[First Cut] Poco M2 Pro: Such Note-worthy feels
Haven't we note-iced this before?!
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, the Redmi Note 9 Pro must be feeling rather flattered right now. For the latest device from its sister brand, Poco, is very close to being its clone. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is a matter of another story (yes, we are writing it, relax), but what cannot be denied that the third Poco phone – coming after the F1 and X2 (Xiaomi’s brand has a very interesting concept of order) – can be mistaken for Redmi’s bestselling phone series.
The Poco M2 Pro sees Poco take aim at a new price segment – the one just below that targeted by the Poco X2. While the X2, at Rs 15,999 (now increased to Rs 17,499), looked at the section of consumers wanting to move perhaps a slight step up above the Rs 15,000 segment, the M2 Pro is positioned very firmly below it. Which is actually where the Redmi Note 9 Pro also stays. Talk about moving in with the family!
Striking a Pixel rather than a Wall-E note
We got the Two Shades of the Black variant of the device and well, the proportions are identical to the Redmi Note 9 Pro, so much so that the cover of one fits the other very snugly. You have a similar 6.7-inch display in front with a punch hole notch in the center, the fingerprint scanner on the side (we love it!) doubling up as power and display unlock button, as well as a (slightly high) volume rocker. The dual SIM card slot is on the left, with a tray for a dedicated microSD card slot, while the base has the USB Type C port, 3.5 mm audio jack and the speaker grille.
The back is where the changes come in. Yes, you still have a quad camera in a square-ish set up in the center of the upper part of the back, but the flash but the square does not seem to extend to incorporate the flash below it, and the top two lenses also do not have a metallic band around them – the Note 9 Pro gave us Wall-E feels, the Poco 2 Pro does not. It does give us some Pixel-ish feels, though with its very subtle dual-tone, with a slightly lighter (greyish almost) shade of black on the top and a more dark one below with tiny stripes on it. It is a very distinct look although you will have to peer closely to spot it.
This is a tall phone, and at above 200 grams, a slightly heavy one. It has got Gorilla Glass on the front and back and feels very solid indeed. That glass will pick up smudges though. There is a case that is in the box to help you dodge them. The phone comes with P2i dust and water resistance, so it will not be bothered too much by the odd splash of water.
Note-ably charged up hardware
The hardware is equally Note-able (get used to those puns, please, there will be a few). The display is Full HD+ with a 60 Hz refresh rate (acceptable in the segment), the processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G and there are three RAM and storage variants – 4 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 64 GB, and 6 GB/ 128 GB. The camera set up is a 48-megapixel main sensor (we do not know which one at the time of writing, but some sources say it is different from the one on the Note 9 Pro), an 8-megapixel ultrawide, a 5-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera is 16 megapixels.
There is a big 5000 mAh battery onboard but in a very significant move, there is a 33W fast charger in the box (like the one on the Note 9 Pro Max). In hardware terms, that is a big step ahead of the Redmi Note 9 Pro and could sway some folks. Connectivity options include 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and yes, there’s an infrared port too. The software is Poco’s UI (with an app drawer by default) over MIUI 11 and Android 10 with a few apps and games preloaded – we will let you know about the ads in the reviews.
Will it provide Note-worthy competition to the Red and Real Mi/Me side?
All of which makes the Poco M2 Pro feel like the Redmi Note 9 Pro in Poco clothing and a 13,999 price tag. Given the fact that the Redmi Note 9 Pro was a super device, we are not too sure too many will mind, although it might end up confusing quite a few folks and disappointing some who expected Poco to be more militantly different. A lot will depend on how well it does against the likes of the Realme 6 series and its own Note sibling, which are in the same range. We will let you know how it performs in our review in the coming days. We are also curious if there will be a plain Poco M2, with no Pro attached, because that would be logically at a lower price point.
As of now, we can simply say: there’s a new Poco in town, and it looks Note-ably familiar (last pun, promise). On a side-note (sorry, that was unintended, really): after the F1, the X2, and the M2 Pro, we are not even trying to guess the name of the next Poco device.
PS: Where is the Poco F2, though?!!