In a market as voracious as cell phones, being remembered for something other than the “Ultra Pro Plus” launch is not easy. It must be even more difficult to be recognized for its cost-effectiveness, but Poco has achieved this feat with the F line. Five generations later, the Poco F5 has the tough mission of maintaining the reign of the Chinese in this segment.
For this, the new smartphone from Poco that hits the global market comes with robust configurations, led by the powerful Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2, AMOLED screen with Dolby Vision, fast charging of 67 W and a price that revolves around R$ 2,000 at gringa.
Is it worth importing it? I tested the Poco F5 for a few days and I tell you my impressions about it in the next paragraphs. And, of course, if you are interested in it at the end of this review, there will be reliable purchase links both from AliExpress and here in Brazil.
🛒 See this Poco F5 offer on AliExpress
🛒 Poco F5 with stock in Brazil
Design is beautiful, but it depends on the color
Poco is not very attached to the visual identity of the F line, basically designing its models according to “the floor of the carriage”. That is, as the fashion now is not to bring photographic modules, the Poco F5 comes with its cameras integrated into the back cover, a design that is nothing innovative, but beautiful.
The smartphone even differentiates itself from the competition by incorporating a gradient effect to the plastic back cover – which, of course, presents a different look when a light source falls on it –, but I found it too much. Personally, I prefer something more discreet, so I would recommend the phone in black or blue.
One aspect that I really liked about the Poco F5 was its more boxy format, as it reminded me of the Motorola Edge 20 and the older Galaxy Note. In one-handed use, it doesn’t have a very ergonomic grip, but it is quite thin by today’s standards (7.9 mm), which, aesthetically, does it in its favour.
A surprise on this device is the presence of the 3.5 mm headphone jack (P2), something that certainly pleased me as it allowed me to use the Kuba Disco 2 without extra accessories. In addition, like every Poco/Redmi/Xiaomi intermediate cell phone, we have an infrared sensor, which serves to control televisions and other devices compatible with the device.
Quality AMOLED screen
As with every Poco F since the 2020 F2 Pro, the Poco F5 has a great AMOLED display. It’s 6.67 inches with Full HD resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate, which manages to make the heavy MIUI 14 a little lighter.
The smartphone’s panel has very wide color coverage, covering 100% of the DCI-P3 spectrum and resulting in a much richer color display. This overlay still allows the user to make numerous manual changes to the screen’s color scheme — if you can handle a little calibration. But the default system options do the trick for most people.
For those who consume a lot of streaming content, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+, the Poco F5 supports Dolby Vsion and HDR10+. These are premium features present in devices like the iPhone 14 Pro, but not common in intermediate models, so point to the F5.
Another differential of the cell phone is the extremely thin edges, leaving models like the Galaxy A54 in the slipper. According to Poco itself, there are about 93.4% of use of the frontal area, which, even though it cannot be confirmed, visually seems true.
To be perfect, only if the screen had a maximum brightness above 1000 nits, although I understand that it makes sense to leave the higher brightness intensity for the Poco F5 Pro.
Competent sound, but nothing more
The Poco F5’s sound system is dual, with each speaker at either end of the device. This is good because the audio comes out more evenly compared to the sound outlet located in the same place you listen to the audio calls. However, that doesn’t mean the quality is great.
It’s just ok. The bass is not as defined as I would like, perhaps due to the thinness of the device — after all, the sound needs space to circulate. But you can enjoy a song eventually without it being at maximum volume, as it scrambles everything. Podcasts and streaming video, however, work well here.
settings and performance
Perhaps the star of the Poco F5 is the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 processor, a Qualcomm model that, unfortunately and curiously, is not yet present in many smartphones in the world — according to the Kimovil website, it is only equipped in 3 devices, one of which is from Xiaomi, one from Realme and the Poco F5.
Although not as well known in the market, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 performs very similarly to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the premium chipset that equipped most of the premium smartphones of 2022, including the entire Galaxy S22 line, Xiaomi 12 and Poco F4 GT . That is, power was everything that was not lacking here.
Combined with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage, the Poco F5 flew during the tests. Starting with the synthetic tests of AnTuTu 10, in which, surprisingly, it performed better than its brother F5 Pro, which uses the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The scores did not make much sense, as we are talking about an 8 line processor against a from 7.
On the internet, however, I found many comparisons indicating that, yes, both have very close results, with a slight superiority of the Poco F5 Pro for bringing a more powerful chipset, consistent with its category.
The fact is that the Poco F5 leaves models like Galaxy A54, Galaxy S21 FE, Edge 40 and Xiaomi 13 Lite behind. The gaming experience is extremely stable, always delivering the maximum frames allowed without blinking. Social networking apps, on the other hand, don’t tend to restart frequently, which is great for an intermediary — if you can call it that.
System and interface
The Poco F5 interface is MIUI 14, based on Android 13. Essentially, it is the same as that on the Xiaomi 13 and Redmi Note 12, only bringing some Poco modifications, such as the icon pack and some applications.
Being the new version of MIUI, I felt that it remains as fluid as Xiaomi’s standard modification, which is great, in addition to bringing details that I dislike, such as the notification center separated from the quick panel and the many bloatware (useless apps) to uninstall.
As with the Poco F5 Pro, the F5’s cameras are the lowest point of the device. But photography has never been Poco’s focus, so you can understand where the brand prefers to save in order to reduce production costs and, consequently, the final price.
The 64 MP main camera is the flagship. In good light conditions, the images are great for social networks, as the post-processing gives a gain in saturation — that is, stronger colors are very evident here. However, the smartphone balances it out with wide HDR and controlled sharpness.
I also liked the Poco F5’s portrait mode, with a few caveats. The main object colors and the depth effect are very nice, but in too many clicks the camera software completely blew the sky. It just lacked consistency.
The 8 MP ultrawide camera is considerably simpler, but it even does well in adequate lighting. I didn’t notice a big difference in colors compared to the main one, but it loses in terms of definition and dynamic range.
In videos, the Poco F5 records at a maximum of 4K@30fps with very good quality, as you can see in the video below. The colors are great, and the stabilization is very interesting. On the front, the limit is 1080p@30fps, as expected from Xiaomi, Poco and Redmi smartphones. However, what is worse is that the cell phone does not handle white balance well, bursting the sky in almost all registers.
battery and charging
With 5,000 mAh, the Poco F5’s battery stood out in our tests. Running social networking applications, games, instant messengers and the web for approximately six hours, the smartphone consumed 25%, with about 5 hours of screen on in automatic mode.
Compared to its sibling, the F5 Pro with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the F5 had around 4% less power consumption. It also did slightly better than the Galaxy A54, which spent 29% in the same scenario.
With regard to charging, the Poco F5 does very well, supporting 67 W of power per wire. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support wireless or reverse charging, which makes sense considering its purpose.
Categorizing the Poco F5 is complicated because either you buy it cheaper on import sites, such as AliExpress, or you buy it directly in Brazil from resellers, who buy the device abroad to resell it at a higher price.
In the first, riskier option, the Poco F5 competes with the Galaxy A54, as it costs around R$ 2,000. At best, with no fees or fines, it’s a more interesting option overall even with the worst cameras. However, if you don’t want to risk being taxed at 60% of the product, the A54 is an excellent option in this category.
🛒 See the price of the Galaxy A54 on Magalu
🛒 See the price of the Galaxy A54 on Zoom
🛒 See the price of the Galaxy A54 on Amazon
Now, in the second option, Poco’s cell phone no longer makes sense, as it comes close to R$ 3,000 for the Galaxy S22, the best option in this price range. Perhaps, to be a little more advantageous to acquire it in Brazil, only costing between R$ 2,300 and R$ 2,500.
🛒 See Galaxy S23 deals on Magalu
🛒 Compare Galaxy S23 prices on Zoom
🛒 Check Out Galaxy S23 Deals on Amazon
Is it worth buying the Poco F5?
The Poco F5 is an excellent premium mid-range smartphone with an even better price-performance ratio. Its lowest points are in the photography department, which you can easily miss if you don’t care too much about photography.
Overall, it’s a cell phone with above average design, screen, settings, battery and technologies for the price charged. However, its only problem is the fact that it is sold in Brazil for R$3,000, a price range that already has devices like the Galaxy S22 and well above what is charged on sites like AliExpress, where it normally appears for less than R$2,000.
That is, in the end, it is only worth it if you have the courage to import it, but then you will need to consider factors such as a possible 60% tax on the value of the product plus a fine, in addition to not having a national guarantee.
🛒 See this Poco F5 offer on AliExpress
🛒 Poco F5 with stock in Brazil