Xiaomi’s POCO brand has announced its first phones for 2023. We’re talking about the Poco X5 and X5 Pro, two mid-range models that boast hardware specs that other brands sell at significantly higher prices. But we’re dealing with fast OLED screens, fast charging and high-resolution cameras on devices that start at €200.
POCO X5 Pro offers a premium mid-range experience at a budget price
The Poco X5 Pro is the model that promises to bring specs you usually see around €400 or €500 in a €300 or so phone. So it shouldn’t surprise us that it integrates a 6.67″ AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution at 120 Hz, nor that it achieves 900 nits of brightness and offers 10-bit color. Also, the Snapdragon 778G processor, while no longer the latest in the upper mid-range, still offers pretty good performance for the mid-range and will provide good performance in most situations.
The base configuration comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, and a higher version comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. The RAM is LPDDR4X and the storage UFS 2.2, so it won’t be very slow, but flagship-level from a few years ago.
The cameras aren’t exactly to be ignored either, with a 108-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The front camera has 16 megapixels. For a budget phone, the fact that it shoots in 4K resolution is a big bonus. Previously, we kept seeing phones that integrated the high-resolution sensor, but the processor limited the shooting to Full HD.
Other bonuses would be the 5,000 mAh battery charging at 67W, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, infrared port and even a 3.5mm headphone jack. The base 6+128GB model starts at €250 in the early bird, after which it will go up to €300. The top model costs €50 more and will also be available on an early bird offer.
POCO X5 takes technology down a notch
The “standard” Poco X5 model comes with similar advantages, but with small compromises to achieve a lower price and even some improvements. For example, the display on the lower mode is still AMOLED at 6.67″, still Full HD+ at 120 Hz, but only has 8-bit color, so no HDR compatibility. The advantage is that it has even higher brightness, at a maximum of 1,200 nits. Also, the Gorilla Glass 5 is swapped for Gorilla Glass 3 on the POCO X5 Pro.
The processor is the biggest “downgrade” though, as this model adopts the Snapdragon 695, with 6 or 8 GB RAM and 128 or 256 GB storage. The main camera is 48 megapixels (with Full HD shooting), 8 megapixel ultrawide camera and of course a macro camera, but a 13 megapixel camera on the front. Battery capacity is the same, at 5,000 mAh, but charging is slower, at 33W. Both models come with the fast charger in the package, so there won’t be any problems finding a compatible charger.
Connectivity drops a generation, to Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC, but retains the headphone jack and infrared port. Apparently this model is also splash-proof, with an IP53 rating. Pricing starts at “early bird” at €200 for 6+128GB and will increase by €50 after the offer ends.
Something disappointing about both models though is the software. Both come with Android 12 pre-installed, but with different variants of MIUI. The POCO X5 Pro will run MIUI 14, while the POCO X5 will use MIUI 13. Both models are debuting in India, but will be available in other regions in the near future.