POCO X5 Pro 5G review: Value-for-money smartphone with X-factor for novelty- QHN

Successor to the POCO X4 Pro 5G, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is a latest entrant in India’s midrange smartphone segment. The smartphone ticks all the right boxes with a 108-megapixel primary camera sensor, 5,000mAh battery, 67W fast wired charging solution, and AMOLED screen of 120Hz refresh rate. But it is its X-factor such as support for Dolby Vision high dynamic range format besides HDR10+ and Yellow-Black themed design that add to novel experience.

Speaking of design, the POCO X5 Pro 5G has a boxy form factor with flat-edges and curved corners. With no buttons on the left side, it has a power and volume button appropriately placed on the right side for comfortable one-handed operation. The yellow colour variant (review unit) has a shimmery-matte finish on the back that makes it less susceptible to fingerprints and smudges.

What I like most about this smartphone is its lightweight build and the yellow colour accent on the power button, which has the fingerprint sensor built-in. While the design looks good aesthetically, there are some elements that could have been done for better handling. For example, its rear camera module, placed on the top left side, protrudes overly from the body and makes the phone wobble on flat surfaces. Owing to its glossy finish, the camera module attracts dust and fingerprints. Even the camera sensors are bulged out, making it prone to scratches and smudges.

Coming to the screen, the POCO X5 Pro 5G sports a 6.67-inch fullHD+ Xfinity AMOLED screen of 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and 900 nits of peak brightness level. There are thin bezels around the screen and a punch-hole cutout in the top center. The screen is bright and vivid with deep blacks and fine whites. Adding to the experience is the brightness, which makes the screen easy to read in outdoor environments. I watched Fantastic Beasts in bright surroundings and most of the scenes were legible.

The adaptive refresh rate automatically adjusts the refresh rate between 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz depending on the on-screen content requirements. The screen supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats for enhanced viewing experience. Complementing the visual experience is the phone’s audio capability delivered by dual stereo speakers. Supported by Dolby Atmos, the speakers are good, and deliver loud and balanced output. For wired audio out, the phone has a 3.5mm audio jack.

Imaging is covered by a triple-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 108-megapixel primary camera sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. On the front, it has a 16MP camera sensor. It is the primary camera lifting the overall imaging experience with consistent results irrespective of the lighting conditions. The colours in the image captured are sharp and pronounced. Even though the phone ships with no telephoto lens, it offers a digital zoom up to 10x. The digital zoom is decent at up to 2x in good lighting conditions, but of no use beyond 4x as it starts to lose details and captures blurred photos. In low-light, it is better to stick with 1x shots and crop afterwards.

As for the ultra-wide-angle sensor, it captures good colour but the sharpness is missing. The macro sensor is average. Coming to the front camera, it works fine in daylight conditions but smoothen the skin even when the beauty mode is disabled. Besides, the front camera struggles in low-light condition and at night.

Coming to the performance, the POCO X5 Pro 5G ticks many boxes, but first let’s know about the areas where it did not meet expectations. It boots an Android12-based MIUI 14, which is sort of disappointing as phones in the same price range are offering Android 13 version. It comes pre-installed with many third-party apps, which one can uninstall if they want. But there are others (bloatware) that cannot be deleted and makes the user interface cluttered.

Besides, Xiaomi’s native app store keeps sending notifications throughout the day to update apps and recommend app install. The most annoying thing about MIUI is when you launch the app drawer to access all the apps, it opens a different window showing frequently used apps. One has to go back in order to access all the apps.

On a positive note, the out of the box MIUI offers a bunch of customisation and personalisation. The phone has an always-on-display option, which can be activated from the display settings. To reduce power consumption, it automatically switches off after 10 seconds of inactivity or when the battery saver is on. It has gestures like “Rise to wake” and “Double tap to wake” to light the screen. With the “Pocket mode”, I preferred to lock these gestures to avoid accidental touches when the phone is placed in the pocket.

MIUI comes with improved features in terms of power efficiency and less memory usage. The 8GB RAM and 256GB storage variant (review unit) has 222GB of free storage after initial set-up, if that gives you any hint.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, the phone delivers decent performance. Multi-tasking is not an issue with this phone, and it does not hang even when multiple apps are running in the background. For thermals, the phone is said to have a 12-layers graphite heat dissipation system, which works just fine as there is no heating issue to hamper the experience.

Keeping the show going is the 5,000 mAh battery. The fully charged phone sails through a day on moderate usage even when the refresh rate is set to 120Hz. It ships with 67W fast wired charger, which charges up to 50 per cent battery in about 15 minutes and replenishes the completely drained battery fully in about 40 minutes.


Priced at Rs 24,999 for 8GB+256GB (review unit), the smartphone delivers a good all-round experience with performance and battery life to match. The lightweight design, stereo speakers and out of the box MIUI 14 are the added bonus. In terms of camera, it lacks OIS which is offered by the recently launched Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G in the same price range. If the lack of Android 13 operating system and OIS in camera doesn’t bother you, the POCO X5 Pro 5G is the phone to consider in the midrange 5G smartphone segment.

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