Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Poco - like Xiaomi’s other sub-brands - has developed an attractive identity over the past few years. It delivers phones that are big on performance and specs, but without big price tags. With Poco you almost get the sense that this is the cool, youthful brand, with bright yellow branding everywhere and - often - bright yellow phones. 

One of the latest to join Poco’s product portfolio is the X4 Pro. It’s a mid-range device, but with some specs that might just appeal to those who really care about a fast and smooth-feeling phone. 

Our quick take

On first look, the Poco X4 Pro seems to be a solid mid-range offering. With 120Hz display and a big, fast-charging battery, it should deliver a great experience for its price point. 

The phone certainly makes a bold visual statement, particularly in bright yellow, and that could be the deal clincher for some. At least, if the specs and the price point don’t already sway them. 

Poco X4 Pro initial review: Mid-range powerhouse

Poco X4 Pro

For
  • 120Hz refresh rate display
  • Large 5000mAh battery with fast-charging
  • Expandable storage and headphone port
Against
  • Runs Android 11 rather than 12
  • MIUI isn’t to everyone’s taste
  • Large camera housing will likely divide opinion

squirrel_widget_6635671

Design 

  • 64.2 x 76.1 x 8.1 mm - 205g
  • Gorilla Glass 5 front 
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Plastic edges, glass front and back 
  • Laser Black, Laser Blue and Poco Yellow colours 

Phone manufacturers haven’t exactly been shy about making a show of their camera humps over the past 12-24 months. We’ve seen Google’s Pixel 6 with its striking camera band across the back, Oppo with its moulded, seamless hump and Xiaomi with its massive oblong protrusion equipped with a screen. Poco seems to be attempting something just as dramatic with the X4 Pro. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 7

Rather than a neat little rectangle in the corner, the company stuck a huge rectangle protrusion on the back, emblazoned with ‘POCO’ in block caps. It’s certainly dramatic, although the affect is relatively subtle on the black model we have in for review. It’s a more striking on the other colours. 

Otherwise, the design is a pretty standard affair. There’s no curved glass - the back is completely flat - and the plastic edge all the way around the phone is squared off, not curved. Only the corners are rounded, slightly. And just like the back, the glass on the front is completely flat too. It’s simple, and that’s no bad thing. 

It’s a relatively thin device too at just 8.1mm, but it’s still on the large side. It’s taller than an iPhone 13 Pro Max, which isn’t small at all. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 11

It's dotted with a handful of ports and buttons, including the 3.5mm headphone port on the top edge, and the power button on the right which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. It seems to work well in early testing, but has already proved that it will be very easy to trigger accidentally, usually with the wrong finger or the palm, and that could mean being asked for a passcode after too many 'failed attempts'. 

Display 

  • 6.67-inch fullHD+ (1080 x 2400) AMOLED display
  • Up to 120Hz refresh rates
  • 700 nits typical - 1200 nits peak brightness 
  • MIUI 13 for Poco software 

Where smartphone manufacturers used to push resolution as of the upmost importance, things have changed. Predominantly because we haven’t really moved away from the full HD and Quad HD resolutions that have been on phones for a good number of years now. Instead, key display performance metrics are now measured in brightness and refresh rates. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 1

It’s good news here for those who care about such things too, because Poco’s X4 Pro has a large 6.67-inch display on the front capable of reaching up to 1200 nits peak brightness (700 nits typical). Plus, the refresh rates are up there with the best of them. The panel built into the X4 Pro can reach up to 120Hz, which should mean optimised content should seem really smooth and sharp. 

We’ve spent a short time with the phone, but in that time loaded up a few different shows on Netflix to see what the display is like. First impressions are good. In its default setting, colours appear very vibrant - perhaps a little oversaturated at times - and contrast is high. 

That means the black elements in graphics is very inky and dark. There’s sometimes a feeling it’s a bit too contrast-heavy, but whether you’re watching animation or live action, you’ll get an eye-popping visual experience. 

Just as vital is that there’s good stereo sound from the speakers on the front. It helped those initial viewings seem a lot more immersive than if it only had a single loudspeaker on the bottom edge. With that said, the positioning of the bottom speaker does make it easy to cover and block sound when held in landscape and portrait. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 2

On the software front, the phone is loaded with the Poco-flavoured variant of Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 skin. It’s built on top of Android 11, rather than Android 12. That comes with the redesigned drop-down system for quick access to notifications and quick settings toggles. 

Rather than have them both in the same view, the ‘control centre’ is accessed by swiping from the right, while notifications are accessed from the left. It’s similar to the method we’ve seen used by Huawei in the latest version of EMUI as well. 

From the front, it's pretty standard, with relatively skinny bezels around the display. The top and bottom bezel, as usual, being slightly thicker than those on the left and right sides of the screen. Apart from the tiny punch-hole camera sitting in the top centre, there's nothing else to distract from the display. 

Performance and battery

  • Snapdragon 695 processor 
  • 6GB/128GB or 8GB/256GB 
  • Expandable up to 1TB
  • 5000mah battery - 67W wired charging

Spec wise, there’s plenty to like here considering its position in the market. The Snapdragon 695 seems to be the latest mid-range processor of choice for many Android phone makers. It should mean a reliable - but likely not blazing fast - experience. 

Still, you should be able to play all your favourite games no problem, and are unlikely to be dealing with lag or stuttering, especially not with that 120Hz display on the front. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 6

It’s joined by either 6GB or 8GB RAM, depending on whether you want the 128GB or 256GB storage model. Regardless of which you go for, you can expand that storage with a microSD card up to an additional 1TB. 

What could prove to perform well is the battery. At 5000mAh capacity, it’s a large cell, and one which - with MIUI’s usual battery optimisations - should comfortably get anyone through a full day, even busy ones. Plus, when it’s empty, it can fully charge from empty in just 40 minutes thank to the 67W fast-charging adapter that ships with the phone. 

Of course, time will tell if that hardware lives up to the promise. We need further time with it to get a real sense of what it’s like to use on a daily basis. 

Cameras 

  • 108MP main camera - f/1.9 - 1/1.52-inch sensor
  • 8MP ultrawide camera - f/2.2
  • 2MP macro
  • 16MP selfie camera

From a camera standpoint, the trio of lenses on the back of the Poco is very much a standard layout in the mid-range market. That means you get a primary camera, an ultrawide and a low resolution 2-megapixel macro. 

Pocket-lintPoco X4 Pro initial review photo 8

The main camera itself uses the largest sensor of the three, packing in a whopping 108 megapixels. Of course, it pixel bins down, combining 9 into 1 to give you 12-megapixel images by default. If you want to, however, you can load up the 108MP/Ultra HD mode in the camera app, and utilise every single one of the pixels. 

Poco has also loaded up the camera app with a bunch of other useful shooting modes. Those include things like document shooting, portrait mode, long exposure shots, panorama, night mode, time-lapse and slow motion. There’s even a dual video mode that shoots from the front and rear cameras at the same time. 

squirrel_widget_6635671

To recap

On first look, the Poco X4 Pro seems to be a solid mid-range offering. With 120Hz display and a big, fast-charging battery, it should deliver a great experience for its price point. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.