Economical gaming phone with a stylish design

POCO was founded in 2018 as a sub-brand of Xiaomi. In recent years, the company started its journey as an independent brand and launched a set of quality smartphones. With its range of “M” series phones, POCO has conquered the budget mid-range market. POCO M5, the latest in this line, debuted in India on the 13the September 2022. In this device, POCO brings an impressive design and internal upgrades. Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of the Xiaomi POCO M5.

Key Features of Xiaomi POCO M5

Design and build quality

The design of the POCO M5 is clearly its strongest and most interesting aspect. Anyone familiar with smartphones would be familiar with the brand’s distinct depiction of the three-point camera system on the iPhone or the horizontal visor on the Pixel.

The M5 is a mix of these two design elements and then others. The device itself is made entirely of plastic with a leatherette texture on the back. The texture is only visually appealing as it still feels like plastic on the hand.

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There’s an elongated visor on the back that houses the camera module and big POCO branding. The two main sensors are aligned vertically with a small secondary sensor placed on the vertices.

As an entry-level mid-range device, users will have all the usual ports and button choices. Interestingly, the headphone jack is positioned on the top of the device in typical POCO fashion.

The side power button doubles as a fingerprint reader. Other features like micro SDXC, dual sim and USB Type C 2.0 are all present on the M5. At nearly 8.9mm thick, the device falls easily on the thick side. But much of that was offset by the boxy design which gives it a more premium and durable hand feel.

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Overall, the design of the M5 is innovative with a sturdy plastic construction. Although it does not disturb the market in any way, it still presents good value for money.

Display

The front of the M5 features a 6.58-inch 1080P IPS LCD panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s just another average IPS panel with the only mentionable feature being the 90Hz refresh rate. High refresh rate is becoming more common in the mid-budget segment as it definitely improves the overall user experience.

However, one of the special features of the panel is that it has a maximum brightness of 500 nits. Without a dedicated HBM, it becomes a bit difficult to see the phone at maximum brightness in direct sunlight. The problem is only getting worse since it is an LCD screen.

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Colors and contrasts looked decent on the M5 display. Like all its predecessors, the colors seemed warmer. Viewing angles are also excellent with distortion found only at extreme angles.

The display will not give off the best quality. But when you consider what you’re paying for, it still might seem like a good option.

Camera

The M5 has three cameras on the back, with the primary sensor being a 50MP wide-angle shooter. The other two accompanying lenses are 2 MP depth and macro shooters. It is clear that the additional sensors are only there to increase the number of sensors of the camera module rather than having a significant impact on the overall photography.

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As expected, almost all the heavy lifting is done by the main sensor. Fortunately, he does an exceptional job.

Colors and detail look flawless from the 50MP shots grouped into pixels. The dynamic range is also clearly visible regardless of the subject and the periphery of the light. But this is the case with almost all smartphones when it comes to well-lit environments.

However, the M5 won’t let you down in artificial or dim light either. While there is still visible noise in extremely dark shots, the variable shutter speed does a great job of exposing the subject to the right degree. Images look relatively crisp and nicer compared to similarly priced devices.

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The M5’s videography is limited to 1080P at 30 fps. While the main sensor is capable of more than that, it’s the processor that’s the main constraint. There is also a 5 MP selfie shooter. This is a generic lens found in most entry-level cameras.

Overall, the M5 won’t compete with high-end mid-ranges like the Samsung A-series when it comes to performance. But it has certainly carved out a place for itself in its price range.

Processor and performance

The POCO M5 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 processor based on the 6Nm architecture. Previously, POCO used the Dimensity 900 processor on its M-series devices. This is the first time that the brand has opted for Helio processors and there’s a good reason for that. The octa-core 2 2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 and 6 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 may sound slightly above entry level. But MediaTek has specifically optimized this processor for gaming.

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The device can perform everyday tasks smoothly thanks to the efficient core design and partly the smooth 90Hz refresh rate, which makes transitions and animations even smoother.

The device can run the latest multiplayer games like COD, PUBG, and Asphalt 9 on “Max” settings. Not to mention, the ability of a device of this budget to run graphics-intensive 3D games at maximum settings is surprising. However, the CPU can’t take the toll for long as the throttling kicks in after around 30 minutes of gameplay, so it’s best to run games on “Medium” settings as it will give the best performance.

To sum up the performance of the M5, it definitely punches above its weight.

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Battery and charging time

The POCO M5 is equipped with a 5000 mAh battery. In ideal use, the device can easily last a full day. To make things even sweeter, there’s an 18W charger included on the box.

Xiaomi POCO M5 price

The official price of POCO M5 is Rs 12,499 in India, which is roughly equivalent to BDT 14,735 (1 INR = 1.18 BDT). POCO M5 is not yet officially available in Bangladesh. However, the official price of POCO M5 in Bangladesh may vary depending on availability, taxes and other policies.

Last words

The latest M5 is a budget device from POCO. This device has brought some refreshing changes to the design aesthetics, camera and overall performance of the device. However, the display could certainly have been better as it lacks enough outdoor brightness.

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So who should buy the M5? Anyone looking for a solid budget device can easily go for it. And for people looking for a low-cost gaming solution, the Xiaomi POCO M5 is currently the best deal out there hands down.

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