Poco X4 Pro 5G review: A mid-range winner with a gorgeous OLED display

With an eye-watering AMOLED display, respectable specs sheet, and entry price of $299 / £259 the Poco X4 Pro 5G is certainly a device that impresses on paper. It’s a new phone from the Chinese firm that’s absolutely taking aim at dominating the mid-tier of smartphones, offering consumers a real bang for the buck winner.

Although it’s not widely available from the usual retailers, sensible design choices for the price give the Poco X4 Pro 5G real potential to be a hidden gem. We, for one, are not complaining – it’s great news to have a nice mid-range contender to the best gaming phones on the market, even it doesn’t quite challenge the top-flight Apple or Samsung devices. 

How does it shape up? I put this mid-tier device through its paces over a week of rigorous testing to see if its impressive specs sheet holds up for everyday use.

Design

Poco X4 Pro 5G review

(Image credit: Future)

The Poco X4 Pro features a rather boxy, but elegant design on first impression. Positives include a glass back that feels premium and a nicely balanced feel in the hand. It’s not too weighty considering the fairly large screen, which lends to comfortable use as a daily driver.

Where the design slightly falls down are the plastic sides, which are unfortunately a real dead giveaway in regards to the price point. It’s a minor quibble, but it’s the touches like this that tend to give the more expensive flagships from Apple or Samsung more of a ‘premium’ feel.

Poco X4 Pro 5G review

(Image credit: Future)

The review sample sent out came in a rather ubiquitous shade of black but the Poco X4 Pro also comes in a blue and an eye-searingly bright yellow. I can’t vouch for these other colors, but in black, I would summarise the Poco X4 Pro as ‘workmanlike’. It’s not the kind of phone to turn heads but that’s fine – its design is functional, well-thought-out, and very solid.

Performance

Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G Specs and Features

Display: 6.67-inch FHD AMOLED at 2400 x 1080

Refresh rate: 60Hz / 120Hz

Speakers: Stereo 

Processor: Snapdragon 695

RAM: 6GB / 8GB

Storage: 128GB / 256GB

Camera: 108MP main / 8MP ultrawide / 16MP front

SIM: Dual

Battery: 5,000 mAh with 67W fast charging

One area where the Poco X4 Pro really shines (literally), and that’s its utterly gorgeous 6.67-inch AMOLED screen. Considering the price, this display is outstanding, with heaps of brightness, sharp detail, and some outstanding contrast. 

Cranking up the brightness and refresh rate to 120hz made daily Reddit and web browsing a real joy on this phone, with an experience that’s very much comparable to flagships twice the cost. Colors are quite oversaturated – some would say Samsung-like – but these are easily paired down by tweaking.

Poco X4 Pro 5G

(Image credit: Future)

One slightly derisive point with this device is the number of apps pre-installed on its Android 11 OS. There’s nothing here too suspect or damaging to performance, but if you’re expecting a clean install ala Google then you should be prepared to clear out some bloatware. 

Power-wise, under the hood you’re looking at a Snapdragon 695 chipset with the Poco X4 Pro – a decent middle-of-the-road chip. It comes with the benefit of being 5G capable and has enough grunt to easily power you through most apps and browsing. Where it struggles, slightly, is in gaming – which we’ll be covering shortly.

For the battery, the Poco X4 Pro manages to squeeze in a respectable 5,000 MhA capacity, which is great. Even with my insistence on running the display at full 120Hz and brightness, I was able to get a solid day’s heavy usage with several hours of game time and almost constant music streaming. If you’re getting this phone, I’d totally recommend switching to a 120Hz refresh rate immediately as the battery can definitely handle it.

Gaming

Poco X4 Pro 5G review

(Image credit: Future)

For gaming, I put the Poco X4 Pro through its paces with a few leading titles and the results were mixed – even with enabling Poco’s performance mode.

Firstly, was PUBG Mobile, which trundled along at a fairly consistent 30 to 40 FPS on high settings. Thankfully, there were no frame drops to break up the action, although there were instances of distant objects popping in. For me, this title was very much playable on the Poco X4 Pro, with plenty of wiggle room for dropping the settings if needed.

Where things got a little choppier was on Genshin Impact and League of Legends: Wild Rift. These demanding titles definitely suffered from a lack of muscle, and in the case of League, actually dropped below 20 FPS in some cases – enough to distract from gameplay. I’ll be damned if all the games tested didn’t look great on the Poco X4 Pro’s display though, which almost makes me want to forgive its lack of gaming chops, almost.

As stated, all games here were tested on the device’s performance mode.

Cameras

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(Image credit: Future)

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Overall, images from the 108MP main camera from the Poco X4 Pro are fairly sharp, with decent color reproduction. My samples were mostly taken on a rather overcast day so there wasn’t much danger of overexposure, but even still the colors have a nice pop to them. Straight out the box, I was able to get some fairly good standard shots with this phone, although it definitely struggled with macro focus.

From my samples, you can see decent images without much pizzazz, which is to be expected from a phone in this price range. The camera is decent here but it’s lacking that post-processing trickery that makes higher-end Apple and Google snappers so convincing. Another quibble is the fact you’re limited to 30 FPS 1080p video, making the Poco X4 Pro 5G a device that amateur videographers will most likely want to skip.

Should you buy the Poco X4 Pro 5G?

Poco X4 Pro 5G review

(Image credit: Future)

Gaming chops and average camera aside, the Poco X4 Pro 5G is an excellent mid-range device. There’s more than enough power on tap to make daily driving a smooth experience, and the screen – well, if you haven’t picked it up yet, I’m a big fan of this device’s display. It’s the main selling point of this device and easily helps gloss over its weaker aspects. 

Despite Poco having a reputation as a decent budget gaming brand, I’d conversely recommend this device as one more suitable for less power-hungry applications. Sit back, crank that display up to 120Hz, and enjoy your silky smooth scrolling.

How we tested the Poco X4 Pro 5G

The Poco X4 Pro 5G sat with me for a week, in which time it was my sole mobile device. Carrying it everywhere, I subjected it to rigorous usage throughout this period. As you’d imagine, there was a lot of scrolling, a lot of streaming, and more than a few hours of League played during this time.

Using this method, I’m able to effectively gauge how this device performs from a consumer’s perspective. What’s great, what’s annoying, and what needs to be shared to prospective buyers. 

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