Highlights

  • Powered by a 4G Helio G99 chipset
  • Gets a large 5,000mAh battery
  • Comes with a youth-centric design

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Poco M5 review: Cool design and long battery life

The Poco M5 definitely looks cool in this bright yellow colour. It also comes with a long battery life. So, is it a fantastic budget phone? Read on to find out!

Key Specifications
Price : ₹12,499
6.58-inch LCD 90Hz refresh rate 50MP+2MP+2MP 5,000mAh
18W charging Helio G99 Up to 6GB RAM Up to 128GB storage
Our Review
8 / 10
Design9/10
Display9/10
Utility8/10
Performance7/10
Cameras7/10
Battery Life9/10
Pros
  • Trendy design
  • Great battery life
  • Good display for the price
Cons
  • No 5G
  • No ultrawide camera

Budget phones are boring. But, the bright yellow device you see here otherwise.

This is the Poco M5 and it aims to get you excited about sub ₹15,000 phones. Does it succeed?

Design

The Poco M5 has a youth-centric, loud aesthetic. The camera window, which stretches horizontally across the device, and the fingerprint-resistant faux leather finish below it, make the M5 anything but boring.

It also does not wobble much on a flat surface.

Do not expect anything fancy on the phone’s front however, because it has a V-shaped notch and a decently thick chin.

Because it is a budget phone, the M5 is entirely made from plastic, and its build quality is good for the most part.

However, I do wish that the volume and power buttons, both of which are on the right side, were a little less wobbly.

I also like the fact that, despite having a flat frame, the back panel of the M5 is slightly curved, which makes it comfortable to grip.

Display

The M5 has a 6.58-inch IPS LCD which is as good as it can be on an affordable phone. The display has both a refresh rate of 90Hz as well as a resolution of FHD+. Quite often, companies skimp on one of these features in the affordable segment.

The display also has good colours and its sunlight legibility is the best I’ve seen on a phone under ₹15,000.

Utility

The Poco M5 is a dual SIM smartphone with a dedicated microSD card slot.
At the bottom of the device you’ll find its single speaker, which gives decent audio output. If you look at the top of the device, you’d find a headphone jack as well as an IR blaster, both of which are rarities in 2022.

The M5 also has a fingerprint scanner integrated into its power key and it works really well.

Performance & Software

Powering the Poco M5 is the new 6nm Mediatek Helio G99 chipset. The G99 does not support 5G.

Since 5G is all the rage in India at the time of filming this video, I cannot help but be surprised by Poco’s decision to include a 4G chipset on this phone.

If you can do without 5G, then you’d be quite impressed with the price to performance ratio of the Helio G99.

It could play graphic intense games like Call of Duty mobile on medium graphics and a high frame rate.

On the software front, you get MIUI 13 on top of Android 12. MIUI is a typical love it or hate it affair. It is still a good option for those looking for something more feature-packed than other Android skins. The Poco launcher on this phone also keeps the look and feel of the homepage closer to stock Android.

You do get up to 6GB of RAM on this phone which ensures smooth multitasking

There is definitely a lot of bloatware installed on this phone and yes, you can uninstall most of it. But, to get a truly ad-free experience on the M5 you’ll have to turn off notifications of Xiaomi’s stock apps as well.

Cameras

The Poco M5 has a 50MP main rear camera. This sensor is accompanied by two 2MP macro and depth sensors, but I'll only focus on the main camera here because the other two are basically there for box ticking purposes.

The results from the primary camera are good for casual social media sharing. This camera actually gives pretty good results in ample natural light. Indoor and nighttime shots aren't as impressive due to increased noise levels, but that’s about what you’d expect in this segment.

On the other hand, the videos top out at 1080p 30 fps. The video quality is quite good as long as you don’t move because stabilisation is non-existent here.

Selfie shots from the 8MP front camera are quite good. I took a bunch of photos that were colour-accurate with minimal detail loss.

Battery Life

The large 5,000mAh battery and the efficient 6nm chipset work big time in the M5’s favour when it comes to battery life.

For light users, the M5 is definitely a 2-day battery life smartphone. For most other people, expect at least 7 hours of screen time with normal to heavy use.

The phone supports only 18W fast charging, so it takes approximately 2 hours for it to fully charge.

Verdict

The Poco M5 stands out with its offbeat design, great battery life and good display.

However, its lack of 5G support is a sore point, and it should have been included here.

Still, for those living in tier 2 and 3 cities where the 5G launch is still a bit far away, the Poco M5 could be considered a great contender.

Also watch: Realme Watch 3 Pro review

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