serious speed in a budget-friendly package

The Poco F5 is a mid-range Android smartphone with fast hardware. In addition, it has several cameras on the back and it lasts a good day on one charge. We have tested the phone for you.

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Dit is de Poco F5 review

With a price tag of 429 or 479 euros, the Poco F5 falls into the middle segment of Android smartphones. On paper it looks good: a fast chip, large battery and sharp camera, but how do you like the device in practice? Does Poco opt for quality or speed with the F5? You read it in this review.

Design with subtle details

The Poco F5 is the direct successor to the Poco F4, and that predecessor looks a bit duller than the F5. Although the new smartphone is not a real one eye catcher there are a number of subtle design choices that make the F5 look good. For example, there is a subtle gradient with a carbon fiber pattern on the back. There are also circles around the main and wide-angle lens that are slightly iridescent (change color when you move the phone). However, dust easily creeps along these edges.

We are also a fan of the way the speakers are incorporated in the housing. The top speaker of the smartphone focuses both to the outside of the smartphone and to your ear for a call. This ensures an evenly distributed and clear stereo sound.

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However, the smartphone is not made of premium materials. For example, the back and sides are made of plastic. The volume controls and on/off button are incorporated in that side. The latter also contains a fast fingerprint scanner. This is conveniently placed, which makes unlocking very smooth. The phone also fits well in the hand.

Fast and new hardware

The chip in the Poco F5 is new. That is special, since the Poco F4 used the same chip as its predecessor. The Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 that we find in the F5 is a new chip from Qualcomm. This is both more powerful and more energy efficient and of course supports 5G.

Although the chip is not necessarily the fastest on the market, the smartphone immediately feels fast. The Poco F5 rarely stutters and the general speed with which apps launch is very smooth. Opening a closed app takes a second at most and while we don’t like Poco’the origin of speed‘, we are positively surprised.

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For this review, we tested the Poco F5 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. While 12GB of RAM will be more than enough for most, it can also be expanded digitally. You then hand in a piece of storage space for extra working memory. This suddenly gives you up to 19(!) GB of RAM. Switching between – and running – apps is really a breeze.

Decent screen

The fact that the smartphone feels so fast is – in addition to the chip – due to the 120Hz screen. This makes a big difference, especially in the various menus and on the home screen. However, some apps do not support the 120Hz refresh rate, which suddenly makes them feel ‘slow’ again. It’s not a disaster, but stands out.

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Furthermore, the screen looks fairly sharp. The display has a resolution of 2400 by 1080 pixels, but app icons look a bit blurry. Also, the color settings out of the box are too bright for us. Fortunately, this is easy to adjust to a more natural color profile via the settings app. The screen is not optimal to read in direct sunlight.

At the top center of the screen you will find the cut-out for the selfie camera, which is fairly small, and the edges around the screen are also relatively thin. The display does not round off to the sides, but is flat. We’re fine with that.

Great main and wide-angle camera, macro is less

You see it more and more: smartphones with gigantic cameras. However, if you look into the lens, you will see a tiny lens behind it. The same goes for the Poco F5. It does contribute to a premium-looking design, but also gives you a kind of false hope. If you open the Poco’s camera app, you can quickly see how things really are.

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Main camera highly dependent on AI mode

The main camera of the Poco F5 has a resolution of 64 megapixels. You can choose to shoot in this full resolution, but a number of camera options will disappear and your photos will take up a lot more storage space. In normal photo mode, the images are more friendly with your storage.

What was particularly noticeable during the test period is the difference between quality when using the AI ​​mode. Almost all smartphones make photos more beautiful with artificial post-processing, but on the F5, the AI ​​mode already makes a big difference while shooting. Photos without these modes will look a lot blurrier, so we recommend using this feature.

The camera quality is also not optimal in dark rooms. Noise quickly arises in shadows and clean lines are quickly less sharp. The main camera therefore delivers excellent performance during the day, but especially with sufficient light.

Wide angle lens and macro camera

We see wide-angle lenses on almost all modern smartphones and they often have a lower resolution and different sensor than the main camera. The same applies to the Poco F5, which has a wide-angle lens of 8 megapixels. The difference is not super big, but the colors deviate in many cases. However, for an occasional snapshot with more in one photo, this is a great option.

It is better not to use the macro camera. It has a resolution of only 2 megapixels and you can make a close-up of an object, then the photo is a lot blurrier than the main camera. It is better to shoot a picture with the main camera and crop the picture.

Of course you can also film with the Poco F5. That goes with a maximum of 4K resolution. The video quality is not bad, but not very good either. It is more than enough to capture fun moments, but not a substitute for a real video camera.

Busy and unfamiliar software

The Poco F5 runs on Android 13. That is the latest Android version at the moment, so it is equipped with the latest functionalities. On top of that lies the MIUI shell. This means that there is a lot to personalize and there are several functions that you will not find on every Android smartphone. For example, the control panel is separated from your notification menu, the app menu is automatically divided into categories and more.

This different layout of Android certainly takes some time to get used to. For example, after a week I still swipe down on the wrong side of the screen to reach the quick settings. Once you have mastered it, it is not such a clumsy system at all. In addition, the design is nice and colorful and modern.

The large amount of pre-installed apps on the Poco F5 is unpleasant. When you open the smartphone, you will find about nine third-party apps that you have not downloaded yourself, eight of which are simple mobile games. The MIUI shell is actually the opposite of the software on Google’s own Pixel smartphones.

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All-day battery

What good is a fast smartphone if it doesn’t last a day? Don’t be afraid of that with the Poco F5. With a battery of 5000 mAh, the smartphone can easily last a day. We easily got 10 hours of normal use out of it. If you are very careful with your battery, you may be able to use it for one and a half to two days.

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Is it empty yet? Then grab the supplied charger. It supports a speed of up to 67 watts, which is an excellent speed in this price range. The smartphone charges from 0 to 100 percent within half an hour.

If you only have a few minutes to recharge, you will be tens of percent richer again. Wireless charging is unfortunately not possible with the Poco F5, but we can live with that.

Buy Poco F5 conclusion

We think the Poco F5 is highly recommended. The smartphone lasts a long time on a charge and feels fast, which is thanks to the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 chip. The device also looks great, despite the cheaper materials. You can also shoot great shots during the day with the cameras.

Less pleasant is the busy MIUI shell that lies over the software. This one is full of unnecessary apps and games and takes a while to get used to. Whether you like the other controls and additional functionalities, of course, differs per person. In any case, our preference is for a clean Android experience.

If you care much about premium materials and design, the Poco F5 isn’t it the best option. If you mainly want a fast smartphone and have the time to get to know the softwarethen the Poco F5 is a good choice in the middle segment.

Buy Poco F5

Does the Poco F5 appeal to you? Then you can choose from two different variants, namely with 8 or 12GB of RAM. Both have 256GB of storage space. There are three color versions: black, blue and white.

The 8GB model has a suggested retail price of 429 euro and for 12GB RAM you pay 479 euro. Check the price comparison below for the best deal.

Compare Poco F5 prices

2023-05-18 16:31:00

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