Tech Desk: POCO M5 After 2 Weeks of Use: Calling POCO a gaming sub-brand of Xiaomi is quite fair, as their smartphones give maximum performance for minimum money. Other characteristics play little role, especially in low-cost models.
My POCO M5
I have POCO M5 in my hands, which at the start was offered for $170.74 at amazon, and now it is traded in the corridor from $160-$170 for the basic version. MediaTek Helio G99 octa-core processor has 4 GB of RAM, an IPS screen, and a 50 MP main camera in its arsenal.
POCO M5 Phone Specifications
|Screen||6.58 inches, 20:9 aspect ratio, IPS, 2408×1080 pixels, 401 PPI, 90Hz.|
|Operating system||MIUI 13 based on Android 12.|
|Chipset||: MediaTek Helio G99, 6 nm.|
|CPU||Cortex-A76 (2×2.2GHz) + Cortex-A55 (6×2.0GHz).|
|GPU||ARM Mali-G57 MP2.|
|Memory||4/64 GB, 4/128 GB or 6/128 GB, UFS 2.2, microSD card.|
50 MP (f/1.8, phase detection autofocus) + 2 MP (macro without autofocus) + 2 MP (depth sensor), LED flash.
|Front camera||5 MP (f / 2.2).|
|Battery||5000 mAh, 18W charger, 22.5W included.|
|Dimensions||163.99 × 76.09 × 8.9 mm, 201 grams.|
|Slots||2 nanoSIM + microSD memory card, triple tray.|
4G, Bluetooth 5.3, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, GPS (A-GPS), GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, NFC, FM radio, USB OTG.
|Sensors||accelerometer, proximity, illumination, a fingerprint scanner in the power button.|
The novelty develops the ideas embodied in the POCO M3 a couple of years ago. This is a backdrop made of hard plastic with a leather-like texture. The relief gives the feeling that something is really soft in the hands. Another feature of POCO is a glossy insert for the camera module across the entire width of the case. It attracts dust particles, gets dirty with fingers, and over time it rubs off and loses its gloss.
However, there are other reasons to use a regular cover. It covers the gloss, spoiling the visual, but does not save the delicate plastic from scratches. After all, dust particles will certainly fall under silicone, working as a powerful abrasive. It would be better if there was a cutout with a high side in this place on the cover.
I have a green POCO M5. There is also classic black and POCO signature yellow. For my taste, green is something new, and it cannot be confused with other models. So the choice seems obvious.
The ends are flat but smoothly pass into the heel counter and are one with it. Together with a tolerable width of 76.1 mm and a weight of 201 grams, the device turned out to be extremely convenient in everyday use. Like for ergonomics! The fingerprint scanner is on the right in button, and the volume control is also higher there.
Poco M5 Display
When it comes to a limited budget, something must definitely be sacrificed, for example, the display. I can’t call a 6.58-inch IPS matrix with a resolution of 2408×1080 pixels bad.
It’s bright (1.15 to 390 cd/m²), glare-free, and meets the needs of gamers in terms of refresh rate (90Hz) and touch sampling rate (240Hz). The last figure, by the way, is responsible for the responsiveness of control in games. It’s more of an old-fashioned look with thick bezels, a wide chin, and a U-shaped front camera. Of the bonuses, I note Corning Gorilla Glass of an unknown generation with an oleophobic coating. A film is applied to the screen from the box.
Hardware and Software
And what exactly is to be played? On MediaTek Helio G99! This chip in the next year will be the most desirable in low-cost devices. Its chip is in the new 6 nm process technology with the old long-proven layout of 2 Cortex-A76 cores (2.2 GHz) and 6 Cortex-A55 cores (2 GHz) with Mali-G57 MC2. This allows you to fight on equal terms with fresh Qualcomm models by all criteria. I’m talking about the Snapdragon 690 and 695, as well as the two-year-old models from the 7 series.
POCO M5 Genshin Impact/PUBG Test
Stable 30FPS frames on high settings in Genshin Impact, not worse in PUBG on high settings either. I think for complete comfort, it is worth sacrificing some effects to unlock the potential of the screen at 90 Hz. It’s not worth talking about the rest of the games, and the performance is chic.
As for me, MediaTek was delayed with the transfer of Helio to thin process technology. Apparently, there were fears of internal competition with Density. It was worth the wait; compared to the G95 and G96 at 12nm, the G99 not only maintains maximum performance over a long distance but also solves the issue of heating. The area around the POCO M5’s camera becomes warm at worst. Consider conducting the test in the autumn, when the room has a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius.
Performance in synthetics and in games is good, but something is clearly wrong with the shell. The latest mid-October version of MIUI 13 certainly works well but needs to be smoother for a MediaTek Helio G99-based device. I have another smartphone with the same hardware, and I know what responsiveness should be. If we return to our hero, the MIUI version for POCO differs in details:
- By default, the navigation bar and a separate application menu are enabled.
- Other icons are used.
- The list of preinstalled programs includes the POCO Store and POCO Community (news feed associated with the company).
Several games and a full package of Google services are also preinstalled.
There are no surprises about wireless interfaces: two SIM cards, a triple tray, NFC is available and works with MirPay, cellular communication, and Wi-Fi without problems. I will praise Xiaomi for its commitment to the infrared port since the chip is convenient without exaggeration, and other companies have long forgotten about it. All sensors are available: optical light and proximity sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, and electronic compass.
The connectors are spaced at the ends: USB-C at the bottom and the headphone jack at the top. The sound is mono since there is only one speaker (in our YouTube video, I made a slight mistake). And the vibration, albeit standard, is adjusted so as to do without unnecessary bounce.
The “hole” on top is an infrared port, not a second microphone. No noise canceling for calls
The hit module of 50 megapixels, which saves ready-made images with a resolution of 12.5 megapixels, turned out to be here too. I can only praise Xiaomi for the choice because this module, paired with high-quality software, gives a great result, even if you forget about the device’s low cost.
Night shots are balanced in terms of light and convey the real state of affairs. Photos become brighter and more detailed in a separate night mode, and shooting takes no longer than 3-5 seconds.
Every first frame in the gallery was taken in auto, and every second shot in night mode.
Behind, there are two more sensors of 2 megapixels each. One of them measures the depth of the scene and, in practice, does not participate in the shooting in any way. The second module is used in macro mode, but the low resolution and lack of autofocus do not allow us to achieve a decent result—finished macro photos in the gallery below.
Selfies are alien to gamers! Apparently, this was the logic when the decision was made to install a 5-megapixel front camera with f / 2.2 optics. But even from it, you can achieve results if you shoot only in good conditions.
Autonomy and Charging
In the updated autonomy rating with the same brightness of 200 cd / m² for all, there are more and more devices for comparison. In everyday life, POCO M5 is a real long-liver, definitely able to work for a day and a half or even two, if without games.
There needs to be some clarification with charging. The kit includes a 22.5W adapter, although, in fact, the POCO M5 takes only 18W. In total, it takes almost 2 hours to replenish the full capacity, which can be called fast charging with a stretch. But the smartphone is compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge and Power Delivery.
POCO M5 Review After 2 Weeks of Use
Only some modern Xiaomi smartphones are fair to call a hit. However, POCO M5 has every chance of becoming a very popular device this year and next. The glory of the previous POCO M3, continuity in design, and cool hardware, combined with a reasonable price, play in favor of the new product. I bought my copy 4/64 GB variant.
In both cases, the proposal is interesting because POCO M5 has practicality, relative compactness, and Xiaomi quality in addition to gaming ambitions. Against the background of other Chinese newcomer brands, the well-deserved trust in Xiaomi is an important advantage. And other proven smartphone brands on Helio G99 still need to be offered in this budget.
- matte non-staining heel counter with a texture under the skin.
- comfortable grip with a slightly rounded back cover.
- brand new MediaTek Helio G99 without heating and throttling.
- IPS at 90Hz with 240Hz touch sampling rate.
- USB-C and audio jack.
- more work needs to be done.
- a weak front camera, 5 megapixels.
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