Poco is becoming a familiar brand to a lot of people now. The smartphone manufacturer started selling products under the Xiaomi brand a couple of years ago. But, Poco separated from Xiaomi earlier this year to become an ‘independent brand’. While it became a separate brand, it still uses the MIUI software of Xiaomi and also uses Xiaomi’s service and distribution channels. In the past, Poco has come out with smartphones which have been rebranded versions of Xiaomi devices. To no one’s surprise, the Poco M2 Pro also feels like a rebranded version of Redmi Note 9 Pro. But there are certain tweaks which help the smartphone to stand out from the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Keep reading ahead to get our complete review of the Poco M2 Pro.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Design and Display
Design is one of the biggest contributing factors in making a product successful. If you look at the design of Poco M2 Pro, you will find that it stands out from the rest of the smartphones in the market. Particularly for Android devices, almost every smartphone manufacturer is coming out with similar designs. To give the M2 Pro a design which stands out, Poco has cleverly come with unique layout for the camera and the body on the rear side.
The rear of the Poco M2 Pro comes with a glass body which is very flashy. It is susceptible to picking up fingerprints very easily. So you might want to use the free transparent cover which comes inside the retail box of the Poco M2 Pro. There is no fingerprint scanner in the back and you will only find the quad-camera module. The fingerprint scanner has been shifted to the side of the smartphone, just like Poco did with its Poco X2 device. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast in responding. It has a very good feel to it and will fit on your hands very smoothly. The phone measures 8.8mm thick and weighs 209 grams. The phone feels solid when taken into the hands, thanks to the glass back. But at the same time, it is on the heavier side. Poco has done a decent job in distributing the weight evenly.
On the front of the phone is a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display with a resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels, 20:9 aspect ratio and 395 PPI. There's a punch-hole on the top centre of the display, similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro. The panel itself is great for a mid-range smartphone as it offers decent viewing angles and it is also great for watching videos from OTT platforms. The display and the back panel is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 technology. And yes, there's no support for a high refresh rate.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Performance and Software
Since the Poco M2 Pro is a mid-range smartphone, it is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset. It comes in three variants- 4GB+64GB, 6GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB. We have already seen the chipset in several phones like the Redmi Note 9 Pro, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and the Realme 6 Pro. So we are not entirely new to the chipset. When I started using the Poco M2 Pro, the user experience wasn't up to the mark. However, just a couple of days ago, the phone received an OTA update which added June 2020 security patches and also optimised the stability.
The phone now performs on par with the Redmi Note 9 Pro devices. The Snapdragon 720G is great for handling day-to-day tasks and switching between multiple apps was a breeze as well. As for gaming, it is quite decent. When you play lighter games, you won’t feel in any way that it is not a flagship device. But only when you go for heavy games such as Asphalt 8 or Asphalt 9, you start to feel that the device slows down slightly. But for all the other activities and small apps such as WhatsApp or any other social media apps or calling apps run very smoothly on the device.
The phone runs MIUI 11 for Poco based on Android 10 out of the box. During my usage, it received a minor OTA update which refined the overall stability. The software experience is very similar to what we saw on Xiaomi phones, except for a couple of changes. There are no ads inside MIUI 11 for Poco on the Poco M2 Pro and it offers Poco Launcher as a default option. Several Xiaomi phones in this price segment are riddled with ads, but that isn't the case with the Poco M2 Pro, or any other Poco smartphone launched till date. As for the features of MIUI 11, there's Dark Mode, Mi Mover app, Reading Mode, Themes, Game Turbo, Quick Replies, Second Space and Video toolbox.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Cameras
The Poco M2 Pro comes with a quad-camera setup on the back. There is a 48MP primary sensor in the camera setup which is paired with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor, 2MP depth sensor and a 5MP macro lens. Now we didn’t expect the camera of the M2 Pro to be the best in the market given its price. A decent performance was expected and it was delivered. The primary sensor used on the M2 Pro is the Samsung ISOCELL GM2, just like the Redmi Note 9 Pro. On the front, there's a 16MP sensor and it offers features like AI Portrait Mode, AI Detection for ten different scenes, Face Recognition and Front HDR.
The camera is able to pick good details of the subject while clicking in daylight. But what really stands out about the camera is its Pro Colour mode. This mode is very much similar to that of Realme’s Chroma Boost. But one place where Poco M2 Pro doesn’t deliver as per out expectations is with its macro camera. Apart from that, even its wide-angle sensor gives really good details of the subject. Along with that, the Night Mode in the camera could have been slightly better as well.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Battery Life
Battery is another important thing that you have to consider while purchasing a smartphone. The average time for the use of a smartphone has risen drastically in the past few years. Without a good battery backup, a smartphone is useless. The Poco M2 Pro comes with a 5000mAh battery. So it is built to last. You will be able to run the smartphone for more than a day with one single complete charge.
Along with the massive battery, it also comes with a 33W fast-charging support and it is just a bonus. So in just a little more time than an hour, you can completely charge your smartphone’s battery. The M2 Pro is the only smartphone under Rs 15,000 to offer 33W fast charging support.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Price and Verdict
The Poco M2 Pro in India retails at a starting price of Rs 13,999. The phone will be available in three configurations- 4GB+64GB at Rs 13,999, 6GB+64GB at Rs 14,999 and Rs 6GB+128GB at Rs 16,999. For the asking price, the Poco M2 Pro delivers great value, however, we would have seen some more features like the 90Hz screen and 64MP primary sensor on the back.
While the Poco M2 Pro is a great mid-range smartphone, we should admit that it is rebranded version of the Redmi Note 9 Pro with some tweaks. This is something Poco should change at the earliest. The Poco F1 is the company's only smartphone which it built from scratch. The Poco X2 launched earlier this year was a rebranded Redmi K30 4G, while its most recent flagship offering in the global markets- the Poco F2 Pro is a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro.
The Redmi K30 4G never made its way to the Indian market, so the Poco X2 felt refreshing, thanks to some unique features like 120Hz display and Snapdragon 730G SoC. The Poco F2 Pro might reach the Indian market sometime in August once the cost of Snapdragon 865 SoC comes down and we might not see the Redmi K30 Pro coming to India this year.
So the Poco X2 made sense, but that's not the case with the Poco M2 Pro since Xiaomi has been selling the Redmi Note 9 Pro devices for a while now in India. There's no doubt that Poco made some changes to the M2 Pro like adding 33W fast charging and also priced it competitively. And we are not saying that the M2 Pro is a bad smartphone; It is indeed a better smartphone than the Redmi Note 9 Pro itself. However, the entire rebranding scenario will only decrease the brand value of Poco in the country. It is also said that there's a new Poco C3 smartphone in the pipeline which again is said to be a rebranded version of Redmi 9C. So we are really excited to see how Poco changes this scenario.
The next sale of the Poco M2 Pro is scheduled for July 30 (tomorrow). It will be available via Flipkart at 12 PM.