Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro Review
Enter the Poco F2 Pro, an ambitious flagship that is more than superb value for money. It is the perfect embodiment of sensible function over form. The Poco F2 Pro doesn’t pride itself in posh design or gimmicky features. It consistently delivers in every key aspect: it’s a 5G-ready phone with excellent battery life, surprisingly good camera, and superb performance. Is it a flagship killer? Is it better than, say, Galaxy S20 Ultra or a OnePlus 8 Pro? Depending on your budget, it very well might be!
With a price tag of €549 for the base 6GB RAM/128GB storage version and €649 for the top 8GB/256GB storage in Europe, the Poco F2 Pro is a definitely a great choice for people that want the flagship experience without breaking the bank
- Display: 6.7" FHD+ OLED display
- Camera: 64MP main + 5MP telephoto + 13MP ultra-wide + 2MP depth
- Processor: Snapdragon 865, 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS3.1 storage
- Battery: 4700 mAh, fast 30W charging, no wireless charging
The Poco F2 Pro pairs an aluminum frame with a matte glass back. While the phone sits quite comfortably in the hand, you should have in mind that it's extremely slippery due to its matte finish. Fortunately, Xiaomi has thrown a grippy case in the Poco F2 Pro box, so you are covered on that front.
The general design of the Poco F2 Pro is pretty sleek. Thanks to the motorized selfie camera that pops up similarly to the one on the OnePlus 7/7 Pro-series, the latest Poco is as bezel-less as it gets. The uninterrupted screen has not hindered Xiaomi from gracing the device with some interesting hardware features that are hardly seen on Android phones these days: a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR blaster.
The Poco F2 Pro is both IP53 splash and dust resistant, which should give you a slight peace of mind around liquids. There is a single bottom-firing loudspeaker, which is loud but definitely left me wanting for a stereo solution which has become the defacto standard on flagships.
Specs aside, the screen is gorgeous. It’s color accurate in its default state, but Xiaomi has gone out of its way to offer a multitude of different display modes, both toned down and saturated. If the available ones aren’t enough for you, there’s also a ton of sliders that let you change the saturation for red, blue, and green, as even tune the overall color hue of the display finely. That’s quite a lot of options that will certainly appeal to those who want their device perfectly tailored to their expectations.
Now one thing I should mention is the fact that the Poco doesn’t have one of those trendy high-refresh rate displays… and that’s fine by me. Although I love those 90 and 120Hz screens, the lack of such on the Poco is by no means a deal-breaker.
There is an optical fingerprint scanner embedded in the display, and I’d say it recognized my prints extremely well in 80 to 90% of all instances, with the rest requiring an additional scan.
Performance and hardware
The device is available with either 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of storage or 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of native storage. There is no microSD card slot on board, but you could definitely get by with the minimum storage if you don’t shoot that much video or download media.
There’s also 5G connectivity thanks to the Snapdragon 865 chipset, which makes the Poco F2 Pro quite the future-proof phone. Sadly, I wasn’t able to test that due to coverage issues - there are simply no 5G networks in my immediate vicinity.
Battery and charging
regularly hitting around eight hours of screen-on time with all the bells and whistles enabled, including the always-on display, which is spectacular. In our new battery test, the device hit 12 hours and 16 minutes in the browsing test, 12 hours and 7 minutes in the YouTube streaming test, and 13 hours and 25 minutes in the 3D gaming test, which is one of the best overall results we’ve seen in a long time.
Another spectacular aspect of the Poco F2 Pro is the ultra-fast charging speed. While it’s “only” rated at 30W, the charger can fully top up the phone in just 63 minutes, which is quite spectacular given the large capacity of the battery.
Software & features
There are also some minor but aggravating software bugs present on our Poco F2 Pro.
Image qualityNow that we have covered the basics, we can move to the features and image quality that truly surprised me in the most pleasant way: the main camera of the Poco F2 Pro is mighty fine. It produces excellent pictures, with lovely colors and tons of detail even in the default 16MP state. Yet, sometimes colors can get a bit too vivid, sacrificing accuracy for saturation. Dynamic range is good, too, though in extreme situations highlights can get clipped.
Low-light image quality
64MP modeIn the separate 64MP camera mode, images naturally turn out even more detailed. You can zoom up to 2X in this mode as well, but you can’t shoot ultra-wide landscapes. Depending on the lighting conditions, there might be some color noise present, as seen in the picture with the severely overcast weather.
PortraitsPortraits generally turn out fine, but the phone sometimes struggles with object separation artifacts when portraits are shot against more complex backgrounds, especially with curlier hair. Skin colors turn out realistic and not pinkish or reddish here.
SelfiesThe Poco F2 Pro truly does a good job with the selfies it produces. I love the detail, colors, and overall dynamics of those selfies. The front camera does an admirable job even in harsh lighting conditions. Portrait selfies turn out okay, and the fact that the single camera blurs the background without that much visual artifacts around my head is admirable.
MacroThe Poco F2 Pro prides itself as one of the first devices to offer a “telemacro” camera mode. It lets you zoom up to 2X in macro mode, which gives you some extra reach when shooting macro images. However, as with all macro modes, the focus plane is quite thin, and you’re more than likely to end up with a blurred image. Yet, when you nail the focus, you can get some pretty neat pictures of critters or flora, if that’s your thing.
No such problems with 4K60fps videos though! The stabilization is better, and the videos turn out just lovely, with tons of detail, colors that pop, and impressive autofocusing speed. There’s even a separate Steady Video mode, which limits the resolution to 1080p30fps, but employs an even steadier stabilization, suitable for action videos. You can even shoot macro videos with the F2 Pro, though these are limited to 1080p resolution and a frame rate of 30fps.
Finally, there’s a neat VLOG video mode which lets you choose among various presets and quickly create an intro for your vlog straight on the phone. Overall, an impressive video camera package that should appeal to enthusiasts.