The concept of budget and mid-range smartphones is being redefined in 2023 with rising input costs and the soaring dollar. It’s brought renewed focus to the Rs 20,000 – 25,000 price segment as consumers upgrade from cheaper phones. This segment is also seeing increased consumer expectation especially on the performance and camera fronts. POCO’s new X5 Pro 5G promises both and is one of 2023’s first big launches in this ultra-competitive price segment. Does it tick enough boxes for you?
That POCO Yellow
The X5 Pro feels incredibly light in your hand – even lighter than the 181 gm on the spec sheet. POCO has managed a significant reduction in heft (versus its predecessor – the POCO X4 Pro) thanks to a polycarbonate shell. At 7.99 mm, POCO has positioned this as the thinnest device in its portfolio. The X4 Pro 5G was crafted with a rear glass back panel. The design language is similar though. We dig the flat edge design with clean lines. POCO has added a cool new shade of blue to its 2023 line up. This frosted version of blue stands out in a crowd but we are still fans of the POCO Yellow that plays out in a more muted version thanks to the plastic finish.
At its heart is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset that gives the POCO X5 Pro 5G extra wings (over its predecessor). We checked out the top-end 8GB/256GB variant, there’s also a 6GB/128GB hardware option. Performance was quite impressive given it’s asking price. We pushed this device over the edge with games like Asphalt 9, the X5 Pro notched an impressive score of 2934 (multi-core) in our Geekbench benchmark tests. The X5 Pro is the first device to sport MIUI 14, Mi’s custom spin on Android. We were disappointed to see that the device doesn’t come with Android 13 out of the box. That apart, the device also has a bunch of pre-installed apps that you might not need.
Ticking the right boxes
A 120Hz refresh rate is one of the highlights of the 6.67-inch display (1080 x 2400 pixels / 395 PPI). It adds to the device’s gaming and binge-watch appeal. The triple rear cam combines a 108MP (f/1.9) primary lens with an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP Macro lens. Camera results are decent in optimal light; we’re not sure about how often you might use the macro lens but it’s playing out in quite a few devices in this price band. Despite it’s lightweight form, POCO manages to stuff a 5000 mAh battery under the hood. There’s a 67W fast charger that powers this device up in quick time. Battery life is solid and is one more reason aside from its slinky form, refined design and immersive display why the POCO X5 Pro 5G is one of the best smartphones you can buy under Rs 25,000.
The POCO X5 Pro costs Rs 22,999 (6B/128GB) and Rs 24,999 for the 8GB/256GB variant.