POCO X6 Pro review: game on!

Review Summary

Expert Rating
8.0/10

Design
★  
8.0
/10
Display
★  
8.0
/10
Software
★  
7.0
/10
Camera
★  
7.5
/10
Performance
★  
8.5
/10
Battery
★  
8.0
/10

Pros

  • Striking design
  • Impressive display
  • Powerful performance
  • Capable stereo speakers

Cons

  • UI needs refinement
  • Cameras could have been better

The POCO X5 Pro (review), launched last year, came as a compelling option for gaming, though it did feel like an iterative upgrade to me. However, its successor, the POCO X6 Pro, is a different story. While the handset draws a few similarities with its predecessor, it boasts several noteworthy improvements. The smartphone comes with a new chipset as well as refreshed software. Moreover, the display has undergone a few tweaks to enhance the overall gaming experience. Do these factors make the POCO X6 Pro a worthwhile investment? Read this review to find out.

Verdict

The POCO X6 Pro is a smartphone worth considering in the mid-range, especially for power users. The handset leaves several of its current competitors behind with its performance. While the phone’s display may not have a curved design, it stands out as one of the best panels you can find in the segment right now. This is further enhanced by finely tuned stereo speakers and impressive battery backup, complemented by a quick charging solution. The cameras also meet the expectations of a gaming-focused smartphone.

Design

The design of the POCO X6 Pro carries the essence of the X4 Pro, launched a couple of years ago. The handset features a sizable camera deco, adding to its overall appeal and helping it stand out from the crowd. Since the module is black in shade across variants, you get a stylish dual-tone finish on the device. Additionally, the module protrudes from the surface, preventing any wobbling when the phone is placed flat on a surface. To give it a seamless fit, the sides of the deco are curved to avoid any awkward rub-offs when holding the device.

The camera module houses four individual rings for cameras and an LED flash. There are also ‘POCO’ and ‘64MP OIS’ text etched on it. I got the ‘Racing Grey’ colour variant for review with glastic black which is a magnet to fingerprints and smudges. The good thing, however, is that POCO bundles a good-quality TPU case with the device. This not only keeps fingerprints at bay but also enhances the phone’s overall appeal and provides protection from minor drops and falls.

Besides this, the POCO X6 Pro features a USB Type-C port for both charging and data transfer. The phone supports dual-speaker output with Dolby Atmos, delivering loud and crisp audio. While the handset may not be equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, it supports high-res audio for an enhanced listening experience through wireless earphones. For security, the smartphone sports an in-display fingerprint scanner for a swift and secure unlocking experience.

Display

The POCO X6 Pro’s display is a slight upgrade from its predecessor the X5 Pro. The handset sports a 6.67-inch display of the AMOLED variety with an adaptive refresh rate (up to 120Hz), 1,800 nits peak brightness, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and a 100 percent wide colour gamut. Furthermore, the display boasts razor-thin bezels, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, and a relatively tiny punch-hole setup for the selfie camera.

The viewing experience is just as impressive as the specifications. The colour reproduction on the POCO X6 Pro is at par with other smartphones in the segment. Additionally, it outputs an outstanding contrast ratio and impressive viewing angles, placing the device among some of the more expensive smartphones out there. The brightness is also commendable for a mid-ranger, ensuring effortless outdoor visibility even under direct sunlight. The Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, available across platforms like Netflix, further enrich the viewing experience while watching supported TV shows and movies.

The company is also calling it a ‘wet touch display’, designed to prevent false touches caused by sweat during gaming or exposure to water. In our tests with tiny drops of water on the screen, it worked seamlessly. However, we advise against exposing it to heavy rain, as the handset is only IP54 certified.

Camera

Unlike its predecessors, the POCO X6 Pro ships with a 64MP primary camera, a departure from the previous 108MP sensor. However, the reduction in resolution comes with gains in stabilisation, with support for both OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation). The rear camera also supports 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro cameras, which remain unchanged. Up front, the handset sports a 16MP shooter for selfies and video calling.

In terms of image quality, I think could have been better. Don’t get me wrong; for a gaming/performance-focused smartphone, the cameras output respectable shots that should satisfy most casual users. However, if you are an enthusiast, it might leave you wanting more. The images are sharp even in low light, courtesy of the stabilisation, but exposure to details appears a little underwhelming. As a result, there is some noise in the frame. The colour reproduction, meanwhile, looks good. It’s a bit oversaturated at times, but still likeable. The colours degrade a bit when the sun goes down, but that’s with most mid-rangers.

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Moving on, macro shots are acceptable for close-ups in areas with ample lighting conditions. The 16MP front-facing camera outputs pleasing selfies but it smoothens out the facial details. The portrait mode on the phone needs improvement with edge detection.

Performance

Coming to the POCO X6 Pro’s performance, it is driven by the MediaTek Dimensity 8300 Ultra SoC. It’s a new mid-range chipset with four Arm Cortex-A715 performance cores and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores, clocked at 3.35GHz and 2.2GHz, respectively. The company has added a large 5,000mm vapour chamber, which was previously exclusive to its F-series smartphone, and WildBoost Optimisation 2.0. The latter is said to provide fast and smooth gameplay. Moreover, the chipset supports fast LPDDR5X RAM (up to 12GB) and up to 512GB UFS 4.0 storage. There is no microSD card on the phone to expand the storage, which has been the case with many other mid-rangers as well.

Be that as it may, the POCO X6 Pro performs admirably well. The chipset ensures smooth operation no matter what is thrown at it, including multitasking. The RAM management is also very good. It can keep multiple apps running in the background at once. As for the benchmark scores, they stand close to the flagship-grade Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. On AnTuTu, the smartphone returned a score of a whopping 13,31,887, whereas on Geekbench, it achieved a score of 1,355 and 4,315 on single-core and multi-core tests respectively. The CPU throttle test looks equally good, with the smartphone performing 81 percent of its peak output. The handset did not heat up even under strenuous loads, with credit to the effective vapour chamber. But I feel that Delhi’s current cold weather might be playing a part in this.

When it comes to gaming, the POCO X6 Pro effortlessly handles BGMI with maximum supported graphics and frame rate settings. I played back-to-back sessions of the game and did not encounter hiccups or frame-drop issues even when the gameplay became intense. The phone does warm up a bit after extended use, but it consistently maintains control over its thermals. Again, this is in January’s weather in the capital of India. We will update this post if there are any changes in thermals once we enter the peak summer season.

Software

The POCO X6 Pro is the first smartphone in India to run the new Xiaomi HyperOS out of the box. This OS is a departure from the familiar MIUI skin seen on previous POCO smartphones. The HyperOS is based on Android 14. It doesn’t look significantly different from its predecessor, and there are minor tweaks here and there, like lock screen customisation, which allows users to set their pictures with depth of field and other styles similar to iOS 17. However, overall, the skin resembles the same as the global version of MIUI 14 on the recently launched Redmi Note 13 Pro+.

Most of the changes are under the hood, such as AI features that offer the ability to change the background of an image within the gallery app and copy the image to the clipboard. The control panel has also been redesigned, but for some reason, the ‘Settings’ icon has been relocated with the rest, making it difficult to find. The panel itself may benefit from further refinement as it currently appears cluttered on the screen. Speaking of clutter, the software is loaded with several third-party apps, contributing to a somewhat bloated user experience. Fortunately, with HyperOS, you can remove most of these apps, including Xiaomi’s native calculator, scanner, and security apps.

While the effort to provide a clean user experience is duly appreciated, I wish there were no third-party apps in the first place. Be that as it may, if you are into customisation, you will appreciate the company’s effort with HyperOS, which is only going to get better with future updates. On that note, POCO has promised up to three years of major software updates and four years of security updates for the X6 series.

Battery and charging speeds

The POCO X6 Pro’s 5,000mAh battery is the same as its predecessor the X5 Pro. Even the 67W Turbo Charging remains unchanged, and takes roughly 40-45 minutes to fuel up the smartphone from 0-100 percent. After that, the phone is capable of enough to last an entire day of usage even with gaming involved. I was getting 5-6 hours of screen-on-time with an hour of gaming a day, some navigation, and streaming shows and TV series.

On the PC Mark battery test, the POCO X6 Pro achieved a score of 12 hours and 25 minutes.

Final verdict

The POCO X6 Pro stands tall among the current crop of gaming-focused smartphones in the mid-range segment. Of course, it is still the start of the new year, and we can expect to see many other impressive smartphones coming our way. In fact, the iQOO Neo 9 is all set to launch next month, which might give the X6 Pro a run for its money. Until then, let’s compare the handset against last year’s performance-based smartphones, such as the iQOO Neo 7 (review) and OnePlus Nord 3 (review). The POCO X6 Pro manages to outperform both of these phones in terms of performance and even delivers a better display than its arch-rivals. However, it lags when it comes to the relatively clean software on the OnePlus Nord 3 5G and the faster charging speeds on the iQOO Neo 7.

Nevertheless, they don’t seem to be a major deal-breaker for the smartphone. The POCO X6 Pro’s 67W fast charging, while not the fastest, is still impressive, and its software is rich with features. Both the display and performance are top-notch, and the battery life is pretty impressive. Despite minor camera quality concerns, the POCO X6 Pro is a compelling choice for its asking price, which starts at Rs 26,999.

Editor’s rating: 8/10

Reasons to buy

  • The handset features a sizable camera module, which is quite eye-catching.
  • The phone offers an excellent AMOLED display, with impressive refresh rate, resolution, and more.
  • The performance is simply the best in the segment so far.
  • The handset can last at least a day between charges.

Reasons not to buy

  • UI looks a bit cluttered, with several pre-installed apps.
  • Cameras might leave the enthusiasts wanting for more.

Key Specs

POCO X6 Pro
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 8300 Ultra
Rear Camera64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.67 inches (16.94 cm)
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POCO X6 Pro Price
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Rs. 18,999.00
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