Two phones in two months, both not major upgrades to previous generation devices - safe to say that Poco started 2022 rather conservatively. It has introduced the Poco M4 Pro and M4 Pro 5G in the Indian market so far. Both these phones are rebranded variants of Redmi phones from other markets. The Poco M4 Pro 5G was the first to arrive in India and has now been joined by the 4G model.
Priced at Rs 14,999, the Poco M4 Pro offers a big and bright screen, MIUI 13 out-of-the-box, a 64-megapixel primary camera sensor and fast charging support. That's almost everything you expect from a phone priced under Rs 15,000. Also, everything you are used to seeing on phones in this price category. There's clearly nothing unique or out of the box Poco is trying to offer here. Whether you should still buy it or not is a decision you should be able to make by the end of this review.
Poco M4 Pro review: Design
Design is probably the only thing that differentiates the Poco M4 Pro from other devices in its price category. It's a typical Poco phone - vibrant colours, huge branding, plastic back and decent build quality. The phone comes in three colour variants - Cool Blue, Power Black and Poco Yellow. There are two certainties here - the yellow always looks dope. I don't get to review it, ever.
A new design element here is the huge camera bump at the back which pretty much covers the entire top part of the rear panel. We have seen these kinds of camera modules in more premium phones like Vivo X70 Pro+ and iQOO 9 Pro. But, this is probably a first for a budget phone. I am not a huge fan. The phone is lightweight at 179.5 grams and easy to use. It's still quite tall and not ideal for one-hand use.
The volume rockers and power button are present on the right, a fingerprint sensor is embedded into the power button and the USB Type-C port sits at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Poco M4 Pro gets the IP53 rating for splash resistance.
Poco M4 Pro: Display
The Poco M4 Pro features a 6.43-inch FHD+ with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. It is an AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, DCI-P3 color gamut, and up to 1000 nits peak brightness. Pretty impressive numbers of a sub-Rs 15,000 phone but, as I said, there are others that offer the same. The display has noticeable bezels, especially at the bottom.
Another noticeable element is the hole punch cut-out, which is again, quite big and annoying. The quality of the panel isn't as great as the OLED panels you get on the mid-premium phones but juistifies the price. It's sharp, fluid and bright. The display is fine for every day use or to consume media as long as you have the right expectations.
Poco M4 Pro review: Performance
This is where Poco could have done better. The smartphone maker has always been known for making performance-driven devices. For example, the Poco X3 Pro or the Poco F3 GT. Both these phones offered great performance for the price. That's not the case with the Poco M4 Pro. It packs a MediaTek Helio G96 processor based on the 12nm platform with 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB storage space. Poco X3 Pro, with a far better Snapdragon 860 SoC, was sold for only Rs 2,000 more during multiple sales. So, do keep an eye.
If the budget doesn't permit and gaming or heavy multi-tasking isn't your thing, then the Poco M4 Pro might just be enough. It doesn't disappoint with usual tasks. There is only a minor lag while switching between apps or menus. The onboard storage can be further expanded up to 1TB using a microSD card. It did a bit of casual gaming on the phone and it handled it well.
The software experience is a mixed bg. The phone runs MIUI 13 based on Android 11 out of the box. The number of pre-installed Xiaomi apps have gone down but you still get plenty of other unwanted apps on the phone. The absence of 5G support is another miss. Apart from this, you get an IR blaster, stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio certification and dual SIM support.
Poco M4 Pro review: Camera
Business as usual here as well. The Poco M4 Pro features a triple rear camera system with a 64-megapixel rear primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megapixel secondary ultra-wide-angle camera sensor with a 118-degree field of view and a 2-megapixel macro camera with an f/2.4 aperture. At the front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.4 aperture.
First of all, there is an immediate need to get rid of the 2-megapixel macro sensor. From every single phone out there. It's poor and only helps with filling a column on the spec sheet. At some point, Poco should look to make use of the 5-megapixel telemacro sensor Xiaomi has used on some of its phones. It's brilliant.
The main camera captures some good pictures but, has its limitations. The colour accuracy and contrast are pretty good. The details aren't. You can see in the image samples that leaves of trees are mostly washed out. The lack of detail is more evident in landscapes, while the close-ups still come out fine. The camera has a good auto-focus and the portrait shots are fine.
It's good to have a ultra-wide-angle camera on a M-series phone but again, it's not the best I have seen in the segment. The wide shots further lack detail and are not satisfactory. The macro sensor lets you click decent images and the selfies are also passable.
But overall, I am not really satisfied with the camera performance on the M4 Pro and it definitely needs some improvement.
Poco M4 Pro review: Battery
The phone packs a standard 5000mAh battery which lasts for about a day. My usage mostly included clicking pictures, watching YouTube videos and replying to emails. I left home with 100 per cent battery and came back with about 43 per cent, 11 hours later. Pretty decent for the price. The battery is assisted by a 33W fast charger which takes more than an hour to juice up the device.
Poco M4 Pro review: Final verdict
The Poco M4 Pro brings a decent set of features at an affordable price tag. It has a 90Hz OLED display, good battery life and reliable performance. The camera isn't that great. Also, you will get most of these things on other phones as well. What you probably won't is the cool design Poco is known for. Still, the Poco M4 Pro faces really tough competition. If you are looking for a phone around Rs 15,000 and 5G isn't a priority, then the M4 Pro is a good buy.Live TVAlso Read | Blaupunkt launches 40-inch, 43-inch FHD Android TV in India, price starts at Rs 15,999Also Read | Google Messages gets iMessage reactions, live transcriptions, portrait blur, and other features Also Read | OnePlus 10 Pro India launch date tipped: Here’s what to expect