Poco M4 Pro

Poco M4 Pro

Introduction:

If you don’t find 5G as an absolute necessity, and a nice OLED display is higher up in your preference list for you smartphone purchase, the Poco M4 Pro 4G will trade one for the other compared to the M4 Pro 5G.

The 4G version runs on Helio G96 instead of the Dimensity 810 found on the 5G version. Another MediaTek chip which is slightly less powerful and skips the next-gen connectivity. On the flipside, it comes with a 6.43-inch OLED screen that’s slightly smaller than the 5G’s 6.6” panel, still retains the 90Hz refresh rate and promises a lot more brightness, on top of OLED’s other built-in advantages.

The main camera on the back also gets a little touch of change with 64MP main sensor instead of 50MP one on the 5G and a 2MP macro camera has popped up which was missing. There is no change in the ultrawide and the selfie units.

Body

159.9×73.9×8.1mm, 179g; Gorilla Glass 3 front, plastic back, plastic frame; IP53, dust and splash resistant.

Display

6.43″ AMOLED, 90Hz, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 409ppi.

Chipset

Mediatek Helio G96 (12 nm): Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC2.

Memory

64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC (dedicated slot).

Operating System

Android 11, MIUI 13 for POCO.

Rear Camera

Wide (main): 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 0.7µm, PDAF;

Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4″, 1.12µm;

Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.

Selfie Camera

16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″ 1.0µm.

Video capture

Rear camera: [email protected];

Front camera: [email protected]

Battery

5000mAh; Fast charging 33W, Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 3+.

Misc.

Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port; 3.5mm jack.

Unboxing:

The Poco M4 Pro ships in a two-piece cardboard box in recognizable yellow livery, now with oversized branding – the 5G version opted for a more restrained front size.

The contents are the usual – a charger, USB cable and a soft transparent case. The charger is a hefty 33W Xiaomi fast charging unit with a USB-A output post. There’s no headset in the retail bundle, as is the tradition, so you’ll have to step out to buy your own if you plan to use the FM radio with any amount of reliability.

Design:

Despite the tweaks in design, there isn’t much of a difference between the Poco M4 Pro and Poco M4 Pro 5G. That’s largely thanks to the large camera island that’s become somewhat of a signature trait for the recent Pocos.

Poco notched up the game with its Poco M4 Pro, the camera module covers the entire top quarter of the back and evokes Mi 11 Ultra vibes – minus the display and industry-leading cameras inside of course. The Poco X4 Pro shares this design as well.

The phone’s rear panel is made of plastic and has a glossy finish. That only applies to the Phantom Black color option. Both Cool Blue and signature Poco Yellow sport satin-finished back panels. They will definitely do a better job of keeping fingerprints at bay – the Black one is more of a fingerprint magnet. On the flipside, the Blue and Yellow colors are more slippery than the Black one – the bundled case is the universal equalizer.

The frame is also made of plastic and it does have a matte finish. The sides are flat and offer plenty of grip.

The right side of the frame is home to the power button which doubles as the fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner is dependable as it works well with either the left index finger or the right thumb. It is positioned well within the reach of the thumb so it’s easy to access.

As is the usual case on MIUI smartphones, you get the option to require a press for fingerprint recognition, which should help with accidental touches.

The volume rocker is above the fingerprint reader, and all three operate with reassuring click action.

On the left-side of the frame houses the SIM card slot. It’s a most versatile variant and will accommodate two SIMs and a microSD at the same time, if you have use for all three. Note the gasket – it’s part of the measures ensuring the IP53 rating for splash resistance.

Two more features we appreciate can be spotted on the top frame – a 3.5mm headphone jack and an infrared emitter. Here you’ll also find the secondary mic and loudspeaker grille of the top speaker/earpiece.

The bottom section of the frame has the USB-C port accompanied by the primary loudspeaker and the primary mic.

The front of the phone is equipped with the 6.43” OLED display surrounded by nicely slim bezels – for a phone in this price range. The display is guarded by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3, at least that’s what reports suggest, even if the official specs remain silent about it. The display comes with a factory-applied plastic screen protector.

The selfie camera sits behind the center aligned punch-hole cutout, and that too is pretty small. The earpiece, meanwhile, gets a tiny mesh where the display meets the frame.

The Poco M4 Pro measures 159.9 x 73.9 x 8.1mm and weighs 180g, making it one of the just barely more compact offerings in the segment, alongside a Galaxy A32 and a handful of ever so slightly different Redmi Note 11s.

Display:

One of the areas where the 4G version of the Poco M4 Pro has a notable advantage over the 5G one is the display. The M4 Pro is the first M-series phone to come with an OLED display, and it’s a pretty well equipped one too. The phone has a 6.43-inch display with 1080p resolution, 409ppi pixel density, 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate.

Poco M4 Pro claims to deliver 700 nits brightness in high brightness mode, but it delivers 737 nits in bright ambient light conditions and Auto brightness enabled. It also promised 1000 nits of peak brightness, which can be likely achieved too for smaller lit-up areas. Swiping the slider manually without the sun shining into the Poco, we measured 462 nits.

The Color scheme menu gives you three preset options – the out-of-the-box Vivid, Saturated that has the extra pop and Standard for a more toned down look. There are also Warm and Cool buttons to adjust the color temperature as well as a color wheel for manual adjustment.

Vivid mode offers a wide color gamut and is decently accurate though there was a strong bluish tint on the white and gray ones. Going for a Warm Preset reigned them in a bit and improved the overall accuracy. Saturated mode pushes things over the edge, but if you prefer that overly colorful early OLED look, this is your mode. Standard, meanwhile, is superbly accurate for displaying sRGB content.

When it comes to refresh rate management, things are fairly simple on the Poco M4 Pro. The 60Hz Standard mode keeps everything at 60Hz, while the 90Hz High mode goes up to 90Hz with some basic app-based and inactivity-triggered switching to 60Hz.

In High Mode, the phone will drop down to 60Hz in most apps if you don’t touch the screen for a few seconds, while browsers will maintain 90Hz if there’s moving content being displayed. Video apps, meanwhile, will be locked at 60Hz. The full 90Hz refresh rate is available in gaming, though you may not be able to get all that many fps in more demanding 3D titles because of the relatively modest GPU.

Battery life & Charging speed:

The Poco M4 Pro runs on a 5,000mAh battery, a rather standard capacity for the segment. It’s not a particularly efficient chipset under the hood, the 12nm MediaTek G96, but it’s not a very powerful one either, so it shouldn’t be overly taxing on the battery. Pair that with a relatively small display (contrary to 6.7-inch-ish one that are widely available), battery life could be a strong selling point.

The phone can sustain about 15:20 hours of web browsing (at 90Hz) or you can talk on calls for about 38:38h. You can watch videos at 60Hz for 20 hours.

The Poco M4 Pro lasts long, but when it needs to charge, it does so really fast – for a phone in this price range, that is. The bundled 33W adapter can refuel the battery to 51% in half an hour and takes 70 minutes from scratch to 100%.

Speaker:

The Poco M4 Pro has a stereo speaker setup with the usual Xiaomi arrangement, where the earpiece doubles as a second channel and that top speaker fires from the top as well, not just forward through the earpiece mesh. As such, you can expect sound to spill out more easily when on a call.

The channel allocation logic is standard, with the top speaker getting the left channel in portrait orientation and the phone switching channels to match the correct orientation in landscape. The two speakers aren’t equal in their loudness and tonal response – the bottom driver isn’t helping with the top one’s lows.

Performance:

In the Poco M4 Pro, Poco replaced the Dimensity 810 chipset on the 5G model with another chipset in MediaTek’s portfolio, the Helio G96. Besides the connectivity support, the chipset also differs in the manufacturing process – the Helio G96 is built on an older 12nm node, while the Dimensity 810 uses a modern 6nm process. The chipset didn’t make any significant difference in the battery life, though other variables, like display size and technology, also play a part here.

The Helio G96 has the same configuration as the Dimensity 810 – it’s a 2+6 setup. There are two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.05GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores for the mundane tasks ticking at 2.0GHz. The graphics department is handled by the Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. 

There are several RAM and storage options, and not all of them will be available in all regions. The 6GB RAM option comes with either 64GB or 128GB of storage, while the 8GB RAM will be paired with either 128GB or 256GB. There is also microSD card support for storage expansion.

Moving on to the benchmark, the model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage managed to get a score of 523 points in the single-core test and 1,836 points in the multi-core department.

In AnTuTu, the Poco M4 Pro managed to achieve a score of 318,444 points. The score of the M4 Pro outmatched the Redmi Note 11, Galaxy A32 5G and the Nokia G21 effortlessly.

The Helio G96 is a decent performer for the money it comes at and is a better option than the Snapdragon 680 in the Redmi Note 11 or the Helio G80 found in the Galaxy A32. The Poco M4 Pro 5G might still have a minor advantage in both CPU and GPU benchmarks, but we’d call the difference insignificant.

Camera & Photo quality:

Rear Camera

Wide (main): 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 0.7µm, PDAF;

Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4″, 1.12µm;

Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.

Selfie Camera

16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″ 1.0µm.

Daylight photo quality:

Daylight photos from the M4 Pro’s main camera are among the better ones you can get for this price range. In the default 16MP mode, they capture a lot of detail, and it’s a useful step up from the Redmi Note 11 or M4 Pro 5G’s 12.5MP. The noise is nowhere as bad as on the Redmi Note 11, but there is some.

Dynamic range is very good, though it’s worth keeping an eye on the HDR toggle in the viewfinder (which also doubles as status indicator – it may not trigger in every occasion you’d want it to. Then again, you can just set it to the On position and forget about it.

Color rendition suffers no major issues, and you’d be getting lively images with pleasing hues. Occasional minor white balance missteps can be seen – these can get a yellowish tint, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Turning on AI will boost the contrast, colors and sharpening – it will basically add more pop, and that will generally be too much pop.

At 2x zoom level, you can expect decent results if you stick to fit-to-screen magnification. On a pixel level, you’d be looking at the combined effects of softness from digital zoom and aggressive sharpening to try and mask it. Noise also becomes more prominent here.

The full-res 64MP mode offers little in terms of detail benefits but does also make noise easily visible.

The 8MP ultrawide camera on the M4 Pro is somewhere between Redmi Note 11’s ultrawide and Poco M4 Pro 5G’s ultrawide, but it leans more towards the latter.

The images are significantly cleaner with plenty of detail, particularly for an unassuming 8MP budget ultrawide. Dynamic range was okay – ‘good enough’ describes it well, but color reproduction was unimpressive – the 5G model’s colors are better.

Low-light photo quality:

Unlike higher-end Xiaomi phones the Poco M4 Pro doesn’t have auto Night mode, but it still delivers some good-looking images at night with its main camera when considering the price segment.

There’s a fair amount of noise in these, but sharpness and detail are good, especially in areas with more balanced lighting. Bright point sources of light may be blown out, but well within reason and certainly not in an objectionable way. Colors are quite saturated and are overall very pleasing.

Night mode brings in significant changes. It will bring down those blown-out highlights a little bit. It will, however, more prominently brighten shadows and lower mid-tones, which will lead to some extra-developed detail there, but may also result in false color in particularly dark environments. A healthy helping of sharpening is also applied.

At the 2x zoom level, photos show signs of softness and noise at fit to screen viewing, and things naturally look worse at 1:1.

Night mode does help a fair bit, and alongside the improved tonal development, you’d get sharper detail in the darker area. These are still not amazing, but definitely better.

The ultrawide isn’t night time-friendly one bit. It can’t expose bright enough, and captures images that are too dark. The photos are quite soft, perhaps due to the aggressive noise reduction, since noise appears to be on the low side. If there was a camera that would benefit from Night mode, it would be this one, but it’s sadly missing.

Portrait:

Portrait shots on the Poco M4 Pro have excellent subject separation, and even complex hairstyles are rendered reasonably well. The default background blur level isn’t over the top and makes for nicely natural-looking shots.

Selfies:

The selfies on M4 Pro are kinda more detailed than those on the 5G version, and that most probably is due to the different sensor. Granular is the word that best describes the presentation of details – it’s not the bestest of renditions, but it’s okay. Dynamic range is amazing and colors are satisfactory – overall quite good.

Selfie portraits are quite good too, particularly if you keep your hair in check – there are no visible major issues with the subject detection. HDR is available too, which isn’t always a given and it’s much appreciated.

Macro shots:

Closeups from the M4 Pro are unimpressive. While you can indeed shoot objects from a very close distance, there simply aren’t enough pixels in the 2MP camera to capture a whole lot of detail.

Final verdict:

The Poco M4 Pro is a smartphone that has both flaws and strengths. It comes with an IP53 rating, impressive battery life, and a good camera setup. However it seems to be lagging behind in the OS department with Android 11 and the ultrawide camera doesn’t have Night mode support.

It pioneered the inclusion of the first AMOLED display in the series, as well as the first 64MP main camera.

It’s arguable whether the Poco M4 Pro’s distinct design is any better than its 5G sibling, but the effort the brand put in making it different is worthy of praise. It’s undoubtedly a little more compact and thus easier to handle it with one hand.

The Poco M4 Pro is a well-rounded budget smartphone that feels a tiny bit more premium than its 5G sibling. The generous amount of RAM and storage add to the utility.

Pros

  • IP53 rating is nice to have, even though that doesn’t mean the phone is greatly water-resistant.

  • A beautiful AMOLED display – bright, color-accurate, with a 90Hz refresh rate.

  • Long battery life paired with some of the fastest charging for the money.

  • A capable primary camera, ultrawide is good in daylight too, selfies are also competitive.

  • We appreciate the 3.5mm jack, FM Radio, NFC, IR Blaster and microSD slot.

Cons

  • Overdesigned camera island, Black paint job is dull and fingerprint magnet.

  • The MIUI 13 custom skin has Android 11 underneath and is missing a few features.

  • No support for shooting videos in 4K or [email protected]

  • Ultrawide camera doesn’t have Night mode support.

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