Poco X2 Quick Review: Pros, Cons And The X-Factor

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The second smartphone from the house of Poco- Poco X2, is finally here. We say 'House of Poco' because the brand is now an independent entity and will take independent decisions to design and sell smartphones in India. The low-key launch event of the company's first smartphone outside the Xiaomi umbrella was addressed by Manmohan Chandolu, General Manager, POCO India. We were expecting Manu Jain, India Vice President and MD, Xiaomi India to be present at the Poco's first-ever independent product launch but he decided to skip the launch event.

Poco As An Independent Brand
 

Poco As An Independent Brand

During a closed-room briefing before the launch event, Manmohan Chandolu, General Manager, POCO India informed us that Poco will have its product team, marketing team, sales team, and go-to-market strategy; however, Xiaomi as a brand will have the ownership. Poco might start serving customers with dedicated service centres in future but for now, the Poco X2 users' product-related issues will be addressed by Xiaomi service centres.

Poco X2- Start Of A New Series

Poco X2- Start Of A New Series

Notably, the Poco X2 is the second smartphone in the company's portfolio. It should not be mistaken as an upgrade to the Poco F1 as it's the start of a new series altogether. The Poco X-series will cater to mid-range smartphone buyers who seek power-packed smartphones. This gives us hope to see a Poco F2 later this year with absolute flagship hardware and features. Poco has some big plans for the Indian users in the year 2020 and we cannot wait to see all the action from Xiaomi and Poco in the coming year.

Poco X2- Rebranded Redmi K30?

This isn't the first time a smartphone company has rebranded its product to sell in the Indian market. Even Xiaomi has done it before and as long as the product makes sense for Indian consumers, we don't mind a rebranded model in the Indian market. Xiaomi also mentioned that the rebranded K30 aka Poco X2 will be treated as a product under the Poco portfolio. Like the Poco F1, the Poco X2 will receive regular software updates. Moreover, now when the Poco X2 marks a start of a new series altogether in the Poco lineup, we can also expect the company to introduce a top-of-the-line flagship handset as the successor to the Poco F1.

Poco X2- Pricing, Variants And Availability
 

Poco X2- Pricing, Variants And Availability

As far as the Poco X2 is concerned, the smartphone will be available in three configurations. The 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM variant is aggressively priced at Rs. 15,999. The 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM variant will be available at Rs. 16,999, while the 8GB RAM + 256GB RPM variant will sell at Rs. 19,999. Poco X2 will sell on Flipkart.com starting 12 PM, 11 February 2020. The aggressive pricing makes Poco X2 the most affordable smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate display.

It's a clear threat for the Realme X2, its closest rival, which comes at a starting price of Rs. 16,999. We are testing the 8GB variant of the Poco X2. Does it live up to the hype of Poco Moniker? Let's find out.

The X-Factor

The X-Factor

Starting with the X-factor, the 6.67-inch FHD IPS LCD display is undoubtedly the highlight feature of the smartphone. The IPS LCD panel offers 120Hz refresh rate, making the Poco X2 the most affordable smartphone with a 120Hz panel. With the launch of the Poco X2, we can now expect other smartphone manufacturers to offer higher refresh rate panels in the sub-20K price segment.

The FHD panel on the Poco X2 offers 2400 x 1080 pixels resolution and is HDR10 certified. Both, the display and the rear panel of the phone are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 layer. The 120H refresh rate display ensures buttery smooth user-experience while you scroll through web pages or your Facebook and Instagram timeline. We also played some popular game titles and experienced fluid gameplay on the Poco X2.

The Pros

The Pros

64MP Camera With RAW Support And 960fps Slow-Motion

The Poco X2 flaunts a 64MP primary sensor which works on the latest Sony IMX686 sensor. This makes the Poco X2 the first handset in the country with the Sony's new mobile camera sensor. The 64MP camera is essentially a wide-angle lens. Poco has paired the massive camera sensor with an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens; a 2MP macro shooter (10cm and 2cm), and a 2MP depth sensor.

The camera setup can capture pictures in RAW format. It can record videos in 4K resolution at 30fps resolution and 960fps slow-motion videos. The newly added Vlog mode in the camera interface allows you to shoot interesting videos without much editing efforts. For selfies, the Poco X2 offers a dual-lens selfie camera with 2MP depth sensor and a 20MP main camera. The selfie camera doubles up as the Face-unlock mechanism. Overall, the Poco X2 features the most versatile camera setup in the sub-20K price segment.

Long-Lasting Battery With 27W Charging Adaptor In Box

Long-Lasting Battery With 27W Charging Adaptor In Box

The 120Hz refresh rate can take a toll on the battery life but the Poco X2 seems ready to take the heat. The smartphone is backed by a 4,500mAh battery unit and ships with a 27W fast charger in the box. The fast charger can refuel the battery cell from 25% to 85% in 30 minutes. The battery cell can last long and can easily survive a day on one full charge. We will spend some more time with the Poco X2 to evaluate its battery lasting ability in detail.

3.5mm Headphone jack, IR Blaster, MicroSD Card Support, Kernel Source Availability

3.5mm Headphone jack, IR Blaster, MicroSD Card Support, Kernel Source Availability

Some other positive traits of the Poco X2 include the good old 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD card support. You can expand the handset's internal memory to good 512GB via microSD card. The Poco F1 missed the IR blaster but it makes a comeback with the Poco X2. It is placed on the top of the device along with the microphone. The smartphone is P2i Splash Proof to offer some level of protection from water damage. Importantly, the kernel sources for the Poco X2 are now available on GitHub. What this means is that the phone can be unlocked in just 72 hours and you can start experimenting with the custom ROMs.

Swift Performance And Smooth Gameplay

Swift Performance And Smooth Gameplay

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset with 6GB/8GB RAM, the Poco X2 performs effortlessly with moderate and heavy usage. We did not notice any lags while using the handset in the last two days; however, it is too early to give a verdict on the overall performance of the smartphone. The games we played ran without a glitch and there were no performance issues with the software. The Poco X2 runs on the MIUI 11 based on Android 10 out-of-the-box.

The Cons

The Cons

IPS LCD Screen Fails To Match AMOLED Standards

While the 120H refresh rate is a welcome addition in the mid-range price segment, the Poco X2's IPS LCD panel lacks a punch when compared with an AMOLED display. The contrast levels, color vibrancy and the viewing angles fail to match the AMOLED standards. I also noticed a slight bluish tint on the LCD panel when the content is being seen with the screen tilted at a certain angle. Overall, an AMOLED screen would have made the Poco X2 a real deal; however, the 120Hz refresh rate compensates for the lack of an AMOLED panel.

Noticeable Shutter Lag With 64MP Camera Mode

Noticeable Shutter Lag With 64MP Camera Mode

We have just started testing the Poco X2's camera and it surely feels promising. The 64MP shots are highly detailed and the 4K videos recorded at 30fps look crisp. However, the camera has a noticeable shutter lag when you click pictures in 64MP mode. Some pictures also showed high distortion rate. The portrait mode managed to capture some impressive shots with incredible details and realistic bokeh.

However, it is not very consistent especially when there's a human subject in the frame. Some pictures appear highly saturated. The Poco X2's camera software optimization is done by Xiaomi and it could surely use some optimization.

Highly Slippery, Slightly Hefty And Fingerprint Magnet

Highly Slippery, Slightly Hefty And Fingerprint Magnet

The highly reflective back panel of the Poco X2 comes in a glossy finish which makes the device a fingerprint magnet. Another downside of a glossy back panel is its slippery nature. Add to this the sheer width of the Poco X2 and you get a device which is quite unfit for one-hand usage. One can blame the big 6.67-inch screen for the hefty design but the Galaxy S10 Lite is a clear showcase of good ergonomics. The smartphone also flaunts a 6.67-inch screen with 20:9 aspect ratio but still manages to fit in one hand.

Verdict

Verdict

The Poco X2 is an excellent comeback for a brand that has been silent for over 16 months. As we mentioned, the smartphone should not be mistaken as a successor to the Poco F1. It's the first handset in the entirely new series which will kickstart a new trend of higher refresh rate displays in mid-range price segment. The handset features a promising quad-lens camera setup and a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery life. We will spend some more time with the Poco X2 to bring you the full details on its overall performance in our comprehensive review.

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