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POCO M4 Pro test: the smartphone of all concessions

An average photo module or daunting autonomy? A classic design in return for a high-performance processor? Anyone wishing to equip themselves with an entry-level smartphone, under the 300 euro mark, knows this kind of tension.

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At this price, you have to know how to make some concessions to find your balance. Launched at the end of last year, the Poco M4 Pro 5G will unsurprisingly require the same mental gymnastics. Especially since it faces competition that is already very well established (Redmi Note 10 5G, Oppo A54 5G, Realme 8 Pro, etc.).

Offered at the official price of €229 in its 4/64 GB version and €269 in the 6/128 GB version, the M4 Pro spent the end-of-year holidays with us so that we could examine it from all angles. Very quickly, the smartphone saw its price fall below the fateful threshold of 200 €.

Design, the divine child

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We kept waiting for it in 2021, we had to wait until the end of the year to see our wishes come true. In the entry-level sector, manufacturers have to make choices and very often they abandon the aesthetic aspect in favor of other characteristics. We have seen these clones parade during the year 2021, neither failed nor successful, but in any case soulless.

For this price, it is logical not to require exceptional materials but a minimum of audacity to get out of the trap is not easy either. Proof, the Poco M4 Pro takes care of its presentation. Rounded edges, suitable finishes and a textured plastic back that gives it a silky touch. His back, let’s talk about it!

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POCO M4 Pro test

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Poco M4 Pro cover

In a bold ice blue color, it is not discreet with a photo block adorned with a large black tint and the name of the brand. Although this bias is eminently divisive, it breathes personality into the POCO M4 Pro. We notice it on a table, we are questioned and then we are surprised at its low price. That the most riders are reassured, it also exists in a yellow version. Rest assured that the more cautious, a black version is available.

With its dimensions of 163.6 x 75.8 x 8.8 mm for 195 grams, it is far from being compact but it is not too bulky either. The rest of the configuration is classic. On the left edge, we find a slot capable of accommodating two nanoSIMs (5G) or a classic nanoSIM, as well as a microSD card.

On the top, a simple grid-shaped speaker, while below, the mini-jack socket, the USB-C connector and the second speaker share the space. Finally, on the right edge the volume buttons overhang the power button which also acts as a fingerprint reader.

POCO M4 Pro test

A good LCD screen to calibrate yourself

The Poco M4 Pro has a wide diagonal of 6.6 inches with a Full HD+ LCD screen (1080 x 2400 pixels) at 20:9 aspect ratio, accompanied by a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. First thing to remember, it’s big. It is complicated to handle it with one hand, even when the latter is far from being tiny. Or else it will be necessary to play the contortionists.

Second thing, the LCD screen is of good quality, the maximum brightness is correct and the contrast ratio is well managed. On the other hand, the calibration at the factory is not really optimal. In our test of the POCO M4 Pro, the colors look a bit dull and bluish.

After some experimentation in the settings, we managed to rectify the situation. From the outset, we forget the “Saturated” mode, we must choose the “Standard” and the “Cold” option, oddly. Therefore, the colorimetry is more naturally closer to reality and the user experience becomes much more pleasant, especially on images and videos.

It’s all a matter of taste, of course, but in any case to make the most of this large panel, we advise you to tickle the color wheel to adjust the screen to your liking. Finally last thing, be aware that the refresh rate on this POCO M4 Pro is not adaptive: it will therefore be necessary to play with the switch in the settings according to your activity and battery level.

“May I die if I weaken”

Oppo A54, Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G, Realme 8i… Less energy-intensive, entry-level smartphones with good autonomy are rather legion. Like its aforementioned colleagues, the POCO M4 Pro has an LCD screen and a 5000 mAh battery, two specifications that favor its endurance. In fact, he confirmed this trend.

By staying on a refresh rate of 60 Hz with brightness at 70%, it only goes from life to death after 2 days. During this time, we were able to watch an episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, answer about thirty emails in the subway, stroll cheerfully on the networks while listening to music as soon as we put our noses outside.

The following days, we activated the 90 Hz mode in order to push it a little further in its entrenchments. On the program: two episodes of The Simpsons in streaming, a few 2D wandering sessions on Stardew Valley, a good half hour on Twitch and always on the red thread of music and social networks. test result, the POCO M4 Pro will falter this time logically earlier, after about a day and a half.

Unlike its predecessor, the M3 Pro, which was limited to an 18W recharge, our guest of the day has fast charging at 33 W. It suddenly takes 32 minutes to recharge half and about a big hour for the whole thing. Appreciable.

Camera to be used sparingly

Despite its imposing photo module, the M4 Pro only offers two rear sensors : a wide-angle of 50 Mpx and an ultra wide-angle of 8 Mpx. Unsurprisingly, this configuration does not work miracles. In good light conditions, the photos are correct but the level of detail is not wonderful.

On landscape shots, he seems to have trouble making the background very clear, especially the sky which often seems hazy. It does much better in a city situation when the sun is not bright.

POCO M4 Pro test

Unsurprisingly in this price segment, the ultra-wide-angle sensor of the POCO M4 Pro is not at the party either. The shots appear dull and contrast management is not optimal. Finally in night mode, it barely catches up. The realization of exploitable shots and without too much digital grain when the light is present, but as soon as one enters the darkness, its help is only incidental.

Our opinion after the POCO M4 Pro test

Considering its price, the POCO M4 Pro is not a bad smartphone, far from it. Nevertheless, it imposes concessions to be able to take advantage of its qualities. It is a high-performance smartphone that offers a fluid experience, without running heavy applications such as 3D games. Once calibrated, its large LCD panel is appreciable, but gives it a colossal look that will not suit all hands.

Its camera will only enchant you occasionally, while its good autonomy and fast charging will satisfy you. Finally, its sleek and daring design could seduce you, while its audio experience could scare you away. It is up to everyone to judge, in the light of their priorities.

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