POCO F6 Pro review: Premium performance minus the premium price

In Phones by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

If any smartphone deserves the title of “flagship killer,” it might be the newly launched POCO F6 Pro. With up to 1TB of storage, the second-best Qualcomm chipset currently on the market, and a more premium build, this phone aims to set standards for the year 2024 — at least on the data sheet.

In the Philippines, the POCO F6 Pro starts at P26,999 (roughly $464) for the base model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Prices climb to P28,999 ($498) and P32,999 ($567) if you opt for the 12GB/512GB and 16GB/1TB configurations, respectively. But here’s the thing: Early birds can get the device for as low as P23,699 ($407)!

SEE ALSO: POCO F6 Pro gaming test: Can it slay today’s top mobile games? and POCO F6, POCO F6 Pro ‘flagship killers’ now official

So, how did Xiaomi‘s POCO manage to pull this off? Did they cut corners? The short answer is yes, but there’s a lot more to the story. Let’s dive in!

No more plastics fantastics

POCO has finally ditched the budget-friendly plastic feel of previous F series phones in favor of a more premium look and feel, and the difference is night and day. The POCO F6 Pro is clad in a smooth, high-strength aluminum frame that’s as gorgeous as it is sturdy. It’s definitely on the heavier side, but that weight inspires confidence in the phone’s build quality and craftsmanship.

The design is clean and modern, with antenna lines integrated into the flat middle frame that transitions to comfortable rounded corners. The highlight of the makeover, though, is the back. POCO went with a quad-curved glass design with a subtle tiger-stripe pattern underneath a tasteful matte finish. It’s a touch that adds some visual flair without being too flashy. The overall look leans a bit “gaming phone” without being too loud about it, and both the black and white colorways share the same pattern, although it’s understandably harder to see on the white model.

The unit’s rear camera module juts out quite a bit, making it a fingerprint- and dust-magnet. The raised housing also makes it a little tricky to keep the camera lenses clean. Not the end of the world, but it’s something to keep in mind.

POCO F6 Pro review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
POCO went with a quad-curved glass design with a subtle tiger-stripe pattern underneath a tasteful matte finish

The lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack might be a sticking point for some users, especially those who prefer wired headphones. Thankfully, the handset supports high-quality audio over its USB-C port and Bluetooth 5.3, and the stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning sound surprisingly good for a smartphone. They’re definitely good enough for gaming and watching videos on the go. POCO even throws in a bit of nostalgia with a top-mounted IR blaster. This allows you to ditch the remote for your TV and possibly other IR-controlled appliances and control them straight from your phone.

Unfortunately, the POCO F6 Pro cuts a few corners when it comes to durability. There’s no official IP rating, so avoid taking it near pools or the beach. Wireless charging is also absent, which is a surprising omission for a smartphone in this price range.

A display fit for royalty

The display, given the POCO F6 Pro’s flagship positioning, is clearly geared towards gamers. You’re looking at an 6.67-inch OLED panel with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and a sharp WQHD+ resolution, which translates to a flagship-grade pixel density of 522 dots per inch. This makes it ideal for playing resource-intensive games like Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact that allow for higher graphics options and use all the oomph you can wring out of the hardware. The flat screen is also more comfortable for gaming in landscape mode, which you’ll probably do a lot if you’re eyeing this smartphone.

By default, this model runs at a minimum frequency of 60Hz but goes as high as 120Hz when using compatible apps or games, or if you are scrolling quickly on the interface or a social feed. You can also manually set the refresh rate to 60Hz or or force it to 120Hz at the cost of battery life.

POCO F6 Pro review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
You’re looking at an 6.67-inch OLED panel with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and a sharp WQHD+ resolution

POCO isn’t shying away from catering to the HDR crowd, either. The F6 Pro’s bright and crisp OLED panel is a great fit for HDR content, with support for HLG, HDR10+, HDR Vivid, and Dolby Vision. Viewing angles are wide, but the device’s highly reflective screen glass can cause some glare in bright environments. Thankfully, the colors themselves hold up well even when tilted off-axis, with no annoying color inversion.

Size-wise, the panel offers ample screen real estate for comfortable viewing and gaming, and POCO boasts a class-leading 4,000 nits of peak brightness for clearer visibility. And though the term “peak brightness” refers to the highest level of brightness a display can achieve on a small area (meaning it’s not always an accurate indicator of how bright a screen can get for everyday use), we can say with confidence we had no issues using the device outdoors in sunlight.

Peak performance

POCO has equipped the F6 Pro with last year’s flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. While not the absolute cutting-edge, benchmarks show it holding its own against the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm’s latest and greatest. Both chips use a 4nm process, but with slightly different architectures. The phone pairs its chipset with up to a whopping 16GB of physical RAM and 1TB of fast flash storage. This overkill configuration might appeal to hardcore multitaskers or those who hoard massive mobile game libraries, but most users will find a lower-spec option sufficient.

POCO F6 Pro benchmark scores via Revu Philippines

Real-world performance is excellent. The POCO F6 Pro is being marketed as a beast — and it feels like a beast. POCO has also thrown in some gamer-friendly software features like Game Turbo to optimize performance further. This app blocks notifications, disables auto brightness, and offers other tweaks to enhance your gaming experience. Whether you’re multitasking or mowing down enemies in your favorite mobile game, the F6 Pro should deliver buttery-smooth performance. Our unit seems to keep pace with the latest flagships in day-to-day tasks and games, even pulling off a noteworthy Antutu score exceeding 1.5 million points.

The integrated battery offers a capacity of 5,000mAh, big enough for all-day use and likely into the night even if you’re a heavy user. Better still, it can be charged quickly using the 120-watt power brick, which POCO generously includes in the box, so charging the smartphone from zero to full won’t take more than 30 minutes — or 20 minutes if you enable Boost mode in the Settings app. A 10-minute charge should keep the device powered for a good chunk of the day if you’re in a hurry. We can’t say that about most options in the ultra-premium category, let alone in this segment.

Quantity over quality

POCO equips the F6 Pro with a triple-camera system on the rear, headlined by a 50-megapixel Light Fusion 800 sensor. This primary sensor promises good image quality, especially in well-lit environments. However, the rest of the camera package seems like a bit of a mixed bag. The ultrawide sensor clocks in at a fairly standard 8 megapixels, and it falls short of the main camera’s capabilities. Images captured on the ultrawide lens exhibit softer details and show slight color variations compared to the main camera. There are also some inconsistencies in processing; pictures taken in quick succession can show noticeable differences in color rendering and exposure.

POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines
POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines
POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines
POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines
POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines
POCO F6 Pro camera sample picture in review by Revu Philippines

Sample shots

The 2-megapixel macro option feels like a bit of an afterthought. While it can be useful for capturing extreme closeups of small objects, such a small sensor likely won’t produce impressive results. Midrange phones are increasingly ditching these low-resolution filler cameras, and it’s a trend POCO should have adopted with its latest flagship offering.

The 16-megapixel fixed-focus selfie camera sits discreetly in a punch-hole cutout at the top center of the display. While megapixel count isn’t everything, it’s decent for day shots and quick social media snaps. The front camera also offers a portrait mode that achieves a pleasing separation between the subject and the background, with the artificial blur looking surprisingly natural in many instances.

Final thoughts

The POCO F6 Pro strikes a compelling balance between performance and price. You’re getting a phone with a premium metal body, a top-tier display, and a powerful processor that can handle even the most demanding games. The fast charging and generous battery life are also major pluses. However, the camera system, particularly the secondary and tertiary sensors, feels like a missed opportunity.

Ultimately, the POCO F6 Pro is an easy recommendation for gamers and power users who prioritize performance over everything else and don’t want to spend a small fortune on a model with the absolute latest specs. This smartphone offers a lot of bang for your buck and makes a ton of practical sense.

POCO F6 Pro specs

  • 6.67-inch OLED flat display, 3,200 x 1,440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 3,840Hz PWM high-frequency dimming, up to 4,000 nits peak brightness, 12-bit colors
  • 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 5G chipset
  • Adreno 740 GPU
  • 256GB/512GB/1TB UFS 4.0 storage
  • Triple 50-megapixel main, 8-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel macro rear cameras
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • Under-display fingerprint reader
  • 5,000mAh battery with 120-watt fast wired charging
  • HyperOS based on Android 14
  • Color options: Black, White

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Revu Team

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Alora Uy Guerrero and Ramon 'Monch' Lopez have a combined 38 years of experience in the publishing industry, having worked at Yahoo, T3 / Techie, TV5, Mega, GadgetMatch, and Gadgets. This website is their passion project.