Review of Poco F6 and F6 Pro: Small price, great performance

With so much Excellent mid-range smartphone today, how do you choose? Every year, Xiaomi’s Poco lineup drives hardware expectations, and the Poco F6 and F6 Pro are no exception. The Poco F6 Pro (£499) struggles to justify the Pro tag, but the cheaper Poco F6 (£399) is an absolute bargain (even more so if you get the original price of £339). You’ll struggle to find this processing power or display quality elsewhere without paying extra.

Xiaomi often rebrands affordable phones released in China under the Redmi brand as Poco phones for Europe and the rest of the world, even though they are not sold in the United States. Poco is quickly building a reputation for value, and the F6 is a prime example of why. It ticks all the boxes with a gorgeous display, fast performance, a capable camera and fast charging, although the software and battery life let it down a few points.

The Poco F6 could be the perfect phone for gamers on a budget this year and there are almost no compromises. The Pro isn’t worth the extra money, so I’ll focus on the Poco F6 in this review, but I’ll dig deeper into the differences below.

Identity crisis

The design is probably the least interesting thing about these phones, but it’s also the most obvious difference. The Poco F6 is all-plastic, has a flat frame, a gently curved back that glimmers without leaving fingerprints, and two large camera lenses on the top left flanked by a smaller flash. My review unit comes in a nice green color, but it also comes in black or yellow beige which Xiaomi calls titanium.

The F6 Pro has an aluminum frame and a glass back with a marble-effect finish. My review unit came in black, but you can also choose white. The camera module is much larger, spanning almost the entire top of the F6 Pro, with three medium-sized lenses and a flash arranged in four symmetrical grids. The F6 Pro is a bit thicker and heavier than its sibling, and you could say it’s the more expensive of the two, although I prefer the F6. The Poco brand is very sophisticated. That said, neither design is very exciting.

Two cell phones face down on the edge of the wooden table showing their cameras. The top phone has a glass back with...

Photo: Simon Hill

Both phones have an in-display fingerprint sensor and it worked well for me, usually unlocking the first time. But it’s oddly low compared to other phones, so I constantly had to adjust my thumb position. Strangely, the F6 has the advantage IP64 rating of water resistance and Gorilla Glass Victus to protect the screen, while the F6 Pro is IP54 and has the older Gorilla Glass 5.

These phones are almost identical in size, both having a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, although you must enable it in the display settings. The difference is in resolution, with the F6 Pro at 3,200 x 1,440 pixels and the F6 at 2,712 x 1,220 pixels, and the F6 Pro is said to be a bit brighter. Even side by side, I can’t see much of a difference. Both displays are sharp and bright enough for outdoor viewing. These are solid phones for watching movies (if you must watch movies on your phone) with stereo speakers and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+.


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