The Poco M6 Pro 5G or the Redmi 12 5G. They’re both the same win but in different bottles. That isn’t a bad thing. After the Redmi 12 5G launched as the “cheapest 5G smartphone in India”, the M6 Pro 5G from Poco beat it to the title. At Rs 10,999, the M6 Poco M6 Pro 5G may be familiar (rebranded or not), but it merits enough to stand on its own two feet.
The 5G revolution is truly upon us as the first sale of the Poco M6 Pro 5G sold out in just 15 minutes. It’s got a Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 SoC, a 5,000mAh battery (with an 18W fast charging solution), a large and expansive 6.79-inch FHD+ display (with a 90Hz refresh rate) and a 50MP dual rear camera setup.
I’ve had the chance to use this smartphone for many weeks now, and if you’re just dipping your toes into the blazing-fast world of 5G, then the Poco M6 Pro 5G should be on top of your shopping list.
This smartphone can do it all
I’m not going to go into much detail, because frankly, at Rs 10,999, one can’t really fault this smartphone. It’s a smartphone solely meant to spread the wonderful world of 5G to the masses. In fact, I personally know many who have bought this smartphone. Watching a Cricket World Cup match, while travelling through the streets of Delhi, without any interruptions, is something that everyone can experience now. With the Poco M6 Pro 5G, one can do that and more, without having to break the bank. When 5G rolled around in October of 2022, no one would have thought we’d be getting budget 5G smartphones this soon. But here we are, and everyone is thankful for it.
Design: The Poco M6 Pro features a dual-tone finish (distinguishing itself from the Redmi 12 5G) which lends to a beautiful sight. It’s got a rectangular camera bar (with two camera rings and a third for the LED flash) and a flat back surface. It’s a glass back. The Poco M6 Pro is IP53 rated which means it is splash-resistant. The smartphone has a plastic frame, with a speaker grille and USB Type-C port at the bottom.
There are two colour options - Forest Green and Power Black - and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is fast and accurate. One thing most people would be happy about is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR blaster.
The thick bezels aside, this smartphone has been very comfortable to hold and use to watch World Cup matches on the Delhi Metro. It’s been a pleasant experience. I never experienced any hand fatigue.
Display: The star of the show (other than access to 5G networks) is the expansive 6.71-inch FHD+ display (with a 90Hz refresh rate) and a peak brightness of 550 nits. There’s a punch-hole selfie camera. The only downside is the limited viewing angles as it is an LCD panel.
Performance: 5G. 5G. 5G. That’s all one should care about when purchasing this smartphone. From streaming videos to video calls, and much more. 5G enables one to have a buffer-free experience on the go. If you aren’t a gamer, then the Poco M6 Pro 5G will be able to handle all your daily tasks with aplomb. The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 SoC has proven itself to be a capable chipset if one isn’t constantly pushing it to the limit. The POCO M6 Pro has up to 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. Coupled with MIUI 14 this smartphone breezes through all the tasks on hand.
Camera: The camera setup on the Poco M6 Pro 5G is nothing to write home about. It’s simply average. The main 50MP primary sensor is best when there are favourable lighting conditions. The photos are good for Instagram and to share on WhatsApp groups as there is a good amount of dynamic range and accurate colours. Beyond that, the photos are barely usable. The portrait mode has large problems with edge detection.
Software: One area where I was disappointed with the Poco M6 Pro 5G was its software. While MIUI 14 (based on Android 13) is efficient in its performance, it comes with a lot of bloatware that is just unnecessary. One understands the company’s decision to include bloatware as a method for reducing the retail price, but still. It’s a little too much even for the common man, let alone us reviewers.
As I’ve been using this phone for a few weeks now, I’ve come to realise that this is a nifty little smartphone. It’s powerful enough for the common man and the thrill of 5G is its USP. It’s far better than all those sub-Rs 10,000 smartphones and the only real competition is from its cousin, the Redmi 12 5G.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking to jump the ship from 4G to 5G, and aren’t looking to spend a ton of money, then the Poco M6 Pro will get the job done for you.