The Indian smartphone market has seen a lot of activity recently in the sub-Rs. 30,000 category. Most of the new launches have generally been successors of phones which were available last year in and around the Rs. 20,000 mark. The price hike of new launches can be attributed to various factors such as the rising cost of components and raw materials, weakening Rupee against the dollar, and so on. Poco, a company known to offer value-for-money hardware in the mainstream and mid-range segment, has now launched the Poco X5 Pro 5G as its new offering under Rs. 25,000.
The phone succeeds the Poco X4 Pro 5G (Review) and has received many upgrades in the display, camera, and performance departments. However, just like the other new launches, the Poco X5 Pro is also more expensive than the outgoing model. Should you consider buying this phone? We help you decide.
Poco X5 Pro 5G price in India
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has been launched in two storage options in India. The base variant of the phone has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It is priced at Rs. 22,999. The company sent us the 8GB RAM variant with 256GB of internal storage. This is priced at Rs. 24,999. As part of the launch offers, customers with an ICICI Bank card can claim an instant discount of Rs. 2,000 on the purchase of the phone.
Poco X5 Pro 5G design and display
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has broadly the same structure as the Poco X4 Pro 5G with a flat frame and a flat rear panel. However, unlike the previous model which had a rear glass back panel, the Poco X5 Pro 5G uses plastic. The polycarbonate shell also helps the phone feel a lot lighter than its predecessor.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G weighs 181g but when you hold the phone, it feels even lighter. With a 7.99mm thickness, the device is also said to be the slimmest Poco smartphone in India. From the back, the phone looks a lot like the Redmi note 12 Pro 5G and Note 12 Pro+ 5G smartphones.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has a flat frame design
The Horizon Blue colour of the Poco X5 Pro 5G that the company sent us has a frosted finish for the back panel. This does lend the phone a slightly premium look. The upper portion of the rear panel, however, has a glossy finish. Some may or may not like this design choice. There is also a huge 'Poco' branding on the top-right corner, which somewhat reminds me of Realme's 'Dare to Leap' style of branding.
I think the Astral Black colour of the X5 Pro 5G looks the best. There is also the classic 'Poco Yellow' colour option, which has a slightly muted yellow back panel and a black paint job for the camera area.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has a tall, 6.67-inch Xfinity AMOLED display which is said to use a chip-on-panel technology in order to keep the panel thin. The bezels around the display are also slightly thinner than the outgoing model. While the display does not have curved sides like the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G (Review), the Poco X5 Pro 5G has Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback support. Video streaming apps such as Netflix does take advantage of it.
The 10-bit display produces vivid colours and deep blacks and I did not notice any display issues such as (green) tinting on my unit, unlike some reported issues in past Poco (and Xiaomi) phones. The multimedia experience is enhanced by the equally good stereo speakers, which support Dolby Atmos. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for Hi-Res audio.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G's display is also fairly bright for outdoor use. The display's brightness level can go up to 900 nits when watching HDR content. It is not the brightest display out there in the segment but should be more than adequate when using it outdoors.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G's display has a peak brightness of 900 nits
Like its predecessor, the Poco X5 Pro 5G supports a 120Hz refresh rate. The screen can vary the refresh rate between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz, depending on the usage. For instance, when watching videos, the screen refreshes at 60Hz, but while scrolling through the interface, it refreshes at 120Hz. When the lockscreen Always-on-Display (AoD) is enabled, the phone's display refreshes at 30Hz. A few compatible games can also take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate.
Poco X5 Pro 5G specifications and software
The Poco X5 Pro 5G features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC. The 6nm SoC also features an Adreno 642L GPU and is paired with LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 storage. The X5 Pro also supports seven 5G bands in India. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1, and a USB Type-C port.
In terms of software, the Poco X5 Pro 5G ships with the Android 12-based MIUI 14. For a phone priced above Rs. 20,000 in 2023, not having the latest Android version is disappointing. The new MIUI update has features that improve the overall performance such as using less memory and being more power efficient.
While the Poco X5 Pro 5G gets MIUI 14, it is still based on Android 12 out of the box
The custom skin continues to offer a bunch of customisation and personalisation options. Users can choose between two different styles for the Control Centre. There are also options for customising the Always-on-Display screen, changing wallpapers and themes, adjusting the animation speed, etc.
In addition to this, you get the Android Privacy Dashboard, which is a one-stop location for checking which apps have access to your location, contacts, call logs, photos and media, microphone, etc. There is also the privacy indicator at the top right to highlight when an app uses the camera or microphone.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G does come with a few pre-installed third-party apps, such as Amazon, Moj, Zilli, Prime Video, etc. You can choose to uninstall these apps whenever you want. There is also an option to setup Glance for wallpaper recommendations on the lockscreen.
Even if you do not enable it while setting up the phone, the software tends to throw a pop-up intermittently in case you would want to reconsider. Sadly, there is no way to stop this notification. Get Apps, Xiaomi's native app store, also spams you with some notifications during the day to remind you of updating apps or consider installing some recommendations.
The Poco X5 Pro comes with a few third-party apps pre-installed
Poco has promised to offer two major Android updates for the X5 Pro 5G. This means that the Android 13 update should be available later this year, although it is unknown when exactly this will happen.
Poco X5 Pro 5G performance and battery life
The Poco X5 Pro 5G is a great option for those who play a lot of games on their smartphone but do not necessarily want to spend a premium. The Snapdragon 778G is a capable processor for handling certain resource-hungry tasks, let alone day-to-day routine stuff.
I played Call of Duty: Mobile on the Poco X5 Pro 5G at the 'Very High' graphics and 'Max' framerate settings, and the experience was quite fun. There was no sign of any stutter or lag while playing team deathmatch or multiplayer rounds. The game also lets you choose ‘Ultra' framerate as an option with ‘Low' or ‘Medium' graphics quality on the X5 Pro 5G. Asphalt 9 Legends also ran smoothly on the Poco X5 Pro 5G.
I also ran a few benchmark tests on the Poco X5 Pro 5G. The phone scored 5,31,029 points in AnTuTu, which is very close to the claimed score of 5,45,093 points. The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G, which is closest in terms of price, scored 5,04,626 points, whereas the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G scored 4,38,678 points. In Geekbench, the Poco X5 Pro scored 755 and 2819 points in the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. RAM management is quite good on the Poco X5 Pro 5G. Games load a bit faster when the Game Turbo mode kicks in.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G supports 67W fast charging via a USB Type-C port
The Poco X5 Pro 5G's 5,000mAh battery can easily a full day on one charge. The phone, on average, delivered eight hours of screen-on time( SoT) when I played games or recorded videos using the camera. On days when my use case was lighter, the SoT was about nine hours. Your mileage might vary depending on how you use it.
In our HD video loop test, the Poco X5 Pro 5G lasted for 17 hours and 32 minutes. The 67W fast charging adapter charged the battery from zero to 100 per cent in 47 minutes. The phone did get a bit hot near the camera module area while charging.
Poco X5 Pro 5G camera
The Poco X5 Pro 5G has a triple rear camera setup. There is a 108-megapixel Samsung HM2 main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. There is no optical image stabilisation (OIS) for the primary camera. The phone also feature a 16-megapixel front camera sensor.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G camera module design is inspired by its cousin, Redmi Note 12 Pro series
The primary camera captures detailed, vibrant shots during the day. However, when HDR kicked in, I noticed that the reds and greens were slightly more saturated than usual. The dynamic range performance is good but there is room for improvement. Also, there are times when the sky looks unusually blue but this can be fixed in post.
The 1/1.52-inch Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor, when using Night mode, also does a good job in retaining details in the shadows. I did miss OIS at times though as even a slight shake would result in blurry images.
Shot on Poco X5 Pro 5G: (Top to bottom) Photo Mode, Photo Mode, Night Mode, Night Mode
Images taken using the ultra-wide camera had good colours but were generally soft. The dynamic range performance was also decent. The 2-megapixel macro camera captured poor images and is best not used. Instead, capturing images in the 108-megapixel mode and cropping out your subject should yield better results.
Ultra-wide camera samples shot on Poco X5 Pro 5G
The 16-megapixel front camera captures good details and facial tones. When using portrait mode, edge detection is mostly on point but the software smoothens the skin too much. This happens to a certain extent even when beauty mode is disabled.
Poco X5 Pro 5G front camera samples: (top to bottom) Photo mode, Portrait mode
The rear camera can capture 4K 30 fps videos, and for the price, the quality is quite good. The colours are close to natural and the dynamic range performance is also quite good. The front camera can shoot 1080p 60fps videos and it does a decent job.
The Poco X5 Pro 5G offers a great multimedia experience, solid performance, and good battery life. The design is subjective and if you ask me, I'm not a big fan of the way it looks. However, the lightweight and slim design might attract many buyers. The primary rear camera and the front camera do a good job but the other two have some room for improvement.
What I did not like is not having Android 13 out of the box, which is a big disappointment. The saving grace is that the software has less bloatware and is feature-rich.
All in all, if you want a phone that offers good performance and is a decent overall package, the Poco X5 Pro 5G can certainly be considered. In fact, I would also recommend this over the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G which did not offer a very good software experience, despite it being on Android 13. There is also the X5 Pro 5G's cousin, the Redmi Note 12 Pro (First Impressions), which offers a similar software experience and features but with OIS for the main camera.
Samsung's Galaxy S23 series of smartphones was launched earlier this week and the South Korean firm's high-end handsets have seen a few upgrades across all three models. What about the increase in pricing? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts. Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.