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Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro 5G review: A predictably capable mid-ranger

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £369
inc VAT

The Poco X5 Pro is another accomplished mid-range phone, but not such an outstanding value proposition as before


  • Responsive, colour-accurate display
  • Decent performance
  • Speedy 67W charging


  • Not a major advance over last year’s model
  • Not the best mid-range camera offering
  • MIUI 14 still somewhat cluttered

The Poco brand has pretty much become a byword for smartphone value, offering strong specs and competitive performance at a low price. Last year’s Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G was one of the best affordable mid-rangers of 2022, so we’re particularly interested to see what its follow-up, the Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro 5G, can do this year.

Mid-range phones have gotten seriously good over the past 12 months, with a dash of class and some distinctly flagship-esque specs raising standards across the board. Can Poco maintain its sub-£400 mastery for another year?

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Poco X5 Pro 5G review: What you need to know

Like many phones that fall under the vast Xiaomi umbrella, there’s a sense of familiarity about the Poco X5 Pro 5G, sharing a number of components and design elements with the Xiaomi 12 Lite (£420) and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro (£969).

You’re getting another strong 6.67in 120Hz AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 778G processor, and a triple camera system led by a 108MP main sensor. There’s also a large 5,000mAh battery and speedy 67W wired charging support, and it’s all wrapped up in a skinny 7.9mm body.

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Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Price and competition

The Poco X5 Pro 5G is priced at £369 for the sole model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage here in the UK. This marks an early point of concern, as the entire premise of the Poco brand is value.

At that price, the X5 Pro 5G is £70 more expensive than its predecessor, the Poco X4 Pro 5G, which is a pretty big hike at this more affordable end of the market. It also sees the phone going directly up against the Realme 9 Pro Plus (£430) with its superior main camera, as well as the Realme GT Neo 3T (£369) with its superior performance.

Crucially, it also brings the Poco X5 Pro 5G dangerously close to £400 mid-rangers like the Google Pixel 6a (£399) and the Nothing Phone (1) (£399), both of which carry varying shades of flagship clout.

Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Design and key features

As was the case with last year’s model, the Poco X5 Pro 5G has a twin brother in Xiaomi’s other budget brand. The Poco X5 Pro 5G essentially has a nigh-on identical design to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro, though the latter hasn’t yet seen a UK release.

A more familiar comparison for a European audience might be the Xiaomi 12 Lite, which also bears some resemblance. Like its two label-mates, the Poco X5 Pro 5G has a slim (7.9mm), squared-off design with a matte plastic frame and a frosted rear panel.

It’s reasonably light at 181g, and is generally pleasant to wield. Some will miss the greater comfort that previous curved models brought to the party, but it’s definitely an improvement in the looks department.

My model comes in bold yellow, but you can also specify the phone in black or blue. I particularly like how the power button (which reliably doubles as a fingerprint sensor) has the same yellow accent as the body, Pixel 6-style. Like the X4 Pro before it, the Poco X5 Pro’s display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and the entire thing is IP53 rated, so it’ll stand up to a light shower or minor dust cloud as well.

I particularly appreciate the inclusion of stereo speakers. That’s hardly a rarity even at this more affordable end of the market, but it’s also far from a given. The sound output is loud and clear, if predictably lacking in low-end oomph.

One pleasing quirk of Xiaomi-branded phones is their inclusion of an IR blaster, and there’s one right here on the Poco X5 Pro as well. It enables you to control your hi-fi and TV from the included Mi Remote app and another media enthusiast-friendly inclusion is a 3.5mm jack, right there on the top edge.

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Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Display

Xiaomi can usually be relied on to fit its cheaper phones out with better-than-usual displays, and that proves to be the case with the Poco X5 Pro 5G. It’s a very good 6.7in AMOLED panel with an FHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 240Hz touch sampling rate.

The company has employed a new flexible AMOLED panel this year, which enables the design of the phone to be a fraction lighter and slimmer, and for its bottom bezel to be a little skinnier to boot.

However, the most impressive thing about this screen is how colour-accurate it is. Using the Standard display profile (which is preferable to the overly punchy colours of the default Vivid mode) it manages to hit 98.2% of the sRGB gamut, with a total volume of 99.1%. It also scored a fantastic Delta E of 0.95 in my tests.

It’s true that the Poco X4 Pro 5G screen was similarly strong, but the fact remains that these results would be excellent for a flagship phone, let alone a lower-mid-ranger.

The X5 Pro’s display hit a peak brightness of 467cd/m² with autobrightness turned off. Poco reckons it can hit 900cd/m² in high-brightness mode, which is actually lower than the 1,200cd/m² that the X4 Pro 5G could hit.

READ NEXT: The best mid-range smartphones available

Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Performance and battery life

The Poco X5 Pro runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G processor, which is the same mid-range 6nm chip as you’ll find in the Xiaomi 12 Lite. It’s good for an average Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 2,935 and a single-core score of 777, which matches the Xiaomi 12 Lite (unsurprisingly) and falls short of the Pixel 6a – at least in single-core terms.

This is backed by 8GB of RAM in my test model, though some regions will also have access to a more affordable 6GB option, together with 128GB rather than 256GB of storage. All are ample provisions for a phone of this price.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to report on the phone’s GPU performance. For whatever reason, the Poco X5 Pro failed to run the usual suite of graphical tests.

All I can say is that the phone will run Genshin Impact on Low settings straight out of the gate, and that things remain reasonably fluid when you crank those settings up to Medium. High/60fps settings are possible, though in practice you won’t be hitting that latter level of smoothness.

While I’ve drawn a lot of comparisons with the Xiaomi 12 Lite so far, the Poco X5 Pro 5G follows in the footsteps of the Poco X4 Pro 5G in providing a larger 5,000mAh battery. As we’ve become accustomed to with the brand, it’ll last a long day of heavy usage, and well into a second day of lighter usage on a single charge.

The X5 Pro performed much better than its immediate predecessor in our looping video battery test. At 19 hours and 45 minutes, however, it still falls a little short of rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G (£399), the OnePlus Nord 2T (£369), the Pixel 6a, and the Nothing Phone (1).With a 67W charger included in the box, the Poco X5 Pro 5G can go from 0 to 85% in just 30 minutes oif charging. You can expect a full charge in less than 50 minutes.

Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Software

Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 sits on top of Android 12 here, which is a bit of a double whammy. This isn’t the latest version of Google’s OS, while MIUI continues to be a fussy, if functional, UI.

As always, Xiaomi’s debt to Apple’s iOS is evident in things like the Settings menu and the split status bar, the latter of which places notifications to the left and a toggle-filled control centre to the right. This can be toggled off if you find it too messy, which really highlights what has always been MIUI’s strength – its customisation potential.

It might not be the prettiest smartphone UI, but it at least offers the potential to mitigate its more annoying aspects and create an interface that’s quite easy to use day to day. You’ll need to put some work in early on to get it looking and running how you like, though.

Tweakability aside, the level of bloatware really is something that needs to be addressed. From additional shopfront apps to poor quality games and a bevy of pre-installed third party apps (Facebook,TikTok, Sportfy etc.), the sheer volume of icons littering the Poco X5 Pro 5G home screen comes across as excessive.

Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Cameras

We’ve seen the Poco X5 Pro 5G’s camera system before, with the company itself acknowledging that it might seem familiar in the phone’s launch event. Once again we kick things off with a 108MP 1/1.52in main camera, which is accompanied by an 8MP 120-degree ultra-wide and a superfluous 2MP macro camera.

It’s exactly the same rear system as can be found in both last year’s Poco X4 Pro 5G and the Xiaomi 12 Lite. The latter uses a different front-facing camera, but it’s still the more apt comparison here, as it pairs its familiar optics with the exact same Snapdragon 778G SoC as the X5 Pro 5G.

Unsurprisingly, then, my comments from the camera section of the Xiaomi 12 Lite review apply to the Poco X5 Pro 5G pretty much word for word. This is a competent lower-mid-range camera that doesn’t quite hit the same heights as the best in the category, lacking as it does the Pixel 6a’s computational wizardry and the flagship image sensor of the OnePlus Nord 2T and the Realme 9 Pro Plus.

You’ll be able to capture sharp, well-exposed images in good lighting. The main area of difference compared to those superior rivals comes when the light drops, with the Poco X5 Pro 5G incapable of pulling the same level of clarity out from the murk.

The 8MP ultrawide, meanwhile, does a serviceable job at enabling more expansive landscape shots, but they’re noticeably lacking in sharpness, dynamic range, and colour depth. Zoomed shots (2x) are possible through cropping techniques, and actually look reasonably good thanks to the sheer number of pixels on tap. Just don’t zoom in too close on the final product.

In all of this, there’s an optional AI mode that will select scenes for you, though it’s off by default. This generally serves to punch up the colours and brightness a little, sometimes to a distracting degree, so I generally left it off.

There’s a 16MP selfie camera around the front that does a decent job, but its shots are markedly flatter and more washed out than the main sensors. You’ll need to bump the awful Beautify slider down from Smooth to Original, too, if you want to avoid that ghastly ‘plasticine face’ look.

If I were to pick out one major improvement over the Poco X4 Pro 5G’s camera system, it’s the provision of 4K video at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps for those slow mo scenes. This was a bit of an oversight in the preceding model, so it’s good to see some progress here.

Poco X5 Pro 5G review: Verdict

The Poco X5 Pro 5G is another well-balanced mid-range effort from the Xiaomi sub-brand, with an excellent AMOLED display, a tidy design, and reassuringly steady performance.

It doesn’t provide quite the same sense of outstanding value as last year’s Poco X4 Pro, however. While it costs a fair chunk of extra money, this proves to be a relatively minor upgrade, with a similar display and the same camera system as before. The uptick in performance is welcome, but not outstanding within the class, nor even within the wider Xiaomi stable.

The sub-£400 category has gotten incredibly competitive in the past 12 months, and the Poco X5 Pro 5G is another strong contender – if not quite the leading candidate that its predecessor was at the start of 2022.

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