Poco F5 Pro review

Poco F5 Pro review

Poco F5 Pro Intro


Poco enters the global market in 2023 with its Poco F5 series, leading with the flagship Poco F5 Pro with a starting price of $449 regular price. The phone comes with the best display from the company so far, a very capable chipset, fast charging, and a premium design. There are also improvements to the camera system, and gaming-oriented features like a dedicated cooling system for improved gaming performance.

Let’s jump in to explore the full package of the Poco F5 Pro and see what it’s all about.

Pros

  • Awesome display
  • 30W wireless charging
  • Great performance for the price
  • Dual speakers with great audio quality
  • Good haptics
  • Main camera shoots awesome photos
  • Fast fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Video quality leaves more to be desired
  • Ultra-wide camera can be better
  • Bloatware
  • Only 2 years of software support

What’s new about the device

  • Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
  • 3200 x 1440 resolution display
  • 1400 nits peak brightness
  • 30W wireless fast charging
  • 8K video recording

Table of Contents:

Poco F5 Pro Unboxing



Unlike many other manufacturers, Poco is quite generous when it comes to the unboxing experience with its phones. Inside the box of the Poco F5 Pro you get the phone itself, which comes with a pre-installed screen protector, a 68W charger, and a charging cable. You also get a transparent case that’s rather thick, as well as the sim ejector tool and documentation.

Poco F5 Pro Specs

A mixed bag of goodies for a good price

There is much to like about the Poco F5 Pro’s spec sheet. Poco had to cut down on some areas, but overall it seems like it made good decisions and was careful not to downgrade too much where it had to.


It is obvious that the company focused most on offering a great viewing experience by adding a stellar display. Then again, most flagship phones already have one of those, so the thing that makes the F5 Pro stand out here is the fast wireless charging. The 12GB of RAM is also much appreciated. Can’t say the same for the choice to add a 2MP macro camera instead of a telephoto though.

Poco F5 Pro Design & Colors

Stylish and sleek


The design of the Poco F5 Pro is stylish and sleek. The back panel is made out of glass and curves as it reaches the edges of the phone, making it more comfortable to hold in the hand. It also helps that the phone is not too heavy, measuring at only 204g (not that much for a handset of this size). At the front, you have a large 6.67” flat display with very thin uniform bezels, resulting in an overall gorgeous look for the Poco F5 Pro.

When it comes to durability, however, it is not exactly the best you can get out there. The display is protected with Gorilla Glass 5 (which is still pretty good mind you), but the more disappointing part is that you only get an IP53 certification for dust and water protection, which will be enough to shield your phone from some splashes of water, but nothing more than that.

As for the color options, we got to test out the white model, which looks really classy and helps with hiding the fingerprint smudges left on the smooth glass back panel. There is also a black version.

Poco F5 Pro Display



The screen comes with an AMOLED panel and has a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels, with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and peak brightness of 1400 nits. With the Pro HDR support thrown in too, content looked beautiful and clear — even when outside in bright conditions.

If you enjoy playing competitive mobile games, you would also be happy to hear that it has a touch sampling rate of 480Hz. Now, I do like to dabble in some online mobile gaming from time to time, and I can say that the phone felt plenty responsive when I was saving my team from a defeat in Wild Rift or aiming at somebody’s head in Apex Legends.

The F5 Pro’s also has its fingerprint scanner embedded in the display, and I am glad to say that it is lightning-fast to use, as well as accurate.

Display Measurements:



Poco F5 Pro Camera

An unbalanced experience


It almost feels as if Poco has decided to completely disregard the ultra-wide and macro cameras on the phone's back, and spend 90% of its resources (for that part of the device) on the main camera. We are talking about some stellar performance here, but is that better than spreading it throughout the whole camera system? I guess it depends on the user.

Main Camera - Day



It seems poco has focused most of its attention (and budget) to the main snapper when it comes to the F5 Pro’s camera system. Well, that’s how it should be, after all.

This 64MP camera seems to handle HDR like a pro (no pun intended), and offers vibrant, deep colors. Images are tack sharp and the shutter response is very quick. I have zero bad remarks for the main camera on the Poco F5 Pro. I would trust it to help me capture some awesome shots any time of the day.

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Main Camera - Low-light



I was very surprised with the night-time photos from the main camera. The sample image you see above was taken in near pitch-dark conditions, as you can probably tell from the photo on the left. Despite that, switching the Poco F5 Pro to night mode seemed to do wonders in this case.

Zoom Quality



The Poco F5 Pro does not have a telephoto camera, but it does have a digital 2x zoom that produces a very sharp image. That’s because the phone crops in on the main camera sensor instead of simply zooming in on the image.

Portrait Mode



Portrait mode on the F5 Pro looks very fake and doesn’t do a great job at separating the subject from the background. There are some edges that are blurred out but shouldn’t be. The silver lining here is that you can regulate how blurred out you want things to be in the background, but that doesn’t really help in this case.

Ultra-wide Camera



I was a bit disappointed by the 8MP ultra-wide camera on the Poco F5 Pro. The photos that come out of it are lacking in sharpness and color accuracy, producing some washed out colors. That being said, unlike you will later find out about the video recording, images are usable for social media and quick snapshots.

Macro Camera



The 2MP macro camera will give you good looking images that are plenty sharp. However, I noticed that you cannot really get very close to the subject, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. It is hard to call the photos you can get with this snapper macro.

Selfies



The front-facing camera of the Poco F5 Pro comes with 16MP, and that shows. It shoots sharp images with good color accuracy (at least for my skin tone). One annoying factor is the face smoothing effect that is turned on by default when you open camera, but you can easily turn that off if you don’t like how it looks.

Video Quality


Video Thumbnail

Video Thumbnail

Video Thumbnail

The Poco F5 Pro is capable of shooting video in 8K 24fps, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as it doesn’t really offer the best image quality and takes up a lot of space. More viable are the 4K and 1080p options.

One thing to note here is that you cannot shoot HDR video at 4K 60fps for some reason. You can only shoot HDR in 4K 30fps and lower. The image while shooting video in 4K is sharp and detailed, with great colors (albeit a bit oversaturated). Sadly, things go south when you start to move.

It seems the optical image stabilization (OIS) is not working very well here, as the focus seems to constantly when you are moving with the phone. This issue persists both with 60fps and 30fps.

Video from the ultra wide-camera is simply-put unusable. Unless you are okay with very low detail that is. It is hard to say that this is 1080p footage, even though it technically is.

Poco F5 Pro Performance & Benchmarks

Perfectly capable

The Poco F5 Pro might not come with the latest flagship processor from Qualcomm, but it gets arguably the next best thing — the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The unit we got to test out was the one with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage.

With these specs, the F5 Pro seemed to handle anything I threw at it with flying colors. Regular tasks such as navigating the UI and browsing the web were a total breeze, especially with that super smooth 120Hz display refresh rate. I saw no hiccups that would ruin my experience while using the phone.

I was most impressed by how effortlessly the camera app was working. Swapping between the different modes and taking photos or shooting video did not result in any stutter or lag, which is always a welcome sight.

Gaming-wize, besides the processor’s power and the 12GB of RAM, the Poco F5 Pro also comes with Poco’s LiquidCool Technology 2.0 that features 5000mm2 stainless steel vapor chambers and graphite layers to improve heat conductivity. On that note, I didn’t notice any overheating issues and the phone stayed relatively cool while I was gaming, with no drops in the frame rate.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro1728
Xiaomi Poco F51668
Google Pixel 7a1437
Google Pixel 6a1428
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G994
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro4354
Xiaomi Poco F54400
Google Pixel 7a3461
Google Pixel 6a3313
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G2765
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro2148
Xiaomi Poco F51970
Google Pixel 7a1631
Google Pixel 6a1620
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G809
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro2142
Xiaomi Poco F51966
Google Pixel 7a1095
Google Pixel 6a1011
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G805

Poco F5 Pro MIUI / Android version



Poco is a sub-brand of Xiaomi, so it runs Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 interface, which in this case is on top of Android 13. If you are familiar with both iOS and Android, you can think of MIUI as a mixture of both operating systems.

You get a control panel that is inspired by the one on iOS, but notifications are displayed similarly to other Android phones. I have to say that I quite like the Frankenstein-like approach between the two OS, but there are some issues with the software that might prove very annoying to some users.

More specifically, I am talking about the massive amount of bloatware that usually comes with Poco phones, which is no different for the Poco F5 Pro. You will find many examples of pre-installed games and apps that are completely unnecessary. You do get to uninstall most of them, however.

There is also the fact that MIUI 14 tends to be quite aggressive when it comes to killing background applications, which can make switching between apps a bit slower than usual. That being said, with our unit’s 12GB of RAM, I didn’t notice any such behavior.

Software support is another downside to Poco’s phones, which in the case of the Poco F5 Pro means just 2 years of major OS updates and 3 years of Android security patches. That is considered subpar for flagship phones and it means it will only go as far as Android 15.

Poco F5 Pro Battery

Expected battery life, great charging

With the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, Poco claims the Poco F5 Pro has a 30% decrease in CPU and GPU power consumption and 20% increase in AI power efficiency. Paired up with its 5160mAh battery, the phone lasted about a day and a half on a single charge with some gaming, web browsing, and content watching thrown in. I found stand-by time (how much the battery drains while the phone is asleep) to be quite alright too.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro9h 45 min
Xiaomi Poco F514h 32 min
Google Pixel 7a9h 7 min
Google Pixel 6a8h 51 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G7h 44 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro13h 44 min
Xiaomi Poco F514h 53 min
Google Pixel 7a15h 27 min
Google Pixel 6a13h 51 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G16h 11 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Xiaomi POCO F5 Pro8h 10 min
Xiaomi Poco F59h
Google Pixel 7a4h 20 min
Google Pixel 6a6h 48 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G5h 46 min

Poco F5 Pro Charging Speeds


One of the best parts about the Poco F5 Pro is its 68W fast charging, which genuinely improved my experience with the phone, as I didn’t have to think too much about the battery percentage. If I saw that it was getting close to 20%, I just had to plug it in for 15 minutes and I was good to go for the whole day. Also, you get a 68W charger in the box, so you can make use of this feature immediately.

Somewhat more impressive is the 30W wireless charging, however, as it is not something you see on many phones yet, especially from manufacturers like Google, Samsung, or Apple.

Poco F5 Pro Audio Quality and Haptics


The Poco F5 Pro comes with two speakers, one that is firing from the bottom and is embedded in the lower frame of the phone, and the other situated where the earpiece is.

Volume-wise, it can get sufficiently loud, but the more impressive part is that the audio quality remains good throughout the whole volume range. I couldn’t get enough of these speakers while watching YouTube (I tend to spend a bit too much time on YouTube, so I have a good reference on that front), or enjoying some Netflix content.

Haptic feedback was also a pleasant surprise with the Poco F5 Pro. Typing messages resulted in tight and accurate vibrations, albeit a bit weak. I just had to increase the intensity, and it felt great to use afterwards.

Poco F5 Pro Competitors

Galaxy A54 5G


If you are not a fan of Poco's MIUI Android skin, then maybe the Galaxy A54 will hit more close to home with you. It comes at similar starting price of $449 and has two more year of major Android updates and security patches, making it a much more viable option in the long run. Meanwhile you still get a phone that is great for enjoying content with better protection against dust and water. You do loose out on the fast charging speeds, though.

Pixel 7a


The Pixel 7a might not be here yet, but there is a very good chance we will see it on May 10 during Google's I/O developer conference. The new mid-ranger from google is said to come at $499 and it has a really good chance to beat the Poco F5 Pro in terms of overall camera capabilities and features, especially considering the Pixel phone's history in that segment. Plus, you get the original Android experience. Then again, it probably won't have as good of a display as the F5 Pro, neither its awesome charging capabilities.

Poco F5 Pro Summary and Final Verdict



All in all, I did enjoy using the Poco F5 Pro. The display and audio quality played very well with my addiction for consuming video content. There is also the fact that its main camera is very capable at taking some banger shots no matter the lighting conditions. Plus, you get 68W fast charging and 30W wireless charging.

That being said, the 2 years of software support is big deal breaker for me. I am also a bit turned off with the issues I noticed during video recording at 4K. If neither of these are important to you, though, and you don’t mind MIUI and some of its annoyances, then there is a good chance you will enjoy the Poco F5 Pro.

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.

Pros

  • Awesome display
  • 30W wireless charging
  • Great performance for the price
  • Dual speakers with great audio quality
  • Good haptics
  • Main camera shoots awesome photos
  • Fast fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Video quality leaves more to be desired
  • Ultra-wide camera can be better
  • Macro camera is not... macro enough
  • Only 2 years of software support
  • Bloatware

PhoneArena Rating:

5.1

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