Poco F5 review: A mid-budget powerhouse | 4112


Poco F5 review: A mid-budget powerhouse

Poco recently launched the Poco F5 in India as the successor to its last year’s Poco F4 5G smartphone. The newly launched F-series smartphone features several upgrades over its predecessor – a brighter display, a bigger vapour cooling chamber for gaming, and a bigger battery to name a few. In addition to this, the Poco F5 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 system-on-chip (SoC), making it the first smartphone in the country to come with this chipset.

At a starting price of Rs 29,999, the Poco F5 has all the hallmarks of a winner. But are a strong set of specifications enough to make this phone worth all your money? We will try to answer that and more in the detailed review below. So, keep reading…

Poco F5: Specifications

Display: 6.67-inch FHD+ 12-bit Display with 120Hz screen refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 1000 nits of peak brightness
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2
RAM: up to 12GB of LPDDR5
Storage: 256GB UFS 3.1 storage
Operating System: MIUI 14 based on Android 13
Camera: 64MP primary + 8MP ultra-wide angle + 2MP macro sensor at the back, 16MP selfie camera
Battery: 5,000mAh battery with 67W turbo charger
Connectivity: 5G, WiFi 6/6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Colours: Carbon Black, Snowstorm white and Electric Blue
Price: Starts at Rs 29,999

Poco F5 review: Design

Let’s talk about the design first.

The Poco F5 comes with a polycarbonate back with a polished aluminum chassis that is available in three colour variants. I got the Carbon Black colour variant for my review. While the phone looks good, if not premium, the back is a fingerprint magnet and not at all easy to clean. If you are obsessed with cleanliness like I am, you would want to keep it under lock and key for the fear of getting smudges all over its glossy black back. Thankfully, Poco ships a transparent back cover inside the box, which makes a world of difference.

Besides the finish, the back houses a triple camera setup that is stacked towards the top left corner. Instead of placing the camera setup inside a camera module, Poco has used a chrome-ring design, which is a welcoming departure from the design language that most smartphone makers follow these days. It’s also different from the design that the company opted for in the Poco F4 5G.

Beyond the back, the Poco F5 has a 3.5mm jack and a speaker at the top and a SIM card slot, another speaker and a USB Type-C charging port at the bottom.

Overall, the Poco F5 has a well-rounded design that is easy on the eyes and comfortable to hold even for long durations. It may not be the most premium-looking phone in this price segment, but it certainly gets the job done right.

Poco F5 review: Display

Now, let’s talk about the display.

The Poco F5 gets a display that is similar to last year’s Poco F4 5G but with a bunch of upgrades. Firstly, the Poco F5 comes with a 12-bit display or support for 68.7 billion colours. What this translates to is that the display of the phone will be able to show or correctly represent 68.7 billion colours, giving the screen more range and accuracy. Apart from this, the phone also gets support for Dolby Vision, Adaptive HDR and HDR 10+. In usage, the display of the Poco F5 is bright and vibrant with the right amount of saturation. It provides a good viewing experience, especially when watching movies and TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video or when browsing through music videos on YouTube. The adaptive brightness too is quick to gauge the change in lighting conditions.

However, one area where the Poco F5 takes a step back from its predecessor is in terms of the brightness. The Poco F4 offers a peak brightness of 1,300 nits, while the Poco F5 offers 1,000 nits of peak brightness. That said, this difference in numbers doesn’t stop the phone from offering a comfortable experience even under the harsh Delhi sun.

Poco F5 review: Camera

Next comes the camera.

The camera of the Poco F5 is quite similar to that of the Poco F4 5G. This means that you get the same camera setup at the back. The front camera, on the other hand, has been tweaked a bit. While the Poco F4 comes with a 20MP front-facing camera, the newly launched Poco F5 has a 16MP front camera.

Coming to the camera performance, the Poco F4 offered a good camera performance when it arrived last year. The Poco F5 that was launched this year is no different in this regard. The phone manages to capture bright and vibrant images in the daylight condition with the right degree of saturation. What I like about the rear camera setup is that it manages to preserve details perfectly showing every single vein in a leaf and anthers in a flower. The images have ample depth ensuring sharp edges. This level of detail is also preserved in the portrait mode. However, clarity does take a slight hit, especially when the sun is right over your head.

Interestingly, the phone manages to preserve the colour even during the low light condition albeit with some noise. While the Poco F5 may not be the best phone in the market for low-light conditions, it certainly doesn’t disappoint either.

Coming to the front facing camera, the phone manages to capture clear images with ample depth both in the indoor and outdoor lighting conditions.

Poco F5 review: Performance and Battery

Coming to the performance, the Poco F5 is the first smartphone in India to be powered by the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 processor. This processor shares a lot with its more premium sibling, that is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC while cutting some corners to keep it within the affordable range for most buyers. This chipset has the same architecture as SD 8+ Gen 1. At the same time, it delivers improved CPU performance over the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 SoC. What all of this translates to is that the Poco F5 has a strong core that can easily take the heat.

In usage, the Poco F5 promises what it delivers. From your daily grunt work to the weekend movie (or TV show) marathons or gaming during the run, it can easily withstand anything that you throw at it without showing any signs of lag or slow down.

On the software end, the phone is powered by Android 13-based MIUI 14. It has all the apps for your day-to-day needs and a little bit more. Meaning, the UI is riddled with bloatware and ads, all of which can get annoying at times and in some ways slightly diminish the overall feel of what is otherwise a perfectly capable smartphone.

Lastly, the battery.

Poco has also upgraded the battery of the Poco F5 smartphone. While the Poco F4 comes with a 4,500mAh battery, the Poco F5 gets a significantly bigger backup. In effect, the phone, that is, the Poco F5 provides ample juice to cover all your needs for a day without you looking for a charging station at the end of the day. During my time with the phone, it easily lasted for the entire day and some more. Over the weekends, when I prefer staying away from my phone (as much as possible) it provided a backup of almost a day and a half, which is more than what you can ask for. It charges completely in around 45 minutes.

Should you buy Poco F5 or not?

In the beginning of this conversation, I had mentioned that the Poco F5 has all the hallmarks of a good phone. Now, as I conclude my analysis, I can confidently say that the Poco F5 promises what it delivers. The phone has a bright and vibrant display, a decent camera setup, a powerful core ideal and a long battery life, all of which make it an ideal mid-budget buy. What’s more? It also has a bigger vapour cooling chamber for avid gamers. Sure, the bloatware is a bit of a problem, and the phone could have performed slightly better under low light conditions (don’t we all want more?), but for all practical purposes, the Poco F5 is a winner.


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