Xiaomi released POCO F1 as early as 2018, but since then the POCO brand has not seen any new product releases, and POCO has always operated under a single brand under Xiaomi. With the change of Xiaomi’s strategy in overseas markets, POCO is also officially independent. On February 4th, Xiaomi officially released POCO X2 in India. The POCO X2 is the same as Redmi K30 4G in terms of design and hardware configuration. We can understand this phone as the overseas version of Redmi K30 4G. And 91Mobile, a well-known overseas digital media, also took the lead in bringing the evaluation of POCO X2. Below we translate this POCO X2 review to bring you the first detailed test of this new phone.
POCO X2 review [ click to view original ]:
The POCO F1 released by Xiaomi back in 2018 redefines the meaning of the term “ affordable flagship (Editor’s Note: for the Indian market) ”, and in this regard, it is even worth the money. After the release of POCO F1, it was impressive and received a lot of attention, providing a powerful hardware configuration at a very affordable price. Prior to the price reduction of POCO F1, the flagship specifications and decent camera performance were unheard of at a price below Rs 20,000, until the price of POCO F1 was reduced. Until now, several companies are still trying to imitate the POCO F1 model, although without success.
It has been reported that POCO has launched the second breakthrough mobile phone, which may be released in February. Many people speculated that it was the successor to POCO F1, so everyone called the phone POCO F2 at the time. In the end, POCO announced that its next product would be called POCO X2, but there was never a phone called POCO X1, and the name was also surprising.
The POCO X2 is priced at Rs 15,999 (about RMB 1,574), which is undoubtedly the most affordable mobile phone provided by POCO. POCO X2 may not be able to provide flagship performance, but this phone has an unprecedented screen refresh rate performance in the price range. The POCO X2 happens to be the only phone with a price below Rs 20,000, and its screen refresh rate reaches an incredible 120Hz. But how effective is this display? Is a 120Hz display really what users want? Can the phone’s performance support this high refresh rate? How good is the camera? There are many questions, and I believe that the most important questions may be answered. Please read it carefully to find out.
On the surface, POCO was once a sub-brand of Xiaomi, but no matter how independent POCO is, POCO X2 can still be designed from Xiaomi’s mobile phone. Xiaomi’s Redmi K30 and POCO X2 launched in China are almost the same device. The back of the POCO X2 features a curved Corning Gorilla Glass 5, with a stunning purple design and a circular texture around the camera housing. The curve on the side means this is an easy-to-hold phone, but its smooth design slightly affects the feel. Four cameras are aligned vertically with the LED flash, with the POCO brand at the bottom. To me (Editor’s Note: I = original author), it is clear that I have never had such a high-level feeling in a mobile phone under Rs 20,000. POCO X2 has a more dazzling appearance than POCO F1. However, the weight of POCO X2 reached 208 grams, and I encountered some problems when operating it with one hand.
The top of the phone is equipped with an infrared sensor, which can turn the POCO X2 into a universal remote control, which is a very standard feature in Xiaomi phones and is also available on the POCO F1. On the bottom, there is a USB Type-C connector, as well as a headphone jack and speaker opening. On the left side of the POCO X2 is a capacitive fingerprint reader, which is also the power button of the mobile phone. Above the fingerprint reader is the physical volume key. The reason for not using an in-screen fingerprint sensor is simple: the technology requires an OLED display, which will drive up costs, which is not the intention of the POCO brand. Coupled with the 120Hz refresh rate, you can see why POCO chose the LCD panel. The right side of the phone is a hybrid SIM card slot, which can support microSD cards up to 512GB.
High refresh rate screen:
The most prominent on the POCO X2 screen is the refresh rate, or more accurately, how many refreshes per second. Earlier, OnePlus relied on its OnePlus 7 Pro to provide a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, bringing high refresh rate screens to mainstream smartphones. When OnePlus 7 Pro became my main phone, I could feel the difference from other phones is very obvious, and it is very easy to detect. Razer Phone was the first mobile phone with a 120Hz refresh rate. Asus introduced the 120Hz screen in ROG Phone 2. Now, the technology has penetrated into mid-range phones.
Speaking of the entire screen, you can clearly see the figure of Redmi K30. The upper right corner of the POCO X2 has a dual punch camera position, reminiscent of the Galaxy S10 Plus. It can be said to be a problem, but I think punching is much less than water droplets and much more convenient than popping up the camera. The screen size is 6.67 inches, with FHD + resolution, and an aspect ratio of 20: 9. As mentioned above, an IPS LCD panel is used. Therefore, when viewed from an angle, there will be some light leakage around the punch camera. Overall, I was impressed with the color accuracy and brightness level of the POCO X2. Like the Realme X2, the red and yellow colors of the POCO X2 are slightly dim compared to the Realme, but they can only be seen when looking at it very closely. As a side note, POCO phones also have Widevine L1 certification, a feature not available on POCO F1, so you can watch HD content on Netflix, Prime Video, and more.
The point is that compared to phones at the same price point, the POCO X2 display feels smoother. Animation, scrolling, browsing and navigation usually have a certain fluency, giving a faster impression. You can choose to reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz to save battery, but I think the charm of the phone has disappeared. Unlike the Pixel 90’s variable 90Hz display, the POCO F2 will remain locked at 120Hz unless you are watching a video or using the camera app. Games can take advantage of higher refresh rates, but processor limitations (to be mentioned later) hinder the overall experience. Overall, I was impressed by the high refresh rate of the POCO X2, and this is a mid-range device.
Four-shot has become a configuration in many mid-range smartphones, and it is not surprising that POCO has also kept up. You will get a 64-megapixel main camera with f / 1.9 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f / 2.2 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro camera with f / 2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth-of-field camera . The same camera configuration can also be seen on Redmi Note 8 Pro (Editor’s Note: Xiaomi CC9 Overseas Version). However, there is a difference. The main 64-megapixel camera on the POCO X2 is Sony’s IMX686 sensor, which is the first smartphone in India to use the IMX686 sensor, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro uses an ISOCELL GW1 64MP sensor.
The camera UI on the POCO X2 is the same as other Xiaomi phones and it is easy to use, you can usually find different modes for taking photos by swiping left / right on the screen. Now that the image quality on the device is taken into account, the phone uses familiar pixel merging technology, which can be synthesized from four 16-megapixel photos to produce high-resolution pictures with more detail and better exposure (editor (Note: The original author may have misunderstood the 4-in-1 pixel). Although reasonable in principle, actual results are only useful if you really want to zoom in on a photo. However, ordinary daytime photos are the best of their kind. The contrast in the photos is very good, as are the details. The camera also handles exposure well, but in some photos the dynamic range can be uneven. Compared to the Realme X2, the color of the POCO X2 looks more natural, and the sharpening effect I like is slightly worse. There is no telephoto lens, but you can get 16 megapixel photos with digital zoom clipping.
Ultra-wide-angle lenses work well only when there is sufficient light. However, this is the case for most ultra-wide-angle sensors in many mobile phones. The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera can shoot fine enough photos, but the distortion on the edges is more than I can see on the Realme X2. Macro cameras can take useful pictures, but still need plenty of light. The POCO X2’s macro sensor has an autofocus function, which makes taking macro photos easier. Even so, you will see some color distortion in your photos, although this is not common. There is also a 2-megapixel bokeh dark heart on the phone that can be used for accurate depth detection between the subject and the background. In my tests, background separation works well and almost always focuses on the subject.
Night scene shooting on the POCO X2 also performed quite well, and the dedicated night mode did help. As a result, there are many software-based noise reduction methods in low-light photos when the subject is brought into focus in most cases. Exposure calibration can be problematic, but night mode resolves it.
There is also a 2000-pixel f / 2.2 camera on the front of the phone, and it is equipped with a 2-megapixel depth-of-field camera. Self-portraits are clear and detailed, with good exposure processing capabilities behind the subject. The added depth of field sensor means that the background can be separated when shooting in portrait mode, and the blurring effect is much better than what we see on mid-range phones such as Realme X2 or Galaxy A51. POCO X2 also has the ability to record 960 fps slow motion video recording and 30 fps 4K video recording.
Performance and software:
As the flagship mobile phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor started at Rs. 20,999, POCO F1 became very popular. In comparison, the second lowest Snapdragon 845 phone at the time, OnePlus 6, also cost Rs. 34,999. This is not the point of the POCO X2. This phone is equipped with a Snapdragon 730G processor, while the RAM and storage versions are available in 6GB + 64GB and 8GB + 256GB versions. Like Realme X2 and Redmi K20, POCO X2 uses UFS 2.1 storage chip. Opening and running heavy apps like Instagram and Facebook seems easy, and switching between them is smooth. I have received a high-end version with 8GB of RAM, but I believe the lower 6GB version should be sufficient for most users.
Over the past year, India has been experiencing a boom in PUBG Mobile (editor’s note: eating chicken), and I believe this is one of the reasons that has pushed POCO F1 to such a high level. With the 120Hz display of the POCO X2, I have high expectations for gaming. However, all of this is not ideal. As the lower performance Snapdragon 730G became a bottleneck, the first obstacle I encountered was that the frame rate option was locked at a higher rather than extreme level. As a result, because the game itself limits the number of frames, the mobile phone does not reflect the performance of the game well. Another thing is that few games have full 120Hz refresh rate support, and many games are likely to be locked at 60Hz. However, we must remind ourselves that POCO X2 is a mid-range smartphone and a very good smartphone. It outperforms competitors on all performance-related metrics, and should not cause most people to complain because the game does not support 120 frames. At this price, there is no better gaming phone to choose from.
For fingerprint recognition, the capacitive fingerprint reader on the side is as fast as lightning, but because the surface area is small compared to the display sensor, the thumb must be placed accurately. In my case, the phone almost always unlocks quickly. Face verification also works as fast as lightning, faster than OnePlus 7T. For security, if you close your eyes, the phone will not unlock. The audio quality of the single speaker at the bottom is acceptable, as is the handset and microphone quality on the device.
On the system side, POCO phones run MIUI 11 based on Android 10. The advantage is that POCO allows users to flash third-party ROM on the device without losing the warranty. The reason behind this is to increase system customization in the POCO community. One major change of Xiaomi MIUI is that there is no advertisement in the interface of POCO X2 (Editor’s Note: finally it is not ADUI). In addition, Redmi K30 (Editor’s Note: It should be POCO X2) also has some features such as wake up, dark mode, enhanced digital health functions, and customizable sound notifications. MIUI also has a security app that basically scans your device for malware, manages data usage, configures battery behavior and frees up some RAM.
POCO X2 has a powerful 4500mAh battery, the same is true, because the 120Hz display may consume a lot of power. In our standard test, which included looping videos, the phone lasted about 21 hours, which is really impressive. POCO provides a 27W fast charging solution that can fully charge the device in 75 minutes, so the charging speed on the device is also impressive. Even at 120Hz refresh rate, the use time is only about 6 hours, which is commendable.
to sum up:
The mid-range phone has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which looks very surprising, but it does exist. POCO set off a revolution in the category of mobile phones under Rs 20,000 through POCO F1, and continues to bring higher cost performance through POCO X2. POCO X2 has amazing and smooth display effects, customizable system, excellent camera and excellent performance. My only concern is that the hardware limitations do not take full advantage of the 120Hz display, and maybe this is the price to pay for such a compelling phone. In short, it’s worth buying.
Editors rating: 4/5
120Hz display effect is amazing
Software can be customized
The main camera is pretty good
Processor performance may limit 120Hz refresh rate potential