Un In-depth Review of the POCO X5 5G


When it comes to recommending a mobile phone in the €300 range with long-lasting battery life and a large screen, one of the first brands that comes to mind is POCO. This company made a strong entry into the mid-range mobile phone market with well-crafted devices boasting attractive specifications and prices that appeal to many consumers. Prime examples include the POCO F1 and POCO F3.

As time has passed, POCO has expanded its catalog, and we now have several different device ranges available. To further evolve the POCO X4 Pro, the company has introduced its first offerings for 2023: the POCO X5 5G and POCO X5 PRO 5G.

I’ve been testing the POCO X5 Pro for several days to see how it performs in various usage scenarios. The first thing I want to highlight about it is that its specifications sheet is somewhat lower than what I expected for 2023. Is this a downside? Does it perform well? Let me tell you.

Un In-depth Review of the POCO X5 5G
Review POCO X5 5G

The POCO X5 Specs


  • AMOLED 6.67″ FullHD+ with 120Hz refresh rate
  • 240Hz touch response
  • Gorilla Glass 3 protection

Dimensions and Weight:

  • 165.88 x 76.21 x 7.98 mm
  • 189 g


  • Snapdragon 695


  • 6 / 8 GB LPDDR4X


  • 128 / 256 GB UFS 2.2

Front Camera:

  • 13 MP f/2.45

Rear Cameras:

  • Main: 48 MP f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 8 MP 118°
  • Macro: 2 MP f/2.4


  • 5,000 mAh with 33W fast charging

Operating System:

  • Android 12 with MIUI 13 for POCO


  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • USB-C
  • IR Blaster
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Other Features:

  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Face unlock
  • IP53 water resistance


  • Starting from €249
Review POCO X5 5G

Design and Display: Simple Yet Effective

The POCO X5 5G is a large phone, with dimensions that we have come to expect in the mid-range phone market. It features a 6.67-inch display dominating the front, making the phone nearly 166 mm tall. Despite this, POCO has done an excellent job of keeping the weight down, with the device weighing only 180 grams and having a thickness of less than 8 mm.

These specifications result in a comfortable and lightweight user experience, allowing for one-handed use without any issues. The phone feels great in the hand, partly due to its matte finish on the back. This model is available in three different colors: green, blue, and black, and I’ve been using the black version during my testing. The standout feature in this area is the camera module located in the upper left corner, which gives the rear a look reminiscent of the POCO X4 GT.

One of the standout features of the POCO X5 5G is its display. The company has finally opted to include AMOLED technology in the base models of this phone range, a demand that was made for previous models. This means you can enjoy the display of the POCO X5 5G with any content and application, thanks to its Full HD+ resolution spread across the 6.67-inch screen. Furthermore, it is a very fluid panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, which you will need to enable, as the phone comes with 60Hz activated by default.

Additionally, the panel boasts a generous brightness capacity, reaching a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. The automatic brightness adjustment works perfectly, adapting seamlessly to all lighting conditions, performing well even in bright outdoor environments.

Review POCO X5 5G

Reserved in Power, Insufficient in Software

Taking a look at the specifications sheet, we see that the POCO X5 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 695 processor from Qualcomm. This choice surprised and puzzled me, as we are dealing with a processor that was released in October 2021, and there are currently more up-to-date models available for this type of range and device. Perhaps I would have liked to see a MediaTek Dimensity series processor or a more powerful Qualcomm model like the Snapdragon 778+ – a processor that we do find in the POCO X5 Pro 5G.

Nevertheless, after conducting tests with this POCO X5, I believe that the Snapdragon 695 is sufficient for handling most tasks on the phone, even demanding ones like playing powerful games such as ‘Call of Duty: Mobile’ or ‘Asphalt 9’, albeit at lower graphic quality settings. In these situations, the phone performs perfectly, without lag or overheating.

On the other hand, it’s a shame that I cannot say the same about the system’s performance. At the moment, the software version I tested on this POCO X5 5G is MIUI 13 for POCO, Xiaomi’s customized skin for these systems, based on Android 12. Once again, I have to say that MIUI tends to consume a significant amount of the phone’s performance, resulting in occasional stutters in overall fluidity, longer-than-usual wait times, and occasional hiccups in native apps, such as the camera app. Unfortunately, this is something I’ve mentioned in the past with other mid-range phones, especially many devices within Xiaomi’s Redmi Note family.

For this reason, my experience with the performance of this POCO X5 5G has been bittersweet. It’s surprising how well it can handle many tasks and manage heat, but it feels sluggish due to the software. Xiaomi needs to urgently improve MIUI, as it is a capable and promising skin but appears to be poorly optimized on devices with more modest specifications. We’ll see if this can be fixed in future software updates.

Review POCO X5 5G

Camera Capabilities and Expected Battery Life

Now, let’s discuss the camera capabilities of this POCO X5 5G, which, as expected, is not the phone’s main selling point. The camera setup of the Poco X5 5G includes:

  • 48MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture
  • 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with a 118° field of view
  • 2MP macro sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • 13MP front-facing camera with f/2.45 aperture

As we can see, it’s a relatively simple camera setup on paper, which fits the standards of mid-range mobile phones. In general, the cameras of the POCO X5 5G perform adequately when the scene is well-lit. In well-lit environments, whether natural or artificial, you can capture decent snapshots in automatic mode.

The 48MP sensor is a good ally for capturing maximum possible detail in the scenes you want to photograph, as long as you have the 48MP mode activated. Without it, the quality of details decreases, although not dramatically

. However, when the lighting conditions deteriorate, the camera struggles. It tends to introduce a lot of noise and softness, especially in low-light scenarios.

The ultra-wide-angle camera is functional, but you should not expect it to offer the same quality as the main sensor. It can be useful for capturing landscapes or group photos when you need to fit more subjects into the frame.

The macro camera, like most mid-range devices, serves more as a decorative feature than a practical one. While it can capture close-up shots, it’s not particularly impressive, and the results can be hit or miss.

The 13MP front-facing camera does an adequate job for selfies and video calls. It captures decent detail and skin tones in well-lit conditions but struggles a bit in low-light situations.

Battery life is a strong point for the POCO X5 5G, thanks to its 5,000mAh battery capacity. With moderate usage, you can easily get through a full day, and even with heavier usage, you should still have enough juice left by the end of the day. The included 33W fast charging support is also handy, allowing you to quickly recharge the device when needed.

Review POCO X5 5G
Review POCO X5 5G

Software and User Experience: MIUI 13 Needs Refinement

As mentioned earlier, the POCO X5 5G runs MIUI 13 for POCO, which is based on Android 12. While MIUI offers a wide range of features and customization options, it can feel somewhat bloated and less optimized on mid-range devices. You’ll encounter occasional stutters and slowdowns in the user interface, which can be frustrating.

Additionally, the presence of bloatware and Xiaomi’s own apps that can’t be uninstalled might not sit well with some users. However, if you’re willing to put up with these issues and take the time to customize and optimize the device, MIUI does offer a rich feature set and various customization options.

On the positive side, MIUI 13 brings some improvements to privacy and security features, including the ability to grant temporary permissions for sensitive data like location and microphone access. It also provides enhanced privacy settings and controls, giving users more transparency and control over their data.

The POCO X5 5G also includes an IR blaster, which is a handy feature for controlling various electronic devices like TVs and air conditioners using your smartphone.

Review POCO X5 5G
Review POCO X5 5G

5G Connectivity and Other Features

As the name suggests, the POCO X5 5G supports 5G connectivity, which is a welcome addition in the mid-range segment. While 5G networks are still expanding in many regions, having a 5G-enabled device ensures future-proofing, especially if you plan to keep your phone for several years.

Other notable features include NFC support, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and face unlock for biometric authentication. The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate, making it a convenient way to unlock the device. Face unlock is also reasonably quick and works well in good lighting conditions.

The device also boasts IP53 water resistance, offering some protection against splashes and dust. While it’s not fully waterproof, this feature adds some peace of mind for everyday usage.

Conclusion: A Capable Mid-Range Phone with Software Quirks

The POCO X5 5G is a capable mid-range phone with a focus on delivering a good display, long-lasting battery life, and 5G connectivity. It performs well for most tasks, including gaming, but is let down by the software optimization of MIUI 13, which results in occasional performance hiccups and a less-than-smooth user experience.

The camera system is serviceable, providing decent results in well-lit conditions, but struggles in low-light situations. If photography is a top priority, you may want to consider other options in this price range.

Overall, the POCO X5 5G offers a compelling package at its price point, but it’s essential to be aware of its software limitations. If you can overlook these quirks and are looking for a phone with a great display, long battery life, and 5G support, it’s worth considering. However, if you prioritize software optimization and camera performance, you may want to explore other options in the mid-range segment.

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