In recent times, the Indian smartphone market has witnessed an increasing number of launches in the sub-INR 30,000 category. Many of these new launches are merely successors of devices that were available last year in the INR 20,000 range. This price hike can be attributed to factors such as the rising cost of components and raw materials, as well as the weakening of the Rupee against the dollar. In this context, POCO has launched its new offering, the POCO X5 Pro 5G, which falls under the INR 25,000 range.
POCO has always been known for providing value-for-money hardware in the mainstream and mid-range segments. However, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is comparatively expensive, just like most smartphones being launched this year. In this review, we will help you decide whether you should consider purchasing this phone. We will look at its features, performance, and overall value for money proposition to give you a clear picture of whether the POCO X5 Pro 5G is worth your investment.
POCO X5 Pro 5G Specifications
Before starting with the POCO X5 Pro 5G review, let’s look at the phone’s specifications.
- Display: 6.67-inch FHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, Pro AMOLED panel
- CPU: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Processor
- RAM: 6/8GB
- Storage: 128/256GB internal storage
- Software: Android 12 (MIUI 14)
- Main Camera: 108MP + 8MP ultra-wide sensor + 2MP macro sensor
- Selfie Camera: 16MP (f/2.4)
- Connectivity: USB Type C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.2, GPS/ A-GPS, FM Radio
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, side-mounted
- Battery: 5,000mAh, Li-ion Polymer, 67W fast charging
Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:
- POCO X5 Pro 5G smartphone
- 67W fast Charger
- USB Type C Cable
- Sim Ejector Tool
Design & Display
The POCO X5 Pro 5G shares a similar design to its predecessor, the POCO X4 Pro 5G. However, unlike its predecessor, which had a glass back panel, the POCO X5 Pro 5G uses a plastic polycarbonate shell that seamlessly blends the whole package together, making the phone lighter on the hand. Weighing 181g, the phone feels even lighter, and at 7.99mm thick, it is the slimmest Poco smartphone in India. The back panel has a frosted finish, giving the phone a slightly premium look, while the upper portion has a glossy finish.
The phone has a large, 6.67-inch Full HD+ resolution AMOLED display with slightly thinner bezels compared to the outgoing model. The display is not curved but has Dolby Vision and HDR10+ playback support. It produces vivid colors and deep blacks and supports video streaming apps such as Netflix. The display brightness level can go up to 900 nits when watching HDR content, which is fairly bright for outdoor use.
The POCO X5 Pro 5G’s Xfinity display supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which can vary between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, depending on the type of content being displayed. The screen refreshes at 60Hz when watching videos and 120Hz while scrolling through the interface. The phone’s display refreshes at 30Hz when the lockscreen Always-on-Display (AoD) is enabled, and a few compatible games can take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate. The multimedia experience is enhanced by the equally good stereo speakers that support Dolby Atmos. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for Hi-Res audio, something that is increasingly been taken out from newer phones.
The phone’s design might remind some of the Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G and Note 12 Pro+ 5G (review) smartphones, while the huge ‘Poco’ branding on the top-right corner may not be to everyone’s liking. Nonetheless, the phone’s display and multimedia features provide an excellent user experience.
Software & Performance
In terms of the software, the POCO X5 Pro 5G comes with the MIUI 14 custom skin, which is based on Android 12. The phone does come with the familiar POCO launcher, which is different from the one found on the Xiaomi/Redmi devices. However, it would have been better if it came with the latest Android version 13 out of the box. According to POCO, the phone will eventually receive Android 13 and Android 14, with four years of security support.
The MIUI 14 has many features and customization options, including a customizable Always-on Display, a redesigned security app, Android 12’s Privacy Dashboard, a permission manager, and the popular Floating Windows feature. While POCO over the past months has claimed to have reduced bloatware, the phone still has several pre-installed third-party apps like Moj, Snapchat, Zilli, Spotify, and others, along with the complete Google Apps suite and system applications. We hope that the upcoming premium devices from the brand will reduce the number of these apps even further.
As for the performance, the POCO X5 Pro runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC, with an integrated Adreno GPU, and is paired with up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS2.2 storage. Unlike its predecessors, this phone does not have expandable storage options. Despite this, the phone is quite efficient, smoothly navigating through day-to-day tasks such as multitasking, app loading times, and playing games.
In terms of gaming, we tried titles like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends on this phone, and the experience was quite smooth. Even after playing for extended periods, the CPU remained cool thanks to the phone’s vapor cooling chamber working extra hard. While we are not big fans of benchmarks, we did check the phone’s performance using AnTuTu, and it scored a respectable 5,30,748 points. The phone also scored 750 and 2793 points in the single-core and multi-core tests on Geekbench5, respectively.
Camera & Battery
When looking at the optics, the Poco X5 Pro 5G comes with a triple camera setup on the rear consisting of a 108MP Samsung HM2 primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. However, there is no optical image stabilization (OIS) for the primary camera. The phone also has a 16MP front camera for taking selfies and video calls.
During the day, the primary camera captures detailed and vibrant shots, but when HDR kicks in, the reds and greens can be slightly more saturated than usual. The dynamic range performance is certainly good, but there is always room for improvement. There are also times when the sky looks unnaturally blue, but this can be corrected in post-processing. The Night mode does a good job of retaining details in the shadows, but the lack of OIS can result in blurry images even with a slight shake.
The ultra-wide camera captures good colors, but the images are generally soft, and the dynamic range performance is average. The 2MP macro camera captures poor images and is not recommended for use. Instead, using the 108MP mode and cropping the subject yields better results.
The 16MP front camera captures good details and facial tones, but the software smoothens the skin too much, even when beauty mode is disabled. The rear camera can capture 4K 30 fps videos, and the quality is decent for the price. The front camera can shoot 1080p 60fps videos, and it performs well.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G’s 5,000mAh battery lasts a full day on one charge, delivering an average of 6.5 hours of screen-on time (SoT) when playing games or recording videos. On lighter usage days, the SoT can be over 7 hours. The battery on the handset lasts for 18 hours and 10 minutes in the HD video loop test with all the connectivity options disabled. The 67W fast charging adapter that is included inside the retail box charges the battery from 0 to 100 percent in just 47 minutes, but the phone may get hot near the camera module area while charging.
The POCO X5 Pro 5G is a phone that delivers solid performance, good battery life, and an enjoyable multimedia experience. While the design might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the slim and lightweight design could still attract potential buyers. The primary and front cameras produce good results, however, there is still some room for improvement with the other two cameras.
One of the major drawbacks is that the phone does not come with Android 13 out of the box, which may be disappointing for some users. Nevertheless, the software does come with fewer pre-installed apps and is packed with features.
Overall, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is a suitable choice for those seeking a phone with good performance and a decent overall package. Moreover, compared to the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G, which lacks a good software experience despite being on Android 13, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is the better option.