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Monday, March 30, 2020

Poco X2 first impressions: Looks promising, but is it meant for Poco F1 users?

Poco X2 first impressions: The Poco X2 comes as a re-branded version of the Redmi K30 4G in India and our first impressions of the phone are mostly positive.

Written by Mohammad Faisal | New Delhi | Updated: February 5, 2020 10:26:22 am
poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 first impressions: This mid-range smartphone has a lot to offer. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Poco started its innings in August 2018 with the launch of Poco F1 in India (Pocophone F1 in other markets around the world). Now, one-and-a-half years later, while its fan-base awaits the Poco F1 successor, the brand has presented a mid-range offering– Poco X2.

The Poco X2 starts at a price of Rs 15,999 for the base model of 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM and comes with a 64MP quad-rear camera setup, Snapdragon 730G processor, and 4,500mAh battery with 27W fast charging support. The 6GB RAM and 128GB version will cost Rs 16,999, while the highest variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage will be available at a price of Rs 19,999.

At the launch event, Poco General Manager C Manmohan made sure to emphasis that the Poco X2 is not a successor to the Poco F1, but the first device in its new X-series. In an interview to the Indianexpress.com, Poco General Manager C Manmohan had said that they spent a long time making Poco F1 better by listening and understanding what the consumers wanted. This is also why it took Poco nearly 1.5 years to bring the Poco X2.

However, the new Poco phone is clearly a rebranded version of the Redmi K30 4G that was launched in China last year in December. The design and specifications of the two phones are exactly the same, except for the user interface on Poco X2, which is powered by the Poco launcher. The one big noticeable change compared to Redmi K30 is that the Poco phone says “Designed by Poco” near the camera with the Poco branding at the back.

That being said, the Poco X2 doesn’t look like a mid-range offering. I had the blue-coloured variant of the Poco X2 and it looks really nice. The clean glass back of the phone reminds of the Realme X2 Pro but the circular rim around the camera housing differentiates it from the latter. The camera bump on the Poco X2 bulges out a bit too much. But since it is aligned to the centre of the back, the phone does not wobble when placed on a flat surface.

poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 features a pill-shaped punch-hole at the screen to house the 20MP+2MP dual front-facing cameras. (Express Photo: Shruti Dhapola)

On the front, the Poco X2 features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ punch-hole display, which is great for multimedia consumption, especially gaming. Of course, many users will find this screen too big but the build of the device ensures that it fits comfortably in hands.

One key feature of the Poco X2 is the 120Hz refresh rate of the screen, which the brand also emphasised ahead of the launch. This gives a super smooth experience be it scrolling through social media apps or playing games. Users have the option of switching between 60 Hz or 120 Hz refresh rates. Another interesting aspect is that Poco X2 will automatically switch between the refresh rates in order to ensure better battery life.

The Snapdragon 730G processor on the Poco X2 does not handle graphics-heavy games as efficiently as the Snapdragon 845 on older Poco F1. But the higher refresh rate on the X2 enables such smooth gameplay that it lets you forget the difference in graphics. For day-to-day usage, the performance of this mid-range device leaves no room for criticism, at least for now. We have the 8GB RAM option for review.

poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 runs MIUI 11 based on Android 10 out of the box. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Poco’s decision to ditch the iPhone-style notch for a pill-shaped punch-hole could not be more welcoming. The display produces vibrant colours, has good contrast levels, and the viewing angles are also not bad. However, Poco has not used an OLED panel, probably to keep the prices lower. It is still an IPS LCD screen like the Poco F1. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor works really well and the face-unlock on the Poco X2 is as fast as the Infra-Red face-unlock of the Poco F1.

The camera prowess of the Poco X2 looks promising with the 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor powering the quad-rear camera setup. The pictures clicked with the primary lens have ample details and the dynamic range is quite nice. Colours become oversaturated pretty quickly, and it might need some software updates from Poco to fix this. The shadow regions have too much noise and we need more time to assess its performance in low light situations.

Poco X2 camera sample: Normal shot in bright outdoor. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal) poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 camera sample: Normal shot in bright outdoor. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal) poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 camera sample: Normal shot in low light. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal) poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 camera sample: Normal shot in bright outdoor. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The 8MP ultrawide lens is a nice addition to the camera array, but it didn’t produce satisfying images. The macro lens works fine, but without the enhanced saturation. The performance of the dual front-facing cameras looks promising so far, but you will have to wait for our full review to know about the camera performance of all the six-camera sensors in detail.

poco X2 first impressions, poco x2, poco x2 review, poco x2 images, poco x2 specifications, poco x2 price, poco x2 performance, poco x2 camera Poco X2 camera sample: Left– 2x shot | Right– Macro shot. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Poco X2 features a 4,500mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4. We did check the charging speed of the phone with the 27W fast charger that comes in the box. It took the phone 25 minutes to get to 40 per cent charge and a total of 60 minutes to charge the battery from 19 per cent to 99 per cent, which is impressive.

Poco X2 first impressions: Verdict

On paper, Poco X2 looks like a good deal, especially if one were to consider the price. There’s no doubt that this will compete with phones like Realme X2 and Samsung Galaxy A50s given the price play and specifications. However, one thing is for certain, the Poco X2 is not meant as an upgrade for the Poco F1 users and we believe Poco will soon come up with a phone for these consumers.

Do wait for our full review to know how the phone truly performs. It goes on sale next week on February 11.

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