67W wired charging took 58 minutes to reach 100 percent. That’s quite quick, but it’s well short of Poco’s claimed time of 41 minutes. However, the inclusion of the 67W charger means you won’t have to spend extra for the fastest speeds.
Poco’s phone also has a 108MP main camera, which is a fine photographer for the money but, predictably, falls short of premium sensors. During the day, the camera generally provides crisp, pixel-binned 12MP images with good dynamic range and no purple fringing in most circumstances.
The 108MP mode only makes a difference in broad daylight, as every other scenario (indoors, at night, at dusk) results in a substantially noisier image than the 12MP option. In saying that, I would have rather to see a decent 48MP or 50MP main camera here, along with optical image stabilization, but the present main camera still punches above its weight overall.
The Camera app also has a night mode, portrait mode, super macro option, tilt-shift, a timed burst option, slow-motion, panoramic, dual video, and a long exposure mode complete with long exposure settings for crowds, light trails, astrophotography, and more.
What’s not so good?
Last year, we had issues with the otherwise great Poco F3 due to its unstable software, which it borrowed from Xiaomi. The latter responded by releasing MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition for various phones in order to fix flaws and announcing the formation of an internal group to solve MIUI issues. Unfortunately, the Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro demonstrates that MIUI is still a hit-or-miss experience that differs greatly from device to device.
Some of the bugs I encountered during the review process included YouTube Music and Pocket Casts audio randomly cutting out, issues with the Camera app (occasionally capturing thumbnail-sized images in 108MP/2x modes or glitched 108MP previews in the Gallery app), and charging-related issues (such as the screen staying on or taking a long time to charge).
During the review period, we received a MIUI update that resolved the charging difficulties, but we still encountered camera and audio abnormalities. Poco told Android Authority that it had not heard of any comparable faults on production units, but it was still an issue we had to deal with.
With so much bloatware (including multiple games, Facebook, Spotify, and Netflix), the software is really the weakest link. With the regrettable exception of Facebook’s system apps, this bloatware can luckily be deleted. Another consolation is that I haven’t noticed any advertisements on this device, however this may not be the case in your area.
What’s more, the phone comes with MIUI 13 on top of Android 11 rather than Android 12. The most recent Android upgrade has been available for nearly six months, so this is doubly upsetting. Poco has also not announced a precise update policy (we have inquired and will update if we receive a response). It normally sticks to two OS updates every year, though given the brand’s track record, don’t expect them to be particularly timely. In comparison, it took just under five months for the Poco X3 Pro to be upgraded to Android 12 after the latter’s release.
The Poco X4 Pro has more than its share of flaws.
The rest of the camera experience isn’t great either. Poco’s 8MP ultrawide camera has uneven colors compared to the primary camera, a lack of sharpness, soft edges, and purple fringing. The ultrawide also showed ghosting issues with fast-moving subjects (see the final shot in the gallery), most likely owing to the HDR algorithm not recording each frame rapidly enough. Another low-cost addition is the 2MP macro lens, which is too low-resolution for acceptable close-up images. Switch to the front, and the 16MP selfie camera is also reasonably priced. Even in strong outdoor lighting, noise is a concern, while the portrait mode is rather solid and has no major depth estimation difficulties.
While the main camera is a good photographer in good lighting, it isn’t as good in low light. When pixel-peeping, you’ll notice a lot of noise in dark areas of an image. The camera also shows its cheap trappings at night, when the noise ramps up significantly, albeit the night mode can produce noticeably better photos.
One odd omission is the absence of a 1080p/60fps video recording mode, with the phone being capable of 1080p/30fps. That’s unacceptable in this day and age, especially when Poco’s own M4 Pro 5G and a slew of other low-cost phones have the option. There’s also no 4K recording option here, which is understandable given the price.
The Snapdragon 695 5G SoC powers the Poco X4 Pro, which will not win any speed awards. The CPU performed admirably in regular operations including scrolling, web surfing, swiping through menus, and launching apps. However, there were a few times where its lack of oomph (or Poco’s lack of optimization) became apparent, such as snapping several 108MP photographs or experiencing judder while moving between applications. At low settings, Genshin Impact plays nicely, but Call of Duty Mobile runs smoothly at high settings. However, this is not the phone to acquire if you want to play the latest games on high fidelity settings or do any emulation. Nonetheless, it’s a reasonable trade-off.
Should you buy the Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G?
Buy it if you want….
- A good screen is essential.
The Poco X4 Pro sports a wide, colorful, brilliant, and bold OLED screen, as well as a top refresh rate of 120Hz, which is comparable to the best available in a cheaper phone. It doesn’t get much better than this.
- You value good sound.
The Poco X4 Pro’s powerful stereo speakers making it a good phone for music and podcast enthusiasts. These speakers cut through background noise and are well-suited for gaming and watching movies.
- You need a long battery life.
The battery life on the Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro is outstanding while using the 60Hz display mode and is adequate when using the 120Hz display mode. While we couldn’t make it last two days, some of you will. Charging is also quick.
Don’t buy it if you are….
- You enjoy playing mobile games.
The Poco X4 Pro’s chipset provides just entry-level gaming performance, which is insufficient to compete with previous Poco phones. The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is significantly more powerful, and even the original Pocophone F1 from 2018 outperforms it in 3DMark’s Wild Life benchmark.
- You’re a joyful snapper.
While the camera sensor in the Poco X4 Pro has produced fantastic results in previous phones, it is little disappointing here. It may produce decent images, but the Auto HDR setting feels inadequate. While the manual “full” HDR option can address some of the concerns noted, the images can be lacking in subtlety, and it asks a little too much of the casual photographer.
- Videography is a top focus.
The Poco X4 Pro’s Snapdragon 695 chipset restricts video capturing to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Even among low-cost phones, this is subpar. While there is some indication that the camera employs software stabilization, there is little trace of it in the finished footage.