Post the COVID disruption and the recent GST price hike, the affordable segment is going through a consolidation phase in India. Manufacturers across the board are quietly phasing out old models and replacing them with newer ones making the necessary adjustments.
In times like these, we least expected a disruptive option, but Poco being an emerging independent brand with Xiaomi’s backing is as aggressive as ever and can afford to compete at razor-thin margins in order to gain its footing.
With the Poco M2 Pro, the brand moves further down the ladder and repackages Redmi Note 9 Pro as a phone with amazing value and illustrious spec-sheet that includes a powerful chipset, beefy battery, and a decent set of cameras.
But are there any caveats you need to be aware of? Is this a phone that you should buy? We have been testing the Poco M2 Pro and have now gathered our thoughts in our review. Let’s begin!
Poco M2 Pro Price in India and Specifications
|Models||POCO M2 Pro|
|Display||6.67-inch, LCD Screen, 91.4% screen to body ratio, Gorilla Glass 5|
|Software||MIUI 11 based on Android 10|
|Front Camera||16MP Punch Hole|
|Rear Camera||48MP Samsung GM2|
8MP 119-degree FoV ultra-wide lens
5MP macro lens
2MP depth sensor
|Processor||8nm Snapdragon 720G octa-core|
|Memory Config||4GB+ 64GB; 6GB+ 64GB; 6GB+ 128GB (Expandable up to 512GB)|
|Battery||5020mAh battery with 33W charger in the box|
|Others||IR Blaster, NavIC, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual-band Wi-Fi,|
|Price||4 + 64GB – Rs. 13,999|
6 + 64GB – Rs. 14,999
6 + 128GB – Rs. 16,999
Poco M2 Pro Box Contents
The Poco M2 Pro box isn’t skipping any of the basics. Inside the box, there is:
- 33W charging adaptor
- Charging Cable (Type-C)
- Protective case
- Screen protector (pre-installed)
- SIM ejector and documentation
Poco M2 Pro Review: Design and Build
For all the design similarities it shares with the Note 9 Pro in India, the Poco M2 Pro still feels different. There is Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and rear, it is reasonably slim for a phone with a 5000mAh battery, and we quite like the dual-tone gradient pattern on the back.
Bezels around the massive 6.67-inch display are quite narrow and the selfie camera resides within a centrally aligned punch-hole — which we feel is the least hostile of notches (when done right, that is). Such cutouts on LCD screens are not 100% neat, though.
The square camera module is the same as on Redmi Note 9 Pro and it still juts out quite a bit. Then again, that’s a very familiar design snag these days. Not ideal, but it is what it is.
For what it’s worth, the protective case bundled with the phone has the needed raised lip to protect the camera module from scratches when the phone lies on a flat surface. The Poco M2 Pro is not a slim or compact phone, but the profile and ergonomics are as good as they get for affordable phones with competent hardware in 2020.
The side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the polycarbonate side frame is easily accessible. We end up pressing the power button as soon as we pick the phone and almost always the phone directly wakes up to the home screen. One minor peeve point is that we frequently hit the sensor unintentionally.
The volume rocker a little close to the top, but we didn’t face much trouble accessing it. And we wouldn’t have preferred it on the other edge for sure.
The audio jack, USB Type-C port, and loudspeaker at the bottom are symmetrically aligned (well, almost). The secondary microphone and IR Blaster are both present up top.
So, overall, there isn’t really anything to complain about when it comes to design and build quality. In fact, this is definitely one of the better-looking phones available under 15K.
There are three colors to choose from that should appeal to youngsters. ‘Two shades of black’ is perhaps the color people with a bit subdued taste could go for.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Display
The Poco M2 Pro gets a good quality IPS LCD panel. The Full HD+ resolution display gets sufficiently bright for outdoor usage and is not particularly harsh on eyes.
The screen is not garishly bluish, but yes, whites in the default mode lean toward cold blue tone. You can fix this by choosing a warmer tone for the default mode or by choosing the ‘Standard’ color profile.
Compared to Realme 6, the Poco M2 Pro misses out on a high-refresh-rate display, a very popular trend in 2020.
AMOLED screens and in-display fingerprint readers made a brief appearance in the under 20K segment and are now on their way out. In light of other prevalent options, the Poco M2 Pro screen doesn’t feel bad at all.
Also Read: Phones with high refresh rate to buy in 2020
Poco M2 Pro Review: Performance and Software
The M2 Pro is powered by Snapdragon 720G octa-core chipset, which is one of the best chipsets you can get in this price range. The chipset is further paired with good quality LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage – and performance is expectedly snappy and dependable – no two ways about it.
All heavy graphics games we tried ran smooth and we didn’t face any heating issues even after long gaming sessions.
Multitasking is smooth but on more than one occasion we noticed the phone abruptly kill apps running in the background.
The software is one of the key highlights of the Poco M2. It’s about the same familiar, feature-rich, and customizable MIUI that has nicely evolved over the years, but it’s a bit less intrusive.
There are no ads in the interface or within Xiaomi apps, and that’s a relief. At the same time, that doesn’t mean the interface is totally clean. There are many preloaded apps (that can be uninstalled) and users will still have to deal with apps that hog notification shade or with app recommendations every now and then.
The MIUI 11 is not our personal favorite interface by far, but it’s quite stable and customizable and something we can probably get used to. The point being, the software is definitely not the reason why you should skip the M2 Pro.
The handset has the required DRM L1 certificate for HD streaming. However, we could not stream HD content on Netflix or Prime Videos.
Call quality was good in our area and we didn’t come across any unexpected connectivity issues.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Camera Performance
Poco M2 Pro camera is quite impressive in broad daylight, and also in properly lit indoor settings. Shutter speed is fast, dynamic range is wide and the images have a good amount of details.
Indoors, the camera software goes for aggressive noise reduction and images turned out soft. In proper indoor lighting, the camera still manages decent performance.
The Wide-angle camera does an average job. It’s nevertheless there whenever you occasionally need it.
Portrait mode is quite smart and deftly detects subject edges in outdoor lighting.
In low light and during night time, image quality deteriorates steeply. This is to be expected of phones in the under 20K segment. The camera has a night mode, but we don’t think this is something we’d be using much
The macro camera can be fun, but it’s not a very reliable shooter. When you get it right, image quality is decent in proper lighting.
I am not much of a selfie person, but the ones I took for testing turned out fine
The Poco M2 Pro camera performance is pretty impressive for the asking price. It performs reliably in proper lighting, but don’t expect much of it in tricky and lowlight situations.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
The 5000mAh battery can comfortably last for 1.5 to 2 days on moderate usage. The mileage is dependable and so is the fast charging. The 33W charging adaptor comes bundled in the box (and it still has Mi branding). A full charge takes just around one hour.
The loudspeaker is not loud enough when not at 100% volume. I guess this could be fixed via a software update. Audio via headphones is decent enough.
Poco M2 Pro Review: Verdict
The Poco M2 Pro brings together aggressive hardware with a better, cleaner version of MIUI than you’d get on Xiaomi phones. With affordable phones getting more expensive in general, the M2 Pro offers incredible value and experience when compared to any new offering under Rs. 15,000.
Tech bros might shun it as a repackaged Redmi Note 9, and yes, such rebranding exercises must be disheartening to brand loyalists and fans who wish to see their favorite tech companies put more consideration and customization in order to make every new product feel more special. But when it comes to an average consumer making a buying decision and wanting a dependable phone, such lineage doesn’t matter much.
Our job involves cycling through all kinds of different phones. How we feel about a particular phone is often not equivalent to the sum of its hardware or how good a value proposition it is. Right now, the Poco M2 Pro, imperfect as it may be, feels like an easy recommendation.
- Reliable performance
- Good Display for the price
- A better version of MIUI
- Snappy fingerprint sensor
- Great cameras for the price
- Excellent battery mileage
- Reiterative design
- No high-refresh-rate screen
Poco M2 Pro FAQ
Poco M2 Pro has DRM L1 certification for HD streaming, but HD streaming is not supported on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
The Poco M2 Pro has P2i nano-coating that makes it splash resistant.
The Poco M2 Pro is the same as the global Redmi Note 9 Pro. While that’s a fun fact worth knowing, it shouldn’t matter much when it comes to your phone buying decision.
No. It does not.
Yes, it does.
Head SAR is 0.914W/ Kg and Body SAR is 0.66W/ Kg (distance 15mm)
No. The handset supports 4G LTE on both SIM slots.