POCO F4 5G Review

Last year POCO India unveiled its flagship smartphone, the POCO F3 GT with a fast Dimensity 1200 CPU and now, POCO India has launched its 4th generation flagship smartphone, POCO F4 5G featuring a powerful Snapdragon 870 SoC for high-performance and 67W Sonic fast charging that charges the phone 50% in about 11 minutes. Some quick highlights of the POCO F4 5G aside from those mentioned above are its 6.67-inch 120 Hz E4 AMOLED display, 64 MP OIS camera, and packs huge 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM. Here’s our POCO F4 5G review that shows you the design, and tells you about its cameras, performance, gaming, fast charging, and more.

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POCO F4 5G Specifications

  • Display: 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED display, Full HD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 395 ppi), 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, 360 Hz touch sampling rate, 1,300 nits peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, SGS Eyecare Certification, MEMC, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front)
  • Software: MIUI 13.0.1 interface, Android 12 operating system
  • CPU: 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core SoC clocked at 3.2 GHz (Kryo 585 processor)
  • GPU: Adreno 650 Graphics
  • Memory: 6 GB OR 8 GB OR 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM (+3 GB extended RAM)
  • Storage: 128 GB OR 256 GB UFS 3.1 internal storage, no microSD card support
  • Main Camera: Triple cameras (64 MP OIS camera + 8 MP ultra-wide camera + 2 MP macro camera), Optical Image Stabilization, 4K video @60fps, slow motion 720p video @960fps, triple-LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 20 MP f/2.4, 1080p video@30fps
  • Others: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock, Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio Certification
  • Cellular: 5G X55 modem, dual SIM, dual 5G standby support
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh battery
  • Charging: 67W Sonic fast charging, 0%-50% in 11 minutes, 100% in 37 minutes
  • Colors: Nebula Green, Night Black
  • Dimensions: 163.2 mm x 75.95 mm x 7.7 mm
  • Weight: 195 grams
  • Price: ₹27,999 (6 GB + 128 GB), ₹29,999 (8 GB + 128 GB), ₹33,999 (12 GB + 256 GB)

Design, Display, & Build

Firstly, moving to its design, there’s a new look in the POCO F series, the POCO F4 has a wonderful AG-matte finish glass design with flattened sides and rounded corners, the design flaunts gradient colors. We got the Nebula Green color variant while there’s one more color variant – Night Black.

Compared to its predecessor in the GT lineup, the POCO F3 GT has an all-metallic design which has so far a great build quality, the POCO F4 rather uses a glass design. The sides are metallic as you see on the POCO F3 GT, and they do feel sturdy and highly solid. The overall design is neat, and the phone looks premium and feels solid. The design seems identical to the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge but seems a lot better.

The backside has a slight camera bump, you can see three cameras inside the round module with the main camera of 64 MP that supports OIS, and just below the triple LED flash. The bottom has POCO 5G branding while the fingerprint scanner is on the side, not under the screen despite being an AMOLED. It offers an IP53 rating which means the phone is water-resistant.

On the front side, the POCO F4 offers a 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution, 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, and 360 Hz touch sampling rate. The display peaks at a 1,300 nits brightness and supports HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, and a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The screen is further covered by a scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The front side has a punch-hole that holds a 20 MP selfie camera.

The same specs seem similar, the same display is found on the Xiaomi 11i and its HyperCharge edition and we assume the quality of the screen should be identical. Other features include dual 5G SIM functionality with dual standby and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

The right side has volume control and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner embedded on the power button. The left side has nothing, the bottom side has a USB Type-C port for charging, a microphone, a dual 5G SIM tray, and a stereo loudspeaker. The second speaker and microphone are at the top side alongside a 3.5 mm port and an IR blaster.

Software & User Interface

The POCO F4 runs on the latest MIUI 13 update, the version we got out of the box is 13.0.1, but we did receive an update with the version 13.0.3 and it’s based on the Android 12 operating system. Xiaomi’s latest flagship smartphone Xiaomi 12 Pro runs on the MIUI 13.0.4 user interface and we assume that another update is coming soon to the POCO F4.

The security patch we found on the phone is 2022-04-01. You can expect the smartphone to receive 3 years of Android software updates and 4 years of security updates. That means you can expect the POCO F4 to receive the MIUI update based on the next Android version.

The MIUI 13 offers all the latest features and customizations of the Android 12. About the MIUI 13 interface, you will see a bunch of new features which include upgrades in design, better background efficiency, faster processing, as well as longer battery life. Some features you see are the POCO launcher, live wallpapers, new themes, a new sidebar, and more.

You do get a little bloatware on the phone but you can remove them easily, we found GApps, apps from Xiaomi, and a few more – Amazon, Facebook, Zili, Spotify.

Due to its 120 Hz display, the user interface runs smoothly, we didn’t notice any lags in the interface, MIUI on the POCO F4 offers a smoother UI experience and UI responsiveness. Please note that the display supports an adaptive refresh rate which can switch automatically from 30Hz/60Hz/120Hz) depending on the scenario such as low battery life. You can manually choose between 60 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates. Settings it to 120 Hz gives you a prolonged smoother experience at a cost of battery life.

The MIUI 13 is optimized for performance and battery, it’s now smoother and better as compared to older MIUIs. You get a bunch of homescreen customizations, display settings, battery tweaks, and MIUI perks such as dual apps, storage cleaner, app locker, game turbo, ultra battery saver, and more in addition to all the regular features you see on the previous MIUI versions.

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

About the hardware, the POCO F4 equips a flagship-grade CPU from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 870 SoC is a flagship SoC and is the successor to the Snapdragon 865, the CPU-Z shows you the summary of the processor as you can see.

The POCO F4 is the direct competitor to the realme GT NEO 2 which also has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC. The performance of the Snapdragon is better than the one found on the POCO F3 GT (Dimensity 1200) and the Xiaomi 11i (Dimensity 920), both of which are in the price segment under ₹30,000. At this price, the POCO F4 5G also competes with the OnePlus Nord 2 5G in the segment.

About the CPU, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 is a fast SoC manufactured in a 7nm process consisting of 1+3+4 core configurations, one high-performance Kryo 858 core clocked at 3.2 GHz, three performance Kryo 585 cores clocked at 2.42 GHz, and four power-efficient Kryo 585 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz.

One of our Geekbench 5 benchmarks scored 984 points in a single-core CPU benchmark and 3,270 points in a multi-core CPU benchmark. The GPU has scored 3,452 points which means it has enough power to handle high-end GPU tasks. With that said, you can assume the phone has great power and perform any heavy tasks or high-end games on it.

For gaming, it packs the Adreno 650 GPU which is best suited for gamers. The gaming performance is impressive and appears to be great, it handles games very smoothly and lag-free, even at max graphics settings. Games that we have tried on the smartphone are Battlegrounds Mobile India, Asphalt 9 Legends, MARVEL Strike Force, and others. You can expect the GPU performance identical to (or even better to some extent) the one found on the Snapdragon 865 SoC.

Speaking of the RAM and storage options, the POCO F4 has a fast LPDDR5 RAM type and UFS 3.1 storage delivering an overall faster performance as compared to the LPDDR4X and UFS 2.2 based SoCs. You will also find RAM extension technology that helps you increase the RAM to an extra 3 GB making a total of 15 GB of RAM on the phone (for the 12 GB RAM variant).

About the variants, you will find two RAM variants and two storage variants i.e. a total of three options to choose from – 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, and 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. You can’t expand the storage via a microSD card slot due to the missing microSD card support.

Cameras

On the camera’s front, the POCO F4 comes with a triple camera setup with 64 MP as the main camera and supports OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). About the cameras, you will find a 64 MP main camera with OIS, an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle, and a 2 MP macro lens. The selfie camera on the front is 20 MP for video calling and selfie needs. You don’t get a telephoto lens on this phone, but you do get the OIS.

The camera app supports 2x zoom, 0.6x (wide-angle), and up to 6x digital zoom, you can take ultra macro shots, and portraits, as well as 4k videos at 60 fps. Moving to its camera features, it offers VLOG, Long Exposure, Night Mode, Time Lapse, Super Slow Motion (960fps), Clone, Dual Video, Movie Effects, Panorama, along with all the standard modes that you have seen in the MIUI camera app.

In our tests, the main camera took quite wonderful shots, the camera captures details and focuses well on the objects, if we look at the camera samples, it seems highly reliable given the price. The photos appear of good quality in the daylight. Selfies turn out to be decent from its 20 MP camera.

Surprisingly, you get the best of video capabilities on this phone, it can record up to 4K at 60 fps and super slow motion at 960 fps (720p), while there are a bunch of phones in this segment that offer 4k video at 30 fps only. You can also record wide-angle videos which is a handy feature.

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Triple Cameras, Triple LED Flash, OIS

Take a look at the camera samples we took from the POCO F4 cameras.

POCO F4 Camera Samples

Battery Runtime & Charging

The POCO F4 packs a 4,500 mAh battery which is soft of average size for smartphones, this is due to the 7.7mm slim design. Many smartphones in this range might offer a 5,000 mAh battery capacity. Even though it has a 4,500 mAh battery, the MIUI is still optimized and gives you 1 day and a half of battery runtime and up to 2 days on average use, depending on your usage.

Surprisingly, it has a 67W Sonic fast charging support that quickly charges the battery, so at the end of the day, all you need is a quick 10-min charge to keep the phone alive. The phone comes with a 67W fast charger in the box that charges the battery from 0% to 50% in 11 minutes and certainly takes about 37 minutes to charge fully 100%.

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Verdict

The POCO F4 offers a stunning performance for its price, Snapdragon 870 paired with a massive 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM and a fast UFS 3.1 storage which attracts many gamers and performance users out there. The 120 Hz AMOLED display performs seamlessly and fulfills the user’s needs. On top, it has stereo speakers for a better multimedia experience. You also get Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, RAM extension, and support for 5G.

On the camera’s front, the 64 MP OIS camera clicks impressive shots, thanks to its hardware stabilization. In addition to that, the support for 4k video at 60 fps support and 960 fps super slow motion adds to the overall features of the cameras. You get a bunch of camera perks and a good selfie camera in return, and customizations from the latest MIUI 13 interface.

It does offer exceptional fast charging capabilities, the 67W is incredibly fast, to charge 50% battery, it takes about 11 minutes and certainly less than 40 minutes to fully charge. We don’t think a side-mounted fingerprint scanner would matter to you unless you prefer an in-display sensor and are used to it. This makes the smartphone overall a good value for money and great for users who demand performance out of a smartphone, the POCO F4 is recommended for its price.