An All Rounder Under Rs. 20,000?
POCO X5 is a new member of the brand’s most popular smartphone series, the USP of which is its amazing high refresh rate display and decent camera setup. Starting price of the POCO X5 is Rs 18,999 for the 6GB RAM variant while the 8GB RAM variant retails for Rs 20,999. After using it for about a week, here is an in-depth review of the POCO X5 5G smartphone.
POCO X5 5G Review
POCO X5 5G comes in three colors, namely, Supernova Green, Jaguar Black, and Wildcat Blue, this time there is no POCO Yellow variant. We have got the Wildcat Blue for review, and my first impressions of the POCO X5 5G are great, the design and the build feel solid.
POCO X5 5G Unboxing
Before going in-depth with the review, let’s check all the accessories that you get inside the POCO X5 5G retail box.
- POCO X5
- 33Watt wall adapter
- Type-C cable
- Clear case
- SIM tray ejector
- Quick start guide
POCO X5 5G: Design and Build
Signature POCO design DNA can be found on X5 5G as well with a slim form factor and the iconic POCO branding near the camera module. At first glance, the smartphone looks premium from all sides. The rear panel is made of polycarbonate with deeper hues of the smartphone’s color on the edges, giving it a premium look and feel. Since that panel comes in a matte finish, it doesn’t attract fingerprints and smudges that much. The frame of the smartphone is also made of polycarbonate with flatter edges which are also the home of the fingerprint scanner.
Apart from the fingerprint sensor, the right side of the phone also houses the volume rocker. The Hybrid SIM card tray slot is on the left side. On the bottom side are a USB Tpye-C port, a loudspeaker, and the primary microphone. The 3.5 mm audio jack, secondary microphone, and IR blaster are located on the top edge of the smartphone. POCO X5 5G’s rear camera module protrudes a bit but the phone doesn’t wobble much when kept on a flat surface.
I have been using this smartphone for about a week and it didn’t pick up any scratches on the rear panel. POCO has provided a clear case that can add a decent amount of protection to the smartphone from scratches and even accidental drops. It even comes with an IP53 rating for water and dust resistance. The smartphone weighs 189 grams and is only 7.98 mm thick. Overall the build quality and the design of the smartphone are great for the pricing.
One of the USPs of the POCO X5 5G is the display, as it comes with a 6.7 inches FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This is the best display you can ever get on a smartphone at this price point. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it from scratches, and normal wear and tear, there’s also a pre-applied screen protector, so you need to go and rush to the market to get one. To accommodate the selfie camera, the center-hole punch design has a shiny metal ring around it, which can be discomforting when capturing pictures or videos from the front camera.
The peak brightness of this display is advertised as 1200nits which is great for outdoor visibility, which faired out at 48 LUX on our brightness meter, which is a good score. During our testing, we found the display to be bright enough for both indoor and outdoor usage and produce very punchy colors. The Widewine L1 certification allows streaming high-definition content from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. One thing that disappointed me is that despite the AMOLED display, the brand chose to put the fingerprint sensor on the side. It is completely my personal opinion about this, the placement of the fingerprint sensor doesn’t affect its performance by any means.
The display on POCO X5 5G locks on the particular refresh rate, you can either change it to 120Hz or 60Hz. The display color scheme can be adjusted to get a better experience, you can set it to Vivid, Saturated, or standard, to further personalize it to your preference, you can change the color temperature as well.
It has also got a dedicated reading mode with a bunch of customizations so you can adjust it accordingly. For a better outdoor experience, there’s a sunlight mode that boosts the brightness under direct sunlight. Overall the display on POCO X5 5G is perfect and the best you can ever ask for in a smartphone at this price.
POCO X5 Performance
Performance is the major part where I see this smartphone as a rebranded POCO X4 Pro 5G from last year. POCO X5 5G shares the same chipset as POCO X4 Pro 5G, i.e., the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695. Despite being two years old, this chipset is perfect for an affordable smartphone. With Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, up to 8GB RAM, and 256GB UFS 2.2 storage which keeps the phone snappier throughout the day.
The write speed of the storage came out to be 346MB/s and the read speed is 451MB/s which is also decent. There’s a base variant as well of POCO X5 5G with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variants. This LPDDR4X RAM paired with UFS 2.2 storage combination helps in a smooth and snappy multitasking experience on the POCO X5 5G.
We played a few games including Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile, both of which are demanding titles. During our testing, both games ran pretty smoothly and no stuttering or lag was experienced during the gameplay. Asphalt 9 gave smooth gameplay on the default graphic settings. During gaming, the smartphone got warmed up a bit but was well manageable and the processor doesn’t throttle even after long gameplay sessions.
On the AnTuTu benchmark, the smartphone scored 393,084 which is a decent number. We also did a CPU throttling test and found that the CPU only throttles to 95 of its performance which is amazing. This is the reason, the games run smoothly on this smartphone during extended gaming sessions. The performance is overall perfect and if you’re looking for a gaming phone under Rs. 20,000 then you will love the performance on POCO X5 5G.
POCO X5 Software
POCO X5 5G runs on MIUI 13 based on Android 12 out of the box which comes with a bunch of bloatware pre-installed, though you can uninstall all the preloaded third-party apps easily. It comes with a toned-down version of MIUI since you don’t see the transparency effects anywhere throughout the UI. This is done to keep the phone run smooth by removing a few visual cosmetics from the interface.
The POCO X5 5G comes with the default MIUI dialer which means you can record calls if you want without any warning. POCO has promised to push at least 2 years of major Android upgrades which means the POCO X5 will be upgraded to Android 14. The 2 years of security updates feel a bit lower compared to the competition. Overall the software feels smooth and no lags, crashes, or stutters were found during our testing.
POCO X5 Camera
POCO X5 5G comes with a triple camera setup at the back and a punch-hole selfie camera on the front. The main camera module includes a 48MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro camera. The selfie camera is a 13MP shooter which is centrally placed in a punch-hole fashion. It can record videos up to 1080 p at 30 fps max and no stabilization is provided. POCO’s own POCO X4 Pro 5G that came last year had a 64MP main sensor and a 16MP selfie camera at the same price as POCO X5 5G now.
Moving on to the camera performance, I loved that POCO doesn’t do heavy post-processing with the pictures. This makes the colors look true to life. The clarity and dynamic range in the pictures are also decent and here are some of the pictures from the main sensor of POCO X5 5G.
Let’s move to the ultrawide and macro lens, the ultrawide is an 8MP shooter and I find its quality to be satisfactory. The image clarity is ok but it is good to see no color shift between the ultrawide and primary camera. The macro sensor on the other hand is hard to justify. Since it is a fixed focus sensor, focusing on the object is hard. I tried to capture a few pictures using the macro camera, which can be found below.
I liked that the selfie camera does not apply filters by default. This makes the pictures come out to be natural with no skin smoothening effect. The colors are great and it does come with a portrait mode that works well.
Overall the camera on the POCO X5 5G smartphone is good. But I must say that comparing it to the POCO X4 Pro, it doesn’t seem like a very good deal.
POCO X5 Connectivity
With 7 5G bands, during our testing, the network connectivity stayed strong. One thing to notice is that the download speed never exceeded 500 Mbps. With Dual-band Wi-Fi support, you can connect to 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands, to achieve a stronger connection with WI-Fi devices. Since it is a hybrid SIM tray, you can not use a second SIM, with a microSD card.
POCO X5 Battery and Charging
The massive 5000 mAh battery on the POCO X5 5G is sufficient for a whole day of usage. You can easily get 6 to 7 hours of screen time which is great. This does include a few hours of gaming and content consumption over a 5G network. To top up the battery quickly, it comes with a 33Watt charger inside the box. During our testing, this smartphone went from 10 percent to 100 percent in one and a half hours.
POCO X5 Pros and Cons
After spending my time with the POCO X5 5G, here’s a quick Pros and Cons section to summarize my review.
- Great display
- Good performance
- Decent camera
- Large battery
- Mono Speakers
- Polycarbonate back panel
- Hybrid SIM tray
POCO X5 Final Verdict
The POCO X5 5G is no doubt a good smartphone under sub-Rs. 20,000 segment. But will you go for a better design, and an extra year of software updates on POCO X5 5G? Or will you go for the last year’s POCO X4 Pro 5G, with the same Snapdragon 695, a 64MP camera, and faster 67W charging?
I prefer a modern-looking design, and extended security updates, over faster charging, if you feel the same, then you should go for POCO X5 5G.
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