Review Of The Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro 5G: A Capable Mid-Ranger As Expected
With its impressive specifications, competitive performance, and affordable price, the Poco brand has essentially become synonymous with value in the smartphone market. We’re especially curious to see what the Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro 5G, the company’s follow-up to last year’s top-rated inexpensive mid-ranger, can accomplish this year.
During the past year, mid-range phones have improved significantly, with a splash of luxury and some distinctively flagship-like specifications improving standards across the board. Can Poco continue to rule under £400 for another year?
What you need to know about the Poco X5 Pro 5G review
The Xiaomi 12 Lite (£420) and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro (£969) share a number of parts and design cues, giving the Poco X5 Pro 5G a feeling of familiarity that can be found in many devices that come under the expansive Xiaomi banner.
You will receive a second powerful 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 778G processor, and a triple camera setup with a 108MP primary sensor as its focal point. Also, there is a sizable 5,000mAh battery and quick 67W wired charging capabilities, all of which are housed in a thin 7.9mm shell.
Review of the Poco X5 Pro 5G: Pricing and Rivals
In the UK, the only Poco X5 Pro 5G model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage costs £369. Since value is the cornerstone of the Poco brand, this raises some early red flags.
At that cost, the X5 Pro 5G is £70 more expensive than its predecessor, the Poco X4 Pro 5G, which is a significant price increase at this more affordable end of the market. The phone will also directly compete with the Realme 9 Pro Plus (£430), which has a better main camera, and the Realme GT Neo 3T (£369), which has a better performance.
Importantly, it also makes the Poco X5 Pro 5G uncomfortably close to £400 mid-range devices like the Google Pixel 6a (£399) and the Nothing Phone (1) (£399), all of which have varied degrees of flagship clout.
Review of the Poco X5 Pro 5G: Key features and design
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has a twin brother in Xiaomi’s other low-cost brand, as was the case with the model from the previous year. Although the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro hasn’t yet been released in the UK, the Poco X5 Pro 5G essentially has the same design.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite, which also has some similarities, would be a more familiar reference for a European audience. The Poco X5 Pro 5G, like its two label-mates, features a squared-off, thin (7.9mm), matte plastic frame, and frosted rear panel.
It weighs 181g and is generally comfortable to hold. Some people will regret the added comfort that earlier curved models provided, but it’s undeniably an improvement in terms of appearance.
Although you may also order the phone in black or blue, my model comes in a strong yellow color. I especially appreciate how the Pixel 6-style power button, which dependable serves as a fingerprint sensor, has the same yellow accent as the body. The Poco X5 Pro, like the X4 Pro before it, has Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the display, and the entire device is IP53 rated, so it can withstand light rain or a small amount of dust.
Stereo speakers are a nice touch. Even at this more cheap end of the market, that is far from unusual, but it is also not a given. Although the low-end punch is predictably weak, the sound output is loud and crisp.
Review of the Poco X5 Pro 5G: Display
The Poco X5 Pro 5G demonstrates that Xiaomi typically equips its less expensive phones with better-than-average displays. It’s a pretty nice 6.7-inch AMOLED panel with an FHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 240Hz touch sampling rate.
This year, the business used a new flexible AMOLED display, allowing the phone’s design to be slightly lighter and smaller, as well as having a slimmer bottom bezel.
The color accuracy of this screen, though, is what truly stands out. It is able to reach 98.2% of the sRGB gamut with a total volume of 99.1% when using the Standard display profile, which is superior to the extremely vibrant colors of the default Vivid mode. In my tests, it received a superb Delta E of 0.95.
Although the Poco X4 Pro 5G screen has a similar level of strength, these results would still be exceptional for a flagship device, let alone a lower-mid-range model.
With autobrightness disabled, the X5 Pro’s display reached a maximum brightness of 467cd/m2. In high-brightness mode, Poco claims it can reach 900cd/m2, which is less than the 1,200cd/m2 that the X4 Pro 5G could reach.
Review of the Poco X5 Pro 5G: Software
It’s a bit of a double whammy here because Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 is layered on top of Android 12. Google’s operating system isn’t the most recent version, and MIUI is still a fussy but useful user interface.
As usual, Xiaomi’s debt to Apple’s iOS is clear in features like the Settings menu and the split status bar, which displays notifications to the left and a control center full of toggles on the right. This can be turned off if you find it to be untidy, which truly emphasizes MIUI’s strength, which has always been its customizability.
It might not be the most attractive smartphone user interface, but it at least has the ability to lessen some of its more bothersome features and produce an experience that is rather simple to use on a daily basis. To get it to look and function the way you want, you’ll need to put in some work up front.
Putting tweakability aside, there is a serious problem with the amount of bloatware. The abundance of icons on the Poco X5 Pro 5G home screen, which range from more shopfront apps to subpar games and a slew of pre-installed third party apps (Facebook, TikTok, Sportfy, etc.), strikes us as overkill.
Cameras in the Poco X5 Pro 5G review
We’ve seen the Poco X5 Pro 5G’s camera setup before, and the company acknowledged as much during the phone’s launch event. Once more, we begin with a 108MP 1/1.52in main camera, followed by an unnecessary 2MP macro camera and an 8MP 120-degree ultra-wide camera.
Both the Xiaomi 12 Lite and the Poco X4 Pro 5G from last year have the exact same rear mechanism. Although the latter has a different front-facing camera, it is still a more appropriate comparison given that it employs the same Snapdragon 778G SoC as the X5 Pro 5G.
As a result, it should come as no surprise that my criticisms of the Xiaomi 12 Lite’s camera are mostly applicable to the Poco X5 Pro 5G. This is a capable lower-midrange camera, but it falls short of the best in the class since it lacks the computational prowess of the Pixel 6a and the flagship image sensor of the OnePlus One 2T and the Realme 9 Pro Plus.
In good lighting, you’ll be able to take sharp, well exposed pictures. When the light fades, the Poco X5 Pro 5G is unable to extract the same amount of clarity from the gloom, which is its primary distinction from those superior competitors.
While the 8MP ultrawide does a passable job of providing wider landscape images, it falls short in terms of sharpness, dynamic range, and color depth. Zoomed images (2x) are feasible through cropping techniques and really appear rather excellent because to the vast amount of pixels available. Just be careful when focusing on the finished item.
There is an optional AI mode in all of this that will choose scenes for you, however it is turned off by default. I typically kept this off because it tends to somewhat brighten and punch up the colors, sometimes to a distracting degree.
Although the 16MP selfie camera on the front does a respectable job, its images are much flatter and more washed out than those from the primary sensors. If you want to avoid having the hideous “plasticine face” appearance, you’ll also need to move the horrible Beautify slider from Smooth to Original.
Judgment on the Poco X5 Pro 5G
Another well-rounded mid-range offering from the Xiaomi sub-brand is the Poco X5 Pro 5G, which features a great AMOLED display, a neat design, and a reassuringly consistent performance.
But, it doesn’t offer quite the same impression of exceptional value as the Poco X4 Pro from the previous year. This proved to be a rather minor update, with the same display and camera setup as previously, despite the higher price. Although the improvement in performance is nice, neither the class nor even the larger Xiaomi stable consider it to be exceptional.