POCO F5 review: packs a punch

The POCO F5 is priced in India starting at Rs 29,999.

Review Summary

Expert Rating4/5



  • Top-notch performance
  • Excellent display
  • Impressive battery life
  • Capable stereo speakers


  • Bloatware
  • No microSD card slot
  • Ultra-wide lens could have been better

After refreshing its budget and mid-range lineups earlier this year, POCO has now launched its flagship-grade F5 smartphone in India. The handset appears to adhere to the same performance-centric philosophy as the previous smartphones in the lineup, at least on paper. The POCO F5 boasts the distinction of being the first smartphone in India equipped with the powerful Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset. The smartphone also rocks a 12-bit panel and a 5,000mAh battery, among other noteworthy specifications. However, the crucial question remains: does the smartphone truly offer good value for your hard-earned money? Keep reading this POCO F5 review to find out.


The POCO F5 is a capable device for gamers and streamers. It offers a splendid screen and a powerful processor. While the design and cameras of the phone may not be as impressive, the battery life and fast charging capabilities are truly excellent.


The POCO F5 has a plastic unibody design with a glossy finish at the back that is a magnet to fingerprints and smudges. This issue was quite noticeable on the Carbon Black colour variant which was sent to me for review. If you plan to buy the same colour variant, I would recommend immediately putting a case on the device to minimise the need for frequent cleaning. To your satisfaction, POCO bundles a transparent TPU case with the smartphone. Irrespective of that, the POCO F5’s design looks good if not premium. The back panel has a carbon pattern, which isn’t quite noticeable until you shine a light on it. Additionally, the panel has a slight curvature towards the edges, which offers a nice in-hand feel. The handset features flat edges and a relatively lightweight design for a 5,000mAh battery phone. The POCO F5 tips the scale at 181 grams, making the device comfortable to hold for long hours.

The handset also feels quite sleek, thanks to the absence of a huge camera bump. The rear cameras almost sit flush with the chassis, resulting in minimum wobbling when the device is placed flat on a table. This is great for users who love to type without lifting the smartphone. Moving on, the POCO F5 has volume and power buttons on the right spine, while the USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer is at the bottom. The phone also boasts a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, dual speakers, an IR blaster, and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The handset is IP53-rated, providing limited protection against water. It can only withstand minor splashes. Personally, I would have preferred a higher IP rating for enhanced water protection on the POCO F5. However, it’s worth noting that there aren’t many smartphones in this segment that offer an IP rating.

Display and sound

Up front, the POCO F5 sports pretty much the same punch-hole 6.7-inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection as its predecessor, the POCO F4. The display boasts an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, FHD+ (2,400×1,080p) resolution, and support for Dolby Vision HDR10+ playback. However, aspects like brightness, screen-to-body ratio, and colour count have been bumped up a little for a better viewing experience. The POCO F5 boasts a 12-bit display which can produce up to 68 billion colours as opposed to the 1 billion colours on the F4. The increase in colour depth, along with 1,000 nits brightness, results in an immersive viewing experience whether you are indoors or outdoors playing games or streaming a movie or show.

The display is quite responsive to the touch too and you will find the bezels symmetrical on all sides. Speaking of which, the handset has narrow bezels and a chin that measures just 2.22mm, contributing to an impressive 93.4 percent screen-to-body ratio. What’s more, the device supports HDR content from Netflix and other streaming platforms. The handset also incorporates adaptive HDR technology, which adjusts the highlights and shadows based on ambient light conditions, delivering optimal visual quality. As for the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, it works well across UI and supported apps. The POCO F5 also takes care of users with sensitive eyes with the 1920Hz PW dimming technology that reduces eye strain and headaches. 

Overall, the POCO F5 sports a stellar display that is fun to use. The experience is further elevated by the handset’s audio quality, which delivers a stereo output with Dolby Atmos. The audio sounds excellent and maintains clarity even at maximum volume, with minimum crackling. Additionally, the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack with high-res audio support, makes the device great for multimedia consumption.


The POCO F5’s rear camera setup and performance look the same as its predecessor, the POCO F4. The handset features a 64MP primary sensor paired with 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro unit. The 64MP primary sensor, equipped with OIS, excels at capturing impressive images in well-lit areas or during daylight. The resulting images showcase sharp and crisp details, with well-balanced colours. As for HDR on POCO F5, it exhibits improved exposure and enhanced contrast compared to non-HDR images.

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow

The 8MP ultra-wide sensor on the POCO F5 offers a 119-degree field-of-view, allowing for more comprehensive coverage. However, some distortion and softness can be noticed around the edges of the frame. The 2MP macro sensor, on the contrary, performs admirably well in capturing fine details in close up, particularly under good lighting conditions. In low light, the 64MP primary sensor is the sole flag-bearer among the rear camera setup, as both ultra-wide and macro sensors struggle quite a bit. The sensor manages to capture images with reasonable details and sharpness, even though the colour accuracy goes for a toss. The noise mode utility on the phone proves helpful in reducing noise levels and enhancing overall visibility in such scenes.

Talking about the front camera, which seems to have been downgraded to 16MP from the 20MP unit found on its predecessor, takes selfies with good facial detail. However, just like last year, the colours may appear slightly inaccurate in dimly lit environments. Additionally, the POCO F5 cameras come with a bunch of modes including portrait mode, which offers a natural-looking bokeh effect but the edge detection needs improvement, and the new film mode. The latter offers a bunch of filters to play around with. Overall, the POCO F5 has cameras that many casual users will like.

Performance and software

The POCO F5 is powered by the Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset, which is the latest mid-range chipset from Qualcomm. Be that as it may, the chipset shares a lot of its traits with the company’s 2022 flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, such as the nanometer process, cores, and GPU. The 8 Gen 1 still remains powerful in a few areas, but the new Snapdragon 7+ Gen2 chipset delivers exceptional performance that is hard to beat in its price range. This is reflected in the handset’s benchmark scores. The POCO F5 scores over 8,00,847 points on AnTuTu and 3,841 points on Geekbench’s multi-core test. The scores are significantly better than its competitor Nothing Phone 1 and on par with iQOO Neo 7, which rocks MediaTek Dimensity 8200 chipset.

POCO F5 Geekbench (left) and AnTuTu (right) scores

In real-world usage, the POCO F5 handles everything effortlessly. It does not stutter or slow down, regardless of any task thrown at it. The gaming performance on the handset is commendable. It can smoothly run graphically-demanding games such as Call of Duty and Asphalt 9 with high graphics settings and frame rates. Even though the CPU Throttle test shows that the phone’s performance throttles under intense load, I personally did not encounter any issues while playing games on the device for half an hour or so. Additionally, the phone’s thermals always remained in check, thanks to the inclusion of a vapour chamber and graphite cooling technology. It is safe to say that the POCO F5 is one of the top choices for users seeking impressive performance within the mid-range smartphone segment.

POCO F5 CPU Throttle (left) and PCMark Battery (right) tests

The handset is available in a couple of RAM options: 8GB and 12GB, which are further expandable using virtual RAM. On the storage front, the phone is equipped with 256GB, which isn’t user-expandable. Software-wise, the POCO F5 runs Android 13-based MIUI 14 out of the box. It is good to see the company offering the latest software out of the box. The handset has been promised to get two years of major OS updates and three years of security updates. It goes without saying that the phone has a few pre-installed apps, including games and an app store, and offers ads. However, spammy notifications are significantly reduced on this device. Besides this, I didn’t find any other difference between the POCO F5 and other smartphones running MIUI 14. Users have the freedom to personalise their experience through a multitude of customisation options, and they also have the option to uninstall the pre-loaded apps if desired.

Battery life and charging speeds

The POCO F5 houses a 5,000mAh battery and supports 67W fast charging. The latter takes approximately 45-50 minutes to fully charge the device from nothing. Once the battery level reaches 100 percent, it provides an all-day battery life even with heavy usage. I was hitting the bed with 20 percent juice still left in the tank after using the device through the day. The handset offers a screen-on-time of close to seven hours, and it performed impressively on the PCMark Battery test, with a score of 14 hours and 36 minutes.

Final verdict

The POCO F5 is a gaming-focused smartphone that has a lot to offer. Talking about the niggles, the handset lacks user-expandable storage, the software contains bloatware and ads, and its ultra-wide sensor is average at best. Additionally, some may dislike the phone’s glossy finish design.

If you prefer a more sophisticated design with a matte finish, the iQOO Neo 7 (review) could be a good choice for you. The smartphone, much like the POCO F5, is selling in India starting at Rs 29,999 and offers a superb performance with a lovely screen. What’s more, the Neo 7 supports 120W fast charging, which is nearly twice as fast as the POCO smartphone’s fast charging solution.

On the other hand, the POCO smartphone’s 12-bit display panel is a standout feature, a unique offering not found in any other smartphone in the segment. The POCO F5 also boasts a capable chipset, stereo speakers and solid battery life, which contribute to a better gaming and multimedia experience. If these aspects appeal to you, the POCO F5 will prove to be a worthy buy for the price.

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Reasons to buy

  • The POCO F5 performs exceptionally well in synthetic test apps as well as in the real world.
  • The handset has a stellar display that is fun to watch.
  • The smartphone offers an impressive battery life that can last you at least a day even with heavy usage.
  • The phone rocks one of the best stereo speakers that get sufficiently loud and produce clear and crisp audio.

Reasons not to buy

  • The software is riddled with bloatware and ads.
  • There is no microSD card slot to further expand the phone’s storage. 
  • The POCO F5’s ultra-wide camera delivers average results with a lot of edge distortion.