Technophile

POCO X2 review: Powerful and packing a bunch

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

The latest from Xiaomi’s new spin-off lives up to its popular predecessor’s legacy, especially in looks and specs

Much has changed since Poco F1, the mighty cool smartphone that went on to change the fate of Poco, once seemed a nondescript offshoot of the super popular Chinese gadget-maker. Poco F1 arrived in August 2018 and barely a year away, has the brand become an independent entity with Xiaomi deciding to make it a separate company. As is (recent) history, the Poco F1 was an instant hit and was rightly billed as a flagship killer thanks to its incredible pricing and performance. Hence, the hype around a successor to the mighty Poco F1 was quite high.

But Poco F2 didn’t arrive as expected, reportedly because Xiaomi couldn’t solve some pricing issues around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which the device was supposed to sport. Instead the company decided to roll out the X2. To enjoy a first impression of the Poco X2, go here.

Now let’s take a detailed look at the much-awaited device and see if it makes the cut in comparison with the Poco F1, and more.

 

The Poco X2 comes in three variants: Matrix Purple, Phoenix Red and Atlantis Blue (which we review here). The Atlantis Blue version looks enchantingly elegant, especially under bright daylight. If you are taking it around in a mall or a supermarket, it sure is going to grab some eyeballs on your behalf. Poco supplies a protective case for the back but we’d recommend you leave it bare since the rear panel is impressively dust-and-finger-marks proof.

The phone is super shiny and feels smooth in your hands, but this is not your routine lose-grip-risk-fall gadget. The surface does show some amount of resistance to slips and given its suitably large size, the Poco X2 fills your hand cleverly enough to avoid a fall. That said, it can withstand some strong drops, thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front panel, which feels strong and smooth.

The Poco X2 has a display of 16.94-cm (6.67-inch) that supports Full HD (2400 x 1080, 20:9). The in cell RD display (which basically means a thinner display unit with more efficiency than traditional panels) offers 395 PPI sharpness with a contrast ratio of 1500:1, which is premium stuff. The Poco X2 renders images and video with dedicated honesty. The images are displayed without any blemishes; they are dutifully saturated but you feel that’s done just in the right doses. The device supports HDR 10 display and can stream 4K or HDR content with amazing alacrity. At this price range, it’s a delight to have.

In the camera department

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The Poco X2 has a four-camera pack on the rear, which can shoot up to 64MP in image and 4K in video. The main shooter has a Sony IMX686 sensor with F1.89 aperture and autofocus. The sensor is also available with phones such as Redmi K30 and Vivo X30 Pro, and is considered one of the best mobile camera sensors in the market. The Sony IMX686 sensor follows the legacy of its successful predecessor 48MP Sony IMX586. It does a great job capturing light as the (daylight) images shot by Poco can match mid-range DSLRs. The back camera unit also includes a 2MP macro with F2.4 aperture value.

The macros shot by Poco X2 are eye candies to say the least. They work just great under most forms of ambient lighting. The macro shots work so well with plants and pets and the results are at par with many of the prime-lens results offered by DSLRs. Indeed, that’s a totally paisa-vasool faculty. There is an 8MP lens for ultra-wide shots and a 2MP shooter for depth effects. Together, the shooting department of the Poco X2 performs at par with many of the flagship phones in the market.

The camera features, among others, a portrait mode with background blurring, which can offer you professional quality portraits if you can be a little patient with the lighting. The AI beautify is bunkum as is the case with most such phones. It is not for the pro in you. The camera’s low-light enhancement abilities are extremely good.

The Poco X2 can shoot 4K video, which makes it a handy tool for short-film makers and even documentary makers and journalists. The videos can be recorded in MP4 format and with HEVC encoding for fast playback. The videos are pro-quality.

The Poco has an in-screen selfie shooter combo of 20MP + 2MP with F2.2 aperture value. The selfies, sparing their fairness obsession, are cool and colourful. One really wonders when these camera phone makers are really going to wake to the realities of human skin, looks and facial features and stop feeding the fantasies. That’s good for sales, agreed. Still, for how long and at what cost? Well, that’s fodder for a rainy day debate. In sum, the camera meets most mainstream standards and yes, there are the standard doctoring techniques which you can pick based on your tastes.

The Poco X2’s audio is above average but calls for improvement. The base is weak but highs and lows are delivered in a controlled fashion. The built-in speakers would need support while playing games and movies, but for music it works just fine.

Performance and all that jazz

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The Poco X2 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730G chipset. For starters, this Snapdragon carries within some of the Snapdragon Elite Gaming features and an extra 15 per cent graphics boost over Snapdragon 730 for a more powerful gaming experience. It also enhances the phone’s AI performance via the Qualcomm AI Engine which reflects in the smooth functioning of the phone’s cameras.

The chip is extremely energy efficient and offers to boost multi-tasking significantly. The chip is customised for 64-bit computing, which means it is capable of executing some heavy-duty tasks that require a great deal of firepower. The device has a RAM of 8GB and storage of 256GB, which makes it a beast of a machine that can match any mid-range laptop. Full disclosure: this review is typed on a MacBook Air with the same RAM (and an equally powerful chip but priced way above the cost of the Poco X2).

The Poco X2 has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which you usually find on premium laptops and phones. This one is a tad difficult to find and set up, but once you’re familiar with the landscape, operating it is a jolly good affair. The device has a 4500mAh battery, which lasts over a day even if you are a heavy user, and supports 27W Fast Charge. Another notable features are the USB Type-C reversible connector port, fingerprint-unlock and a high refresh rate of 120 Hz, which makes it ideal for big-ticket gaming.

The Phoenix Red variant of Poco X2 is on sale on March 3 with a “relatively larger stock” and this will be the fourth sale of the phone that was launched just a few weeks ago. The Phoenix Red model will be available in three variants of 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB on Flipkart.

Pros: Great design, superb display, smooth, marks-free panel, 4K video recording, very good camera, cost-effective

Cons: Built-in speaker needs improvement while playing movies and games; annoying stock apps

Price: ₹19,999 (8GB+256GB); ₹16,999 (6GB+128GB) and ₹15,999 (6GB+64GB)

Published on March 03, 2020
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