POCO F2 Pro Review: Snapdragon 865 On A Budget
Hey there, Alex here. 2 years ago when I reviewed the PocophoneF1, the main selling point for me was the fact that it was one of the cheapest brandnew phones that you could buy with the Snapdragon 845. The new POCO F2 Pro shares that same sellingpoint today, just that it’s for the Snapdragon 865.
I got the phone during a sale for just over500 SGD, which is about the same price as the Pixel 4a, and much cheaper than the OnePlusNord. So let’s take a closer look at the phone,and see what it has to offer. Unlike its predecessor which was just usinga plastic body, the F2 Pro actually has a surprisingly decent build quality and designthat reminds me of the Mi 9T.
Still no water resistance here, but it hasmetal on the side, glass on the back with a slight matte finish, nice design touchesaround the phone, and it even has a notchless and almost bezel-less display on the frontof the phone thanks to the use of a pop up camera. Because of that, the viewing experience isreally good.
It is using an AMOLED screen with good brightnessand colour reproduction. Viewing angle might not be the greatest, butI do like that it’s a flat display. It lacks the smoother 90Hz refresh rate, butthat’s not a deal breaker for me at this price point. The fingerprint sensor under the screen workswell for me as well, and in case you haven’t noticed there is no IR face unlock here anymore.
But considering the situation that we’rein, I’ll take the nicer display any day of the week. The only unfortunate thing here is just thelack of stereo speakers. The bottom firing speaker is pretty loud,but can sound a bit thin. On the bright side, we still have a headphonejack here. As mentioned earlier, the POCO F2 Pro is usingthe Snapdragon 865. As expected from this chipset, performanceis pretty great.
Apps launches quickly, games perform well,and the phone doesn’t really heat up much. Battery life has been pretty great too withthe 4700mAh battery and modest display setup. Even after a day of heavy use, I would endthe day with around 30% battery remaining. It supports 30W fast charging as well, anda full charge takes only about an hour.
Camera hardware is fairly decent as well withthe main camera being the Sony IMX686. The image processing might be a tad aggressivefor my taste, but if you don’t pixel peep, it is a pretty capable shooter. Other than the edges looking a little soft,the 13MP ultra wide angle camera looks decent in good lighting, but is pretty much usablein lowlight since Night mode only works for the main rear camera.
The 20MP front camera is able to capture nicedetails but dynamic range isn’t the best. Overall, it’s not as good as the Pixel 4afor sure, but camera performance isn’t really the main selling point of the Poco F2 Pro. So I think it’s decent enough. I’ll have a link in the video descriptionwith everything I took with the phone, so you guys can check it out if you want to. At this point, you might be thinking it allsounds too good to be true, there must be a catch somewhere. And well, you’re right. The catch is that you have to be okay withusing MIUI.
The amount of features built into MIUI isimpressive for sure, and I find a number of them pretty useful. But the UI feels a little rough around theedges with minor stutters and dropped frames in the animation every now and then. It also comes with quite a number of bloatwareout of the box as well, along with ads in some of the built in apps. The good news is, there are things that youcan do to improve the user experience.
Using a third party launcher makes it feela little smoother to me, a lot of the bloatware can be uninstalled, and there are ways toremove ads. If this sounds like way too much work foryou, then maybe the POCO F2 Pro is not for you. But if it’s something that you can livewith, the phone does have a lot to offer. Just being able to get the Snapdragon 865chipset at this price point is already incredible enough, but on top of that the phone stillhas a nice design, good build quality, nice display, solid battery life, as well as decentenough cameras.
If camera performance and software experienceare more important to you, I’ll still recommend the Pixel 4a. But if not, POCO F2 Pro with Snapdragon 865is a pretty good deal, as long as you can live with MIUI.