Xiaomi POCO M5 is the new low-cost for those like me who always have empty pockets, in the sense that you can hardly make it to the end of the month, but the smartphone is now an indispensable tool in order not to be cut off from modern society. Fortunately, companies like POCO still produce concrete devices who do not want to surprise the public but who aim at the best quality / price ratio. So here I am ready to talk to you about Xiaomi POCO M5, cheap smartphone that we discover today in this review.
Xiaomi unboxing POCO M5
One of the often overlooked aspects of a review is the unboxing experience, which in Xiaomi's case POCO M5 looks quite satisfying. In fact, the company provides in the package in addition to the smartphone:
- pin for SIM removal
- manuals and warranty
- USB / USB-C charging and data transfer cable
- charger with max output at 22.5W
- transparent silicone protective cover
- pre-applied screen protection film
In short, we shouldn't have to shell out additional euros to start using our smartphone.
Xiaomi POCO M5 - Design and Materials
Xiaomi POCO M5 is a budget smartphone but the first contact gives the feeling of having to do with a premium device, thanks to theexcellent construction and cunning in the processing of the materials used. In fact, despite the polycarbonate backcover, the texture that recalls the skin offers an elegant look beyond and increases the grip with the smartphone but above all it does not capture fingerprints and dirt in general. Nice then the contrast in glossy plastic with the bump camera, in style pixel, where inside we find 3 optics and an LED flash.
Rather neat design, as the fingerprint sensor it has been inserted inside the power button located on the right side frame, accompanied by the volume rocker. The frame is also made of plastic, but houses a good part of the phone's connectivity, in fact on the upper profile we find the IR transmitter and the indispensable jack from 3,5 mm for wired earphones, while specularly we have the single speaker, USB input for charging with OTG support, main microphone while on the left frame there is the SIM tray capable of hosting 2 SIM in nano format with Dual 4G connectivity and a micro SD to expand the internal memory.
Apparently the second microphone seems to be absent for the reduction of hiss in call, but personally the audio quality of the calls has always satisfied me and above all, POCO finally introduced the physical proximity sensor and therefore no problem in bringing the device to the ear with consequent involuntary touch of the display with the cheek.
We are talking about a smartphone with dimensions of 163,99 x 76,09 x 8,9 mm and a weight of 201 grams, which make it not really suitable for use with a single hand, but if necessary it is possible and in any case the weight is well distributed, never tiring the hand after various periods of use.
Returning for a moment to the biometric sensor inserted in the power button, I must admit that this was rather reliable although not very fast in recognition and unlocking, but still safer than the Unlock Face than on POCO M5 struggles in low light conditions. I defined the 3,5 mm jack for wired earphones as indispensable or rather indispensable, as the speaker does not offer particularly exciting music listening, considering rather "floppy" bass and a volume that at maximum level tends to distort a little the sound. Finally I point out that Xiaomi POCO M5 is available in 3 different colors: black, yellow and green.
90 Hz display
The display of POCO In some respects the M5 impresses in others less so. In fact the panel used offers a 90 Hz refresh rate but IPS technology It is equipped with some limits, for example on the viewing angles with not exactly deep blacks, while the above-average refresh rate returns fluid content. We are talking about a 6,58-inch screen with Full HD + resolution (2408 x 1080 pixels) in 20: 9 and 401 ppi format as well as a sampling rate at the touch of 240 Hz.
To convince less is the peak brightness that reaches only 500 nits, not optimal for viewing content under direct sunlight, but fortunately the protective glass is of the Corning Gorilla Glass type. To bring us back to the economic device dimension, are the frames not properly optimized with a very pronounced chin and an old-school design, in which we find a selfie camera inserted in a teardrop notch. Overall, the colors on the screen are quite natural, saturated at the right point and therefore the multimedia experience is promoted, also in consideration of the presence of Widevine L1 DRMs that allow viewing of HD content on all streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video. However, HDR and Dolby Atmos support are absent. Finally, it should be noted that the company declares the presence of the Dynamic Switch function, which should automatically adjust the refresh rate from 30 to 90 Hz, but at the software level this is not yet present.
Hardware, performance and software
POCO M5 is one of the first smartphones to adopt the new one MediaTek Helio G99 CPU, an octa-core SoC (2 × 2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6 × 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) with a 6 nm production process which is accompanied by the ARM MALI G57 MC2 GPU while the memories are entrusted to cuts of 4/6 GB of type LPDDR4X and 64/128 GB UFS 2.2 storage, which while not the latest technology on the market, are a rarity in this price range. Moreover, the internal memory is expandable by means of a micro SD card with support up to 1 TB without sacrificing the functionality of the Dual SIM, which on POCO M5 is 4G type only but with good reception and browsing speed.
What has just been said brings us back to the entry level dimension of the smartphone, of which I personally have not made any software benchmarks, because I believe the true parameter of judgment lies in daily use. Well, POCO M5 is not a device to be stressed especially with gaming, considering that the hardware used is definitely devoted to energy saving. Even in the simplest games, I sometimes saw jerky frames although the temperatures were always adequate.
The smartphone gives the best of itself in everyday use, always performing the required tasks as long as you arm yourself with patience. It will take that extra time to load applications, even when switching between apps. I am aware that we are talking about a smartphone under 200 euros, but from POCO I would have expected more and instead the M5 suffers even in simple multitasking.
For the rest, the connectivity sector is good, boasting the presence of a module 5 Ghz WiFi, Bluetooth 5.3, FM radio, full GPS with Galileo satellite locking, the aforementioned IR transmitter, 3,5 mm jack but also NFC. The software is updated to Android 12 with an August 22 patch customized by MIUI 13 per POCO, or a MIUI 13 with launcher. I have not noticed software peculiarities and / or dedicated optimizations as well as no particular bugs but the huge avalanche of pre-installed applications that many could do without as well as the intrusive advertising present in the proprietary system apps should be reported.
Xiaomi POCO M5 - Autonomy
Without doubt one of the aspects on which Xiaomi POCO M5 is unrivaled is the battery, not so much for the 5000 mAh of capacity, but for the autonomy it returns allowing you to always arrive in the evening with a good 40% of residual charge with rather intense use, which translates into possibility to have even 2 and a half days full of use. Consider that in standby the consumption is about 2% for a whole night. Unfortunately, fast charging only goes to 18W, net of a packaged charger that releases up to 22.5W, but I don't consider it a problem by virtue of the great autonomy offered, which will lead you to charge the device especially while you sleep.
Xiaomi POCO M5 - Camera
I'll spoil you immediately: the photographic sector of Xiaomi POCO M5 is the aspect that most disappointed me about this smartphone. First of all, the videos can only be captured at 1080p 30fps, both on the rear and front cameras and there is no form of stabilization and if there is this it is not at all effective. In practice you will find yourself with totally shaky and grainy videos if you use the digital zoom.
Leaving aside this aspect, we are talking about a main sensor of 50 MP with opening f / 1.8 and equipped with PDAF focus which is flanked by 2 lenses with "useless" sensors equal to 2 MP each, f / 2.4 with macro photography functions and data collection for bokeh effect, while the selfie camera is entrusted to a 5 MP f / 2.2 sensor. I would have preferred the presence of an ultrawide sensor although I must admit that macro photos are not bad and you can have a little fun, giving space to the imagination.
Apart from that, POCO M5 returns acceptable shots in full light but with the first dimming of the lighting the definition of the images is decidedly less, despite the presence of the Night mode. For sure I would not entrust my best memories to this smartphone, especially in the evening hours. What is surprising is the selfie camera, which during the day gives us excellent shots especially in portrait mode, as well as the HDR seems to work well. In short, Xiaomi POCO M5 is not a camera phone and does not pretend to want to look like it.
Conclusions and offer
This review would probably seem to reject the product, but in reality Xiaomi POCO M5 it remains a very good smartphone, but not for everyone. If you are looking for reliability in a device to be combined with the primary one, or if you want to give it to a boy or a person poco devoted to technology, the brand's smartphone can be one of the best in the entry level range of the market, relying on specifications that we hardly find at the selling price it is offered, such as a 90 Hz display or memories generally intended for the medium range, but especially a battery with almost infinite autonomy.
In fact, the current price allows you with about 189 euros, to take home the 4/128 GB version available both on AMAZON that of MI.COM. Sure the performance isn't lightning-fast and so if you are poco patients, the advice is to focus on smartphones of past generations, such as the POCO M4 Pro 5G.
POCO M5 is a budget smartphone not devoted to pure performance. With a little patience you do everything and the price could tempt you to buy, even if with the same amount you can point to devices of the last generation that give stronger emotions, but if you are looking for a reliable "forklift" then you have done bingo .
- DUAL SIM + MEMORY EXPANSION
- 90 HZ DISPLAY
- RAM AND MEDIUM RANGE STORAGE
- BATTERY DURATION
- DISPLAY POCO LUMINOSO
- PERFORMANCES POCO FLUID
- VERY POOR CAMERA