Billions of people worldwide own a mobile phone, and in this day and age, it’s pretty essential too. However, when you look at brands such as Apple and Samsung, the prices of a smartphone may make your eyes water and reduce your bank account to tears. Some devices fetch more than £1,000/$1,000 should you buy it outright, and with how pricey phone contracts can get, some people prefer to fully own their phone to get a bargain on a sim-only plan.
It just so happens that I’m one such person, the cost of living continues to rise, and the lifespan of technology continues to dwindle. Full disclosure, I’m an iPhone user. I currently use the iPhone 13 after spending almost two years with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. Both devices are powerhouses and are very reliable smartphones. However, there are more companies out there, and they’re ready and willing to bring great tech to you at a very reasonable price.
I’m fortunate enough to currently have the Poco X5 5G and Poco X5 Pro 5G, the latest models on offer from Poco, a company that we at Pocket Tactics love. Seriously, just take a look at our Poco F4 GT review and Poco X4 Pro 5G review. One look at those tells you that Poco is a reliable manufacturer that continues to bring luxurious products to consumers at bargain prices.
Before I dive into what you can expect from these phones, I have to say that both are fantastic and are great options for anyone in the market for a new smartphone, especially if you happen to enjoy mobile games as a pastime. However, I still think it’s only right to offer a comparison, as while you can’t lose, certain features of the Pro variant may win you over. In comparison, you might discover that the standard Poco X5 more than meets your needs.
Both phones are sleek, feel great to hold, and look fantastic. Though there’s a slight difference in their appearance, as the standard model boasts rounded sides and edges, while the Pro version is more straight-edged, reminiscent of an iPhone. While both feel light for their size, I personally feel that the Poco X5 Pro 5G is slightly more comfortable, but given I’m an iPhone user that’s very much used to the feel of this sort of phone, that’s hardly a surprise.
However, if the appearance of a phone is really important to you, and you prefer different colour options, the Poco X5 5G has more on offer, and I can’t deny how chic the blue version (the one I have) looks, though the black Poco X5 Pro does look slick and professional. Yes, I know that what’s on the inside of the device matters a lot more, but nobody can deny that they like a phone that shows off a little pizzazz.
Okay, before we get into the nitty-gritty of what each device offers, let’s take a look at how much juice they can hold. The standard Poco X5 boasts a 5000mAH (typ) battery which gives the phone an impressive and long-lasting charge. With this battery, at a full charge, you can get 20 hours of call time, 21 hours of video playback, and 192 hours of listening to music. Now I don’t know about you, but the days of the iPod are behind me, so having a phone that can hold a charge while I listen to my tunes is essential, and the Poco X5 is perfect for it.
Now if the standard phone has a battery that good, the Pro must be ultra-impressive, right? Yes, you’re right. With a 5000mAh Massive battery, the Poco X5 Pro has a 14-day standby charge and 28 hours worth of call time. That alone should tell you just how much use you can get out of the device before it needs a charge, so should you be big into your mobile gaming, the battery life of the Pro version puts it ahead of the standard Poco X5. However, if you’re after a reasonably priced phone with an impressive battery for everyday phone use, the Poco X5 is great. Better still, both devices boast impressive charge times, so even when you do run low on juice, regardless of which phone you choose, it’s a breeze to get the battery full again.
Should mobile games be a big part of your life, you want to feel comfortable when you hold the device, and while both models are light and comfortable, the sleek and thin design of the Poco X5 Pro makes it the clear winner here. If you just jump in for quick sessions, it’s a non-issue, but for those after long gaming sessions, the weight of the pro phone is bound to please you.
As for the display, both devices feature a 6.67” screen and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, so they’re on even footing here. Should you prefer a display that features a more robust brightness, you might actually want to consider the Poco X5. For me, I think the display of both phones is outstanding, and frankly, you can’t lose with either of them. Samsung, Sony, Huawei, and other Android mobile manufacturers should take note. A phone as cheap as £269/ $269 has a screen that looks better than phones that cost three times as much.
Naturally, the Poco X5 5G isn’t quite as powerful as its Pro counterpart, but it still has a decent processor courtesy of the Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile Platform, with an Octa-core CUP, up to 2.2GHZ, and a Qualcomm Adreno 619 (booyaka, booyaka) GPU. All of that comes together to create a phone that runs proficiently and quickly. Yes, it runs games well, too. I put it through the wringer with Wild Rift, Marvel Future Revolution, and an assortment of Xbox Game Pass titles.
However, the Poco X5 Pro is more powerful as it boasts a Snapdragon 778G Mobile Platform with an Octa-core CPU, up to 2.4GHZ, and a Qualcomm Adreno 642L as its GPU. Truly, this is one of the best gaming phones out there. So, once again, if mobile games are at the forefront of your mind, this is the device for you, but no mistake, the Poco X5 is still a grand choice.
No matter what phone you go with, both feel great when it comes to touch controls in games. Both are highly responsive with no delays and trust me, this is great given how some really fun games are unplayable on mobile phones thanks to the screens not being highly receptive.
So far, you can likely tell that the Pro is just ahead of the standard phone, and that’s normal. It’s the whole point of a pro phone, but so far, the Poco X5 5G continues to stand tall beside its sibling. Well, it’s time to take things up a notch (bam!) and look at the cameras on offer, for the Poco X5 Pro blows away the competition with its crisp captures.
Not only can you take some stunning pictures courtesy of the 108MP wide camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, and 2MP macro camera, but you can also create some incredible videos thanks to the 4K functions at 30 fps. You can still opt for 1080p and 720p should you wish, but with 4K on offer, you can jump-start your vlogging career, especially as the rear camera actually features a vlog mechanic alongside time-lapse and slow motion. Luckily, you can also get some great face shots and clips thanks to the 16MP front camera with 1080p capabilities. Honestly, I’ve had a blast taking pictures and videos with the Poco X5 Pro – it’s better than my iPhone 13.
Meanwhile, the Poco X5 5G model still boasts some good camera features, especially for its low retail price. You get a 48MP triple camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP macro camera, 13MP front camera, and various functions. In essence, you get what you expect from a phone camera, but the lovely display of the phone heightens your shots nicely.
At £269/ $269, I can safely say that the Poco X5 5G is the perfect phone for people after a luxurious well-rounded phone that fits all purposes on a budget. But at £369/ $369, with impressive battery life, great charging speeds, and a GPU that makes any and all mobile games look fantastic, I can’t overstate how amazing the Poco X5 Pro is for those after a mobile gaming device. I’m having a blast with it, and it’s completely taken over from my iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Note 20.
Truthfully, both are great value for money. The main thing to consider is what you want the phone for. Should it just be for the basics and listening to music or watching videos, go with the Poco X5 5G. But for those that want a great camera and fantastic mobile game experiences, it’s the Poco X5 Pro 5G that you need.
Both the Poco X5 5G and Poco X5 5G Pro are fantastic mobile phones. Each fulfils its purpose wonderfully, with the former being a grand choice for a well rounded device, while the latter is the perfect option for those after a good mobile gaming experience and a luscious camera. It truly is like luxury on a budget.