The Poco sub-brand might not be as popular as Redmi when it comes to discussing Xiaomi, largely due to Poco focusing on the midrange to high-end market, while Redmi focuses on providing value to the budget to midrange category which is naturally bigger in emerging markets like Kenya.
However, both Xiaomi sub-brands are equally competitive in their respective segments and 2023 seems to be no different as indicated by the new Poco X5 and Poco X5 Pro (pictured above) that have just been announced.
The two models replace the X4 Pro that was released last year. Interestingly, Xiaomi gave it the ‘Pro’ moniker without releasing a vanilla X4. Right from the start, the improvements the X5 Pro has over the previous iteration can be seen in the chassis. At 7.9 mm, the X5 Pro is now the thinnest model in the X series.
The chipset powering the device also gets an upgrade, now rocking the Snapdragon 778G with the Adreno 642L GPU, an improvement over the Snapdragon 695 present in the X4 Pro.
While the display stays largely the same from last year, a 6.67-inch AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 PX boasting a 120 Hz refresh rate and 240 Hz touch sampling rate, you get slight improvements with the panel now capable of rendering 10-bit colour with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space. The panel has also got brighter, reaching a peak brightness of 900 nits, up from 700 nits.
The camera set-up is an area that is remaining the same as last year, consisting of a main 108 MP sensor, 8 MP ultra-wide, 2 MP macro camera and 16 MP for the selfie. However, the upgrade on the chipset makes the set-up more capable. For instance, the X5 Pro can now record 4K video, unlike the X4 Pro which can only do 1080p content at 30 fps.
Charging and storage seem to have seen little shake up, however, the cheapest X5 Pro variant will ship with 128 GB of storage and 6 GB of RAM. If you need more storage, there will be a variant with 256 GB of storage and 8 GB RAM. Charging will be done with a 67 W charger capable of filling the 5,000 mAh battery in less than an hour.
Taking a look at the more affordable Poco X5, it retains the same chipset as the X4 Pro. However, it has improvements elsewhere to make it a more appealing choice. The first is that it gets larger internal storage at 128 GB/6 GB up from 64 GB, furthermore, there is also a variant with 256 GB internal storage and 8 GB of RAM.
It has the same display as the X5 Pro, however, its peak brightness tops out at 1200 nits which is higher than the Pro version. The camera however gets a downgrade, featuring a 48 MP sensor for the main camera, 8 MP for ultra-wide shots and a 2 MP sensor for macro shots. The selfie camera has a 13 MP sensor.
The vanilla X5 gets the same 5,000 mAh battery as the Pro, however, the charging speed is downgraded to 33 W which is still not bad as it will charge the device to 100% from 0% in slightly more than one hour.
As is often the case in this segment, pricing more than the specs will have a greater influence on whether Xiaomi strikes it big with the Poco X5 series. The 6 GB/ 128 GB variant of the Poco X5 has a starting price of $249 (around Ksh 31,000) while the Poco X5 Pro 6 GB/128 version has a starting price of $299 (around Ksh 37,000) which puts the two devices right at the start of the middle range category in the Kenyan market.