Poco X2 full review: A mid-budget beast smartphone!
To understand the importance of the launch of POCO X2 in India, one must go 18 months back when first launched in August 2018, Poco F1 drastically changed the parameter of high-performance, reasonable-priced smartphones in mid-segment of market. The promise was to deliver the best specifications at a price that would appeal to all users. Starting at less than $ 300 in India, POCO changed the low budget flagship phone segment unstable.
However, POCO X2 is a completely different beast. Introduced on the back of Poco from its own brand, the phone is launched almost 15 months after the original F1. Many wondered if there would ever be a successor. As a result, this is also not the successor to Poco F1 that everyone was waiting for.
A close replica of the Redmi K30 launched late last year in China, the POCO X2 raises more questions than answers. I’ve been using it for the past few days to see what makes the phone work. Here is the Android Authority review of the Poco X2.
Design of POCO X2: nothing new
Yes, POCO X2 looks exactly like the Redmi K30. In fact, it was developed in collaboration with Xiaomi, which decided to launch the same hardware as the K30 in China. With that out of the way, POCO X2 makes a massive leap over F1. The original made it clear that commitments had been made to reach a certain price point; It is not like this here. The Poco X2 is a completely modern mid-range phone with all the ornaments that accompany it.
In 2019, Xiaomi stepped up its design game, and the X2 is a very clear reflection of that. The back panel has a high gloss finish in its color of choice. There is a very subtle pattern in the design and at the top, there is a design that takes more than a POCO X2 inspiration from the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The circular element around the camera is part of the same Gorilla Glass 5 piece. The finish It does not attract fingerprints and, in general, quick cleaning is enough to keep it clean.
The central frame of POCO X2 is made of plastic, with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. The disadvantage of using all that glass is that it makes the phone particularly slippery. However, sliding over the clear case included avoids that problem.
Other items that stand out include the speaker grill on the bottom, a USB-C port for charging, as well as a headphone jack. The phone supports fast charging of 27 W, and the accompanying charger is included in the box. On the other side, there is a hybrid slot for dual SIM cards, as well as a microSD card if you want to expand the storage.
The use of an LCD screen required the change to a more conventional fingerprint scanner. In the Poco X2, this is placed on the right side of the phone. I like it very much. While I have come to appreciate on-screen fingerprint readers, they are not yet as quick to unlock as a capacitive fingerprint reader and that of Poco X2 is one of the fastest I’ve tried. It is a pleasure to use the mounted fingerprint scanner quickly and reliably.
In other additions, the X2 gets a splash-proof nano-coating. Now, Poco does not claim that the POCO X2 is water-resistant, but your phone should be able to survive a few drops in the rain or spilled coffee.
Is POCO X2 worth the 120Hz screen?
POCO has done much of the screen on the X2, and also for good reason. The 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz. Not only is it one of the highest among the current crop of smartphones, but it is also particularly intriguing to see that it reaches a decidedly mid-range price.
Though POCO X2 has a display of 120 HZ but it does not mean that the content will run at 120 frames per second all the time. This is true not only for games but also for interface elements. The phone interface dynamically switches between 60 and 120FPS mode, and sometimes, this produces a bit of lack while scrolling.
When it works, it is refreshing to see an incredibly smooth scrolling, but I feel that software optimization is not there yet to really show the hardware.
For daily use, the screen is as good as LCD screens. It does not have the deep dark blacks offered by OLED panels and the colors are certainly not as shocking, but the calibration is quite neutral and the photographs and media seem real. Add to that HDR10 capabilities, and you will have a capable media consumption device.
I discovered that the backlight of POCO X2 is a bit uneven, and this is particularly noticeable in the darker content. The overall brightness is enough to see the screen in direct sunlight, but almost. I would have liked a slightly brighter panel.
That uneven backlight is also the reason why Poco X2 opted to obscure the pill-shaped front camera using the software. Look closely and you will see that there are two separate cuts for the front cameras. However, uneven backlighting around the entire cut diffuses unevenly, suggesting that the company deliberately chose this approach for aesthetic reasons.
POCO X2 camera performance:
On the back, the Poco X2 has a conventional quad-camera configuration and a not-so-conventional dual-camera design on the front. Options include a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor as the main camera, an ultra-wide 8MP camera, as well as 2MP depth and macro cameras.
Xiaomi would have opted for a telephoto lens instead of a much more niche macro use case . Continuing, in the front, users have access to a 20MP camera combined with a 2MP depth sensor. The rear camera takes results grouped in 16MP pixels by default, but it is possible to switch to a full resolution image of 64MP if desired.
The results are quite good for the price, but the phone does not set new benchmarks in the image skill. The dynamic range is still quite good, with shadow regions that retain many details. The natural-looking color processing is definitely positive in my opinion, although the color profile varies vary slightly between different modes.
In sunlight, the images are perfectly fine and, in fact, look pretty good with a limited reduction of noise and grain. However, I will refrain from using the 64MP mode on anything other than perfect lighting, as it adds too much noise to the mix. POCO X2 uses the main camera to offer a 2x digital zoom crop.
I quite like the ultra-wide implementation in POCO X2. The focus is on the view of the field of vision, and the company has done a good job of correcting the distortion.
How is the performance of Poco X2?
This is where things polarize. Part of the appeal of Poco F1 was that it included a Snapdragon 845 chipset from then flagship. Along with up to 8 GB of RAM, it offered a higher performance at a fraction of the cost.
The Poco X2 is not that phone. In fact, it changes to a 730G 7 Series Snapdragon chip. It is not far behind, but it is not an iconic killer either. The nickname G refers to the GPU reinforced here. The octa-core chipset mixes two Cortex A76 cores with clock speed at 2.2GHz with six Cortex A55 cores with clock speed at 1.8GHz. The result is a chipset that should be able to optimize battery life while expanding well for performance when necessary.
Meanwhile, the Adreno 618 GPU gets a clock boost of 75MHz compared to the standard Adreno 618 GPU in the Snapdragon 730. In real-world use, you can expect a slightly higher and smoother frame rate when playing games, which is important to maximize the 120Hz display on the X2.
Like virtually all of the premium mid-range options on the market, overall performance is not really a problem for the phone. You can run anything you throw at it and all the games I tried worked well with the graphics to the fullest.
With most games limited to 60FPS, you won’t see much use for that 120Hz screen outside the user interface elements.
In that sense, I could not find any game that was running near 120 fps to really take advantage of the 120Hz screen. In fact, most games have a limit of 60 fps and you really won’t see the benefits of the high-frequency update panel. The problem lies with third-party developers and it is not really the fault of the company, but it does question the usefulness of the 120Hz screen.
There are also indications of lack in the interface and it really makes you wish that POCO has spent a POCO more time optimizing the software.
Speaking of software, the POCO X2 runs MIUI 11 on Android 10. As expected, the phone comes with Poco Launcher out of the box. However, I really did not appreciate a large amount of bloatware that was installed on the phone and was offered during the configuration process.
POCO X2 is powered with 4,500 mAh battery, combine it with a mid-range frugal processor and you will get excellent battery life, right? That is certainly true for POCO X2. Locked at 120Hz, I could easily get a full day of hardware use. Drop it to 60Hz and it should make the phone last much longer. When the time comes to recharge the phone, the included 27W can recharge the battery in just over an hour.
Poco X2 specs:
- 6.67 inch (1080 × 2400 pixel) Full HD + 20: 9 LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR 10, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
- Octa Core (2.2GHz Dual + 1.8GHz Hexa) Snapdragon 730G 8nm Mobile platform with Adreno 618 GPU
- 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM with 64 GB / 128 GB (UFS 2.1) storage, 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM with 256 GB (UFS 2.1) storage, expandable memory up to 512 GB
- Android 10 with MIUI 11
- Dual hybrid SIM (nano + nano / microSD)
- 64MP rear camera with LED flash, Sony IMX686 sensor, 0.8μm, f / 1.89 aperture, ultra-wide 8MP 120 ° sensor with 1.12μm, f / 2.2 aperture, 2MP depth and 2MP macro sensor with 1.75μm, aperture f / 2.4, 4K 30 fps, 960 fps at 720p
- 20MP front camera with f / 2.2 aperture, 2MP secondary camera with a pixel size of 1.75μm for portraits
- Side mounted fingerprint sensor, IR sensor
- 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio, 1217 linear speaker, Qualcomm Aqstic WCD937x audio codec
- Dimensions: 165.3 × 76.6 × 8.79 mm; Weight: 208g
- Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), VoWiFi, Bluetooth 5, GPS / GLONASS / Beidou, USB Type-C
- 4500 mAh battery (typical) / 4400 mAh (minimum) with fast charging of 27 W
- Splash resistant (P2i coating)
POCO X2: Final Verdict
Price from Rs. 15,999, the Poco X2 loses the mark of really differentiating itself in a crowded market. Of course, it is not a bad phone in any way, but there is nothing magical or innovative about this device.
Honestly, it’s not even that far from the Redmi K20, which offers similar specifications with a possibly better AMOLED screen and a pop-up selfie camera.
Devices like the Realme X2 have also intensified the game and if you can ignore the 120Hz display panel, there is a lot in common between Realme phones and the Poco X2.
The Poco X2 is a perfectly normal mid-range phone that lacks the magic of what made the brand stand out.
The return of the Pocophone has been slow to arrive, and the expectation among fans is palpable. That said, I can’t help thinking that many of those fans will be disappointed by what is presented here. The Poco X2 is a good phone that doesn’t really embody the spirit of what made the brand special. It is a perfect mid-range that does not depart from the norm or break the mold in any significant way.
By this, we conclude our review of Poco X2. What do you think about the Poco X2? Do you think it stands out against the Xiaomi and Realme phones or is it a largely forgettable piece of the kit? Let us know in the comments below!