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  • Fitri Aiyub

POCO M4 Pro 5G Review : Still A Xiaomi Underneath?

If cheap phones are getting better and if expensive phones are getting too pricey for your wallet, among the popular picks in the “under RM1K” price range always tends to shine some light towards POCO and how they've made a name for themselves in the market.

The POCO M4 Pro 5G continues this legacy with some caveats that might reveal how it's been pulling its punches to keep the price low enough but still keeping the Xiaomi brand at its centre.

The design of the POCO M4 Pro 5G resembles most of Xiaomi phones with a flat edged display and plastic back and sides. It weighs in at 195g and is 8.75mm thick. It comes in a few colour choices of Cool Blue, POCO Yellow & Power Black. While the matte finish on the back does manage to avoid fingerprints as compared to a glass back, it's not fully absent here either. It occasionally leaves you with messy smudges most of the time and is rightfully an eyesore if you've got sweaty palms. It does feel like a big phone in the hands so one-handed use might be cumbersome for those with dainty hands as reaching to the top of the screen feels a bit of a reach.

The Poco M4 Pro 5 G supports Dual SIM, and is also 5G ready with Bluetooth 5.1.

The flat edged 6.6" FHD+ Dot Display with an IPS LCD panel comes with a 90Hz refresh rate and supports DCI-P3 colour gamut. It gets good and bright at 450 nits typical brightness, and all of this comes together to make it enjoyable for causal media consumption or movies. There's also a Sunlight Display feature to help keep your viewing experience uninterrupted in bright daylight, but we're not entirely sure what this does aside from keeping brightness at 100% and disabling the adaptive brightness toggle.

The side fingerprint lock feels fast and snappy and you also have the option of AI Face Unlock for freehanded use.

The audio experience on the other hand comes with Dual speakers which do get really loud. Although it still seems like it's lacking in the lower end for bass, it does great for vocal prioritised content, so it'll do just fine for movies or videos online. Not exactly a surround sound experience like some of the phones now that are engineered by Dolby Atmos, but hey, it's still better than mono speakers. But surprise surprise! There's a headphone jack! Something we believed would be extinct by now yet we're glad to see it here. After all, it is still relevant for some users knowing how bluetooth headphones are still worth contemplating over when making a purchase.

When it comes down to cameras, The Poco M4 Pro feels like it's lacking variety with only a dual camera construction consisting of a 50MP main camera and an 8MP Ultra-wide camera. Pictures are decent under sufficient daylight settings and very much a familiar look when it comes to Xiaomi phones that have similar outputs. It manages itself well when capturing detail for some occasions but notably over processes certain textures such as clothing or tarmac on a road.

HDR functions reasonably well, keeping your subject and the foreground in focus while compensating exposures correctly, while enhancing some colours such as greens and blues to suit the overall image. It’s not the clearest of images we've seen from a 50MP sensor, but it should serve you well for a daily driver to capture all of your precious moments to share right away.

Video output tops out at 1080p at 60fps and does reasonably well with it's 50MP sensor when it comes to exposure management, but it still comes off a bit too bright for our liking in bright daylight circumstances. It keeps most colours intact when under artificial lighting and stabilisation could use some improvements when using handheld. Footage does often show this warping effect that's common with electronically stabilised cameras and this is something to take note of if you decide to take a lot of movement shots.

The POCO M4 Pro is powered by Android 11, with 6GB RAM, a MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor and an Octa-Core Mali G-57 GPU. Our Geekbench tests scored 581 for Single-core test and 1800 for Multi-core test. This sets the closest comparison to the Xiaomi Poco X3 which in our opinion comes with better specs and more cameras if you're looking for the most value for your money yet still keeping under the RM1k price range.

Batteries are nice and big with a 5000mAh battery and 33W Fast Charging.

The POCO M4 Pro is priced at RM749 for 4GB RAM / 64GB of storage, and RM899 for 6GB RAM / 128GB storage.

As tech and phones in general have been progressing, we can't help but notice how budget phones like the Poco M4 Pro might be in the standard price range someday.

It might be a mix of wishful thinking to abolish unattainable retail prices for some phones reaching in the thousands, or maybe a simple story of how individualistic brands such as Poco decided to realise their worth and let the market decide if it agrees with them.


Written by Fitri Aiyub

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