Technophile

Poco F4 5G: A practical powerful everyday smartphone

Mala Bhargava | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022

Trying to replicate the success of its F1, the brand has given it all, plus a good price

When Xiaomi sub-branded Poco and launched the Poco F1, it took the Indian smartphone market by storm. I remember the phone arriving in a big steel suitcase-like box, to signal how tough and secure it was. More than that though, the F1 came with the Snapdragon 865 and other good specs for just Rs 20,999. It was the price-to-specs and performance ratio at that specific time that propelled the F1 to the top of the pops. Today, the scenario has changed, and the market is teeming with pretty good affordable phones. Can Poco pull off the F1 formula again? That’s a definite maybe. 

Proven processor

More than on any other phone, the processor is key if it is to fulfil the expectations of tech savvy customers. So Poco decided to go with Snapdragon 870 for this phone and its three variants because of the SoC’s consistent peak performance and stability, while managing to tackle heating issues. On top of that, they have put in a 12GB LPDDR5 RAM with 256GB UFS 3.1 storage at Rs 29,999, and given users the option to pick the more affordable 8GB RAM with 128GB at Rs 25,999 and 6GB RAM with 128GB at 23,999. With this, they have a good chunk of the Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 segment covered. The device performs perfectly well without heating up, though we didn’t push it to any extreme limits.

Poco chose the Snapdragon 870 to go with these configurations because of the proven balance of low power consumption, heat management with no need for performance throttling. It’s also a 5G chip and the phone has support for some 10 bands.

The software is Android 12 and Xiaomi’s MiUI 13. There is some amount of bloatware, so the first thing a user will have to do is offload as much of it as possible and reclaim storage space. 

Crisp colour

The Poco F4 5G has a really nice screen. It’s a Samsung E4 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh and 360Hz touch sampling. Design-wise, it’s a 6.67-inch display with a truly tiny front camera aperture, and thin bezels all around. The bottom bezel is a little thicker but because all sides are slim, it doesn’t seem prominent at all. The phone is a little broad, however, and more suited for larger hands. The screen has a classy crispness to it and looks clean and premium. It’s plenty bright and does well in sunlight, which is good as we have that in full force in our country. The screen has support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+and MEMC. On either side of the screen, on top and below, are some quite loud stereo speakers, making it all the nicer for watching content and gaming. 

The display doesn’t have the fingerprint sensor, but not everyone has a problem with a power-button-mounted sensor. I personally find it more intuitive. On top is an IR blaster. The SIM tray is below and doesn’t include a memory card slot. There’s no 3.5mm jack - and we’re soon going to give up mentioning it altogether. 

The phone is flat and boxy and has a smooth matte finish glass back. Reviewers have the interesting Nebula Green colour to check out. The back has a familiar look, including the treatment given to the camera square, but it doesn’t look bad and is improved by the green colour. The back doesn’t show fingerprints and will look permanently clean, but there’s a case in the box. There’s also a big fat 67W charger in the box for the phone’s 4,500mAh battery. 

Dark and light

The primary camera is a 64MP and the best part is that it has 3-axis optical image stabilisation. As you can guess, the other two cameras include an 8MP ultra wide and a 2MP macro. No telephoto lens. It turns out the main camera does quite well with colour reproduction and accuracy, though sometimes tends to be a bit warm. I rather like photos to be like that, actually. It also does well with night images, infusing light into them fairly realistically. Portrait shots are passable, with some fuzziness on the edges at times. The ultra-wide is adequate under some conditions. 

The main camera shoots 4K video at 60fps The OIS steadies the video. 

The Poco F4 offers good value at its price points but, of course, has lots of competition, including from its own stable. 

Published on June 24, 2022
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