Poco X5 review

GSMArena Team, 6 February 2023.

Android 12 with MIUI 13 for Poco

The Poco X5 boots Android 12 with MIUI 13 for Poco - in contrast to the X5 Pro, which runs on a newer MIUI 14, albeit still based on Android 12.

Poco X5 review

The interface is more or less standard MIUI, with minor Poco twists. There's Always-on display functionality, which is only so by name - unfortunately, it can only appear for 10s after a tap. At least, there are a lot of AOD themes you can choose from, and a bunch of those can also be customized.

AoD or no AoD, the X5 still supports the Notification effect. It lights up the edges of the display when new notifications come in, but there's little in the way of customization other than a couple of different colors and a 'Starlight' option. This effect can work with or without the AoD.

Always-on display - Poco X5 review Always-on display - Poco X5 review Clock style - Poco X5 review Clock style - Poco X5 review Notification effect - Poco X5 review Notification effect - Poco X5 review
Always-on display • Always-on display • Clock style • Clock style • Notification effect

You unlock the screen via the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The reader is easy to set up, blazing-fast, and the accuracy is superb. You can set the unlock method to Touch or Press - the Press will spare you accidental misreads of your palm (that eventually lead to PIN input) if you are using the phone without a case. A 2D Face Unlock is available, too, but it is far less secure than the fingerprint option.

Passwords and security - Poco X5 review Fingerprint settings - Poco X5 review Fingerprint settings - Poco X5 review Face unlock - Poco X5 review Face unlock - Poco X5 review Face unlock - Poco X5 review
Passwords and security • Fingerprint settings • Fingerprint settings • Face unlock

The homescreens are nothing unusual - they are populated with shortcuts, folders, and widgets. The leftmost pane, if enabled, is Google's Discover. Unlike Xiaomi or Redmi MIUI builds, the Poco version only has an App Drawer style two-tier interface - you can't disable the app drawer and have all your apps on the homescreens. The app drawer itself is the same, though - by default, it automatically organizes your apps into categories, which you can edit or disable altogether.

Homescreen - Poco X5 review Folder view - Poco X5 review App drawer - Poco X5 review App drawer - Poco X5 review App drawer - Poco X5 review App drawer - Poco X5 review
Homescreen • Folder view • App drawer

A long-standing feature of MIUI found in v13 as well are the independent Notification shade and Control Center panes. You summon them like on the iPhones - pull down from the left part of the screen for the Notification Center, pull down from the right for the Control Center. You can side-swipe to switch between them, too.

If you are not fond of this iPhone-ish split - you can disable the Control Center, and the shade will revert to its normal looks and operation.

Classic notification shade - Poco X5 review Control center split - Poco X5 review Control center split - Poco X5 review Control center split - Poco X5 review
Classic notification shade • Control center split

The task switcher is familiar, too, if you've ever used a Xiaomi or a Poco. It shows all of your recent apps in two columns. But tap-and-hold on a card does not trigger a split-screen or pop-up view. Instead, it goes to app info and settings, which is odd.

While split screen is not supported, Floating Window is available even if not from the Task Switcher. You can shrink some system apps like the Calculator into a floating window, but this can only happen from within the app itself. Or you can launch compatible apps within a pop-up view from within the Notification center by pulling their notifications down. The option for a regular-looking task switcher with side-scrollable cards is not available on the Poco launcher, and you can have it on Xiaomi MIUI builds.

MIUI task switcher - Poco X5 review Sort of floating window - Poco X5 review
MIUI task switcher • Sort of floating window

Themes have always been a huge part of MIUI, and they are available on MIUI 13, too - on the Poco build as well. You can download new ones from the Themes store, and they can change wallpapers, ringtones, system icons, and even the always-on display style. Super Wallpapers are available too.

Themes - Poco X5 review Themes - Poco X5 review Themes - Poco X5 review Themes - Poco X5 review Themes - Poco X5 review Themes - Poco X5 review
Themes

MIUI comes with its proprietary multimedia apps - there's Gallery, and Music and Mi Video (both with local and streaming options). A MIUI File manager is also on board. And, of course, a Mi Remote app that uses the integrated IR blaster.

Gallery - Poco X5 review Music - Poco X5 review Video - Poco X5 review File Manager - Poco X5 review Mi Remote - Poco X5 review FM radio - Poco X5 review
Gallery • Music • Video • File Manager • Mi Remote • FM radio

MIUI also offers a Security app. It can scan your phone for malware, manage your blacklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, and free up some RAM. It can also manage the permissions of your installed apps, define the battery behavior of selected apps, and apply restrictions only to certain apps.

And speaking of memory, MIUI 13 offers Memory Extension option that's active by default (you can disable it if you like). On our review unit, we had 3GB of internal storage reserved to serve as RAM extension, but you can also choose to allocate 2GB or 5GB. Less important memory blocks should come here.

Security - Poco X5 review Cleaner - Poco X5 review Battery settings - Poco X5 review App management - Poco X5 review Memory extension - Poco X5 review
Security • Cleaner • Battery settings • App management • Memory extension

The Sidebar is not available per-se. However, its Video Toolbox is present, and it essentially contains the whole Sidebar functionality, but you need to make it available within a selection of apps manually. When active, it is a small visible mark on the edge of the screen that expands into a menu anytime you swipe on it. You launch apps in pop-up windows from here.

It is recommended for multimedia apps (like YouTube, Mi Video, Gallery, etc.); besides options for floating windows, it contains shortcuts for Screenshot, Record screen, Cast, and Play Video with the screen off, which works on YouTube, no Premium subscription needed. But, as we mentioned, you need to whitelist the apps in advance where you want the feature enabled.

Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review Video toolbox and floating windows - Poco X5 review
Video toolbox and floating windows

Also, widely available on other phones with MIUI, Game Turbo is both the hub you can use to launch your games, as well as an in-game utility for improving your gaming experience. It includes classic functionality like screen recording and limiting incoming notifications.

Game Turbo - Poco X5 review Game Turbo - Poco X5 review Game Turbo - Poco X5 review
Game Turbo - Poco X5 review Game Turbo - Poco X5 review Game Turbo - Poco X5 review
Game Turbo

Performance and benchmarks

The Poco X5 is based on the Snapdragon 695 chipset - a popular no-frills platform for getting 5G capability in the midrange segment. It's got an octa-core CPU in a 2+6 configuration (2x2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver), and the GPU goes by Adreno 619. Two memory configurations exist - 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB (as tested).

Poco X5 review

As is often the case with Xiaomi phones that we receive before their official release, a lot of the benchmarks we usually run are disabled. We did get to try GeekBench and Antutu, only to confirm that the Poco X5 performs as expected.

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco X5 Pro
    781
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    743
  • Galaxy A33 5G
    742
  • vivo X80 Lite
    716
  • vivo V25
    716
  • Realme 10 Pro
    698
  • Poco X5
    693
  • Oppo Reno7 Lite 5G
    688
  • Galaxy A23 5G
    676
  • Moto G82
    671
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    670
  • Nokia G60
    668
  • Nokia X30
    663
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    597
  • OnePlus Nord N300 5G
    596
  • vivo V21 5G
    574
  • Xiaomi Poco M5
    550
  • Poco M5s
    516
  • Galaxy A23
    380

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Poco X5 Pro
    2930
  • Poco X5
    2088
  • vivo X80 Lite
    2023
  • vivo V25
    2023
  • Realme 10 Pro
    2021
  • Oppo Reno7 Lite 5G
    1996
  • Moto G82
    1977
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    1964
  • Galaxy A23 5G
    1940
  • Nokia X30
    1920
  • Nokia G60
    1908
  • Galaxy A33 5G
    1900
  • Xiaomi Poco M5
    1896
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    1891
  • Poco M5s
    1831
  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G
    1787
  • OnePlus Nord N300 5G
    1780
  • Galaxy A23
    1632
  • vivo V21 5G
    1600

AnTuTu 9

Higher is better

  • Poco X5 Pro
    531398
  • vivo X80 Lite
    461428
  • vivo V25
    461428
  • Nokia X30
    403732
  • Nokia G60
    402664
  • Realme 10 Pro
    401860
  • Poco X5
    400895
  • Galaxy A33 5G
    394918
  • Xiaomi Poco M5
    386311
  • Motorola Edge 30 Neo
    380818
  • Moto G82
    380812
  • Galaxy A53 5G
    379313
  • Oppo Reno7 Lite 5G
    376819
  • vivo V21 5G
    365055
  • Poco M5s
    360681
  • OnePlus Nord N300 5G
    335440
  • Galaxy A23 5G
    318821
  • Galaxy A23
    273554

3DMark was among those benchmarks that refused to run on the Poco, so there's no Wild Life stress test, but the CPU throttling test confirmed that the Snapdragon 695 handles sustained load with virtually no decline in performance - just as we would expect from this chip.

Reader comments

  • Shoaib
  • 27 Jul 2023
  • GRQ

What about software...Is it still good after updates???

Poco x5 doesn't have stereo speakers but the specs on GsmArena say otherwise. Same with Redmi Note 12s. An update will be much appreciated

So far good phone. The 695 is a little improvement over my broken POCO X3 NFC. I missed so much using an OLED panel and was looking to upgrade to a 5G phone. I'm a little concerned about the virtual proximity sensor, haven't testest it yet.