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POCO F2 Pro Review: Still Slaying Flagships

It might be a little more expensive, but it's still a bonafide flagship killer

If there ever was a phone that has a lot to live up to, it’s definitely the POCO F2 Pro. Launched roughly two years after the wildly successful POCOPHONE F1, the F2 Pro has big shoes to fill for the Xiaomi sub-brand.

And while a lot of people don’t like the phone’s significantly higher price tag compared to their first offering, the POCO F2 Pro is still significantly cheaper than most other flagships currently in the market, even Xiaomi’s own Mi 10.

While it’s not the same bang-for-the-buck monster than the insanely-priced POCOPHONE F1, the POCO F2 Pro is still a great deal for people who are looking for a flagship killer now that OnePlus is out of the flagship-killing business.

Pros

  • Feels like a proper flagship phone
  • Big, uninterrupted display
  • Flagship performance

Cons

  • Considerably more expensive than the POCOPHONE F1
  • Design is a little dated
  • The screen is only 60Hz

As premium as any flagship

The POCOPHONE F1 was a study on compromise, and one particular design trade-off that I personally hated was the plastic body. Sure, the matte finish on the phone helped with that a little bit, but overall the phone just didn’t feel as premium as actual flagships it was trying to undercut.

That’s not the case with the POCO F2 Pro. The phone’s glass back and metal chassis feels as premium as any flagship phone that’s launched this year. The curved rear, rounded corners, and subtle coloration of the back for the grey color variant all contribute to that flagship phone feel.

As for overall design language, the POCO F2 Pro feels like it was made last year. The circular camera hump and pop-up camera module all contribute to that 2019 feel. As with anything design-related YMMV.

The power and volume keys are located on the right side of the phone, and the POCO F2 Pro still retains a 3.5mm jack that many other flagships lack nowadays.

The display looks good but still stuck in 60Hz

The POCO F2 Pro’s screen is pretty generous, coming in at 6.68-inches big. Resolution is Full HD+, and since the phone doesn’t have a notch (punch-hole or otherwise) you’re getting all of that screen real-estate without any interruptions.

The screen is very bright, and since the phone uses an AMOLED panel colors were very vibrant.

I only have two complaints when it comes to the display of the phone: one is that the on-screen fingerprint scanner is a little slow, and the second one is that the phone is stuck at 60Hz for its refresh rate. That being said, both complaints are relatively minor – the display on the POCO F2 Pro is still pretty good considering the price of the phone.

The cameras are good but could be better

The POCO F2 Pro comes with a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 main camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, along with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide snapper with an f/2.4 aperture, 5-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth camera.

The pop-up selfie camera meanwhile is a 20-megapixel sensor that can take full HD videos at 30FPS.

The phone is capable of taking 8K video at 30FPS, 4K video at 60FPS, and full HD video up to 960 FPS for that sweet, slow-mo action.

As far as image quality goes, the phone takes decent images, with the large main sensor taking a fair amount of detail and well-balanced colors.

There are times when the phone’s noise suppression becomes a little aggressive, which is annoying, to say the least. The phone also has a little trouble handling backlit scenes, but the images are still usable.

Flagship performance, but MIUI really needs a massive overhaul

The POCO F2 Pro comes equipped with Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 865, delivering top-tier performance as well as being 5G ready out of the box.

Both the 6GB/128GB variant and the 8GB/256GB variant of the POCO F2 Pro will be offered in the Philippines, but if you had to chose we’d suggest getting the 256GB variant since you’re getting double the storage for only a few thousand pesos more since the phone doesn’t have a slot to increase storage capacity.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor is frequently used by top names in the industry, and for a good reason: it’s one of the best flagship chipsets currently available in the market today. Apps and games feel incredibly smooth on the POCO F2 Pro, and you’ll be able to crank that quality slider to the max as you play mobile games to your heart’s content.

If there’s one thing I don’t like with the POCO F2 Pro, it’s Xiaomi’s MIUI 11, running on top of Android 10.

Xiaomi’s UI feels due for an overhaul, and its colorful, bubbly aesthetic feels incredibly out of place for phones like the POCO F2 Pro that are positioned in the more premium segment of the market.

There’s also a load of bloatware that comes with it, and while many are removable there are still a bunch that can’t be removed.

The phone’s a little hefty when you pick it up, and that’s partly because of the large 4700mAh battery inside of it. To compliment that massive battery POCO added 30W fast, wired charging to the phone, though the F2 Pro doesn’t have wireless charging capability to keep costs down.

As far as battery endurance goes, the POCO F2 Pro managed to record a 15 hour and 31 minutes run time with our PCMark Battery benchmark run, which is a great time for a high-spec phone like this one.

Verdict: it has a higher price tag, but the POCO F2 Pro is still worth it

While the higher price of the POCO F2 Pro is a little off-putting at first glance compared to the original POCOPHONE F1, you’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck all things considered.

The display is bigger and better than ever, and the phone no longer feels like a cheap slab of plastic. The POCO F2 Pro is a flagship through and through and might be the new flagship killer on the block.

The POCO F2 Pro is priced at Php 29,990 for the 8GB/256GB model and Php 26,990 for the 6GB/128GB model. Both variants are now available to buy at Authorized Mi Stores and at Xiaomi’s Official Lazada Store.

POCO F2 Pro Specs

  • CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor
  • RAM6GB LPDDR4X /8GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • Storage128GB/256GB of non-expandable UFS 3.1 storage
  • Display6.67-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display, 18:7.9 aspect ratio, support for DCI-P3 and HDR10+, 180hz touch response rate, 500000:1 Contrast Ratio, Gorilla Glass 6 protection
  • CameraQuadruple rear camera setup: 64-megapixel f/1.8 IMX 686 main camera with OIS and EIS, 8p lens; 13-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; 5-megapixel f/1.8 Telemacro camera with 3-5cm AF range and 2x optical zoom; 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor; Dual Pixel and Laser Autofocus, dual-tone flash, AI scene detection, 8K video recording
  • OSAndroid 10 with POCO Launcher 2.0
  • Battery4700mAh battery with 30w wired Charging
  • FeatureIn-display Fingerprint scanner, USB-C, Vapor Chamber cooling, Hi-Res audio

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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