POCO C55 review: a budget phone that ticks most boxes

Here's my take on POCO's new C-series smartphone

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Good screen
  • Decent performance
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Bloatware
  • Uses micro-USB port
  • Slow charging speeds

If you are looking for a smartphone under Rs 10,000, the POCO C55 is worth checking out. The key specs of the phone include a large 6.71-inch display, MediaTek Helio G85 SoC, 50MP primary sensor, and a 5,000mAh battery. The handset also sports a unique yet familiar design seen on other POCO smartphones. Want to know how the device performs in real life and if it is worth the money? Read this POCO C55 review to find out.

Verdict

The POCO C55 comes across as a good smartphone for buyers who don’t mind its slightly dated OS (Android 12) and slow 10W charging via micro-USB. The phone is nicely built and powerful enough to handle regular usage. The display, cameras, and battery are also up to the mark. 

The lowdown

  • The POCO C55 follows the same design language as the brand’s older M- and X-series smartphones. The handset sports a dual-tone finish on the back with a large, glossy black cutout surrounding the camera housing. However, to make things different, POCO has added a faux leather texturised finish on the plastic back, and a vertical seam at the centre. All this looks good and offers a satisfactory feel while holding the device. The textured finish is only limited to the back panel though. The flat edges are smooth, and as a result, you could find them more slippery than the rear. That said, the phone feels lightweight, despite housing a large 5,000mAh battery, and sits comfortably snug in the hand. I had no trouble holding and using the device at a stretch. Be that as it may, the handset doesn’t look as premium as some other smartphones in the segment. While it is definitely sturdy, the phone’s material leaves a little something to be desired, but given its pricing, you can let it pass.
  • Moving on, the POCO C55 ships with keys for volume and power on the right spine that feel a bit muted. The feedback could have been better. The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top edge, while the bottom edge houses a speaker grille and a micro-USB port, for charging and data transfer. The SIM tray, which has a dedicated slot for a microSD card, is on the left side of the device. The handset also comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint reader. It is placed in the glossy camera cutout, which is so high up in the back panel that could be slightly tricky to access with your finger. As for its working, the fingerprint reader was consistent throughout my testing, but it takes a little more than a fraction of a second to unlock the device.
  • The POCO C55 sports a 6.71-inch display with HD+ resolution and a waterdrop notch. It is a typical budget display that is of the LCD variety with chunky bezels and standard refresh rate. The screen comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, which works fine across apps and UI. The colours and viewing angles are fine for what you are paying. The colours may look slightly washed out if you consume the content at an angle, but otherwise, the details look sharp and crisp. The device is Widevine L3 certified, which means it can only stream SD content at 480p resolution from streaming platforms such as Netflix. The smartphone’s outdoor visibility is also decent.
  • Under the hood, the POCO C55 rocks a MediaTek Helio G85 SoC paired with 4GB / 6GB RAM and 64GB / 128GB user-expandable storage. The handset does not offer extraordinary performance but gets the job done. The phone launches apps in relatively quickly and runs games like Bubble Shooter and 2048 without hiccups. The handset also handled Subway Surfer pretty well. The device can also load graphically heavy games like Free Fire Max and Call of Duty, but the experience isn’t great. There were a lot of frame drops and stuttering during my testing. The multitasking on the device also remained decent, with few apps running in the background. In terms of benchmarks, the POCO C55 scored 2,53,881 points in AnTuTu, which is better than most budget smartphones. In Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests, the handset managed 418 and 1,279 points, respectively. That said, the phone’s performance throttles to 73 percent running 20 threads for 30 minutes in the CPU Throttle test.
  • In terms of optics, the POCO C55 packs dual rear cameras with a 50MP primary sensor and a 0.8MP depth sensor. The images are detailed with decent colour accuracy in daylight where the sensor is also quick to focus. There is no auto HDR, but it can be enabled from the camera layout. The HDR shots look good with enough dynamic range and balanced exposure level. That said, the details around the shadows go for a toss. Speaking of the phone’s lowlight performance, it is not too bad but not great either. There is ample noise, although the built-in noise mode can make a difference. Yet, the details look fuzzy and the colours are also occasionally washed out. You can still get some usable shots though. The portrait mode works well when the sun is out. It offers nice edge detection with a bokeh effect that looks natural. For selfies and video calling, the handset relies on a 5MP front camera that outputs hazy images, but the facial details are closer to reality. However, skin tones are subdued at times.
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  • The POCO C55 houses a 5,000mAh battery with a 10W charging solution. The latter takes more than three hours for a full charge from nothing. However, the good thing is once the handset is charged you don’t have to plug it in for charging until the very end of the day. Considering you won’t do heavy gaming on the handset, the C55 can easily last up to a day between charges. On the PC Mark battery 3.0 benchmarking test, the handset returned with a healthy score of 14 hours and 43 minutes.
  • In terms of software, the POCO C55 operates on a slightly dated Android 12 build, with MIUI 13 running out of the box. The OEM has promised MIUI 14 update for the device, but whether this will also come with Android 13, we don’t know yet. What we do know is that the current UI offers a ton of customisation, wallpapers, and handy features such as call and screen recording. However, it comes pre-loaded with some unnecessary apps and sends bothersome push notifications. Moving on, connectivity options on the POCO C55 include dual-band Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, and dual SIM standby. The bottom-firing speaker of the handset is loud but crackles a bit at maximum volume.

Final verdict

At the time of writing this review, the POCO C55 was selling at Rs 8,999, which was the introductory price of the phone’s 4GB RAM variant. The handset otherwise costs Rs 9,499, while its 6GB RAM option is available with Rs 10,999 sticker price. I can’t vouch for the handset’s 6GB RAM variant since you can get a much better device for the price, such as the stock-Android Moto G32 smartphone, which is now selling at Rs 10,499. 

But the 4GB RAM variant feels just about right. Not many smartphones in the segment come close to the POCO in terms of performance, cameras, and battery life. So if you are tight on budget and not looking to spend anything more than Rs 9,000-9,500 on a smartphone, the POCO C55 is worth considering.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Good screen
  • Decent performance
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Bloatware
  • Uses micro-USB port
  • Slow charging speeds

Key Specs

POCO C55
RAM4 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G85
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera5 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.71 inches (17.04 cm)
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POCO C55 Price
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Rs. 9,359.00
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Rs. 9,499.00
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