POCO smartphones always come to my mind whenever someone ask me for recommendation of an affordable smartphone. Reason being is simple – POCO smartphones tend to offer much more than what it’s competitors put forward in each price point, making them extremely value for money.
The newly unveiled POCO X5 Pro 5G continues to impress in this aspect, bringing along a cutting-edge chipset, versatile camera system as well as a blazing-fast 67W fast wired charging – all that at an attractive starting price of just S$429 in the local market.
Besides offering competitive specs, POCO smartphones had also been well-known for it’s trendy design specifically targeted towards millennials. Just like last year’s X4 Pro 5G (Review), the new POCO X5 Pro 5G sticks to a dual-tone rear design with the camera module adopting a slightly darker shade compared to the rest of it’s rear panel.
Unlike the Laser Black model that we saw on it’s predecessor, the new Black model gets a more understated paintjob furnished with a Matte-like finish which naturally does a better job in keeping out fingerprints and smudges than those with glossy rear panel. Anyway, those who’re fans of more attention-grabbing colors may opt for the Yellow or Blue variants instead.
Hopping on the trend of flat edge design, the X5 Pro 5G has a boxy appearance which not only looks good, but also offers better ergonomic since having flat frame actually makes the phone easier to hold and grip as compared to curved edges which tend to feel ”slippery” along the sides. On top of that, it also saves you the possibility of accidental touches which can be really annoying at times.
Despite being a low-priced model, the POCO X5 Pro 5G also features an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance which we don’t typically see among smartphones of it’s price. This is quite an important feature as it ensures the phone is able to survive light splashes of water, meaning you wouldn’t have to worry about the phone when it starts to drizzle while you jog.
The front side of the phone is a more familiar sight. It’s the same 6.67” display as the X4 Pro 5G with a centered punch-hole cutout which houses a 16 megapixels front-facing camera that handles selfie and video call on the device.
One thing that really stood out in this department is the adoption of a high-end AMOLED panel which isn’t really common among budget smartphones. Compared to LCD displays, AMOLED panel certainly offers greater vibrancy and punchier color which significantly improve viewing experience.
Other than that, the display itself also features a sharp-looking FHD+ screen resolution along with an ultra-fast 120Hz adaptive refresh rate which makes scrolling and animation felt slick on the device. That’s not forgetting that the screen also supports an impressive peak brightness that goes up to 900 nits.
Finally, those with butterfingers would also be glad to know that the front display is fitted with an additional layer of Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the screen against accidental drop or scratches. Once again, this is a feature we don’t normally see within this price point.
Under the hood, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset which offers a slight performance boost over the Snapdragon 695 chipset used in last year’s X4 Pro 5G.
In day-to-day usage, the Snapdragon 778G delivers a smooth and enjoyable smartphone experience when browsing the web, replying to text messages or streaming my favorite Netflix drama. Likewise, it also holds up well when working on more resource-intensive tasks such as mobile gaming or video editing which are known to slow down performance of smartphones, especially among budget devices.
As an additional perk for mobile gamers, the POCO X5 Pro 5G also adopts a smart cooling solution to keep it’s thermal in check during prolonged gaming sessions which helps to ensure a more consistence frame rate when playing fast-paced FPS or MMORPG games.
Memory-wise, the POCO X5 Pro 5G will be offered in either 6GB+128GB or 8GB+256GB configuration in the local market. Both variants will be coming with Dynamic RAM expansion 3.0 technology which give user the option to covert up to 5GB of available ROM storage into RAM memory for better multi-tasking experience.
Moving on to the imaging department, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is equipped with a versatile triple-cam system lead by a 108 megapixels main camera with a large 1/1.52” sensor size. This will be joined by an 8 megapixels ultra-wide camera as well as a 2 megapixels macro unit for close-up photography.
Since the main camera uses the same Samsung ISOCELL HM2 imaging sensor as last year’s X4 Pro 5G, it doesn’t came as a surprise to me that the main camera unit is able to capture some really good-looking photos that are comparable to smartphones of the $600 – $700 range.
In the default shooting mode, photos turn out with excellent dynamic range which allow them to look natural and yet flattering. HDR mode on the other hand, helps to dial up contrasts and details in high contrast scenes which the default shooting mode may occasionally get into some exposure issue.
Likewise, it also has a reliable night mode feature which does a remarkable job in improving image quality in low-light scenes. The catch here however, is that the night mode feature have to be turned on manually whenever you’re shooting a low-light scene since there’s no auto night mode onboard.
Those who enjoy taking landscape photography will be able to make good use of it’s 8MP ultra-wide unit which is actually able to click some pretty decent looking photos with acceptably good details and dynamic range.
For distant subjects, the phone relies on digital zooming (of up to 10x zoom) due to the lack of a dedicated telephoto camera. Besides faraway shots, I also find it useful for taking close-up photography of plants or insects as it tend to yield better results than those taken by the macro camera.
Battery & Charging
To keep it’s lights on, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is backed by a respectable 5,000mAh battery which gets me through the day with around 30% remaining before I head to bed. In fact, I was able to get up to two days battery life on days when I use the phone more sparingly.
Aside from it’s enduring battery life, the POCO X5 Pro 5G also impresses with it’s ultra-fast 67W wired charging speed that’s capable of delivering a full charge from 0 to 100% in roughly 45 minutes. Otherwise, a mere 15 minutes charge is sufficient to top a completely flat battery up to 50%, which is almost equivalent to a day’s battery life under light usage.
The POCO X5 Pro 5G is certainly one of the best, if not the best option you can get under $500. Despite being essentially a budget-centric smartphone, the X5 Pro 5G comes with everything you need to kick start an amazing smartphone experience, from it’s class-leading chipset to it’s competent camera system.
For those who’re interested, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is available in both 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB variants which are priced at S$429 and S$469 respectively in Singapore where the phone can purchased exclusively via POCO official store on Shopee.
Do check out our unboxing of the POCO X5 Pro 5G on our TikTok & Instagram page!