If you're currently shopping for a smartphone below S$500, consider the Poco X6 Pro 5G. Thanks to excellent hardware that ensures a smooth, responsive experience, as well as a bright, and crisp display, the Poco delivers the goods. The cameras are decent, and the battery life is good, too. It's a solid mid-range option.
- 6.67-inch AMOLED (2,712 x 1,220 pixels, up to 120Hz)
- MediaTek Dimensity 8300 Ultra with 12GB RAM, 512GB storage
- 5,000mAh battery, 67W charging
- Cameras: 64MP, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 16MP front
I tested the black version of the Poco X6 Pro 5G — it also comes in yellow and grey. It has a glossy, and reflective curved back that looks like glass, but is actually plastic. I like it. However, it can pick up a fair amount of fingerprints and smudges. Meanwhile, the sides and the display are flat. The phone itself feels good in the hand. It's not slippery, and is not as heavy (186g) as premium, glass-backed phones. Its 6.67-inch AMOLED screen has slim bezels, and packs slightly more pixels (2,712 x 1,220 pixels) than the usual 1080p display. It offers 1,200 nits of brightness (High Brightness Mode), and peaks at 1,800 nits. That's not quite flagship-tier, but good enough to use outdoors under the sun. You can manually set the refresh rate to 60Hz or 120Hz in the settings, or just let it switch automatically.
Some minor grouses: You need to tap the screen to bring up the Always-on display, which doesn't make sense, but it's the norm for some Xiaomi phones. I was also disappointed that the Poco X6 Pro 5G is only IP54 splash resistant. Especially when mid-range phones, including the new Xiaomi Note 13 Pro+ 5G (review soon!) increasingly offer IP67/68 water and dust resistant. Despite its four lens cutouts, the Poco only has three rear cameras. It's a similar camera arrangement as last year's F5 Pro. In good lighting, photos generally look fine, albeit with a bit of noise, and some images seemingly a tad saturated. Portrait shots have a nice background blur, though there was some white fringing around the subject in some photos. Night photos are not that great — they often look watercolour-like, and noisy. Just about passable for a mid-range phone camera.
Performance is the Poco's strong suit. Thanks to its new MediaTek Dimensity 8300 Ultra chip, along with fast storage and memory, the X6 Pro 5G produced a Geekbench 6 score of 4064 (multi-core). This compares favourably with the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE (3,922). Apps feel smooth, and open promptly. The Poco is also one of the first smartphones to use Xiaomi's rebranded HyperOS. Based on Android 14, the new interface is largely similar to MIUI. The biggest change: Settings icons like Bluetooth or Torch etc in the pull-down Control Centre no longer carry text labels, which makes it look even more like iOS. There's also a new font, but generally, it's not a huge revamp in terms of the look and feel.
Battery life is solid at around 8 hours in PCMark's battery life test. This was with the display at maximum brightness. The 5,000mAh battery on the Poco X6 Pro also replenishes at a respectable 67W charging speed. No wireless charging, which is unsurprisingly for a mid-range phone. Overall, the Poco offers great performance at this price point, with a bright, smooth display. I like the glossy, and reflective plastic back, too. The cameras are fine, but don't stand out enough, while the IP54 rating is a slight disappointment. Prices start at S$449 for the base 8GB + 256GB version. My 12GB + 512GB is S$499, which is competitive for a mid-range phone. Get it now on Shopee, and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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