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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: A familiar, high-quality mid-ranger

Jon Mundy
4 Apr 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
299
inc VAT

The Poco X4 Pro 5G joins the OnePlus Nord CE 2 and the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G at the top of the £300 pile

Pros 
Excellent 120Hz AMOLED display
Capable 108MP main camera
Speedy 67W charging
Cons 
Essentially identical to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
Ultrawide and zoom capabilities limited
OnePlus Nord CE 2 has a clear performance edge
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After the Poco M4 Pro 5G laid on a confidently competent budget phone experience at the beginning of the year, it’s the turn of the Poco X4 Pro 5G to step things up a notch. It costs a little more, but that means a corresponding increase in quality virtually across the board.

With the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s (very) close cousin, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, already making quite an impression at this end of the market, we’re eager to see what Xiaomi’s other budget brand can do.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: What you need to know

In the Poco X4 Pro 5G, Xiaomi has essentially released the same phone twice. Its core components and software are identical to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G’s, and its design is pretty similar, too. We rated that phone pretty highly in our five-star review, so there’s surely plenty to like here.

Once again, you’re getting an excellent 120Hz OLED display, a competent Snapdragon 695 processor, and an eye-catching 108MP main camera. You can also count on the bundled 67W charger to get the phone’s large 5,000mAh cell up to full capacity in a quoted 41 minutes.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Price and competition

The Poco X4 Pro 5G costs £299 here in the UK. This pitches it directly against the likes of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G and, as mentioned, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.

While the specs are remarkably similar to the latter, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G offers half the internal storage, a less fluid 90Hz display, and a smaller 4,500mAh battery for the same money. But as you’ll soon find out below, the OnePlus gives you superior performance and cleaner software.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Design and key features

The Poco X4 Pro 5G is chunkier and boxier than the Poco M4 Pro 5G, with flat edges rather than the usual curves. It’s one of many shared elements with the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.

While the body of the phone is made of matte plastic, the rear is made of glass, resulting in a pleasingly solid feel. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it feels premium, but it certainly feels pretty good.

The look of that rear panel bears some resemblance to the Poco M4 Pro (not the 5G model), specifically in the form of its large, width-spanning camera module. It’s a little wasteful, as the camera components themselves are all located in the top-left corner. However, it’s certainly distinctive, and it ensures that the phone sits solidly on any flat surface. 

Poco has given its phone a flat display, as you’d expect for this sort of money. It’s coated in Gorilla Glass 5, and an IP53 rating ensures a certain degree of dust and water resistance.

This is quite a big phone at 164 x 76 x 8.1mm (HWD), while a weight of 205g is up there with smartphone heavyweights such as the Xiaomi 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro.

Poco phones have a history of packing in meaty stereo speakers, and the Poco X4 Pro 5G doesn’t disappoint, outputting loud, clear sound from the speaker on the bottom edge and another in the earpiece.

You get both a 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR blaster on the top edge, which are both welcome additions. The latter is quite unusual in a phone of any price, though it’s another common element with the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. Using Xiaomi’s preinstalled Mi Remote app, you can use the phone like a remote control with your TV or Hi-Fi.

Indeed, Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 is present here on top of Android 11, just as it was with the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. It’s just as functional and customisable, but also just as stodged up with additional apps and gaudy icons.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Display

The Poco X4 Pro 5G’s most impressive component is its 6.67in AMOLED display, which features a 2,400 x 1,080 (FHD+) resolution, and a flagship-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. With auto-brightness active, it will get to 700cd/m² in regular conditions and a peak of 1,200cd/m² when things get really bright. With auto-brightness switched off, I recorded a maximum brightness of 437cd/m², which is fine for indoor conditions.

I recorded an sRGB gamut coverage of 99.3% in the default Vivid display mode, though this also yields a pretty inaccurate Delta E reading of 3.65. Switching to the Standard colour setting led to much more accurate results, with an sRGB gamut coverage of 91.8%, a gamut volume of 92.5% and a Delta E of 1.4, acceptably close to the ideal score of 1.

Without wishing to sound like a stuck record, all of this is very similar to the results I obtained from the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, reflecting the fact that it’s exactly the same component running exactly the same Xiaomi display calibration software. That doesn’t make it any less impressive for the money, though.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Performance and battery life

The Poco X4 Pro 5G runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 5G, and is backed by either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on your region. Here in the UK, it’s the latter.

As hardware setups go, the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s isn’t tearing up any trees, but it’s perfectly adequate for the price. It’s a modest bump over the Snapdragon 732G of the Poco X3 NFC, if not the blazing-fast Snapdragon 860 of the Poco X3 Pro. 

Xiaomi seems to have throttled back on performance in favour of an AMOLED display and 5G with this year’s Pro model, which makes the X4 Pro 5G a slower but better-balanced phone.

Compared to similarly priced rivals, the Poco X4 Pro 5G is in the middle of the pack. An average Geekbench 5 single-core score of 684 and a multicore score of 2,048 is a match for the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G – unsurprisingly considering the identical specs – and better than the likes of the Nokia X10, but falls quite a bit short of the OnePlus Nord CE 2.

There’s an even more pronounced gap between the Poco and the OnePlus in GPU terms. Indeed, the Poco X4 Pro 5G is a fairly mediocre runner when it comes to games, which couldn’t be said about previous Poco generations.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G features a large 5,000mAh battery that will stand up to a full day of intensive use with ease, and can potentially last you a full two days if you keep your usage relatively light.

In our standard looping video test, the Poco X4 Pro 5G lasted just under 18 hours. That’s around half an hour shy of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, rather oddly, and about two hours short of the Nokia X10. It’s still a decent result, though, and you really don’t have anything to worry about on the stamina front. 

Even when you do run out of juice, Xiaomi has included its 67W fast charger in the box. This can get you from 0 to 77% in just 30 minutes. I didn’t experience any of the charging bugs that I did with the similarly equipped Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, either.

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Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Cameras

Xiaomi has brought out the big guns with the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s camera, at least with the main sensor. It’s led by a large 1/1.52in 108MP wide camera, though the system tails off dramatically with a puny 8MP ultrawide and a superfluous 2MP macro sensor.

You probably guessed it, but this is an identical camera setup to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. Just like its close cousin, image quality from that 108MP main sensor is of a decent quality, turning out nicely balanced pixel-binned 12MP images (you can also opt for the full 108MP works if you want).

Also like the Redmi, the AI assistant here is left off by default, and I generally preferred it to stay that way. While the AI assistant served to brighten up the scenes on a challengingly overcast day, it also blew out a number of highlights and gave things a slightly false, icy-blue tint.

Selfies from the 16MP front sensor aren’t great quality, with blown-out highlights and a general lack of detail and uneven skin tone. You’ll want to dial down the Beautify effect, too, which is aggressively active by default.

Night mode is adequate for a sub-£300 phone. The sensor is nice and big, of course, but there’s no OIS to enable extended shutter times. While low-light shots get the tone right, there’s bags of visual noise.

The 8MP ultrawide is pretty underwhelming as its specs suggest, failing to match the tone of the main sensor and falling way short on detail, especially at the edges. 2x zoomed shots crop in on that main sensor, which sees a drop off in detail, but at least maintains a relatively even tone.

Video recording maxes out at a downright poor 1080p at 30fps, which feels like a provision from several years back.

Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G review: Verdict

The Poco X4 Pro 5G is another very good affordable phone from the Xiaomi sub-brand. It isn’t an absolute performance power-house, with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 providing faster silicon for the same sort of money but there’s a lot to like elsewhere.

The Poco X4 Pro 5G has other attributes, not least an excellent 120Hz AMOLED display. Its 108MP main camera is capable of good things too, and the phone is well stacked with internal storage. Battery life is strong, and charging speeds are very impressive courtesy of a 67W wired charger included in the box.

If I have one outstanding complaint about the Poco X4 Pro 5G, it’s the sense of déjà vu when comparing it to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. But then that’s an excellent phone for the money, which naturally means that the Poco X4 Pro 5G is, too.

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