Poco X2 is here. After a long and uncertain future, Poco has delivered its second smartphone. It is also the first to be introduced under the independent brand. Thus, the product comes with both enthusiasm as well as suspicion. Enthusiasm is about the revival of a brand that could deliver performance at an affordable price point. Suspicion is around the nature of its independence. In this hoopla, the product itself seems to have gotten lost. Yes, there is hype but not much substance.
There are also too many questions associated with this product.
1. Is this the successor to Poco F1? The answer is a No.
2. Is this a rebranded Redmi K30 4G available in China? The answer is both Yes and No.
While Poco was a game changer in terms of price to performance, the Poco X2 wants to be more than that. It doesn’t just have performance, it also has better design. Manmohan, Head of Poco India, told the media that Poco F1 users wanted the company to launch a well designed smartphone. I think it seems to have got that in Poco X2. This is a smartphone that wants to balance performance, design and imaging in the reasonable price point. It even has one more thing in the form of a 120Hz display. So, is this the new benchmark for the sub-Rs 20,000 price segment? Here is our first look and initial impressions based on a few hours with the device.
Poco X2: Design and Display
If you are someone who has seen the Redmi K30 4G, sold in China, then this will look familiar. Hence, you might even be justified to call this a rebranded Redmi K30. However, I have only seen the Redmi K30 in the form of product pictures on Xiaomi’s China website. So, I’m going to give benefit of doubt till Redmi K30 launches in India. The real question is who designed this smartphone first? Poco team or Redmi team. That will probably remain a mystery. The design can be described as one of the strong points of Poco X2.
It offers an aluminum frame with glass back and looks better than Redmi Note 8 Pro. Our review unit is the Atlantis Blue variant, but I find the Phoenix Red to be a better choice. It is sad that Poco is not targeting consumers looking for simple colors. The display is LCD and not OLED, but makes that tradeoff to incorporate 120Hz refresh rate. The difference in 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate is not immediately visible. You really need to change the refresh rate from settings a couple of times to see how 120Hz makes scrolling less jittery.
We will have an in-depth look at this display in our full review later this week. For the time being, I can say choosing between a 60Hz OLED and 120Hz LCD is going to be difficult. There are some design choices I really like about the Poco X2. For instance, the back has vertically stacked quad-camera setup. Xiaomi has added a circular layer around these camera modules. This adds the feel of a circular imaging mechanism similar to the one seen on Huawei Mate 30 Pro without the need for over engineering. There is also a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is safe and works better than in-display fingerprint sensor.
Poco X2: Hardware
At the launch today, Manmohan made it clear that this is not the successor to Poco F1. As a result, we are not looking at the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Series mobile platform. There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, which is a mid-range gaming-centric mobile processor. It comes with Adreno 618 GPU and liquid cooling for smooth gameplay experience. I have only had a chance to play Alto’s Odyssey and Subway Surfers, which support 120Hz refresh rate. I am particularly waiting to see how games like Dead Trigger 2, VainGlory or Real Racing 3 perform. We will look at these elements in our full review.
There is an option for 6GB or 8GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB or 256GB storage. Our review unit is the top-end variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. Poco X2 offers a great mix of performance and overall value. At Rs 19,999, it definitely beats rivals in this price segment. However, the meat of this device seems to be the 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 rear camera. This is the first device to launch with Sony’s new sensor in India. Right off the bat, I can say it looks better than Samsung GW1 sensor used by Realme X2 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro.
As you can see above, the image shot in 64-megapixel mode not only captures good details, but has great balance between colors. The 16-megapixel mode, on the other hand, looks cooler and the texture seems to lack balance. Over the next few days, we will be clicking more pictures with this sensor. The real question will be whether this sensor is a major update over Samsung’s 64-megapixel sensor. If it delivers in that area then Poco X2 will be a winner in multiple segments. There is also dual selfie camera setup at the front, which could be a great option for those looking for selfies with bokeh effect.
Poco X2: Initial Impressions
I have spent less than 24 hours with Poco X2 and what I appreciate the most is the pill-shaped punch hole cutout. The reason is simple – I could try all those amazing wallpapers made for the Samsung Galaxy S10+. I am, however, stunned by the pricing. I was expecting it to start at Rs 17,999, but Poco has undercut the competition in a big way. Hardware and specifications just tell part of the story. The outlier is always the price. Poco has nailed the price here and in our review, we will answer whether that price alone makes it worth buying.