The Poco F4 5G offers a good balance of specs for its selling price as we’ve already seen in our first impressions. However, this smartphone faces fierce competition from brands such as OnePlus, iQoo, and even its close cousin Xiaomi. It’s time to find out if the F4 5G is worth buying or if it’s better to buy something from one of these other manufacturers at this price.
Poco F4 5G price in India
The official retail price of the Poco F4 5G starts at Rs. 27,999 for the variant with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For Rs. 29,999 you get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Finally, for Rs. 33,999, you get 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and that’s the configuration I tested. Keep in mind that with promotional offers and online sales, you can get each of these variants for much less. The F4 5G is available in Nebula Green and Night Black colors.
Poco F4 5G design
The Poco F4 5G looks like a premium smartphone thanks to its frosted glass back and matte frame. It’s a little heavier, weighing around 195g, but it’s not a very thick phone at 7.7mm. Even though the frame of the phone is flat, there are chamfered edges so it won’t dig into your palm when you hold it.
One thing I couldn’t get used to was its buttons. The volume and power buttons are both located on the right side of the phone and are a bit too recessed and stiff for my liking, requiring extra effort to use. They all have the same texture too, which sometimes makes it a bit difficult to tell which one you want, especially since the power button houses the fingerprint sensor.
The Poco F4 5G doesn’t have a headphone jack, but you do get stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos and also an IR emitter. The retail package includes a case, 67W power adapter, data cable, and even a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter, which is nicely thought out.
The display is one of the main attractions of the Poco F4 5G, and should appeal to those who consume a lot of media on their smartphones. It is a 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Dolby Vision HDR playback is supported in the Netflix app. The display also supports HDR10+ playback. You get Full HD+ resolution with a relatively high pixel density of 395 ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch protection. The Poco F4 5G comes with a pre-applied screen protector that tends to pick up a lot of smudges and fingerprints.
Poco F4 5G specs and software
The Poco F4 5G uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC, and in India up to 10 5G bands are supported. There’s also dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and the usual array of sensors and sat-navs. Poco claims to have used a vapor chamber and graphite sheets in the F4 5G, to keep the SoC cool under load. The phone also has a linear X-axis vibration motor for more precise haptics.
Poco told Gadgets 360 that the F4 5G has an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, although I couldn’t find any explicit mention of this feature in marketing materials or site listings. Brand website. The phone has a 4,500mAh battery with support for wired fast charging up to 67W.
The Poco F4 5G runs on MIUI 13 (v13.0.3) based on Android 12. During this review, the phone received a few updates, the latest being the June 2022 Android security patch. MIUI is generally a skin quite bloated on Xiaomi smartphones, with many proprietary apps known to spam you with annoying notifications. On the F4 5G, you still get most of the bloatware, but there’s hardly any notification spam despite having the same apps like GetApps and Themes pre-installed. On the other hand, Poco has not (yet) committed to long-term updates for the F4 5G.
The user interface is smooth and fluid with lots of customization options. The always-on display can be adjusted to your liking, and on the F4 5G you can have it on all the time or schedule it for certain times, unlike some other Poco offerings such as the X4 Pro 5G (Review). All the usual MIUI shortcuts and gestures are also available.
Poco F4 5G performance and battery life
The Poco F4 5G performed quite well during the review period and I didn’t experience any performance issues. The fingerprint sensor was very reliable for authentication and I like that you can choose between a touch and a press of the power button to activate it. Facial recognition worked well too as long as there was enough light around it.
HDR media streamed over the internet looked very good on the Poco F4 5G’s screen. The colors were vivid and the brightness was more than enough. Dolby Vision shows on Netflix looked good and HDR videos in general were very enjoyable. Stereo speakers can get really loud and sound good. Games also ran very well on the F4 5G. Popular titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty: Mobile ran smoothly.
The Poco F4 5G is able to maintain its composure quite well even after 20 minutes of play. The benchmark numbers were solid, and it scored 684,474 points in AnTuTu and a solid 50 fps in the “Car Chase” test of GFXbench.
The Poco F4 5G’s battery life was pretty good. On average, with medium to light usage that included some gaming, watching videos, browsing the web, the F4 5G still managed to last just over a day. The phone charges very quickly with the supplied high-power AC adapter. In our battery loop test, the Poco F4 5G ran for 18 hours and 14 minutes, which was fine.
Poco F4 5G cameras
The Poco F4 5G’s main camera features a 64-megapixel Omnivision sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and optical stabilization (OIS). You also get an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera on the back. Selfies are handled by a 20-megapixel front camera. The camera app should be familiar to anyone who has used a recent Xiaomi smartphone. There are many shooting modes for photos and videos. The main rear camera supports video recording up to 4K 60fps, but the ultra-wide and selfie cameras are limited to 1080p 30fps.
Landscape shots captured in daylight looked fine, with vivid colors and a decent level of detail, but textures on objects were smoothed out and not very distinct when I looked close enough. The ultra-wide camera had a more natural color tone, but detail was considerably lower and I noticed very obvious chromatic aberration along the edges of some objects. Close-ups looked good, but I often had to tap the screen to make sure the focus was locked properly. Again, the images looked good but the sharpness was a bit lacking. Macro photos taken in adequate lighting looked surprisingly decent.
The rear cameras really struggled with exposure in low-light landscape shots. Detail was lacking, objects had poor texture quality, and darker regions appeared as black spots. Night mode had very little impact on improving exposure or detail. The ultra-wide camera was even weaker in low-light scenarios and while Night mode helped a bit, it wasn’t enough to get a usable photo.
Selfies looked good in daylight with decent skin tones, detail and exposure. Portrait mode also worked well, blurring the good parts of the image.
Videos recorded at 4K 60fps looked good. There’s no stabilization but autofocus was stable, detail was good and colors looked punchy. 4K 30fps video was stabilized, but footage seemed a little jerky if recorded while walking, even slowly. There’s a “Stable Video” toggle that will limit you to 1080p recording when enabled, but footage still looked choppy and cropped heavily. Low-light videos had noticeable noise and jitter due to stabilization.
The Poco F4 5G is a well-designed smartphone that looks and feels premium. It offers very good gaming performance, above-average battery life, fast charging, and a very nice screen that supports Dolby Vision HDR playback. The IP53 rating is also a nice plus. This phone offers better value for money than the Xiaomi Mi 11X (Review), which is essentially the same device but with slower charging. The 12GB RAM version is worth it if you can find it under Rs. 30,000, but at Rs. 33,999 you would be better off with the Nothing Phone 1 (Review).
If you’re looking for good camera performance, phones like the Realme 9 Pro+ (Review) and OnePlus Nord 2T (Review) would be better options. The recently launched Oppo Reno 8 (Review) should also be a good camera smartphone as it is similar to the Nord 2T, but we will reserve our final verdict on this until we are done reviewing it.