After our initial hands-on with the phone, we finally have our verdict on the new POCO X5 Pro 5G, a promising and powerful mid-ranger.
A few years ago, the first POCO phone (called the Pocophone F1) made a huge splash for being a flagship killer of its time. Now that it has been years since then, POCO has become synonymous with delivering flagship-like phones at seriously affordable price points. The brand’s latest is the POCO X5 Pro 5G, and it also promises to give users a near top-of-the-line smartphone experience, all while having a mid-range price tag.
Specifically, the X5 Pro 5G has a Snapdragon 700 series processor, a large AMOLED screen, and a 108MP main camera, among other high-end features. While it looks impressive on paper, some of you may wonder if the phone delivers in actual use.
So, does it deliver on its flagship-for-less promise? Find out here in our review.
Before we get to performance and imaging, let’s first take a look at the design. From the back, the POCO X5 Pro 5G looks understated in the black colorway, save for the distinct camera module and the large POCO logo on the upper right side.
The X5 Pro also has an interesting finish that may look glossy in some angles, but is actually matte. Thanks to this, the phone feels nice and grippy to hold, not to mention that it wont’ get smudged up with fingerprints even if you go caseless. Though if you do need a case, the phone has one inside the box.
POCO’s new mid-ranger also has flat edges with an easy to grip finish. While some users may prefer curved-edged phones, the POCO X5 Pro’s flat edges makes it great for gaming sessions as it’s easier to grip and hold, all without becoming slippery even if you’re getting sweaty on an FPS/MOBA.
Moving to the front, we have the X5 Pro’s large 6.67-inch AMOLED display which has a small holepunch notch at the top. The notch placement at the middle wasn’t really distracting given how small it is, though we would’ve preferred it if it was placed on the top-left corner instead.
The display’s notch is our only real knock on the X5 Pro’s screen though as we are impressed with how it looks. Its slim bezels and vibrant colors means it can trade blows with other Android flagships or premium mid-rangers when viewed from the front.
Continuing with its display, we gave the POCO X5 Pro a go at movie/series binge-watching. As you may have expected given its AMOLED screen, the X5 Pro is an excellent display for watching your favorite movies, TV shows, anime, and more. This is thanks to the vibrant colors and deep blacks that the AMOLED screen outputs. Plus, the screen can get plenty bright so you can watch your favorite content even when you’re outdoors.
As for audio, the phone surprisingly has a stereo speaker setup; surprising given that not a lot of mid-range phones are equipped with dual speakers. While audio quality is a bit tinny at near-max volume, the audio can get quite loud so you can use it for some quick video-viewing. Though for the best experience, headphones or external speakers are recommended. Thankfully, the phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack so you don’t have to use wireless audio devices, though it is unusually placed at the top instead of at the bottom.
The POCO X5 Pro 5G is powered by a Snapdragon 778G 5G processor that’s paired with up to 8GB of RAM. While the 778G isn’t a new processor at this point, in our experience, this SoC should still be quite capable when it comes to gaming.
In our tests, the X5 Pro 5G did not disappoint. As expected, the phone was easily able to run today’s popular games, be it MOBAs like League of Legends: Wild Rift, or FPS titles like Call of Duty: Mobile. Well-known racing games like Asphalt 9 are also handled without any issues.
As for more demanding games, while you can’t max out everything, the POCO X5 Pro still runs most of them well. For instance, Genshin Impact can run at around the Medium setting quite smoothly on the phone.
The 120Hz refresh rate is also a nice addition for games that support high refresh rate screens. Plus, the 5G capability gives you a faster mobile date connection (in 5G areas) so you can download your game’s updates in a flash.
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
POCO promises that the X5 Pro 5G is a great phone for photography thanks to its 108MP main camera. This shooter is complemented by an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro camera. Meanwhile, at the front is a 2MP macro shooter.
When taking photos outdoors in the daytime, the POCO X5 Pro is able to capture high quality images with good colors and detail. While we expected the colors to be on the vibrant side (as with many mid-range phones), the POCO’s photos have fairly natural colors. The same can also be said for indoor shots with plenty of light.
Typically, phones in the mid-range segment have effective Night Mode photos which make them a must for capturing low-light shots. Though the X5 Pro 5G was a surprise as it was able to capture quality night photos, even while just using the auto mode. In fact, the Night Mode does work well at brightening the scene, though its colors are a tad too vibrant. Still, it’s impressive that the X5 Pro doesn’t need the Night Mode for good low-light shots — a train that’s usually only found in flagship phones.
Ultrawide shots in daytime are of decent quality, though the image quality does get a noticeable dip at night. This time, using the Night Mode is a must as they go a long way in improving shots take without much light.
The 2MP macro camera is, well… there. Its capabilities are pretty much the same as other 2MP macro shooters. This means you can get pretty decent results with lot so light, but the images may be a bit blurry and lacking in detail if you take macro shots indoors with poor lighting.
Finally, the 16MP selfie shooter takes pretty good photos that should satisfy most users who love to post selfies on their timeline or as a story. Though as with most Android phones, you’ll want to play around with the beautification settings as it might be a bit too strong on default.
Given its great gaming performance, it makes sense that the POCO X5 Pro 5G also runs well for everyday use. During our time with it, the phone did not slow down at any point. Whether it was social media browsing, working on office apps, or even some light content creation, the phone was fast and responsive.
The only real knock on the phone for everyday use is that it comes with a lot of pre-installed apps with lots of notifications. Its OS, MIUI for POCO (based on Android 12), is not that bad, though the installed bloat doesn’t make for the best out-of-the-box impression.
Thankfully, you can uninstall many of these and turn off notifications for most apps. Though it is still a bit annoying to got through uninstalling and muting them all.
On the flip side, the X5 Pro’s battery life is quite impressive. Thanks to its 5,000mAh battery, the phone can last for well over a day on a single charge. Depending on your usage, the phone can even last for two days.
Plus, if you do need to charge, the phone supports 67W fast charging which means you won’t have to wait too long before the phone gets to 100%.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
To recap, the POCO X5 Pro 5G has a nice design, capable cameras, great gaming/day-to-day performance, long battery life, and an excellent display. The only real knock on the phone is that it comes with lots of pre-installed apps, but even then, that’s far from a dealbreaker.
At its starting price of just PHP 16,999, there’s no doubt that the POCO X5 Pro 5G is one of the best mid-range phones that you can buy right now in the Philippines. While some phones at this price range have some compromises, it’s hard to find a major fault with the X5 Pro 5G. This makes it a compelling option for those who want an overall excellent phone without having to pay a flagship-level price tag.
POCO X5 Pro 5G Specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G Processor
- Adreno 642L GPU
- 6/8GB RAM
- 6.67-inch AMOLED FHD+ display, 120Hz refresh rate, with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- 256GB storage (expandable via microSD)
- 108MP f/1.9 main + 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP f/2.4 macro triple rear camera setup
- 16MP f/2.5 wide front camera
- 3G, LTE, 5G Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner (side), USB Type-C
- 5000mAh battery with 67W fast charge support
- Android 12 with MIUI for POCO
- 6GB+128GB: PHP 16,999
- 8GB+256GB: PHP 18,999