In a wide-ranging lineup of similarly specced handsets, picking just the right Poco might be a challenge. And that's before you even take into account the Xiaomi counterparts - no two models are identical, but the differences are subtle and there are few of them.
So let's try to quickly navigate the in-family competition first. The Poco X5 Pro will get you a substantial performance increase, generally superior camera experience and stereo speakers, but going Pro will mean sacrificing the FM radio and the microSD slot. The M5s omits the 5G and its display is only 60Hz, but it's got stereo speakers and dedicated memory slot, plus it can record 4K video. The plain M5 is the least expensive of the bunch, and it shows in its LCD (all the rest are OLEDs) and lack of an ultrawide camera. Then there's the Redmi Note 12 - essentially the same phone as the Poco X5, but with a Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 instead of the SD695 - we're leaning towards the 6-series options here.
Mind you, price and availability may be your friends in resolving this - not all models are sold in all markets and budget constraints can narrow things down further.
Outside of the Xiaomi realm, there isn't a shortage of options either. Take the Motorola Moto G72, for example. Possibly the best display for the money, longer battery life, nice stereo speakers, and an edge in camera output are all in the Moto's favor. But the G72's chipset is a bit slower than the Poco's and it's missing 5G too.
Samsung prices tend to vary by region, but we reckon the Galaxy A33 5G is the most reasonable alternative to the Poco. It's got proper water resistance, stereo speakers, and a more potent chipset that also enables 4K video capture, plus it's a thoroughly better cameraphone. Battery life and charging speed are a toss-up, but the Galaxy is missing a charger in the box. The Poco's 120Hz refresh rate gives its display the edge and its headphone jack can be appealing to the right buyer (the Galaxy doesn't have one).
Of the latest Realme 10 family, it's perhaps the 10 Pro that is the closest match for the Poco X5 in terms of price. It's a tough comparison this - the Poco has the better display, the Realme wins for endurance, the Realme's main camera is superior, but it doesn't have an ultrawide, and the selfies are also nicer on the Poco. Again, stereo speakers on the Realme, single one on the Poco.
Overall, the Poco X5 delivers a nicely well-rounded package and most of its missteps aren't uncommon for the class. An Android 13 update is likely in the making and video recording in the midrange in the last couple of years has been limited to 1080p (thanks, Qualcomm), though the Poco's shaky 1080p is a bit of letdown of its own. Possibly the most notable shortcoming of the Poco is its single speaker and that should tell you that it's a short and unremarkable cons list.
On the other hand, we did enjoy the OLED display that's bright and capable of maintaining 120Hz for use cases some others refuse. And that high refresh rate might be taking a toll on battery life in some instances, but the Poco still manages respectable endurance, while also being quick to charge. The extensive set of small niceties doesn't hurt and the camera system doesn't disappoint in stills either.
In summary, the Poco X5 is a solid phone. We'd say it lacks dealbreaking offenses and delivers at least average (but often better than) results in most areas. It may not ignite enthusiasm in any particular way, but that's not a requirement for a recommendation.
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 199.50||$ 211.00|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 243.70||$ 249.50|
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