Poco X4 Pro 5G Review- Fine Upgrades Overshadow The Compromises

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Poco X4 Pro departs from the company's core philosophy of offering the most powerful hardware at the lowest price. However, it aims to cater to a wider user base by adding future 5G connectivity and top mobile features such as a 120Hz AMOLED display, an extended battery with fast charging, and stereo speakers. The Poco X4 Pro is available in three variants with a starting price of Rs. 18,999.

 

Rating:
3.5/5

Poco X4 Pro 5G Review

If you were planning to upgrade to a Poco X-series device in 2022, hoping it would offer even better performance, you will be disappointed. However, if you're looking for a mid-ranger with a good display, good design, and long battery life, this review might assist you. Having said that, is the new Poco X4 Pro an all-rounder as promised by the brand? Let's find out in our Poco X4 Pro 5G Review.

Design- More Ergonomic Than Its Predecessor

Design- More Ergonomic Than Its Predecessor

Poco has made some notable design changes that work in the favour of the new handset. The Poco X4 Pro is slimmer and somewhat lighter (by 10g) than the X3 Pro, which was an ergonomic nightmare. The X4 Pro has a boxy design, flat-glass back, and flat plastic edges with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner cum power button. It is very snappy and unlocks the phone instantly.

The power button is also customizable and can help you invoke the AI assistant, launch the camera and perform a couple of tasks, which comes in handy.

Highly Glossy & Comes In Three Color Options
 

Highly Glossy & Comes In Three Color Options

The Poco X4 Pro is IP53-rated for dust and splash protection, and the display is protected by a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 5. You can buy the handset in three color options- yellow, blue and black.

We are testing the black variant that flaunts a highly glossy back panel with a unique laser light rays pattern. A big camera module that's reminiscent of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra's mighty camera setup occupies almost one-third of the back panel.

Stereo Speakers, 3.5mm Audio Jack & Hybrid SIM Card Tray

Stereo Speakers, 3.5mm Audio Jack & Hybrid SIM Card Tray

The Poco X4 Pro comes with a hybrid SIM card tray. It is placed at the bottom along with a Type C charging port, a microphone, and a bottom-firing speaker unit. There's a second speaker at the top completing the stereo speaker setup along with a 3.5 mm audio jack, a second microphone for noise cancellation, and an IR blaster.

You also get a dedicated earpiece. The X4 Pro's stereo speakers produce excellent sound for the price. Overall, we liked what Poco has done with the X4 Pro's design. The new phone looks good, covers most basis, and has better ergonomics than its predecessor.

Poco X4 Pro Display

Poco X4 Pro Display

Another major upgrade comes in the display department. The Poco X4 Pro doesn't force you to compromise between screen fluidity and color reproduction. The handset flaunts a 6.67-inch Full HD AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. It is essentially the same OLED screen that Redmi is offering on its Note 11 Pro Plus and brings the best of both worlds.

Since it's an AMOLED panel, videos look more immersive and graphics-intensive games appear more engaging. Colors look lively and blacks appear deeper than what you experience on LCDs on smartphones under 20K. Content consumption under bright light is handled very well by the OLED panel as it offers a peak brightness of 1200 nits. For protection, you get a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 5.

Overall, the Poco X4 Pro aces the display game in its respective price bracket.

Poco X4 Pro Hardware- It’s Not A Performance Beast

Poco X4 Pro Hardware- It’s Not A Performance Beast

The Poco X4 Pro misses on the raw power that the Poco X3 Pro offered. And the brand openly accepts that. Poco India country director- Anuj Sharma mentioned in an exclusive interview with Financial Express Online that not even Poco can come up with a powerful yet affordable device like the Poco X3 Pro for the next couple of years.

The X3 Pro was built for pure performance and gaming, whereas the X4 Pro caters to a wider audience with upgrades in design, display, and battery performance. Sadly, the list of upgrades does not include the software. The X4 Pro runs Android 11 out-of-the-box and the worst part is the poor optimization. The new SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 and this old iteration of Android OS seem to lack a certain synchronization.

Software Could Use Some Optimization

Software Could Use Some Optimization

This clearly shows in the day-to-day performance of the smartphone. Most apps load up with jittery animations and windows transitions aren't as smooth as we expect from a mid-range smartphone in 2022, especially from a Poco device. The camera app is marred by slow loading times and consistently lags while switching modes and taking the 64MP high-resolution pictures.

We are testing the 8GB + 128GB variant with MIUI 13.0.2 and this is the topmost variant in the portfolio. The lower RAM variants might feel slower. A software update might resolve the issues but that's us being optimistic about the smartphone. Moving on, the phone can run popular game titles but mostly at lower settings to keep the performance smooth.

Ambient Light Sensor Issue?

Ambient Light Sensor Issue?

We want to highlight another issue with the Poco X4 Pro, primarily with the ambient light sensor, which can be a unit-specific issue, but it is important to point it out. While using the camera outdoors, the ambient light sensor failed to act every time and for some reason, turned the screen brightness to almost 25%. It made it almost impossible to see what was on the display. Switching on/off and resetting the device didn't solve the problem.

Poco X4 Pro Camera Hardware

Poco X4 Pro Camera Hardware

The Poco X4 Pro has a triple-lens setup featuring a 64MP Samsung-made GW3 primary sensor accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. A 16MP front-facing camera is provided for selfies. The camera system has a fair share of compromises. For starters, the maximum video resolution supported by the rear camera is 1080 30fps. The night mode is only supported by the primary lens and the macro sensor is only a foxed-focus lens.

Camera Performance

Camera Performance

  • The 64MP primary sensor captures well-detailed pictures. Both outdoor and indoor pictures were taken in good light look impressive and easily qualify for social media platforms.
  • Color science has improved, dynamic range is impressive but the contrast levels still seem slightly higher than our liking.
  • The Poco X4 Pro's camera is marred by the same old problem of excess sharpness; which affects most budget and mid-range Xiaomi handsets. Notice the tree's leaves. That extra noise and unwanted sharpness create a weird effect.
  • We would also recommend you disable AI and Pro color mode for more natural-looking image output.
Shoot In 64MP High-Resolution Mode For Better Results

Shoot In 64MP High-Resolution Mode For Better Results

  • It's better to shoot in the 64MP high-resolution mode and make edits in the post-processing. This will bypass some unwanted processing issues done by Xiaomi's camera software algorithms.
  • The 8MP wide-angle camera delivers acceptable picture output for its price. Images show good dynamic range in the daylight but noise is still very much evident.
  • The Poco X4 Pro captures decent portraits despite lacking a dedicated portrait sensor.
  • The 64MP primary sensor also takes acceptable low-light shots. Sadly, the night mode is also offered on the primary camera.
1080p 30fps Video Recording & Passable Macros

1080p 30fps Video Recording & Passable Macros

  • The Poco X4 Pro captures good high-definition videos. Details and colors appear nice but the frame rate is limited to just 30fps, which is a letdown. This chipset limitation affects the overall package value of the handset.
  • The 2MP fixed focus macro sensor doesn't break any grounds either. It only captures decent shots if the available lighting is good and you are careful about the distance from the subject.

Overall, the Poco X4 Pro isn't quite a smartphone for photography enthusiasts. It is mostly good for buyers who aren't fond of pixel-peeping and just need a camera on their smartphones for basic needs.

Battery Life, Charging & Connectivity

Battery Life, Charging & Connectivity

Similar to most Xiaomi phones across the different brandings, the Poco X4 Pro draws power from a hefty 5,000mAh battery cell. The large battery cell is supported by a 67W fast-charging adaptor that refuels it from flat to 100% in less than 50-minutes, which is pretty good for a mid-range smartphone. As far as the battery life is concerned, the Poco X4 Pro's battery delivers an excellent standby and running time.

The smartphone can easily last a day and a half with a mix of moderate to heavy usage. If you don't stream videos and play games all day long and set the screen to run at 60Hz, the battery can even cross a two-day mark on one full charge. And the battery life is pretty consistent too.

For connectivity, the Poco X4 Pro supports a total of seven 5G bands (N1/3/5/8/28/40/78), has Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Glonass, IR Blaster and a hybrid Nano-SIM card tray.

Verdict

Verdict

2022 hasn't been kind to mid-range smartphones. Like most sub-20K handsets, the Poco X4 Pro has its fair share of compromises and isn't quite an upgrade over the X3 Pro. It lacks that raw performance, which differentiates the Poco handsets from the competition. But since not everyone wants a game-centric phone in this budget, the X4 Pro has a market in India.

The smartphone makes for a decent purchase for anyone looking for a 5G smartphone with a good design & display, a long-lasting battery with fastcharging, and decent cameras for day-to-day requirements. If you are happy with this sort of arrangement, the X4 Pro shouldn't disappoint you.

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