It might often be accused of “just rebranding Redmi phones and adding some design changes,” but Poco also has some original aces up its smartphone sleeves. Xiaomi’s former sub-brand had surprised us with devices like the Poco X3 Pro, which was perhaps the most powerful 4G Android phone in recent times, and the edgy and game-friendly Poco F3 GT in 2021, showing that it did not need to lean on its former parent to deliver great products.

poco x4 pro review

After a few alleged Redmi clones in its M series this year, Poco has again gotten into original mode and come out with what we think could well be the best phone you could get for under Rs 20,000. Moreover, it even manages to challenge the devices that have defined this segment for a few years now – the Redmi Note series.

A Pro with hardly any cons

The biggest strength of the Poco X4 Pro is that it does not really have any major weaknesses. At a time when we are getting used to compromises in this price segment, the X4 Pro cuts no real corners. We can almost hear people raising eyebrows in disbelief at that, so let’s switch to a quick Q&A mode to make our point clear:

Does it have a good processor?
The Snapdragon 695 on the Poco X4 Pro is among the best in the segment.

What about a good quality display?
There’s a bright, 6.67-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display on the phone with a 120 Hz refresh rate. As good as it gets and better than most in this price segment.

The cameras?
There is a 64-megapixel primary sensor on the back with an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. There’s also a 16-megapixel selfie camera. We know there are few 108-megapixel sensor devices in the zone, but this is also very good, though the macro camera seems nominal.

Does it have a large battery with support for fast charging?
There is a 5,000 mAh battery on this Pocowith support for 67W charging.

Yes, but is there a charger in the box? And is it fast enough?
There’s a 67W charger in the box too.

Stereo speakers around?
Present, and a 3.5 mm audio jack too.

Any RAM or storage cuts?
You get 6 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB / 128 GB variants. And there is support for expandable storage.

What about 5G?
Support for the network of the future, which seems to insist on being in the future, is there too.

In fact, the only real cons we could spot in this Pro were the fact that it ran on Android 11, although with the latest MIUI 13 skin over it, and that its 2-megapixel macro camera was more token than tech. Some might find it a little on the bulky side, but we do live in the era of palm-stretching phones.

A Pro performer

poco x4 pro review display

The Poco X4 Pro’s performance lives up to its impressive spec sheet. The display is one of the best we have seen at this price point, with popping colors and good contrast. The stereo speakers are impressively loud as well, making the X4 Pro a good device to watch content on. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 turns in a very good performance and is markedly superior to the Snapdragon 765G and 750G, in spite of a lower-numbered name. The phone is not meant for super high-end gaming, but you can play most games with a few tweaked settings and also switch between tasks easily. We faced no heating issues at all in our regular usage of the device.

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The cameras are a pleasant surprise. The 64-megapixel main sensor, in fact, seemed to deliver better detail and colors than some of the 108-megapixel shooters at this price point. The colors might seem a little oversaturated at times, but that is something rather common in this segment. The ultrawide camera can capture some great shots, but we would advise against zooming in, as the low megapixel count compromises details. There is no 4K video, but the full HD video quality is quite usable for social networks. The selfie camera is par for the course and gave us clear if slightly beautified selfies. The 2-megapixel macro sensor is largely superfluous, but the main sensor is super, and the others do a decent enough job.

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[Click here for full resolution pictures + additional samples]

The 5,000 mAh battery got us through a day and a half of regular use. The 67W charger in the box gets the phone from 0 to 100 percent in about forty-five minutes, which is exceptionally good. The phone runs on MIUI 13 on top of Android 11. We like the former with its features and neat interface touches (and no ads now!), but we do wish the latter had been Android 12.

A profoundly pleasing sight too

The design of the Poco X4 Pro is every bit as impressive as the phone’s spec sheet and performance. At a time when most phones in the sub- Rs 20,000 segment seem to be sailors in the sea of sameness, the X4 Pro swims in a different direction. We got the laser black color variant of the phone and it certainly is nothing like anything we have seen. The phone comes with a glass front and back, and the back lives up to its color name tag reflecting light rays in different patterns. It is literally like a laser show on its back.

poco x4 pro review design

The phone also follows the current design trend of straight sides and a flat back, and it pulls it off, giving a very “slab of granite” kind of feel (albeit one with a laser show on it!). Giving the phone a very Poco-look on the back is a large rectangular camera enclosure, which juts out a little. This camera enclosure is becoming a bit of a design trademark, making a Poco phone very easy to spot. Interestingly, the cameras themselves occupy only the left side of the enclosure, with three camera lenses (one of which juts out even from the enclosure), one flash, and one slot simply labeled ‘AI’. There is Poco branding on the enclosure in a mirror finish which makes it shine. This is one of the best-looking black variants of any phone we have seen for a while.

Big specs inside a big phone

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The front is more conventional, with the tall display surrounded by slim bezels and a punch hole notch right in the top center. There are speaker grilles on the top and on the base, which also has the USB Type-C port and the dual SIM slot. The top houses a 3.5 mm audio jack and an infrared port. The left side is totally plain, and the right side has the power/display button, which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, with the volume rocker just above it.

It is when you use the power and volume buttons that you actually realize that the Poco X4 Pro is actually a rather big phone – those with smaller hands will have problems reaching that volume rocker with one hand. The phone is 164.19 mm tall, which makes it slightly taller than the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the OnePlus 10 Pro. Although it is reasonably slim at 8.12 mm, this is not a phone that you can use comfortably with a single hand.

At 205 grams, it is not exactly lightweight either, although it is well-balanced – in spite of that jutting out camera enclosure on the back, the phone does not feel top-heavy. The Poco X4 Pro is an unapologetically big phone, but we live in the tall phone era. We suspect most people will not have too many problems with its size and will make their peace with it, given its snazzy looks and speedy performance.

Hitting the Notes

poco x4 pro review verdict

The Poco X4 Pro is available at Rs 18,999 for the 6 GB/ 64 GB variant, Rs 19,999 for 6 GB/ 128 GB and Rs 21,999 for 8 GB/ 128 GB. There are no prizes for guessing who its biggest rivals are. Its starting price is the same as the Redmi Note 11 Pro (Rs 18,999) and its most expensive variant is slightly below the starting price of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ (Rs 20,999). Most phones would have about as much chance of surviving in that zone as an ice cube in the fires of Hell. But the fact that the Poco X4 Pro not only takes on both Notes but even appears superior to them in some regards should give you an indication of just how good a device it is.

It might not boast the 108-megapixel camera that both the Note 11 Pro devices have, but in most other regards (processor, battery, display), it is more than their equal and scores heavily in the design department. This is why we are going to stick our necks out and call the Poc X4 Pro the best phone you can get under Rs 20,000 – it has pretty much got everything you need and will stand out in a crowd as well. Unfortunately, there are not too many phones with Rs 18,999 price tags about which one can say that.

Pros
  • Eye-catching design
  • Good main camera
  • Great battery life, fast charging
  • Smooth performance
  • Good display and speakers
Cons
  • Macro camera is nominal
  • No Android 12
  • On the bulky side
Review Overview
Build & Design
Performance
Cameras
Software
Price
SUMMARY

At its starting price of Rs 18,999, the Poco X4 Pro goes right up against the Redmi Note 11 Pro series. Is it Note-worthy enough to survive? Find out in our Poco X4 Pro review.

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