Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro Review: Return of the Flagship Killer

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Two years ago, after the launch of the OnePlus 6, we were introduced to the Pocophone F1 from Xiaomi. It was marketed as the new flagship killer smartphone that offered top-tier specs at a significantly lower price point. This was a purposeful jab made at OnePlus, which claimed its devices to be flagship killers in the past but increased their prices over the years.

We didn’t get a second-generation Pocophone in 2019 (although we did get the Redmi K20 Pro), however, the Poco name is being revived this year as the Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro. How does the new flagship killer compare to the modern-day flagships? Let’s take a look at all of its specs and features to find out.

Design & Display

Image: mi.com

The Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro, much like every other phone that came out this and the previous year, features a glass and metal construction. You basically have two glass panels sandwiching a metal band in the middle. Even though it has become too common to the point where every phone looks the same, there’s no denying that it does result in a premium looking and feeling smartphone.

Starting at the front, you have a 6.67” 2400×1080 Super AMOLED FHD+ panel that’s also HDR10+ compatible. While this display would be a marvel a couple of years ago but in 2020 where devices like the Realme 6 Pro have 90Hz panels, this does seem yesterday’s technology running 1080p@60Hz. However, if we’re looking for any sort of bright sides, it does have a touch sampling rate of 180Hz, which will result in a more responsive touch.

Image: mi.com

Move to the back and you’ll find yourself looking at a quad-camera setup enclosed in a circular module. I, personally, prefer circular modules over inline or rectangular ones so it looks pretty good to be, however, the camera bump does seem to be significant. The placement of the flash could’ve been better though. It is currently below the circular module when it could’ve easily been in the very middle of it.

The rest of the back is fairly clean, you just have the Poco logo at the bottom. In case you’re wondering why this device looks familiar, it is heavily based on the already existing Redmi K30 Pro. And by heavily based I actually mean the same device just rebranded for a different market. Regardless, the K30 Pro is an amazing device so no one’s complaining.

Cameras

Image: mi.com

As mentioned earlier, the Poco F2 Pro has a quad-camera setup in the back, which is pretty much the current standard in the smartphone industry. The sensors used in the rear module are as follows:

  • 64MP Main with f/1.89 aperture and 26mm focal length
  • 13MP Ultrawide with f/2.4 aperture and 123° FOV
  • 5MP Telephoto/Macro with f/2.2 aperture and 50mm focal length
  • 2MP Depth Sensor with f/2.4 aperture
Image: mi.com

Personally, I think the inclusion of a Telephoto and Macro capabilities in the same unit is a smart idea as these are the least used sensors. However, those who do intend to use this will find the 5MP resolution a tad bit less than adequate. Thankfully, the cameras make up for it in video recording capabilities. You can record:

  • 8K@24/30fps
  • 4K@30/60fps
  • 1080p@30/60fps
  • 1080p@120/240fps (slow motion)
  • 1080p@960fps (super slow motion)

The front camera is a motorized single 20MP unit with the ability to record 1080p@30fps videos. Xiaomi claims that it can also record up to 120fps slow-motion videos but the resolution is not yet specified.

Performance

Image: qualcomm.com

It would be useless to call a smartphone the “flagship killer” if it didn’t have the performance to rival it’s more expensive competitors. Xiaomi knew this exactly and that’s why the Poco F2 Pro has a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865 CPU paired with an Adreno 650 GPU under the hood. This is the exact same chip every current flagship including the $1400 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra uses. This ensures that the Poco F2 Pro will be able to run all the apps and games currently available without breaking a sweat.

In addition to this, the Poco X2 Pro also has a sophisticated liquid cooling system called LiquidCool Technology 2.0. Xiaomi claims up to 14° CPU core temperature reduction with this, which will help combat throttling while gaming. As far as memory and storage are concerned, you have two options to go for:

  • 6GB LPDDR4X RAM with 128GB UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM with 256GB UFS 3.1 Storage

Lastly, let’s look at the battery. The Poco F2 Pro has a 4700mAh unit, which might not seem much compared to its rivals. However, let’s not forget that this device runs a 1080p display at just 60Hz so that makes the battery capacity more than adequate. Apart from that, the device supports up to 30W fast charging, and Xiaomi is nice enough to include a 33W charger in the box. The Poco F2 Pro is claimed to charge from 0-100% in just 63 minutes.

Software & Security

Image: poco.net

The Poco F2 Pro comes, out of the box, running Android 10, which is currently the latest Android version. While the next Android 11 might be on its way, you can rest assure that this phone will get that update. On top of Android 10, the Poco F2 has a MIUI 10 user interface that’s specially tailored for this device. Now, I’ve talked about MIUI before and I don’t particularly love it but I prefer it over Samsung’s OneUI due to its simplicity.

Security features include just an optical in-display fingerprint scanner. Much like every other recent smartphone, except for the Google Pixel 4 and the iPhone 11, the Poco F2 Pro has a scanner under its display that scans your fingerprint for device access. Unfortunately, it’s not as secure as the Ultrasonic one found in Samsung devices but I doubt most users will have nuclear codes in their devices that require a higher level of protection.

Price & Verdict

The Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro, with all its flagship killer glory, starts at $499. That might not sound all that cheap but let’s not forget that you’re getting the best possible performance at the time. To give a perspective, the closest competitor to the Poco F2 Pro is the OnePlus 8 and that start’s at $699. Sure it comes with a better display and some other features that bump up its price.

However, not everyone wants crazy features that are more likely to be classified as gimmicks. Some people just want an amazing performing smartphone, regardless of the brand at the lowest possible price. The Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro offers exactly that, which is why it lives up to its flagship killer name and is definitely worth your money.

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