To summarise the X5 Pro 5G in a single sentence is not how we should be starting our reviews but time is short and phones are plentiful so here’s a quick take. The Poco X5 Pro 5G has enough oomph to stay on top and demands just enough to not bite a hole in your wallet. That’s pretty much the elevator pitch for this smartphone. It gets a lot of things right for not a lot of money.
Poco X5 Pro 5G review
X marks the spot
6GB/128GB | ₹24999 for 8GB/256GB
The design of the Poco X5 Pro 5G is similar to what you find on other Android smartphones as well. Squared-off edges, flat sides and minimum bezels. Everything is in accordance with the norm and nothing is out of the ordinary. The fingerprint sensor that is built into the power button is thinner than the volume buttons so it feels one with the frame, and further aids its flatter dimensions when you touch it.
I am personally not a fan of flat-edged smartphones because the sharper corners dig into my delicate fingers. As a resident tech-fiddler at Stuff, I need to keep these in mint condition. That said, you won’t find any inferior plastics or funky-feeling glass around the smartphone. It’s made from polycarbonate plastic, yes but it feels robust and good.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has an FHD+ AMOLED display that stretches across 6.67in and has a 120Hz Adaptive refresh rate (30/60/90/120Hz). It’s calibrated just right to make content viewing pleasurable. Don’t expect natural colours on this display but the refresh rate is adjusted well for most content automatically. It makes gaming and doom-scrolling on Instagram fun.
Movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime could do with a bit more sharpness and brightness but at this price point, we rather not complain. In fact, when it comes to performance, there’s nothing to complain about with the Poco X5 Pro 5G.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G is the same one you get in the Nothing Phone (1). It’s fast, stable and reliable, and bagging it for ₹22,999 is the icing on the cake. Playing Marvel Snap runs effortlessly. It gets slightly warm after 1-2 hours of continuous gaming in Performance mode from the Game Turbo overlay. Weirdly, the Game Turbo feature also lets you change your voice in real-time for in-game audio. It’s a fun gag feature which I love but it could be used for malice as well.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G also glides through everyday tasks. It’s smooth and effortless and the MIUI 14 is cleaner than what we were expecting. There’s some bloatware but once you wiggle out the permissions and delete the unwanted apps, there’s never any interference from the OS to serve you an ad.
The rear has 108MP primary, 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro cameras. Upfront you get a 16MP snapper. The overall quality of the cameras is adequate. It’s not mindblowing or anything of sorts. In fact, the tonal balance is slightly on the saturated side. Deeper shadows and higher contrasts from all three lenses. Especially the primary camera. Unless the subject is lathered in sunlight and the camera is angled properly, don’t expect tonal consistency from shots. Portrait mode, especially human faces, adds a ton of contrast to subjects.
We can tell that the camera smarts have a vital role in the quality of the contrast and colour composition. Maybe it will be fixed with a few updates but at the time of writing, the camera is overprocessed a bit too aggressively.
It’s not all doom and gloom, the three cameras do manage to have a consistent colour reproduction. So ultra-wide shots and primary camera shots won’t look wildly different from one other. Unless you hop indoors and spot the noise around the edges in an ultra-wide shot.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G brings heaps of performance by carefully managing your expectations without making you feel the pinch about the shortcomings. Plastic body? It’s great, and you’ll mostly put it under a cover. Fingerprint scanner? On the power button and among the fastest there is. Cameras and display? Good enough for the price and if you want more, you can always tinker with these things from the settings. It rarely disappoints and once you scrub the bloatware, there’s no complaining with the Poco X5 Pro 5G. It’s the safest bet within the sub-₹20K market.
The X5 Pro brings performance without cutting too many corners
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
|6GB | 8GB LPDDR4X
|128GB | 256GB UFS 2.2
|Android 12 (MIUI 14), 2-Year Android OS Updates and 3-Year Security Updates
|6.67in FHD+ Xfinity AMOLED Display, 120Hz refresh rate (30/60/90/120Hz)
|5000 mAh, 67W charger in the box
|108MP, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, Front Camera 16MP