Poco X5 Pro Review: The Easy Phone To Recommend!
Although many brands come to mind when thinking about budget phones, it's rare that any of them stand out. Perhaps because they're aimed at more general users so compromises are usually made to meet a lower price point.
Still, brands consistently put out budget options as there are buyers for them, so the challenge is finding the right compromise to achieve the most affordable price point so that it may stand out as the valued option. And I think the Poco X5 Pro is exactly that, with the right mix of specs at the price of just over S$400.
The X5 Pro measures just 7.9mm thin and features a flat-edged design that comes in black, blue and yellow; our black variant has a sand-blasted texture on the back along with matte textured sides. The yellow variant also seems pretty interesting with the yellow accented power button, but honestly, whichever version you choose will look good nonetheless.
Speaking of the power button, you have a side-mounted fingerprint sensor built into it as well, similar to the Xperia phones. It will vary from user to user, but personally, I prefer it this way since I can unlock the phone while taking it out of my pocket or bag.
Working around the rest of the phone, you'll also find the usual sim tray, USB-C port, speaker grills, headphone jack, and a camera compartment that doesn't protrudes too much; Overall, solid build quality and design, but I do have a thing for phones with flat screens so no complaints here.
Display & Audio
Moving on to the display, its 6.67-inch AMOLED panel delivers rich visuals at a variable refresh rate of 60z or 120z. Again, no issues on this end, though it is a little on the larger side for my liking but for people who consume lots of videos on their phones, it's perfect.
The dual speakers are also average at best; now, I say this a lot, but this is the reality of phone speakers, especially budget ones. Either it's uninterestingly average, or it is mind-blowingly awesome, like the Black Shark. In this case, it is pretty muddy and lacking in any sort of bass, but it's good enough for average use.
In the specs department, Poco stuffed the X5 Pro with a Snapdragon 778G, a natural choice considering the price point. In most cases, it's more than sufficient for your media consumption and gaming unless you go all out with the graphic settings, which will definitely result in a few dropped frames here and there, especially so for graphic-intensive games like Diablo.
Wild Life Extreme
Number-wise, the X5 Pro just slightly edges out the Snapdragon 888; if you are in the MediaTek camp, that's slightly above the Dimensity 1300 or below the 8100-Max, depending on how you look at it. Nothing short of expectation; in fact, all the phones listed just so happen to cost much more than the Poco X5 Pro, which says a lot about the value and prowess altogether.
Oppo Reno8 Pro
MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max
Poco X5 Pro
Huawei Mate Xs 2
Vivo V25 Pro
MediaTek Dimensity 1300
MIUI 14 has been pretty responsive during my time with it; It's been known for a while that MIUI tends to emulate iOS-like functions like a control centre swipe from the top right or how it displays its notifications. This made the transition fairly seamless since I just came from using an iPhone 14, and of course, being based on Android also offers a certain level of customizability. One thing to note, though, is that you'll need to take a minute or two to uninstall some of the bloatware that comes with it, but if that doesn't bother you, then no worries there.
The X5 Pro is equipped with a 108MP main, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro; you'd want to make full use of the 108MP camera, and I mean in every situation you possibly can, as the ultra-wide camera is just average and almost unusable in low light without night mode. I also advise against using the macro cameras because it kind of sharpen the image a little too much, and you'll get a much better result applying a digital zoom or crop to your main camera.
The phone can also shoot up to 4K 30fps, and you know how it goes with phone videos; it's alright. Overall, I personally enjoyed shooting on the X5 Pro; at least for the main camera, its performance is arguably right up there with some flagship phones.
So surprisingly, battery life is the part that impressed me the most; having a large 5000mAh is already a plus point in itself, but Poco's optimisation really brings it up a notch. I started the day with 100% and ended the day 12 hours later at about 15%, with usage consisting of quite a bit of YouTube videos, live streams, the occasional Pokemon Unite and general use.
I could probably squeeze another half a day out of it if I'm more conservative with my usage, but since the included 67W charger can juice up the phone in less than an hour, saving battery is the least of my concerns.
Pricing & Availability
The Poco X5 Pro is priced at S$429 for the 6+128GB version and S$469 for the 8+256GB version. If that is somehow still very pricey for you, its younger brother, the X5, is also a considerable option costing S$80 cheaper with just a slightly weaker SOC and camera.
To sum it up, my experience with the X5 Pro has been nothing short of fantastic; I certainly have no complaints about it and I find it an easy recommendation for anyone who's just looking for a reliable and affordable phone without all the bells and whistles.