Poco X2: A worthy addition to the Poco familyThe X2 is another great phone by Poco. It’s cheaper than the F1 and adds some really neat new features, with few compromises.
Xiaomi made a splash back in 2018 with their micro-brand Pocophone. The Pocophone F1, released mid-2018, was a phone that everyone wanted. It featured powerful hardware, a modern aesthetic and came at an affordable price point. The device was a hit in India and even in Nepal, many Nepali consumers bought the device through Daraz’s exclusive online release. For Xiaomi and Poco, the F1 was a huge success becoming one of Xiaomi’s best selling phones with 700,000 units sold by the end of 2018. Part of the success of the brand was also because it catered to consumer needs by undercutting their competitors—similar devices with a Snapdragon 845 processor went to more than double the price of the F1.
Even the after-market support of the F1 has been phenomenal. Poco has released timely upgrades reflected with an Android 10 upgrade from their initial Android 8.0 at the time of release. Considering just how beloved the Poco brand has been for mid- to low-range consumers, Poco fans have been awaiting the release of the predecessor to the F1, the F2 for years. And while Poco still hasn’t followed up on their flagship device, they recently released a mid-ranged device that still undercuts their competitors and offers specifications that, in some cases, even blow their flagship out of the water.
Dubbed the Poco X2, the device was officially launched in India mid-February of this year. The brand-new device features recent hardware like the Snapdragon 730G chipset, which although not as powerful as Snapdragon’s higher-end 800 series, is a very reliable and competent mid-ranged chip. Since the 730G is a mid-ranged processor, it is extremely efficient which means that it’s going to use far less power than the more power-hungry processors of the 800 series. The 730G is an octa-core processor with CPU clusters, six efficient 1.8 Ghz cores and two powerful 2.2 Ghz Kyro 470 cores. Paired with the very competent Adreno 618 GPU, the phone is more than capable of handling graphic-intensive workloads easily. The base variant also comes with ample 6GB of RAM with the most expensive variant offering 8GB.
The X2 offers similar specifications to the F1 except the high-performing CPU core, but regardless of the chipset specifications, the X2 also offers peripheral features that are lacking on the F1. The X2 offers an amazingly fast 120Hz display, is equipped to handle 27W of fast charging and has an insane 64MP Sony IMX686 camera sensor with an additional four cameras to support smartphone photography. Powering all of this is a massive 4,500 mAh battery.
Okay, the Poco X2 definitely looks good on paper, but what about physical aesthetics and usability? The Poco F1 too suffered from build-quality issues that many consumers looked past because of the low-price point. While the Poco F1 featured a subdued design that didn’t really draw much attention, the X2 is flashy. Gone is the flimsy, cheap looking plastic build of the F1. The X2 is all metal, plastic and glass. A plastic mid-frame is sandwiched between two Gorilla Glass 5 panels that not only provide improved scratch resistance but also contributes to the structural integrity of the phone. The curved-edges helps the ergonomics of the phone since it tapers inside the corners of your palm, providing a confident grip even though the slippery glass back is a cause for concern here.
Poco is branding the X2 as a phone for gamers. And in many ways, it delivers exceptional gaming performance. The 120Hz display comes in handy during gameplay since gamers will have that slight edge of faster response times. A faster display is not something that even many higher-end phones offer, so the fast screen is a much-appreciated addition to the X2. For long gaming sessions, the X2 comes with a well-implemented liquid-cooling system that keeps heat-levels of the 730G at bay, but even with good cooling, the phone gets quite warm when the phone is pushed hard. The 730G is definitely not as capable as the processor on the F1, but Snapdragon has specifically built the 730G with gaming in mind, so even with a mid-ranged processor you can expect a fluid gaming experience across all kinds of games.
For a gaming phone, the X2 has some really interesting optics. The 64MP sensor acts as the main camera supported by a 8MP wide-angle. Furthering the capabilities of these two cameras are two additional 2MP sensors, one detecting depth and one detecting macro focus. These optics, when paired with Xiaomi’s Camera AI, produce some of the most vibrant and colourful photos when compared to other devices in this price-range. The additional wide-angle also comes as a welcome addition since the F1 didn’t come with any wide-angle support. Night mode, however, is still hit-or-miss with the camera producing some beautiful shots at night to unusably grainy and saturated photos.
Overall, the X2 is another great phone by Poco. It’s cheaper than the F1 and adds some really neat new features and compromises on very little. Xiaomi’s MIUI, its operating system, still remains a cause of concern for many, because of it’s heavy skinning and resource consumption, but as a package, the X2 comes as a welcome addition to Poco’s increasing line up of competitive phones. The Poco has already been released in India for INR 15,999 for the base-model and INR 19,999 for the decked-out version. Since the phone has just been released, it might take a while for the X2 to make its way into Nepali markets but once it does, it’s a phone that Nepali consumers should definitely keep a close eye on because of the device’s sheer price-to-performance ratio.