POCO M5 Review: Chic and formidable


The Poco M5 is an affordable phone priced under ₹15,000 in India and is packed to the brim with essential features. The main attraction here is MediaTek’s Helio G99 processor which was unveiled in August and is the beating heart of Poco M5, Redmi 11 Prime and the Infinix Note 12 Pro, to name a few. Though the Poco M5 is a 4G phone, it’s got all the bases covered with features such as the 50MP main camera, a large 5,000mAh battery to boot and an unmatched design in this price range. In this Poco M5 review, we’ll try and find out whether buying the Poco M5 4G makes sense or if you should go for a 5G phone instead. 

Poco M5 review: In The Box

In the retail box, you will find the Poco M5, a 22.5W charging adapter, a TPU protective case, Type-C cable, SIM ejector tool and some paperwork. 

Poco M5 review:  Key Specifications at a Glance

Price: ₹12,499 (4GB+64GB) | ₹14,499 (6GB+128GB)

Display: 6.5-inch LCD, FHD+, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 3

Thickness: 8.9mm

Weight: 201g

Platform: MediaTek Helio G99

RAM: 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X

Built-in storage: 64GB/128GB UFS 2.2

Expandable storage: Yes, upto 1TB

5G support: No

USB-C: Yes

3.5mm jack: Yes

OS: MIUI 13 based on Android 12 

Rear Camera: 50MP (f/1.8) + 2MP macro + 2MP depth sensor

Rear Camera Video: 1080p (30FPS)

Front Camera: 8MP (f/2.0)

Speakers: Single speaker

Battery and charging: 5,000mAh, 18W wired

Colours: Poco Yellow, Power Black, Icy Blue

Poco M5 review: Build and Design

Right out of the box, the Poco M5 feels nothing like an affordable smartphone as it has a leather-like textured finish on the back panel which gives it a premium look and feel. Poco has tried to stand out from the ordinary smartphone design in the affordable segment and it’s clearly successful in evoking that wow factor with the M5.



The Poco M5 isn’t the slimmest or lightest smartphone in this price range yet it’s one of the best-looking phones you can get under ₹15,000. Even though it’s largely made from plastic, the Poco M5 is durable for daily use and the screen upfront has a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

Poco M5 review: Display

The Poco M5 features a good display that’s perfect for watching videos and much more. It supports a 90Hz refresh rate which makes every interaction smooth and helps while playing games. The M5 has a waterdrop notch and a rather wide chin but that doesn’t come in the way of your viewing experience. The display gets bright enough for both indoor and outdoor use but isn’t legible in direct sunlight.

In our tests, the display of the Poco M5 produced 360 nits of maximum brightness which is slightly less than the claimed peak brightness of 400 nits. Being an LCD panel, the Poco M5’s display doesn’t get pitch black levels but the minimum brightness we recorded was 2 nits. The display produces accurate colours and is vibrant with crisp visuals which are good enough for most users but an AMOLED display here would have uplifted the viewing experience by fourfolds.

Poco M5 review: Performance

The MediaTek Helio G99 inside the Poco M5 is no slouch in day-to-day performance and easily keeps up with usual tasks such as browsing, social media apps, watching videos on YouTube or movies on Netflix, Prime Video and more. I did not face any lags and the general animations remained slick during my use. It also helped that the display was set to 90Hz always as it made the overall experience snappy.

In benchmark tests, the Helio G99 showcased similar, if not better CPU and GPU performance over the Helio G96, Snapdragon 695, 680 and the Dimensity 810 chipsets. The thermal management has also improved on the Helio G99 from the G96 and that shows when playing intensive games like COD Mobile at a stretch. The Game Turbo 5.0 keeps games like COD Mobile and Genshin Impact running albeit with some frame drops here and there but nothing that’s going to spoil your overall experience.  We also ran the CPU throttling test where the Poco M5 delivered 94% of its maximum potential in the 15-minute run and 92% in the 30-minute run. This proves that the Poco M5 is more than capable of handling daily tasks without compromising on thermal performance and battery life.

Poco M5 review: Battery Life

The Poco M5 has a large and sufficient battery capacity of 5,000mAh to boot which offers a long battery life. In my opinion, the battery life of the Poco M5 is really great and a major plus point for buyers because it can last for over 2 days on casual use. If you’re a power user, you’ll still be able to get around a day’s worth of battery life on a single charge. Moreover, the Poco M5’s battery offers unprecedented stand-by time wherein the battery didn’t even drop by a per cent for 10 hours the phone was kept idle.

However, when it comes to charging the Poco M5’s battery, most of your time will be spent in anticipation of when it will get fully charged! It took us around 2 hours and 45 minutes on average to charge the phone from 0-100% which is an excruciating wait for charging a phone in 2022. To make matters worse, Poco bundles a 22.5W fast charging adapter in the box yet the Poco M5 supports only 18W charging speeds which is a bummer.

Poco M5 Camera review

In adequate lighting conditions, the Poco M5 produces sharp and visually appealing pictures from its main 50MP camera. The images have a nice and natural depth of field and the camera app locks down the focus quickly. The textures in subjects such as flowers or walls are also well processed as it doesn’t smooth out the pictures. The portrait mode works well, lending a shallow depth of field effect to pictures but loses out a bit on textures and natural colours. 

At night, the pictures from the main camera have a lot of grain and artefacts and switching to the night mode solves those issues as it reduces the noise and bumps up the highlights and exposure levels. The macro camera takes decent close-up shots and nothing extraordinary because the sensor is of a low resolution which is only able to capture so many details.

Poco M5 review: Verdict

The Poco M5 is one of the most good-looking phones you can buy without emptying your pockets. It’s got a good display for watching videos, a powerful processor in the Helio G99 which will serve your daily tasks with utmost ease and a great primary camera. Though, one of the major highlights of the Poco M5 is its long battery life which is only eclipsed by the fact that it takes aeons to fully charge. But when it’s full, you can spend over two days with the phone without even thinking about the charging time. Starting at ₹12,499 (available for as low as ₹10,499 during sales) the Poco M5 is a great value for money phone that is meant for students, casual phone users and those looking for a secondary phone that runs for days at a stretch.



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