Poco is a consumer-focused smartphone manufacturer, spun off from the parent company Xiaomi in January 2020. The latest reviews on ZDNet include affordable 5G phones, such as the Poco X4 Pro 5G and Poco M4 Pro 5G. Next up is the flagship class Poco F4 GT, which costs € 599 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, or € 699 for a 12 GB / 256 GB version. Poco phones are not officially available in the US, and prices in the UK had not yet been announced at the time of writing (mid-May 2022).
Poco F4 GT runs on Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and has a 120Hz refresh rate along with 120W fast charging which, it is claimed, will charge the handset’s 4700mAh battery in 17 minutes. There are several features designed specifically for gamers, including pop-up triggers. But is this a phone with appeal in addition to players?
- Useful retractable triggers
- Good speakers
- Large, bright AMOLED screen
- Very fast 120W charge
Do not like
- No microSD card slot
- Lots of bloatware
- Average cameras
- No IP rating
The 6.67-inch Poco F4 GT has a footprint of 76.7 mm wide and 162.5 mm deep, is 8.5 mm thick and weighs 210 g. There are three color options: Knight Silver, Cyber Yellow and Stealth Black , that I got. All three have the camera’s LED light in a Harry Potter-style zigzag window that sits outside a substantially projecting camera lozenge. A narrow strip along the back plate and two angular patterns halfway down the long back edge reflect the light back from the otherwise matte finish. Invest in the yellow variant and you will get orange and black highlights on the back.
Whatever color variant is chosen, the glass back and Gorilla Glass Victus the front ensures a certain protection against falls and makes the phone feel heavy and sturdy in the hand. It is a pity that it does not exist IP rating specified in the specifications.
The pages of the phone show features designed to appeal to players. One of these is a pair of pop-up triggers – buttons used as game controls that are located on the far left and right on one long side. By default, they are aligned with the chassis edge and a pair of sliders are used to extend and retract them.
Triggers can be assigned specific actions in games, and given sounds when pressed to enhance the gaming experience. They can also be given single and double pressure measures when you are not playing. The triggers fold out individually, so you can leave an active all the time and use its non-game functionality for everyday tasks.
The speakers are placed on the short edges, placed so that you do not cover them when you hold the phone with your index fingers on the two shutters. The four speakers – a tweeter and a bass at each end – emit suitable high-quality sound, which is just as welcome when watching video or listening to music as when playing. There is no 3.5 mm audio jack, but you get a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone adapter in the box.
There is also what Poco calls a “gaming mic” design. In addition to microphones in the usual places, there is a third in the middle of the long edge opposite the triggers. This is specially positioned so that it is not obscured when the phone is held in play mode, which takes care of all voice-controlled actions.
Game support even extends to the L-shaped charging cable so that it can be stopped out of the way if the battery needs to be charged while you are in the middle of a game.
Elsewhere, there is an IR blaster on the top edge, and the included one My remote control software means you can use your phone to control devices such as a TV. The main power button is on the right long side, with a fingerprint sensor built into it, while the volume rocker is tucked away on the opposite side where it is free of the triggers. Here you will also find the SIM caddy, which holds a couple of SIM cards but does not hold a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion.
6.67-inch AMOLED display with 10-bit color support and a resolution of 2,400 by 1,080 pixels (20: 9, 395ppi). The pixel density is a bit on the low side, but when I used it I thought the screen was completely clear and bright – it maxes out at 800 nits. With a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz, 480 Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10 + and DCI-P3 color gamut, the screen may appear to be ticked in all boxes, but in reality the refresh rate seems to be either 60 Hz or 120 Hz, set manually or adjustable automatically. More advanced LTPO The refresh rate setting, which can be adjusted in finer gradients and latch down to 1 Hz to save battery life, is now quite widespread on flagship phones.
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Qualcomms Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 the chipset is pretty much the standard for advanced phones these days, and in my review handset, which was the top model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, it turned in Geekbench 5 CPU scores average 1247 (single-core) and 3725 (multi-core). That places the Poco F4 GT in the top rankings Android phones on this benchmark.
The package already used 28 GB of storage space, leaving 228 GB for applications and data. As already mentioned, storage can not be expanded via MicroSD card, the SIM card slot only holds two 5G SIM cards.
Poco strengthens Android 12 with MIUI 13 overlay, which adds a number of apps, features and settings. These include duplicates for some of the Android staples like a music player and gallery app, third-party apps like Spotify, TikTok and Facebook, and some extras like a note-taking app, compass, wireless sharing app and a comprehensive theme app as well as the previously mentioned Mi Remote app. It’s far from a pure Android experience, but it’s the Poco way.
The Poco F4 GT has three rear cameras: 64MP f / 1.9 wide angle, 8MP f / 2.2 ultrawide (120 °) and 2MP f / 2.4 macro. The front camera, which is embedded in the screen, is a 20MP f / 2.4 device. The two main cameras are good for point-and-shoot photography, but the macro lens is not very impressive, limited by its fixed focus and 2MP resolution. Selfies with the front camera were perfectly acceptable.
The Poco F4 GT has a 4700mAh battery that kept the phone running for 11 hours and 13 minutes during PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life test. When asked to stream YouTube video for three hours from a full charge, it dropped 18%, indicating a total battery life of approximately 16.7 hours.
Charging is exceptionally fast when using the included 120W charger. Poco says that a full charge can be achieved in 17 minutes. For a real test, I connected the battery at 21%: after five minutes it had reached 53%, after 10 minutes it was at 79% and after 15 minutes it was at 98%.
Although the Poco F4 GT offers features specifically aimed at gamers, this should not discourage potential buyers looking for a powerful, stably built and relatively affordable phone. In fact, these features can improve usability for everyone. In addition, the battery life is good, and the 120W fast charge is really impressive.
But if you need to expand MicroSD card, bloatware is a problem or high quality cameras are needed, this may not be the phone for you.
Poco F4 GT specifications
|Measure||76.7 mm x 162.5 mm x 8.5 mm|
|Show||6.67-inch AMOLED, 2400 x 1080 (20: 9, 395ppi), 120Hz update, 480Hz touch sampling, 800 nits, 1.07 billion colors, DCI-P3, HDR10 +, Gorilla Glass Victus|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|Bagge||8 GB, 12 GB|
|Storage||128 GB, 256 GB|
|MicroSD card slot||No|
|OS||Android 12 + MIUI 13|
|Battery charging||120W HyperCharge|
|Rear cameras||64MP f / 1.9 wide angle, 8MP f / 2.2 ultra wide angle (120 °), 2MP f / 2.2 macro|
|Front camera||20 MP f / 2.4|
|security||fingerprint sensor (side), face unlock|
|Network||5G, 4G LTE, 3G, 2G GSM|
|SIM card||2x Nano SIM|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 6E (2.4GHz / 5GHz / 6GHz 802.11ax)|
|GPS||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou|
|Audio||four speakers, 3 microphones|
|3.5 mm sound jack||No|
|IP rating (dust / water resistance)||No|
|Sensors||proximity, 360 ° ambient light, color temperature, gyroscope, accelerometer, electronic compass, IR blaster, fingerprint, flicker, SAR|
|In the box||POCO F4 GT, 120W power adapter, 1.5M L-shaped USB-C cable, SIM output tool, protective case, quick start guide, warranty card, safety information, USB-C-to-3.5mm headphone adapter|
|Award||€ 599 (8GB RAM / 128GB storage), € 699 (12GB / 256GB)|
Options to consider
If you’re looking for a phone designed specifically for gaming, the Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro, from ZTE’s gaming arm, is currently ZDNet’s best choice. There are plenty of flagship Android phones at a similar price, and we would highlight the OnePlus 10 Pro as among the best.
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