The Xiaomi Poco F5 and F5 Pro fall behind the pack

My F5 Pro had a dull white finish, but it also comes in black. The F5 has a marbled effect in white and adds blue as an option. My black model has an almost carbon fiber effect with diagonal lines, but these are all conservative looking phones. Finally, Gorilla Glass 5 is getting old. You should probably use the included translucent case, especially since the phones are only IP53 rated. Rain is fine, but the submersion will probably kill them.

take my picture

The triple-lens cameras on the F5 and F5 Pro are identical, consisting of a 64-megapixel main lens, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. You also get a 16-megapixel selfie camera on each phone, and while you can delve into the settings to take a full 64-megapixel photo, I don’t recommend it. Similarly, for extreme close-ups, you can dig through the menu to find the macro option, but you can expect woefully inferior shots.

The camera has no problem producing shareable photos in good lighting, and the selfie camera is fine. Portrait mode on the main and selfie lens has issues with edges and stray hairs, but produces decent bokeh. The main camera has a night mode that does a passable job, but noise inevitably creeps in as it gets darker. It can’t match something like Google’s Pixel.

The only difference on the spec sheet is that the Pro can shoot 8K video, while the F5 is limited to 4K. 4K 30fps recording, on the other hand, was impressively smooth and both phones have optical image stabilization (OIS). , so there’s no need to worry about shaky hands. However, the 8K video I recorded to test was very jerky.

Courtesy of Simon Hill

superfluous software

Xiaomi includes in its version standard applications, which include a browser, a gallery, a video, a security application and some more. It also packs an odd assortment of third-party apps and games on Poco phones. I’m not a fan who wants facebook or Block Puzzle Keeper pre installed? The privacy policy you have to agree to in order to use Xiaomi’s apps is nasty, but data collection concerns aside, the apps are inferior to Google’s versions. The good news is that you can uninstall or ignore most of the bloatware.

Sadly, it’s not that easy to get rid of MIUI. Upgrading from an older phone or another Xiaomi model might not be a big deal, but coming from a Pixel, Xiaomi’s UI feels terribly busy. There are some weird differences that make navigation errors all too common. Having to swipe left for notifications and right for quick settings is annoying. These quirks add friction, and because your phone is probably the device you use the most, the frustration builds.

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