Poco F6 Pro: mid-range with performance designed for gaming

Presented with great fanfare on May 23, the new F6 Pro presents Poco as the new favorite manufacturer of gamers. But is it worth it on paper?

Since 2018 and the launch of the first Poco F series, the Chinese brand, which emancipated itself somewhat from Xiaomi in 2020, has enjoyed considerable success in China, but also in the West.

The Poco F range is of interest to gamers with quite remarkable technical sheets. Proof with the recent announcement of the new F6 and F6 Pro which seem ideally designed for gaming. Impressive technical sheet, certainly, but are the promises kept in smartphone hands?

If we put the Poco F5 Pro and the F6 Pro side by side, we will recognize that the Chinese manufacturer has made a big effort on the design of the chassis of the new model. Inspired by “the Moon and its relief”, the new F6 Pro is directly eye-catching. Very sober but also very chic, it has a glass rear panel behind which a sort of marbled effect has been inlaid, as if to imitate the lunar rock, Poco’s reference for this F6 series.

On the left, the F5 Pro, on the right, the F6 Pro.

The other big change in this new model concerns the photo sensor unit. From a thin vertical strip placed on the left half of the rear panel, we move on to a common horizontal block which easily covers almost a third of the phone. Difficult to find a justification for such a choice, but it is much too crude and imposing to offer a harmonious telephone. To add a fine touch of elegance, Poco has inlaid a small golden ring on its black phone around each photo lens. Elegant. As for the rest, we will note an aluminum frame which looks exactly like that of the iPhone 15, as well as the same punch for the front camera located in the middle at the top of the screen.

Speaking of the screen, let’s discuss the improvements made by Poco on it. If we keep a 6.67-inch 2K AMOLED screen, the real novelty lies in the brightness. With peak outdoor brightness of up to 4,000 nits, it performs as well as an iPhone 15 Pro Max and a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Outdoors, of course, it is very lively, but indoors too. It is therefore very pleasant to navigate on this Poco F6 Pro, but also to watch photos and videos, since they come out better than ever.

The advantage with Poco, Xiaomi and Redmi is that the user has almost total control over the functionality of their phone. Thus, if the Poco F6 Pro is announced with a screen refresh rate of 120Hz, the user is given the possibility of maintaining a rate of 60Hz in order to preserve their battery. And if desired, the user can let the phone automatically manage the frame rate depending on the scenario (low battery, application, etc.). The display resolution can also be changed (between FHD+ and WQHD+).

We clearly can’t blame Poco for compromising on the quality of its screen. HDR10+, adaptive colors, Dolby Vision, 68 billion colors, 526ppp resolution… The Poco F6 Pro undoubtedly has one of the best phone screens in its price range.

For the first time, Poco is offering a smartphone with up to 16GB of RAM. It’s simply colossal (even if not necessarily necessary), especially since at €579, it’s one of the most affordable phones at the moment with so much RAM. At the same time, we can understand this strong choice by the manufacturer to offer the 16GB RAM/1TB configuration, since the F6 Pro is mainly aimed at gamers.

On the one hand, we will note an improvement in the processor level, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 equipped with a 4th generation Liquid Cool cooling system. In addition to the chip which offers improved performance compared to that of the F5 Pro, the cooling system also allows performance to be increased. If, in game, the result is quite convincing with ultra-smooth images and no slowdown, we will still note a tendency towards overheating despite this new cooling technology. On the other hand, when watching a film, listening to music or playing a game, we should avoid turning the sound up to maximum as it tends to crash and be unpleasant for our ears.

Further affirming its desire to be the smartphone calibrated for gaming, the Poco F6 Pro has been offering Game Turbo functions for many years now. Empty memory, free up storage, Turbo mode to improve the refresh rate or even several quick accesses to tools such as screenshots, the Game Turbo is in a way the equivalent of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, but on mobile.

XiaomiOS may well be one of the most successful versions of Android, but the Chinese manufacturer still has the unfortunate tendency to deliver its smartphones with a slew of pre-installed applications. If it is not serious in itself and it is possible to uninstall them all, it must be admitted that the operation is tedious and quite long. Three browsers (Brave, Google and Mi Browser), eight games, six social networks and e-commerce platforms… There are around thirty that Xiaomi installs by default on all its smartphones.

When it comes to photography, practically very few improvements have been made by Poco to its F6 Pro. Note that the main sensor goes to 50MP instead of the previous 64MP. Concretely, what does this mean? Photos are supposed to be of lower resolution. However, when we take daytime photos, we will see very pretty shots despite some problems with contrast.

The photos taken during the day are very clean.

As for the macro mode, we will regret a blatant lack of adjustment in terms of focus. The phone has a hard time detecting the element highlighted and displays colors that aren’t great.

The macro mode is certainly the weakness of the photo module of this F6 Pro.

The zoom offered by Poco on its new flagship is very unconvincing. If the optical zoom, which offers two times magnification, turns out to be quite good, it is mainly the digital zoom which magnifies an image up to 10 times which is a stain. Images are hyper pixelated, grainy and unrecoverable. Quite the opposite of Samsung’s S24 Ultra.

If the 2x optical zoom is good, the 10x digital zoom is completely unusable.

The front camera offers generally satisfactory results. Thanks to its Portrait mode in particular, very successful.

Portrait mode, especially in low light, displays very good performance with the front camera.

Finally, note excellent performance in Night mode. Although we will avoid zooming in the photos otherwise we will see very ugly details appear in the photo, the fact remains that the photos seem to have been taken at sunset, when it was full darkness.

Contrary to appearances, this photo was taken after complete darkness had fallen.

Poco also placed emphasis on recharging its F6 Pro and its very large battery. 5,000 mAh is the announced capacity of the Poco phone, and it must be said that with all the features related to energy saving, it is largely capable of exceeding a day’s battery life.

We will also note the very good idea of ​​Hibernation mode which, once the single percent of battery life is reached, makes the phone idle and only keeps the essential functions to guarantee up to 30 minutes of call time. Plus, with the 120W charger included in the box, the Poco F6 Pro charges to 100% in just 15 minutes. A very nice achievement. The big absence will nevertheless remain wireless charging which, it seems, has been left in the closet by Xiaomi and Poco.

Sold at €579.90 in 12GB RAM and 256GB storage configuration, the Poco F6 Pro goes up to €699.90 with 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage. The quality/price ratio is rather good, but clearly from its technical sheet, the F6 is a smartphone which is intended more for gamers than for photo enthusiasts in particular, and which therefore enters a certain niche in Belgium.

The +:

  • A rather attractive price (€579.9)
  • A super bright and quality screen
  • A revised and successful design
  • Fully recharges in 15 minutes
  • 12GB or 16GB of RAM
  • Features designed for gaming

THE – :

  • Really very disappointing photos
  • Where is the wireless charging?
  • XiaomiOS and its preinstalled apps
  • A sound that saturates quickly in the treble
  • A very (too?) imposing photo block

So, are we cracking?

For €579 (€499 with Xiaomi’s launch discounts), this Poco F6 Pro is a smartphone aimed primarily at gamers. It displays a remarkable technical sheet, including a high-end processor capable of supporting certain games at 120FPS, a superb screen and 16 GB of RAM under the hood. With such power, you will have no trouble running any game in optimal conditions. The Poco F6 is also characterized by its unique design, which gives it a very cool side. On the other hand, it is not necessarily the best choice if you take a lot of photos… The photo block thus offers some frankly not great shots, especially in macro and when using the digital zoom, and the audio is frankly not very pleasant for the ears. However, the Chinese manufacturer has brilliantly revised the design of its range.

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