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POCO F5 Review: A Powerful Mid-Range Flagship with Impressive Performance

  • Display
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Battery
  • Water Protection
3.6/5Overall Score

The Poco F5 is the latest flagship smartphone from POCO, offering impressive specifications and performance at a relatively affordable price. The design of the phone is similar to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Turbo, with a plastic back panel that attracts fingerprints easily. The device feels lightweight and slim, but the plastic rear panel gives it a cheaper feel compared to its predecessor.

Specs
  • Processor: Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2
  • Memory and Storage: 8GB+256GB/12GB+256GB
  • Display: 16.94cm(6.67'') FHD+ 12-bit Display with 120Hz Smart Refresh Rate
  • Camera: 64MP AI Triple Camera with OIS
  • Battery and Charging: 5000mAh
  • Fingerprint Unlock: Side fingerprint sensor
  • Networks and Connectivity: Supports 5G / 4G / 3G / 2G
  • 5G Bands: 12 Band
Pros
  • Powerful performance with Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2
  • Vibrant and smooth 120Hz AMOLED display.
  • Versatile camera system with good image quality.
  • 5G connectivity for faster network speeds.
  • Ample storage options available (128GB and 256GB).
  • Convenient side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face unlock.
  • Good value for money in the mid-range flagship segment.
Cons
  • Design may not be the most inspiring.
  • MIUI customization might not appeal to everyone.
  • Lack of expandable storage via microSD card.
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack, requiring wireless headphones or an adapter.
  • Availability and software update frequency may vary in different regions.

After refreshing its budget and mid-range lineups earlier this year, POCO has now launched its flagship-grade F5 smartphone in India. The handset appears to adhere to the same performance-centric philosophy as the previous smartphones in the lineup, at least on paper. The POCO F5 boasts the distinction of being the first smartphone in India equipped with the powerful Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset.

The smartphone also rocks a 12-bit panel and a 5,000mAh battery, among other noteworthy specifications. However, the crucial question remains: does the smartphone truly offer good value for your hard-earned money? Keep reading this POCO F5 review to find out. (Check Motorola Edge 40 Review)

Poco F5 5G Design:

If you’re an avid follower of global smartphone launches, then the Poco F5 5G might seem familiar, and that’s because it bears a striking resemblance to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Turbo from China. Everything from the specs, design to even the colors appear to be the same as the F5 5G. It doesn’t seem like Xiaomi has any plans to launch its phone in India, so there shouldn’t be any sibling rivalry.

The black color of the Poco F5 5G does not look very premium as the plastic back panel attracts fingerprints very easily. The other colors seem like they should be able to hide smudges better. However, the feel of the plastic rear panel is not great and makes the F5 feel like a phone from a much lower price segment. It’s a shame considering the Poco F4 5G (Review) had a much better up-market design thanks to its glass back panel.

The F5 5G is quite light and slim, though, which I like. The fingerprint sensor is in the power button, which sits uncomfortably flush with the frame. On the bottom, you’ll find the SIM tray for two SIM cards but no microSD storage expansion slot, and the top of the frame has a headphone socket and an IR blaster. The F5 5G is IP53 rated for basic dust and water protection.

The display on the Poco F5 5G is nice and vibrant. What’s immediately noticeable are the evenly slim bezels on all four sides of the display. The screen itself is a 12-bit pOLED panel with a full-HD+ resolution, and 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ video playback. Poco claims it has a 1,000 nits peak brightness. The phone comes with a screen guard pre-applied, but the display does have Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Poco F5 5G Specifications and Software:

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 is a power-efficient SoC built on the 4nm process. It uses the same CPU clusters as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC in the 1+3+4 configuration, only with slightly lower frequencies. There are some other differences as well, such as a less powerful GPU, lower memory bandwidth, etc. The Poco F5 5G supports a total of 12 5G bands in India, along with Bluetooth 5.3 and dual-band Wi-Fi ac. Poco says it has used a vapor chamber cooling system consisting of 14 graphite sheets to better manage heat.

The Poco F5 5G runs MIUI 14 (14.0.3), which is based on Android 13. Poco has promised to deliver two years of Android updates and three years of security updates for the F5 5G. As usual, there is a layer of MIUI customization on top of Android, which brings its own set of features and visual tweaks. The interface is smooth and responsive, and it offers a plethora of customization options to suit your preferences. However, some users might find the MIUI experience overwhelming, especially if they prefer a stock Android-like interface.

POCO F5 5G Performance:

The POCO F5 5G excels in the performance department, thanks to the Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset. The octa-core processor coupled with up to 8GB of RAM ensures smooth multitasking and snappy app launches. Whether you’re gaming, streaming videos, or performing resource-intensive tasks, the POCO F5 handles everything with ease.

Gaming enthusiasts will appreciate the Adreno 7+ GPU, which delivers excellent graphics rendering and smooth gameplay. The device handles popular titles like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile effortlessly, with high frame rates and minimal lag. The large 12-bit pOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate further enhances the gaming experience, providing fluid visuals and responsive touch controls.

POCO F5 5G Camera:

The POCO F5 5G features a versatile camera setup that consists of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an ultra-wide-angle lens, a macro lens, and a depth sensor. The primary camera captures detailed and vibrant photos in daylight, with good dynamic range and accurate colors. In low-light conditions, the camera performance is decent, although some noise and loss of detail can be observed.

The ultra-wide-angle lens offers a wider field of view, allowing you to capture expansive landscapes and group shots. The macro lens is capable of capturing close-up shots with good detail, but it may struggle in low-light scenarios. The depth sensor helps in producing pleasing bokeh effects in portrait mode, with accurate subject separation.

On the front, the POCO F5 5G sports a 20-megapixel selfie camera housed within a punch-hole cutout. It captures sharp and well-exposed selfies, and it also supports various AI-powered enhancements and beauty filters to enhance your self-portraits.

POCO F5 5G Battery Life:

With its sizable 5,000mAh battery, the POCO F5 5G offers excellent battery life that can easily last a full day of moderate to heavy usage. The device also supports 33W fast charging, allowing you to quickly recharge the battery when needed. It’s worth noting that the F5 5G does not support wireless charging.

POCO F5 5G Connectivity:

As the name suggests, the POCO F5 5G comes with 5G connectivity, allowing you to take advantage of the next-generation network speeds. This means faster download and upload speeds, improved streaming quality, and better overall network performance in areas with 5G coverage. It also supports dual SIM functionality, allowing you to use two SIM cards simultaneously.

In terms of other connectivity options, the POCO F5 offers Wi-Fi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC for contactless payments and data transfer, and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer. It’s worth noting that the device does not include a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll need to use wireless headphones or a USB-C adapter for wired audio.

POCO F5 5G Storage and Expandability:

The POCO F5 5G comes with ample storage options to cater to different user needs. The base model offers 128GB of internal storage, which should be sufficient for most users. If you require more storage, there’s also a variant with 256GB of internal storage available. Unfortunately, the device does not support expandable storage via microSD card, so you’ll have to rely on the built-in storage.

POCO F5 5G Security:

In terms of security, the POCO F5 5G offers multiple options to safeguard your data. It features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button, which provides fast and accurate fingerprint recognition. Additionally, the device supports face unlock using the front-facing camera, allowing for convenient and secure authentication.

POCO F5 5G Software Updates:

POCO offers 2 years of Android updates + 3 years of Security patch updates for its devices. The POCO F5 5G comes with the latest version of MIUI 14 based on Android 13, and it is likely to receive regular security patches and feature updates from the manufacturer. However, the frequency and longevity of software updates may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check POCO’s official software update policy for more details.

Conclusion:

The POCO F5 5G offers a compelling package with its powerful performance, vibrant display, versatile camera setup, and 5G connectivity. It caters to users who prioritize gaming, multitasking, and fast network speeds. While the design may not be the most inspiring and the MIUI customization might not appeal to everyone, the overall experience and value for money make it a worthy contender in the mid-range flagship segment.

If you’re in the market for a smartphone that delivers excellent performance, a high-refresh-rate display, and a good camera system, the POCO F5 5G is definitely worth considering.

Is there anything else you would like to know?

POCO F5 5G Overall Impressions

The POCO F5 5G impresses with its powerful performance, vibrant display, and capable camera setup. The Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset ensures smooth multitasking and lag-free gaming, while the 12-bit pOLED display provides an immersive visual experience. The battery life is commendable, and the fast charging support is a welcome addition.

However, the design of the POCO F5 5G feels a bit uninspiring, with a plastic back panel that attracts fingerprints easily. Some users might also find the MIUI customization overwhelming compared to a stock Android experience. Additionally, while the camera performance is good overall, it may not match the image quality offered by some competing flagship devices.

Considering its competitive price point, the POCO F5 5G offers great value for money, especially for users who prioritize performance and gaming capabilities. If you’re looking for a mid-range flagship smartphone with powerful specifications and a solid overall experience, the POCO F5 5G is definitely worth considering.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can assist you with!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Poco F5 5G:

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