POCO was founded in 2018 as a sub-brand of Xiaomi. In recent years, the company has started its journey as an independent brand and launched a bunch of quality Smartphones. With their ‘M’ series line-up phones, POCO has captured the budget mid-range market. POCO M5, the latest in this line, debuted in India on 13th September 2022. In this device, POCO brings impressive design and internal upgrades. Let’s take a look at the key features of the Xiaomi POCO M5.
Key Specifications 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 know the distinct brand representation of the three-point camera system on the iPhone or the horizontal visor on the Pixel.
The M5 is a mix of both these design elements and then some more. The device itself is completely made from plastic with a faux leather texture on the back. The texture is only appealing visually as it still feels like plastic on the hand.
There is a stretched-out visor on the back that houses the camera module and the large POCO branding. The two main sensors are aligned vertically with a small secondary one placed on the vertices.
As an entry-level mid-range device, users will be getting all the usual ports and button choices. Interestingly, the headphone jack is positioned on the top of the device in a typical POCO fashion.
The side-mounted power button doubles as the fingerprint scanner. Other features like micro SDXC, dual sim, and USB Type C 2.0 are all present on the M5. At almost 8.9 mm in thickness, the device easily falls on the chunky side. But much of that has been offset by the boxy design which gives it a more premium and durable hand feel.
Overall, the design of the M5 is innovative with s sturdy plastic build. While it's not market disrupting in any way, it still poses a good value for its price.
The front of the M5 features a 6.58-inch 1080P IPS LCD panel with a 90 Hz refresh rate. It’s just another average IPS panel with the only mentionable feature being the 90 Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate is becoming increasingly common in the budget mid-range segment as it definitely elevates the overall user experience.
However, one of the quirks with the panel is that it has a max brightness of 500 nits. Without a dedicated HBM, it becomes a tad bit difficult to view the phone at max brightness in direct sunlight. The problem only gets compounded since it's an LCD panel.
The colors and contrasts looked decent on the M5 display. Just like all its predecessors, the colors appeared to be on the warmer side. The viewing angles are also great with distortion found only at extreme angles.
The display won’t exude the best quality out there. But if you consider what you’re paying, it might still seem like a good option.
The M5 features three cameras on the back with the main sensor being a 50 MP wide-angle shooter. The other two accompanying lenses are 2 MP depth and macro shooters. It's clear that the additional sensors are just there to increase the sensor count of the camera module rather than actually having any meaningful impact on the overall photography.
As expected, almost all the heavy work is done by the primary sensor. Thankfully, it does an exceptional job.
Colors and details look impeccable from the pixel binned 50 MP shots. The dynamic range is also clearly visible regardless of the subject and light periphery. But that’s the case with almost every smartphone when it comes to well-lit environments.
However, the M5 won’t let you down in artificial or low light as well. While there are still some noises visible in extreme dark shots, the variable shutter speed does an excellent job of exposing the subject to the correct degree. Images look relatively sharp and more pleasing compared to similarly priced devices.
The videography of the M5 is limited to 1080P at 30 fps. While the main sensor is capable of more than that, it’s the processor which is the main constraint. There is also a 5 MP selfie shooter. It’s a generic lens and one that can be found in most entry-level devices.
Overall, the M5 won’t compete with higher-end mid-ranges like the Samsung A series when it comes to performance. But it certainly created a space for itself in its price bracket.
Processor and Performance
The POCO M5 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 processor based on the 6 Nm architecture. Previously POCO has used the Dimensity 900 processor on their M series devices. This is the first time that the brand went with Helio processors and there is a good reason for that. The octa-core 2 2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 and 6 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 might seem slightly above entry level. But MediaTek has specially optimized this processor for gaming.
The device can run the day-to-day tasks smoothly thanks to the efficient core design and in part to the 90 Hz smooth refresh rate making transitions and animations even more fluid.
The device can run the latest multiplayer games like COD, PUBG, and Asphalt 9 at 'Max' settings. Not to mention, the capability of a device of this budget to run 3D graphics-intensive games at max settings is surprising. However, the processor cannot bear the toll for long as throttling kicks in after about 30 minutes of gaming. So, it's better to run games with 'Medium' settings as it will give the best performance.
To wrap up the performance of the M5, it definitely punches above its weight.
Battery and Charge Time
The POCO M5 has been equipped with a 5000 mAh battery. On ideal usage, the device can easily last a full day. To make things even sweeter, there is an included 18 W charger on the box.
Price of Xiaomi POCO M5
The official price of the POCO M5 is 12,499 Rs in India which is roughly equivalent to 14,735 BDT (1 INR = 1.18 BDT). POCO M5 is not officially available in Bangladesh yet. However, the official price of POCO M5 in Bangladesh may vary depending on availability, tax, and other policies.
The latest M5 is a budget device from POCO. This device brought some refreshing changes to the design aesthetics, camera, and overall performance of the device. However, the display could’ve definitely been better as it lacks enough outdoor brightness.
So, who should buy the M5? Anyone looking for a solid budget device can easily go for it. And for people looking for a gaming fix on the cheap, the Xiaomi POCO M5 is currently the best deal out there hands down.