Xiaomi Pocophone MWC launch live blog: see the two new cheap phones
Two new Xiaomi phones
We're currently in the midst of annual smartphone tech event Mobile World Congress (shortened to MWC 2022 because we're not writing that whole name out all the time) and it's bringing us loads of new launches all the time - you can follow the big beats with our MWC 2022 live blog which is running all week.
Perhaps one of the biggest exhibitors is Xiaomi, which launched two new Pocophone devices - the Poco X4 Pro 5G and Poco M4 Pro. Yeah, it's not exactly a big secret what's showing up.
The event has wrapped up now though, and news at MWC often moves on quick, so we're already thinking about OnePlus, Oppo and other brands. But Xiaomi's new Poco devices could end up being the stars of the show.
Pocophones are often impressively-specced affordable mobiles that sit alongside another line of Xiaomi phone, the Redmi devices, which is why the company has such a hold on the mid-range and budget phone market. These new devices are no different.
If you're interested in the event, you did miss it, but you can see the YouTube video of it here (opens in new tab) or check out our live blog below, to see what happened. Stay tuned for full reviews of these phones very soon.
Welcome to our Xiaomi Poco live blog - there are about two and a half hours until the event kicks off, so we've got a little time to run through what we expect to see.
We've got to say, Pocophone's naming convention is a little confusing.
We've already seen a Poco M4 Pro 5G - notice the added '5G' over the name of the handset we're seeing today - and we wouldn't be totally surprised if a Poco X4 Pro came at some point too (note the lack of '5G').
Lots of the time when brands use '5G' in the name of a mobile, it doesn't denote that it's a separate device to a 4G version, as lots of companies just shove it in the name of any 5G device as a selling point.
That's not the case for Xiaomi though, and it uses the suffix 5G to differentiate totally different devices.
Xiaomi is having a super busy 2022.
Just a month or so ago, we saw the Redmi Note 11 series of affordable devices, and we're expecting the flagship Xiaomi 12 line to land in the next few months too.
So expect loads of Xiaomi headlines around this time. Of all its sub-brands, Pocophone is arguably its lesser-known, but the Poco X3 NFC dominated our list of the best cheap phones for ages (and is still there now) so it's worth paying attention to these new devices.
There's 100 minutes to go until the event kicks off, according to the YouTube premiere.
If you're a big smartphone fan, you should know that the Realme GT 2 event at MWC just wrapped up, and you can read our full news coverage here.
You know what else from Xiaomi is arriving at MWC 2022?
We’re here! #MWC22See you tomorrow at booth 3D10, Hall 3, Fira Gran Via. #OneConnectionLivesConnected #MWC2022 pic.twitter.com/MKw9SQH6tYFebruary 27, 2022
CyberDog is a robot dog that Xiaomi showed off in August 2021 - it went on sale in China, but we haven't heard about it going on sale anywhere else.
Xiaomi has confirmed the dog will be displayed at its MWC stand where people will be able to see it - and pet it maybe? Who knows.
We'll see if we can pet the (cyber) dog at MWC, and see how it reacts when we do.
We're getting closer to the Poco launch, but we should point out that it's not the only event going on. At exactly the same time, Honor is hosting a launch for its Magic 4 phones.
These are expected to be top-end devices, so they won't rival the new Pocos at all, other than that they'll both be vying for your attention in 45 minutes.
If you want to check out the Honor stream, it's on YouTube here, (opens in new tab) but we won't be live blogging that one.
With 20 minutes to go, Poco's live stream has switched from a placeholder to a sizzle-reel of trailers and adverts for the new phones.
So you can get a good glimpse if you check it out now.
There are only five minutes to go until the event starts - the adverts have ended, and we're left with a screen just saying it 'Will Start Soon!'.
And we're live!
Poco's GM, Kevin Qui, is on stage talking us through the last year for the brand, including the six phones it launched in 2021 (Poco F3, F3 GT, X3 Pro, M3 Pro 5G, X3 GT and M4 Pro 5G).
Apparently, the brand sold nearly 23 million mobiles which is a pretty big number for just six devices, and 11.6 million were for just the X3 Pro and X3 GT. Apparently the former was the biggest-seller of all though.
Audio's a little out of sync for the live stream though.
Qui is detailing why the Poco X3 Pro was so popular.
That's pretty important since the X4 Pro 5G is its successor - it's the first device of the launch event, and the company is calling it the 'all-around ace'.
Angus Ng is discussing the Poco X4 Pro 5G, starting with its design - it's an eye-catching mobile to say the least.
There's a gigantic rear block on the back like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (though no rear screen like on that flagship) as well as a laser-beam-looking light reflection pattern. There's black, yellow and blue versions, and we're very curious to see how this looks in person.
The edges look flat, not curved like on most mobiles, and this is an annoying design trend that brands like Vivo and Xiaomi are embracing, following on from Apple which enacted it in the iPhone 12 line.
The X4 Pro has a glass rear though, which is surprisingly premium.
We're hearing about the X4 Pro 5G's display.
It's an AMOLED panel, a big jump up from the X3 Pro's LCD, with a 120Hz refresh rate and FHD+ resolution.
This is the first X-series phone with AMOLED which is a big jump for budget phones, and it should make colors bold and will improve the contrast too. Max brightness is 1200 nits too which is nice and bright.
Oh, the screen is 6.67-inches, same as last year's, and it's Xiaomi's favorite screen size seemingly, since half its phones use that size.
There's a small punch-hole for the front-facing camera center-top. It's also got a touch input rate of 360Hz.
The phone sounds impressive so far.
The Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G has a 108MP main camera - that's very high-res, and it's the first Pocophone device with such a high-res camera. Saying that, Xiaomi has loads of budget devices with this sensor resolution.
Ng is talking about why 108MP is useful - it's a marketing pitch we've heard before, though it's worth pointing out that 'high res' isn't the same as 'good quality' and we'll need to test out the phone to see just how good it is.
This uses pixel-binning, where the camera combines pixels to take better shots. So you won't be snapping loads of 108MP snaps, and since it's 9-in-1 binning, you'll get 12MP resulting snaps instead.
We've heard about the other two cameras.
Firstly, a 2MP macro - we'd ignore this, 2MP snappers are rarely worth talking about.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera could be useful in certain situations, and this type of lens is always popular in phones.
Lots of the camera modes have been detailed including kaleidoscope, slow-mo, long exposure, time-lapse and 'Movie filters' or basically automatic color grading.
It looks like lots of people have been joining this live blog since the event kicked off - thanks for joining. Just for clarification, we're looking at the Poco 4 Pro 5G first.
We've just moved onto battery. This is a 5,000mAh power pack - nice and big - which Poco says will last for two days between charges.
Charging is 67W, which is nice and fast. Budget phones generally don't get powering this quick, and we love to see it.
Poco is using 'anime episode' as a way of measuring charging. Apparently, in 22 minutes, the device will power up to 70%. We're not sure if this factors in the battery used by watching anime or not.
Oh, and this 67W charger will be included in the box.
The chipset here is the Snapdragon 695.
We haven't seen this used in too many phones, so we don't know how well it works in process, but Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600-series processors aren't always amazing.
Poco knows this apparently, because Ng has explicitly said not to read into the name, and that the 695 is a top chipset. That's a big claim, and we'll need to test it to be sure.
The phone has 5G too. But you could probably tell that already. It's in the name.
RAM here goes up to 8GB, while storage goes up to 256GB. There's also expandable storage up to 1TB.
There's also RAM expansion (where you temporarily turn storage into RAM) which gets you up to 11GB RAM, which should be useful for power-users.
The new Poco phone uses MIUI 13, a Xiaomi-made Android fork based on Android 12, and all the features being discussed at this launch event are the same as were discussed at the Redmi Note 11 launch last month.
Redmi phones, being built by Xiaomi, also use MIUI.
MIUI 13 has smart battery balance to increase battery life, liquid storage (to enhance storage space) and improved security.
Oh, and a few quality of life features have been mentioned:
- Headphone jack
- IR blaster
Sounds like the X4 Pro 5G presentation is wrapping up.
Here's the full specs list for the Poco X4 Pro 5G - the price has been discussed too.
It starts with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for €299 (about $460, £250, AU$460).
Or you can pay €349 for 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, which converts to about $390, £290 or AU$540. Those are some great prices for this phone, but we'll have to see how much it costs in our regions without relying on Euro conversions.
It launches March 2 in loads of countries.
Right, now we're moving onto the Poco M4 Pro. Its slogan is 'maximize your fun' apparently.
Turns out the Poco M4 Pro has an AMOLED display too - that's even more surprising than the X4 Pro 5G getting it, since Poco's M series is more affordable than its X devices.
The display is 6.43 inches across and has a 90Hz refresh rate, so it's not quite as good as the X4 Pro in all ways, but it still sounds decent.
Onto the design again - it basically looks like the X4 Pro but without the laser design.
It comes in yellow, blue and black, and we prefer the former.
Ng is discussing how light and thin these phones are, compared to their predecessors and other Poco phones. But it's worth pointing out that Pocophone devices are often quite chunky, so these new phones could just be 'normal' sized.
We've jumped straight into battery - 5,000mAh - and charging - 33W. The charger comes in the box.
The main camera is a 64MP one, joined by an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro camera.
Similar to the X4 Pro 5G then, but sans the 108MP main snapper. There's also a 16MP front-facing camera, which sounds the same as in the other Poco.
The chipset is the MediaTek Helio G96.
We can't say we're the biggest fans of Helio chipsets, as they're usually reserved for low-end phones, and MediaTek's Dimensity line of processors are far better.
There's 8GB RAM here which can be forced up to 11GB like in the X4 Pro 5G, and there's also storage up to 256GB, which apparently hasn't been seen in an M-series Pocophone device before. That can go up to 1TB with a microSD card.
Here's the one-sheet again.
For 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM you pay €219, which is about $250, £180 and AU$340, and for 8GB / 256GB it's €269, converting to around $300, £220 and AU$420.
Again, very good prices, and it'll go on sale on March 2. We should point out that Pocophones don't sell in the US though, so don't get your hopes up if you live there.
Kevin Qiu is coming back on stage with "a surprise for you all".
Oh, that 'surprise' is just a little bit of money off if you buy the phones on launch day, March 2. That's nice, but we were expecting the surprise to be a Poco smartwatch or tablet. Never mind.
And that's it, the Xiaomi Poco launch has wrapped up.
News embargo has lifted, so for a full round-up of what launched, check out our news story here.
We mentioned that a Honor launch was running concurrently to the Pocophone one, right?
Well, you can see our full coverage on the Honor Magic 4 and Magic 4 Pro here. Their prices were announced, so we know that they're in no way competitors to the Poco devices, as super-premium mobiles.
Through the Poco X4 Pro 5G presentation, the device was constantly compared to its predecessor, the Poco X3 Pro.
It seems that the X3 Pro is Poco's most popular smartphone so far, but we should point out that it's not actually our highest-rated. We gave it four stars in our full review, compared to four and a half in our Poco X3 NFC review.
Saying that, it seems that Poco has brought lots of our favorite features of the NFC to the X4 Pro 5G, so we might not see an X4 NFC down the line.
People who have followed along with TechRadar live blogs before, you might be familiar with our style of intermittently sharing analyses on these pages after our event.
That might be a little different right now though, since the Poco launch was just one of many amidst the busy MWC period.
Case in point: Oppo's keynotes conference is about to kick off. We're not too sure what to expect from this, since the company unveiled its Find X5 line recently.
We'll be covering all this and you can find out what happens by heading over to our primary MWC 2022 live blog here.
Things are starting to slow down on the old Xiaomi news front, so this will likely be our last post in this live blog.
Thanks for following along, and we'll certainly be bringing you news on the new phones when they arrive in our mail box.
If you're still in the mood for smartphones, remember our main MWC live blog is running here, and we're posting news stories and analyses all the time.
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