The Poco F5 Pro is fast, has a nice screen and does not cost the absolute grand prize. But is that enough to blow its competitors away? You read it in this review.
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Dit is de Poco F5 Pro review
The Poco F5 Pro is the latest flagship of the Chinese smartphone maker. The smartphone rubs against the high-end segment due to its powerful specifications, but is also a lot more expensive than its predecessor. Where the Poco F4 was released last year for 399 euros, you have lost no less than 579 euros for the F5 Pro.
A considerable price difference, but is the Poco smartphone worth it? And how does the device compare to the competition? There are many interesting phones available in this price range. Time for the review!
The review model of the F5 Pro courtesy of Poco.
Design is ‘gaming-like’
The Poco F5 Pro comes in two colors (black and white) and has a glass back. This makes wireless charging possible – more about that later – and it creates a feeling of luxury. The frame, on the other hand, is made of plastic, but that is certainly not disturbing. The device fits comfortably in the hand, but is a bit slippery.
The design is not very special and difficult to describe. The back reminds us a bit of the gaming smartphones from, for example, Asus. This is mainly due to the white colors and the somewhat straight camera island. We don’t think it’s very nice, but it does look simplistic.
There is a speaker on both the top and bottom of the housing. There is also an infrared sensor on top, so you can use the Poco F5 Pro as a remote control. At the bottom we also see a USB-C port and the SIM card tray. The buttons, which feel great, are on the right side.
Good screen looks good
The Poco F5 Pro has a very good screen. The display measures 6.67 inches and has a high QHD resolution of 3200 by 1440 pixels. However, the screen is set to full HD by default to save the battery. You can still set it to QHD, but to be honest, we hardly see any difference in sharpness.
Nice is the high refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes the Poco F5 Pro feel lightning fast and images are very smooth. Everything looks sleek thanks to the amoled panel: colors come into their own and black is really black. The maximum brightness and viewing angles are also perfectly fine, which is nice on sunny days.
The refresh rate is also adjusted based on what is happening on the screen, but you can also set it to 60 or 120Hz. You also have several options to adjust the color scheme, for example if you want shades to look saturated or more realistic.
Lightning fast hardware
Under the hood of the Poco F5 Pro we find a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus processor. This is the second fastest chip we see in Android phones right now and it’s in high-end flagships from last year, for example. No wonder then that the performance of the Poco F5 Pro is excellent.
The processor is lightning fast and runs all apps and games like a charm. Even if you multitask a lot or play a heavy game, the Poco phone will not have a hard time. Also nice: the device has 256GB of storage as standard and 8 or 12GB of RAM, depending on which version you choose. We have tested the more expensive 12/256GB variant, although 8GB is probably more than enough for most users.
The Poco F5 Pro also has stereo speakers that sound great and a fingerprint scanner under the screen. With the Poco F4, the scanner was still in the on/off button on the side, but we find a nicer place under the screen. You unlock the Poco F5 Pro easier and much faster with your thumb. Fortunately, the scanner is also nice and fast.
Out of the box, the Poco F5 Pro runs on Android 13, the version that will be succeeded by Android 14 later this year. Poco puts its MIUI shell over Android and we are not such a fan of that. Although you get many extra functions and personalization options with MIUI, Android immediately looks too busy.
Particularly disturbing is that Poco has completely crammed the F5 Pro with bloatware. In addition to all kinds of own apps – which are in no way better than the apps from Google itself – there are six games on the device. Then you have apps like WPS Office, Agoda, Booking.com, AliExpress, Amazon Shopping and so on.
Bloatware is already annoying on a smartphone of 300 euros, but on the Poco F5 Pro – with a suggested retail price of almost 600 euros – we find it simply unacceptable. It is also not clear how long the F5 Pro will receive updates. We’ve checked with Poco about the update policy, but haven’t received a response yet.
Cameras are nothing special
Unfortunately, the Poco F5 Pro doesn’t excel with its cameras. There are three lenses on the back, only one of which is worth it. The 64-megapixel main camera, which also has optical image stabilization, takes good photos, especially during the day. Photos have enough detail, colors are a bit saturated and the dynamic range is okay.
Even in the dark, the Poco F5 Pro still manages to capture nice pictures. The phone relies heavily on night mode to brighten the image and remove noise. However, competing smartphones such as the Google Pixel 7, Pixel 7a and Samsung Galaxy S22 take better night photos than the Poco.
A 2x zoom can also be found in the camera app. Although the F5 Pro doesn’t have a separate telephoto lens to zoom in, snapshots still look great thanks to the high camera resolution. You can also use the ‘zoom function’ for close-ups, because the separate 2 megapixel macro camera is of virtually no use.
You shouldn’t expect miracles from the 8-megapixel wide-angle lens either. It is useful that the camera is present and the snapshots it takes are not necessarily bad, but they do not look special either. The problem is mainly that with a smartphone of 600 euros you can expect more than a simple wide-angle and macro lens.
Battery life and charging
If we look at the battery life of the Poco F5 Pro, we have little to complain about. The device has a 5160 mAh battery and it lasts quite a long time. In fact, you never have to worry about the battery, because even on a busy day you won’t have to reach for the charger. That’s a big plus.
If the Poco phone is empty, you don’t have to wait long for the battery to be full again. The box contains a 67 Watt charger (neat!) and it pumps the phone half full in fifteen minutes. A full charge takes just over 45 minutes, which is fine too.
It’s a nice idea that you can largely charge the Poco F5 Pro in about 30 minutes. Ideal for when you often forget to charge at night. Wireless charging is also possible and goes with a maximum of 30 watts. You do need a suitable wireless charger, which you logically have to purchase separately.
Conclusion Poco F5 Pro review
The Poco F5 Pro is a powerful smartphone that has quite a lot to offer. The processor is very fast, the screen looks good and the battery life is more than fine. Unfortunately, we are less enthusiastic about the design, software and cameras. Poco’s software in particular remains a thorn in the eye.
Due to the hefty price of 579 euros, we do not dare to recommend the Poco with full conviction. In this price range you can also opt for the more complete Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy S22 or OnePlus 10T, which are also supported for longer. With this competition, the Poco F5 Pro simply has a hard time.
Buy Poco F5 Pro
Are you planning to get the Poco F5 Pro? The smartphone is available separately or in combination with a subscription. The entry-level model costs 579 euros and has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. If you go for the version with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, you will have lost 629 euros.
Reviews op Android Planet
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