POCO F2 Pro review: Affordable 5G phone done right

POCO F2 Pro review: Affordable 5G phone done right

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In smartphones, what makes a flagship killer? It’s basically the fact that you provide the same level of quality features as the top performers in the market but make it accessible to more people by offering it at a more competitive price point.

This is exactly the promise of the POCO F2 Pro so let’s find out if it does deliver in this review.

Design

From the get-go, you can easily see that the Poco F2 Pro sports an interesting design. What we have here is the Cyber Gray color but it’s also available in Neon Blue, Electric Purple, and Phantom White.

The back has this large circular module housing its quad-camera setup which we’ll get into detail later on. And to further emphasize this area, there’s that circular accent surrounding it.

The chassis of the phone is where things get busy. On the right is a volume rocker right above the differently colored power button. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this design on a phone but I still like it since it adds subtle character to the device.

Down below we have the compartment for its dual-SIM slot, a USB-C port, and speaker grille. While at the top are the 3.5mm audio jack and a hiding selfie camera that pops out when needed.

The device itself is solid and has a good heft to it. But despite that, it doesn’t feel as thick as other phones we’ve tried with almost the same dimensions. It’s also worth mentioning that both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 so they shouldn’t get scratched easily.

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Display

Because the front camera is a pop-up, there are no visible notches on the F2 Pro’s large 6.67-inch screen. It’s capable of Full HD+ resolution and is HDR10+ certified. It also boasts of minimal bezels all around with a 92.7% screen-to-body ratio for a truly immersive experience.

Additionally, it has an in-display fingerprint reader, a 360-degree ambient light sensor, and received certification from TÜV Rheinland Global Eye Care. This basically means that the screen is designed to keep your eyes safe and healthy. 

Since you’re able to watch for extended periods of time, it’s good to know that F2 Pro is Widevine L1 certified meaning you can watch HD content on multiple platforms like Netflix and other streaming sites. 

In terms of refresh rate, it’s got a regular 60Hz display so those fluid movements and transitions wouldn’t be seen here. This is something that’s up to the user. I personally appreciate displays with high refresh rates but other users don’t really care. So it’s basically a matter of preference.

Camera

Now let’s move on to the cameras. As we said earlier, the F2 Pro houses a quad-camera setup for the rear. It’s composed of a 64-megapixel wide camera carrying Sony’s latest sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel telemacro camera, a first in the industry. 

Let’s first talk about its telemacro camera. Using this, the phone offers up to 2x zoom when in macro mode to be able to get you closer to your subject. It does that successfully, but as with other macro lenses on smartphones, getting the right distance takes some getting used to since its field of view is very shallow. But when you hit it, it can get you satisfactory and even impressive photos.

The main camera captures sharp and vibrant photos while its ultra-wide-angle sensor works best for landscape shots. HDR mode is effective when shooting against the light and its depth sensor produces nicely cut-out images. Here are more sample shots.

The rear cameras also support up to 8K video recording and have additional features such as SteadyShot video stabilization, Pro mode, and portrait video. 

As I’ve mentioned, inside the phone is a pop-up camera with a 20-megapixel sensor capable of pretty sharp selfies and can shoot 120fps slow-motion selfies as well. Additionally, you can customize the lights and sounds of the front camera as it pops up. 

Performance

The F2 Pro is powered by no less than a Snapdragon 865 which is currently the leading flagship processor. It’s basically an octa-core CPU with increased overall performance up to 25% when compared to the previous Snapdragon 855. The phone is also partnered with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB of storage. It also supports 5G for ultra-fast connectivity.

To top it off, it also has LiquidCool Technology 2.0 to keep your phone from heating up as well as added features such as WiFi 6, Super Bluetooth, and UFS 3.1 for faster write speeds.

And finally, on the software side, it runs Android 10 OS with POCO Launcher 2.0 on top.

We’ve been using it for more than a week now and it’s easily a phone that can handle everyday usage. There were no noticeable lags or app crashes during our entire time with it. Even while gaming, it didn’t come across hiccups while running resource-heavy titles or switching between games.

Extended gaming periods were also not a problem thanks to its updated cooling technology.

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, its 4700mAh capacity was able to last us an entire day ad still had a bit of power left to last until lunch time the following day. That was a combination of internet browsing, playing music via Bluetooth, and moderate gaming on the side. 

The F2 Pro supports 30W fast charging which promises to fill up your battery from 0-100 in just a little over an hour. True enough, an hour of charging filled it up from 0-92%. And that remaining 8% was achieved after another 12 minutes. 

Just to quickly point out something, its pop-up camera has a built-in indicator that lights up when the device is charging. It’s a small feature but serves its purpose to indicate whether the device is still charging or not so that you could tell even without touching the device.

Creature Feature

In our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in a device that make it worth getting — things that give it a slight edge from among its peers. For the POCO F2 Pro, it’s not necessarily a feature, but it’s the asking price. With its starting price of PhP 26,990, you get flagship-level specs that not a lot of phones offer. This gives the F2 Pro a significant edge over its competitors.

Conclusion

poco f2 pro

It’s pretty obvious why one would call this a flagship killer as its internals, cameras, and features can rival the leading flagship phones of today.

It even has TÜV Rheinland High Gaming Performance Certification which only few phones in the market have. This means that the device had to pass a series of tests for display, battery life, network, overall experience, heat dissipation, and performance to get certified.

For the Poco F2 Pro, you’ll be shelling out PhP 26,990 for the 6GB + 128GB variant or PhP 29,990 for an upgraded 8GB + 256GB variant. And with the performance it showed during its time with us, it’s something that should definitely be on anyone’s list when planning to buy a new phone but doesn’t want to spend too much.