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POCO M5 Review

The POCO M5 is the most recent smartphone in the company's low-cost M-series family. The device is powered by the recently released MediaTek Helio G99 SoC and has a 90Hz refresh rate screen. It also has an appealing appearance, a 50MP primary camera, a 5,000mAh battery, and other essential features. In addition, the phone is available in three different colors: Icy Blue, Power Black, and Yellow. The latter is the company's distinctive color, and POCO supplied us with the M5 review unit with the same paint job. After using it for over a week, here's our POCO M5 review.

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The POCO M5 is an appealing, low-cost smartphone that does most things well. The phone has an excellent design, a long battery life, good cameras, and respectable performance. The device's lack of 5G connectivity may raise a few eyebrows, but aside from that, the POCO M5 is a complete package.

The Lowdown

  • The POCO M5 is inspired by its predecessor, the POCO M4 5G. The M5, for example, has a dual-tone finish with a faux leather back that is comfortable to the touch, has a fantastic in-hand feel, and does not attract any fingerprints or smudges. The phone also has smooth edges for a comfortable grip and a beautiful camera island that runs horizontally across the back screen. The latter maintains the POCO M5's stability while lying flat on the surface. Regarding the camera island, the array has a triple camera configuration and an LED flash module. The module also has company branding and is layered with a plastic layer that is not fingerprint resistant.
  • The fingerprint scanner, which is located on the right spine of the POCO M5, next to the volume button, also functions as a power button. The left fascia houses a SIM tray with a microSD card slot as well as two SIM card slots. In terms of I/O, the USB Type-C connector is wedged between the microphone and speaker grille at the bottom edge, while the 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR blaster are located at the top edge. Overall, the POCO M5 looks good, and despite its plastic construction, it feels substantial and sturdy. The phone is even splash-resistant (IP52). As it is, the device weighs 201 grams, which many may consider to be substantial.
  • The POCO M5 has an IPS LCD screen that measures 6.58 inches tall. In terms of display specifications, the screen has an FHD+ resolution, a refresh rate of 90Hz, and a peak brightness of 500 nits. All of this adds up to a capable screen that is enjoyable to look at when watching films and TV shows. The display is bright enough to read the material even in direct sunshine, and the colors are vivid and rich. The phone's viewing angles are adequate, especially when considering the smartphone's MRP. In addition, despite the phone's broad chin, waterdrop notch, and thick bezels, the screen provides a pretty immersive video consumption experience. The 90Hz refresh rate works well across the interface and most applications, with the exception of graphically intensive ones. Regardless, the phone is Widevine L1 certified, which means it can stream HD material from Netflix and other streaming services.
  • The all-new MediaTek Helio G99 SoC powers the POCO M5. With a 6nm production technique and up to 2.2GHz clock speed, it is the most sophisticated SoC in the company's mid-range Helio G-series family to date. Starting with the benchmarks, the chipset received 1,916 points in Geekbench's multi-core test and 3,66,351 points in AnTuTu. Unsurprisingly, the SoC's benchmark results were marginally better than those of its predecessor, the MediaTek Helio G96 SoC.
  • In practice, the SoC provides lag-free performance when checking emails and messages, accessing social media, browsing, and playing movies on a smartphone.
  • The MediaTek Helio G99 SoC is capable of multitasking and light gaming. We were able to play a few games of Pool 8 and Real Cricket 22 without experiencing any frame freezes or drops. The phone can also run New State Mobile and other high-end games, although it provides a mediocre experience. Having said that, the POCO M5 is available in two configurations: 4GB RAM + 64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage.
  • In terms of cameras, the POCO M5 includes a 50MP ISOCELL JN1 primary sensor, as well as two 2MP depth and macro sensors. The details and dynamic range of the photographs captured by a 50MP primary sensor in suitable lighting circumstances astonished me. The color accuracy could have been greater, but the images were visually appealing. The sensor also focused and processed photos quickly. The portrait option works nicely - mostly on human subjects - but it lacks naturalness. Due to its poor resolution, the 2MP macro sensor fails to provide sharp images of close-up subjects in daylight.
  • The performance of the POCO M5 cameras, particularly the 50MP primary sensor, suffers in low light. The results are passable, although there is noise and a loss of details and sharpness. The phone has a special night mode that helps to reduce noise and boost highlights. Finally, the front-facing 8MP camera produces adequate selfies. The skin tones would stay realistic, but the sensor would smooth out the details, which would be a shame.
  • Moving on, the POCO M5 comes with a 5,000mAh battery that can last at least a day on a single charge. The handset scored 18 hours and 3 minutes on the PC Mark battery test, which is comparable to competitive smartphones in the segment. Even though a 22.5W charger is included, the handset enables 18W rapid charging. The charging system can recharge a dead battery in about two and a half hours. While there is no 5G onboard, the device supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands for range and high-speed internet access. This device's 4G LTE worked flawlessly for me. Aside from that, the phone's bottom-firing speaker sounds great, and the side-mounted fingerprint scanner unlocks the M5 in a flash.
  • The POCO M5 comes pre-installed with Android 12-based MIUI 13. The experience is comparable to that of any other Redmi or Xiaomi smartphone. To put things into perspective, MIUI 13 is one of the most user-friendly custom Android skins available. It has a number of customization choices, a variety of backgrounds, fluid animations, and call and screen recording features. That is not to imply that the gadget is free of bloatware. The phone comes with a slew of pre-installed apps, some of which you can remove after the setup. I'd also like to mention that the handset is plagued by bothersome notifications that detract from the overall experience.

Final Verdict

The POCO M5 starts at Rs 12,499, and for the price, the device appears to be a fantastic buy. The phone runs wonderfully, and while it lacks a 5G-enabled SoC, the Helio G99 processor that powers it gives more raw compute than, example, the Dimensity 700 that powers the POCO M4 5G. It also helps that the handset has an intriguing design that sets it apart from its competition.

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