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Last Updated : Jul 26, 2020 03:54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Poco M2 Pro review: Is this the under Rs 15,000 smartphone to beat in 2020?

Another great contender for best smartphone under Rs 15,000.

Last month, Poco launched the M2 Pro in India. The M2 Pro is the most affordable smartphone in the Poco lineup and arrives in India’s sub-Rs 15,000 segment.

The M2 Pro arrived in three variants with up to 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. The phone starts from Rs 13,999 and goes all the way up to Rs 16,999. It not only has similar specifications like the Redmi Note 9 Pro, but it also falls in the same price segment.

So, while the wait for the Poco F2 Pro continues, let’s take an in-depth look at the most affordable Poco phone yet.

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Design

Poco emphasises its “Made in India” commitment on the front and back of the box. The company offers a silicone case, charger, cable, and SIM eject tool inside the box. The M2 Pro’s design is quite similar to that of the Redmi Note 9 Pro. The phone arrives in three colours, including Blue, Green and Greener, and two shades of Black. The Green and greener finish seemed a bit too flashy to our liking.

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The phone features Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, with a plastic frame. On the front, the screen has a hole-punch notch with a square-shaped camera bump on the back. The phone boasts of a solid finish that does not feel cheap.

The volume and power button are on the right of the phone, while the latter doubles as a fingerprint reader. The fingerprint reader is quite fast and accessible.

Audio

The speaker is at the bottom and is surprisingly loud, although the lack of having stereo speakers is noticeable from the lack of bass. The Poco M2 Pro features AptX, AptX HD and LDAC, ensuring that sound quality with wireless headphones is on point. For the price, the M2 Pro does a pretty decent job across the board.

Display

The phone's display comprises a 6.67-inch LCD panel with an FHD+ (1,080*2,400 pixels) resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio but it lacks high refresh rate.

It offers decent colour reproduction, brightness and viewing angles for an LCD panel, but doesn’t live up to an OLED screen. The display on the M2 Pro is Widevine L1 certified, which will allow you to stream content from OTT platforms in Full HD.

Poco_display

The M2 Pro offers around 450 nits of peak brightness and the screen is bright enough for outdoor use, you aren’t going to struggle to use the phone in direct sunlight.

Though the similarly priced Realme 6 makes up for the lack of an OLED panel with a high refresh rate display, the Poco M2 Pro falls short here. The screen on the Poco M2 Pro is decent for consuming entertainment and is pretty good for its price, but it is far from the best in the segment.

Performance and Battery

In terms of performance, the Poco M2 Pro rocks a Snapdragon 720G chipset, which delivers performance at par with the Snapdragon 730G SoC on the Poco X2.

The chipset is paired with up to 6GB of RAM, although you are stuck with 4GB on the base model, which does seem slightly underwhelming for 2020.

The Snapdragon 720G chip can handle most tasks without a hitch. The Poco M2 Pro managed an overall score of 270014 in our AnTuTu benchmark test, which puts it at par with some of the best mid-tier phones, in terms of raw performance.

We tested quite a few games on the phone, including Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, Raid: Shadow Legends, PUBG Mobile, and Fortnite.

Call of Duty: Mobile defaults to medium settings, but you can play the game on high settings without any lag or thermal throttling. Overall, we have no complaints about performance; the M2 Pro certainly punches above its price here.

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The Poco M2 Pro packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery, which can get you through an entire day, and more. There isn’t much to say about the M2 Pro’s battery, apart from the fact that it is one of the best in this segment.

Another ‘Pro’ in Poco’s corner is the 33W fast charging adapter included in the box, which allows you to top up the phone in around an hour and 20 minutes.

Software   

The phone runs the MIUI 11 based on Android 10 with the Poco launcher. Not a lot has changed from the Poco X2 on the software front. While navigation is pretty smooth with some customisations, MIUI 11 is still riddled with bloatware. Many third-party apps can be uninstalled, but stock MIUI apps are here to stay.

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This phone has Poco Launcher as opposed to the default MIUI Launcher; the latter adds some versatility like an app drawer as well as intelligent categorisation of apps. It is safe to say that the main gripe with MIUI is ‘spam’. We were glad to see that ‘ad spam’ was not an issue on the Poco M2 Pro.

Our overall experience with MIUI on the Poco M2 Pro was quite satisfying; we feel that Xiaomi Mi 10 can also learn a couple of lessons on Poco’s software front.

Camera

In terms of optics, the Poco M2 Pro boasts a quad-camera setup on the back. The setup comprises of a 48 MP primary shooter, an 8 MP ultrawide snapper, a 2 MP depth sensor, and a 5 MP dedicated macro camera.

On the front, the camera cutout houses a 16 MP selfie shooter. You can record videos in up to 4K resolution at 30 fps on the primary camera. The camera app is the same as on all phones that run MIUI.

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The main 48 MP sensor uses pixel-binning that output images in 12 MP by default. Images taken in bright outdoor light are ripe with detail, while colour processing seems to be on the warmer side. Dynamic range is rather good on the main camera with a decent amount of detail in darker areas.

The main camera also does a fair job at highlighting the textures of objects. The Poco M2 Pro also gets the standard ultrawide camera, which has become commonplace in the sub-15K segment.

Shots taken on the ultrawide camera are a bit over-saturated as compared to images on the main camera. The ultrawide camera also struggles with colour reproduction and detail retention as compared to the primary camera. If you have sufficient light, the ultrawide camera will be able to snap decent photos. The Poco M2 Pro also features a 5 MP macro camera that allows you to get some nice detail on subjects. It takes some time to focus on a subject with the macro camera. The macro lens can definitely create detail images, but you will have to make sure that the subject is stable.

Poco M2 Pro

The Poco M2 Pro also does a decent job when taking portrait shots; edge detection is on point for the most part, and levels of background blur can be adjusted. In low light, both the main and ultrawide camera ten to struggle with details and exposure. It is worth noting that the main camera does do a good job with noise reduction with Night mode turned on. As with most smartphones at this price point, the Poco M2 Pro’s camera tends to fall apart at night.

The Poco M2 Pro can capture 4K video at 30fps. The phone’s ultrawide and macro cameras can also record video in 1080p resolution at 30fps. You also get the option to switch between the main and ultrawide camera when recording video in 1080p resolution. Selfies taken on the front camera look good for the most part when there is sufficient ambient light around, details and textures are well represented.

Poco_Camera (1)

Additionally, portrait shots on the front camera feature decent background blur and edge detection. However, the trend of poor results in lowlight continues on the front camera.  Overall, the Poco M2 Pro performance relatively well under good light, although lowlight performance fails to hit the mark.

Verdict

The Poco M2 Pro is a great addition to the sub-15K segment; it takes the tried and tested formula on the Redmi Note 9 Pro and improves on it. The M2 Pro is a solid performer and packs a massive battery, a fairly decent display. Additionally, it fares excellent on the battery front and doesn’t get a lot of things wrong with the software. Overall camera performance was quite good during the day.

Apart from the lowlight photography and a slightly cluttered OS, there is not much to complain about on the Poco M2 Pro. The device manages to tackle some of the shortcomings of the Redmi Note 9 Pro well but faces stiff competition from the Realme 6. If you are looking to buy a smartphone under 15,000 rupees, this is definitely one phone worth considering.

Also Read: Poco M2 Pro vs Realme 6: Which is the best smartphone under Rs 15,000?

Also Read: Poco X2 review: A new mid-range smartphone that sets a benchmark

Also Read: Redmi Note 9 First Impressions
First Published on Jul 26, 2020 03:48 pm
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