In terms of camera count, the Poco F2 Pro doesn't fall behind the competition. And the good news is that they cover all of the focal lengths. The main camera boasts a big, 64MP sensor, effectively shooting in 16MP. It's 1/1.72" big, and the individual pixels are 0.8µm, but when binned, you get 1.6µm pixels. The unit is paired with a lens that offers f/1.9 aperture, which is a little narrow in today's standards.
That 5MP camera you see on the specs sheet, however, isn't a telephoto. And don't get fooled by the focal length equivalent. The 50mm focal length, which is practically 2x magnification (or just a tad less to be exact) gives you a little bit more room when focusing on a subject. You don't have to get too close, and the best part is that it has autofocus. But you can't use it for proper telephoto shots, though.
The ultra-wide camera promises really wide field of view - 123 degrees achieved through a 13MP sensor coupled with a f/2.4 lens.
As we said earlier, we believe the fourth 2MP camera's role is more about aesthetics so there's no asymmetry in the camera module. Xiaomi says it's used for depth sensing but when we tried to cover it in portrait mode, the results were indistinguishable from the usual portraits and the software didn't prompt us with a message to unblock the depth sensor.
The camera app is pretty straightforward and easy to use even if you are coming from another Android phone. Swiping left and right will take you through the main modes. Icons on the top of the viewfinder give you quick toggles for the AI, HDR, Macro mode, and filters. The so-called "hamburger" menu gives you a bit more options to tinker with.
The general settings menu offers controls over pretty much everything you'd expect. You will even find some pop-up camera customizations that change the LED lighting when it goes up as well as the accompanying sounds.
The overall performance of the camera during the day is good but we observed rather inconsistent performance. Let's say that about 20% of the pictures looked soft, lacked detail, and had abnormally high noise. However, the rest of the images had nice color reproduction, a bit on the saturated side, good sharpness and high amount of detail.
The noise was rather visible on uniform surfaces. The contrast also seems a bit high, but some may prefer it that way. This comes at the expense of the dynamic range, but it's not a deal breaker.
Going indoors, you will see a noticeable drop in detail and increase in noise, which is to be expected, but it was pretty bright outside, and the windows let a lot of light in.
The ultra-wide camera offers similar rendition to the main one in terms of colors, contrast, and exposure. Expectedly, though, the camera produces softer images with a tad narrower dynamic range.
What we really liked was the ultra-wide lens correction. Notice the sign on the third photo - it looks pretty straight in comparison to other ultra-wide photos. And on the fifth photo with the buildings, the ones to the side don't look nearly as tilted.
There's a 2x zoom toggle in the viewfinder, but all it does is a crop from the main camera due to the lack of a proper telephoto. The results aren't nearly as bad as you might think. We've seen real telephoto cameras do worse (cheap ones but still). We were surprised by how sharp the pictures look as well as how much detail is resolved.
Unfortunately, though, the imperfections of the main camera become even more apparent here - most notably, the noise.
In the standard Photo mode during the night, the noise is plenty; the pictures look generally soft and smudgy. However, the dynamic range seems adequate, as light sources look excellent. Only the shadows are a bit too dark - probably to achieve more contrasty output. Otherwise, color saturation is well preserved.
Switching over to Night mode fixes most of the issues we've mentioned above. The noise suppression algorithm is working overtime but without ruining the picture. In fact, the Night mode introduces much more detail and sharpness. It brings out some objects from the shadows that can't be seen otherwise and restores the highlights further. The lights sources look even better. We strongly recommend using the Night mode in pretty much every low-light situation.
2x zoom samples
The 2x zoom photos at night just amplify the issues we found with the main camera in the night but this time, there's no Night mode to sort things out.
Ultra-wide camera samples
If you are looking at the samples on your phone's screen, you may find them rather okay. But upon closer inspection, we are quite unhappy with the low-light performance of the 13MP unit. The photos look smudgy, noisy, and lack detail. And the worst part is that there's no Night mode for the ultra-wide to fix any of these deficiencies.
You can also take a look at our photo compare tool and see how it stands against some of its rivals.
Hands-down, Poco F2 Pro has the best dedicated macro implementation we've tested so far. It's far superior compared to other 2MP fixed-focus cameras as it uses a 50mm equivalent lens with 2x magnification and has autofocus. This makes snapping macro shots super easy, and you don't have to stick the camera so close to the subject. The stills appear sharp, with pleasant colors, and you can easily see the fine detail. We've also found it to work well even in not so ideal lighting conditions.
The camera falls behind only against the higher-resolution ultra-wide cameras with autofocus that some makers use for macro shots like Huawei, Honor, OnePlus, etc.
The portraits came out pretty nice with plenty of detail, wide dynamic range, natural skin color, and sharp enough even in challenging lighting conditions. The edge detection is also quite competent, although when you introduce a more complex backgrounds behind your subject, the software gets confused sometimes. Notice the phone our subject is holding on the third photo - the software thinks it's part of the background, so it smudged it.
The pop-up selfie camera snaps some nice-looking stills with plenty of detail, nice skin tone and it appears to be doing well even when there's not enough light coming into the sensor. We noticed there are some oversharpening halos here and there and the noise is easy to spot even in conditions that can't be categorized as "challenging".
Also, expect a tad softer images with the portrait mode turned on.
The usual shooting modes and resolutions are at hand in addition to the 8K recording in 30 frames per second. The flagships from this year usually cap at 24 frames per second, but the Poco F2 Pro is capable of outputting 30 frames at 4320p.
The video looks buttery-smooth compared to the 24fps alternatives. Colors look vibrant with nice contrast and detail. There's virtually no noise and the dynamic range seems more than adequate considering the moving clouds that make the scene rather challenging.
Now let's see how it fares with the standard 4K and Full HD resolutions.
In 2160p@30fps, the phone produces sharp videos with wide dynamic range and barely visible noise. Colors are punchy, while the contrast is just a little bit more for our liking. We can't say we have any major complaints about the overall quality.
The ultra-wide camera is capable of doing 4K videos as well and demonstrates similar processing with a little drop in sharpness and no noise. Definitely one of the better ultra-wide videos around.
Full HD videos taken with the main camera follow the same processing as the 4K videos with inferior sharpness and detail - nothing out of the ordinary. The one we shot still looks good, though, especially for a 1080p video.
There's also a cinematic mode that makes the video in 21:9 resolution, we appreciate the added dramatic effect. Everyone seems to be doing that lately.
To our surprise, there's a macro mode switch in the viewfinder in video mode. There's no stabilization at play here, so it's hard to shoot in this mode. You do get detailed and sharp video.
It seems like Xioami has stayed away from the flashy marketing terms for its own take of the gimbal-like stabilized videos, and it calls it "Steady Video". It caps at 1080p and when you put it with the standard stabilized 4K video, the difference isn't as big as we expected. The movement of the camera is indeed a little smoother than on the 2160p video, nevertheless, we can't say it's worth loss in resolution. You might want to stick with the standard EIS and 4K.
You can also take a look at our Video compare tool and see how it stands against some of its rivals.