24 with 18 posters participating
- The front looks just like a Galaxy S10 Plus.
- There are so many cameras on the back.
- The bottom, featuring a USB-C port and headphone jack.
- That’s a side-mounted fingerprint reader.
- There are a microphone and IR blaster on the top.
Xiaomi is launching a follow-up to one of India’s most popular smartphones, the Poco F1, with the Poco X2. Just like the first version, this is a phone that aims to push the boundaries of bang-for-your-buck with a really big spec sheet and a really low price. A phone with a 120Hz display and six cameras for just 15,999 ($225)? That’s crazy!
India is a major battleground country for smartphone manufacturers, thanks to the combination of the world’s second-highest population along with a more open market compared to the tyrannical rules imposed by the government in China. Xiaomi really went after this market in 2018 with the launch of the Poco F1, which offered flagship-class specs (a Snapdragon 845) for $340. Naturally, the first Poco was a real hit with Indian users, but a lot of evidence suggests that Xiaomi was just using the phone as a loss leader. For about half a year, the Poco F1 was a sweetheart deal made just for India, and Xiaomi even did its best to limit the phone’s overseas appeal by stripping down the cellular connectivity to India-specific bands.
For the sequel, Xiaomi isn’t going quite as hard as it did with the Poco F1. Instead of Qualcomm’s highest-end chipset, the Snapdragon 865, this is a Snapdragon 730G. The phone is actually just a rebrand of an earlier Xiaomi phone meant for the Chinese market, the Redmi K30. But again, this was probably the plan. Release a crazy-cheap phone in the Poco F1, build a fan base, then sell more sustainably priced devices under the same brand name.
While the phone sounds like a great deal, there are of course some corners that were cut to get down to this price. The Snapdragon 730G is almost a year old now, and it’s an 8nm SoC with eight cores in a unique 2+6 arrangement. There are two Cortex A76-based CPUs at 2.2Ghz and six Cortex A55-based CPUs at 1.8GHz. For $225, you’re getting 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but the storage is UFS 2.1 instead of the faster UFS 3.0 you’d get in most flagships. There’s a 4500mAh battery, 27W fast charging through USB-C, a side-mounted fingerprint reader, a headphone jack, dual SIM support, a microSD slot, and even a top-mounted IR blaster for controlling your home theater. Assuming the omissions from the spec sheet are accurate, the phone does not support NFC and is not water-resistant. For an OS, you get Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI UI.
The front of the device is a dead ringer for a Galaxy S10 Plus, with an all-screen design and two front-facing cameras in an oval-shaped hole punch cutout. The 6.67-inch 120Hz display is an LCD, not an OLED, though, with a resolution of 2400×1080 (394 PPI). There’s Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back and an exposed aluminum frame around the sides.
The back is just full of cameras. There are four: a main 64MP camera, a 2MP macro, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP depth camera. The front is packing a 20MP selfie cam and an extra 2MP camera for depth.
For now, cellular support for the Poco X2 is terrible, just like the initial release of the Poco F1, ensuring this phone has a tough life outside of India. That’s actually the primary difference between the Redmi K30 and the Poco X2: each phone has a band selection designed to limit it to its home countries, instead of the worldwide support you’d get from most devices. About six months after the initial release, the Poco F1 got an international version with extra band support, so there’s still hope for interested people outside of India.
The Poco X2 will go on sale February 11 on Flipkart.
Listing image by Xiaomi