If you’re a smartphone enthusiast, you might have heard of POCO. A sub-brand of Xiaomi, POCO phones are mid-range devices that pack decent hardware, delivering massive bang for your buck. That is exactly the case with the POCO X4 GT.
The latest in their gamer-centric X line, the POCO X4 GT has the hardware to rival phones that are much more expensive.
Now that I’ve had the phone for a few weeks (and played with it extensively), here are my final thoughts.
What is the POCO X4 GT?
The POCO X4 GT is the latest quasi-flagship Android (Android 12, with MIUI 13 preinstalled) 5G phone from the brand. Released along side the POCO F4 (which we’ll have a review of soon), the POCO X4 GT is geared more towards gamers and multimedia consumers.
It has a 6.6″ (1080 x 2460) IPS display, with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The screen is HDR10 capable and support Dolby Vision. It’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The device’s dimensions are 16.36 x 7.43 x 0.89 cm, with it weighing a measly 200g.
For the rear cameras, the device packs a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro camera. It’s capable of capturing 4K@30FPS and 1080p@ 30/60FPS.
The front facing camera is 16MP, with 1080p/30FPS video capability.
For networking connectivity, the phone has Bluetooth 5.3 support, along with GPS, NFC and of course, WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6). There’s also an audio jack at the top for wired headsets. It also has dual SIM (Nano-SIM) slots.
RAM for the phone is pegged at 8GB, with 128GB or 256GB storage. There’s no expansion slot for external memory cards.
The battery is a decently sized 5080mAh, with 67W fast charging capability. POCO’s advertised it as being able to be fully charged in 46 mins with the included charger. There’s a USB Type-C 2.0 port for charging or connecting with other devices.
The phone comes in two variants; 8GB RAM + 128GB storage (our review model) for SG$479, and the 8GB RAM + 256GB storage for SG$509.
Whew! That’s a lot of information to get through yeah? Normally I’d just copy and paste it but POCO’s site had it all over the place so I was more efficient to type it out instead.
So how is the phone?
Pretty damn good.
We’ve all been conditioned to buy the high end phones to ooh and ahh that we forget that mid-tier offerings can be just as good. The POCO X4 GT is pretty good, no doubts about it.
That’s because I put the phone through 3 (THREE!) different benchmarks to make sure everything’s on the up and up.
First up, here’s how the phone performed on Geekbench.
While the Single-Core score isn’t that impressive, the Multi-Core score is! Being able to top the scores of multiple Samsung flagship devices is no small task. Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Note20 aren’t super recent, but they’re still packing some beefy tech.
Tech that the POCO X4 GT decisively trounces.
Here’s how the device performed on PCmark for Android.
PCmark for Android has two types of tests; Work 3.0 and Battery Life.
As you’d probably guessed, Work 3.0 is work related stuff. Opening documents, web browsing, writing and the like. You know, work.
The Battery Life test on the other hand, replicates the usual stuff you’d do with a smartphone and then see how long it’d last with constant usage.
The results speak for themselves.
Nearly 14 and a half hours. That’s with constant usage. In real usage, it’d probably be even more because I don’t know anybody who can stick to their phone for 14 hours and 27 minutes at a go.
Finally, there’s 3Dmark, which tests the phone’s GPU.
Numbers don’t really convey how the phone performs in games so I tested it out with Diablo Immortal and Call of Duty Mobile.
Call of Duty Mobile performance was great, even with the game set on its highest visual setting. The framerate was stable, which meant that the touch controls were incredibly responsive. The sensitivity of the display’s pretty good, and I didn’t really need to apply much pressure for the phone to recognize my strokes and button presses.
Diablo Immortal too ran great though with a caveat; the game is unable to run on Ultra setting. You can run it at 60fps on High and Image Sharpening activated without any issues…which really makes me wonder why Ultra wasn’t an option, even at 30fps with Image Sharpening off.
I’d certainly appreciate the option to see how the phone would perform, instead of just being told a flat no.
Otherwise, with the game data fully downloaded, the game ran smooth with no stuttering issues at all, even when enemies and spells were filling the screen. I never noticed a drop from 60FPS and there wasn’t any issue with controls not being responsive enough.
Other aspects of the phone are great too.
The rear cameras in particular deserve mention.
Pictures taken with the phone are decent. The sharpness, color and details are good enough for casual photographers. I’ve no issues with the pictures I took of my cat, which you can see below.
There’s good detail in the fur and even up close, there’s no loss of clarity. The bokeh is crap sadly, but then again, what do you expect from a mobile camera? You want great bokeh, get a mirrorless camera and some macro lens.
Night shots are decent too. Images are pretty clear, with minimal noise in them.
However, the zoom isn’t the best as things quickly decent into a blurry mess as you max out the camera’s 10x zoom.
Take a look at the zoomed in night shots below.
They’re both taken from the same place as the second night shot, aimed at the drop-off point. They’re so blurry though that making out fine details is impossible. Everything looks as if there’s Vaseline smeared on them.
I’m most impressed with the display.
While only IPS, it’s still vibrant enough for me and the near bezel-less design gives you the impression that it’s bigger than it actually is. It also helps to sell the premium (at a lower price) feel of the phone.
The display also doesn’t seem to smudge easily, as even with repeated swipes the display still stays relatively clean, with barely noticeable streaks. Note that I’m using the phone with the factory applied screen protector so perhaps the smudging would be worse without it. I don’t know anybody who’d use a phone without a screen protector though.
I can’t say much regarding its durability to withstand scratches though, as I’ve not dropped or damaged the phone in any way during my tests. Also, there’s no water or dust protection so better get it bundled up with a good protector ASAP.
While the POCO X4 GT has thus far been pretty great, it’s not all perfect.
For one, the built-in speakers aren’t that good. Playing games, the sounds that come out from it, while loud, lacked definition and bass. To be honest, the sounds were kind of tinny.
If you do get the phone, I suggest getting a great pair of headphones (like the Sony WH-1000XM5) ASAP.
Another thing that drags the phone down a notch is how bloated it is with programs that you don’t really need.
Can you see how packed the screen is? I’ve viewing all the apps that are preinstalled and this screen is just about 1/8 of the whole thing. There are LOTS of apps and most of them you don’t need, or should be packed away in a folder.
Even the Home screen is unnecessarily packed.
These are all the default screens by the way, I’ve not touched them at all.
Get ready to do a lot of cleaning house the moment you boot up the phone. As somebody who’s used Sony and Samsung phones all my life, the amount of clutter and bloatware in the POCO X4 GT was shocking to say the least.
Finally, the last major issue I have with the phone lies with the buttons at the side.
The Volume bar and the On/Off switch are nearly indistinguishable from each other.
Multiple times, I wanted to turn the screen on and pressed the Volume down button instead. Vice versa as well. Texturing the buttons, or making them more distinguishable (maybe raising them higher) would be much appreciated and I really hope POCO does that for the X5.
The Bottom Line.
If you’re looking for a decently priced phone that can hold its own with premium smartphones, the POCO X4 GT should be at the top of your list.
While the performance isn’t the best, the phone does a great job nonetheless. For a mid-tier phone, the device is mighty impressive. Great display, decent camera and formidable gaming performance…what else do you need?
There are some issues but none of them are serious enough to warrant warning people off the phone.
If you’re on a budget and need some kickass hardware, look no further.
Great price plus decent performance equals an amazing mid-tier phone.
- Great looking display.
- Decent gaming performance.
- Relatively cheap.
- Looks and feels premium.
- Long battery life.
- Capable camera.
- The speakers are crap.
- Buttons at the side needs to be bigger and more distinguishable.
- Filled with unnecessary apps.