POCO M2 Pro Review

Xiaomi’s spin-off smartphone brand POCO recently expanded its portfolio with a new entry in India earlier this month. Unlike previous POCO smartphones that targeted the affordable flagship and mid-range spaces, the POCO M2 Pro is targeting the budget segment this time around. Not that there aren’t already enough contenders swarming the budget space, thus adding to the buyer’s dilemma, but POCO would like to sell you its own vision of an ideal budget smartphone. The hardware package of the POCO M2 Pro isn’t as groundbreaking as the POCO F1 or POCO X2 Pro. For example, there’s no high refresh rate panel or top-of-the-line chipset. But considering the price segment the POCO M2 Pro is targeting, the hardware on offer is still very competitive. I have been using the POCO M2 Pro for the last three weeks, and here’s how I feel about the phone.

POCO M2 Pro: Specifications

Dimensions and Weight

  • 165.7 x 76.6 x 8.8 mm

  • Gorilla Glass 5 front & back

  • Plastic frame

  • 209g

Display

  • 6.67″ FHD+ (2400 x 1080) IPS LCD;

  • Center-weighted punch-hole display

  • HDR10 support

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G:

  • 2x Kryo 465 Gold (Cortex-A76-based) cores @ 2.3GHz

  • 6x Kryo 465 Silver Cortex-A76-based cores @ 1.8GHz

Adreno 618


RAM and Storage

  • 6GB RAM LPDDR4

  • 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1

Battery & Charging

  • 5,000 mAh battery

  • 33W fast charger (inside the box)

Rear Camera

  • Primary: 48, f/1.8, 0.8μ

  • Secondary: 8MP wide-angle, f/2.2, 119°

  • Tertiary: 5MP Super Macro with autofocus

  • Quaternary: 2MP Depth Sensor, f/2.4

Front Camera

  • 16MP selfie shooter

Other Features

  • 3.5mm headphone jack

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)

  • Dual-frequency GPS

  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

  • USB Type-C, USB 2.0

  • Side-mounted fingerprint scanner

  • IR blaster

Android Version

Android 10 with MIUI 11 for POCO


Design

From the outside, the POCO M2 Pro is profoundly similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro/Max. POCO has made some small changes so as not to repeat the exact look of its counterpart, though. For example, the camera module is slightly different, while the backplate also gets a new paint job and a striped pattern that covers the two-thirds of the bottom half. The fact that the POCO M2 Pro’s design resembles that of the Redmi Note 9 Pro isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When we reviewed the Redmi Note 9 Pro earlier this year, we had many good things to say about its design, and the same holds true for the POCO M2 Pro. It’s one of the better-looking phones in this particular price range. Our Two Shades of Black variant reminds of the first-gen Google Pixel and is thus a refreshing departure from the usual color-shifting gradient backs that we are used to seeing in this segment.

The plastic middle frame is sandwiched between the two panels of Gorilla Glass 5 that protect the rear and front. The back is shiny and highly reflective — almost like a mirror. It’s a task to keep fingerprints and smudges away. The back is gently curved on its sides, which helps the phone wrap nicely into your palm. On the right side of the frame lies the fingerprint scanner which also doubles as the power button. The fingerprint scanner area is recessed and positioned as such so your thumb naturally falls onto it. On the flip side, the volume keys are placed way too high up and are thus quite difficult to reach while holding the phone in one hand.

The POCO M2 Pro features a 6.67-inch full HD+ LCD panel with a centered hole-punch cutout. The display supports HDR10 playback as well as Wideline L1 support for full HD playback on video streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Watching HDR content is a pleasure on the POCO M2 Pro. It’s not the first device to offer an HDR panel in this price range — the Motorola One Fusion+ and the POCO X2 also support HDR — but it’s always welcome to have it present on a budget smartphone.

The maximum brightness is rated for 450nits — fairly standard for an LCD in this price range — and offers acceptable outdoor visibility. The lowest brightness level is comfortable for browsing before bedtime. As Tushar noted in his Redmi Note 9 Pro review, viewing content under strong lighting conditions seems to trigger a hidden sunlight mode, which ramps up the saturation and contrast. Although this does make the display seem brighter, it takes a toll on the color reproduction and makes everything on the screen look kind of unnatural, especially when previewing photos or playing games. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable this sunlight mode, and it seems to kick in regardless of which color profile you’ve selected.

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