The X6 5G is another impressive mid-range phone from Poco, but the lack of a 6GB variant means the starting price isn’t as low as last year.
Best Prices Today: Poco X6
Every year, Poco releases its X-range phones. These are a series of handsets in the mid-range space that often provide great value for money in comparison to rivals.
Like last year, there is a regular and Pro model on offer in 2024. The Poco X6 5G is the cheaper of the pair, and comes with a Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 processor, a bold and bright display and 67W fast charging. However, the mid-range phone space is a crowded market, so competition is fierce.
Design & Build
Similar design to last generation
The X6 takes design inspiration from last year’s Poco X5 5G. There’s still the large camera module with the statement dual circular lenses, but the matt finish has been replaced by a glossy plastic one. Whilst the back looks good untouched, it’s prone to picking up fingerprints and smudges. It also feels quite cheap and flimsy to touch.
That glossy finish is found on the black and blue versions, but there’s also a white marble-effect model available too. The Poco logo next to the cameras now reads horizontally rather than vertically and has been reduced in size to become less intrusive. Thankfully, Poco seems to have completely moved away from blazing its logo/catchphrase over the entire handset.
On the left there is the volume rocker and power button, and on the bottom there is the USB-C charging port and dual-SIM slot – no extra expandable storage is offered, nor is eSIM support.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
The phone measures 161.15 x 74.24 x 7.98mm and weighs 181g. Its slim and light, but large enough that it will stick out of women’s jeans pockets. The X6 comes with an IP54 rating, which makes it slightly more durable than the IP53 of last year, but still falls short of the IP68 found on most flagships. It means the phone can survive splashes of water, but not immersion.
The box also includes a black silicone-style case, which looks pretty good and offers decent protection. This should help save you a few pennies.
For biometrics, there is both an under-display fingerprint scanner and face recognition. Both are responsive to use, and the phone can still register my face when I have glasses on.
Screen & Speakers
120Hz refresh rate
The Poco X6 features a 6.67-inch 1.5K (2712 x 1220) AMOLED display with tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, plus up to 1800 nits of peak brightness. It means the phone is colourful and sharp to use in a variety of conditions, including under bright sunlight. The screen is a joy to use for both videos and games, especially with support for Dolby Vision.
It has a 120Hz refresh rate, though you can use the lower 60Hz setting or the default mode which automatically switches between the two. Swipes are very responsive, while scrolling is largely smooth.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
The phone has an instant touch sampling rate of 2160Hz, though this number only activates with Game Turbo mode on. During gameplay, it was responsive to press and swipes. Haptic feedback can be adjusted on a sliding scale, and at full strength feels a little rattly.
The X6 is fitted with stereo speakers (another upgrade on last year’s singular speaker), which produces loud and punchy audio. It hasn’t got a lot of depth or impressive bass, but that’s to be expected with no additional audio processing software like Dolby Atmos.
Specs & Performance
Snapdragon 7s Gen 2
8 or 12GB RAM/256 or 512GB storage
The Poco X6 is fitted with a Snapdragon 7s Gen 2, a 2023 Qualcomm chipset that’s designed for mid-range phone
The version I tested combines it with a generous 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, which is plenty for your photos, games and apps. However, you can spend less by opting for either the 8GB/256GB version or the 12GB/256GB variant – availability will depend on where you live.
For the price, this smartphone has great performance. I’ve been able to multitask, stream and play games with minimal lag, while booting up the phone is quite swift.
My review unit appears to have a bug where it starts making a rapid tapping sound at random. At first, I was able to solve it by closing the YouTube app that was running in the background, but that no longer appears to be working. I’ve reported it to Poco, and the company is looking into the issue – hopefully it’s not a widespread problem.
Poco X6 5G Benchmarks
Here’s how the phone compares to rivals in our benchmarking tests. I didn’t manage to record GFX Bench scores, as the app would not run on the phone:
For some reason, Genshin Impact took a long time to install on this phone (several hours). I could still play on low graphic settings without overclocking, though there was some popping, so you’ll want to go for a more powerful phone if heavy-duty mobile games are your thing.
If the name didn’t give it away already, 5G support is included.
64Mp main camera
The Poco X6 (5G) has a triple rear camera set-up. This is led by a 64Mp main camera with OIS and complimented by an 8Mp ultra-wide camera and a 2Mp macro camera. On the front, there is a 16Mp front camera. Like previous phones in this series, the array has its strengths and weaknesses.
As you might expect, the Poco takes photos best outdoors in bright daylight. It captures sharp details (even from a distance), and processes shadows with an attractive lens flare where appropriate. Colours are quite true to life, rather than being too overblown or vapid.
Indoors, snaps aren’t quite as impressive, especially in lower light conditions where tones appear a lot warmer on the screen than what they are to the eye. At night, the phone struggles quite a lot to retain the same amount of detail, with many images becoming blurry and soft – the software-based night mode lifts areas that are already lit up, but doesn’t do much else.
Up to 10x zoom is available on the Poco X6, but without a telephoto lens, this is all digital. I wouldn’t bother going past 4x zoom as details become much noisier at these levels. Even 2x zoom results in more washed-out colours than the main camera.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
There is a dedicated macro mode, but I’d recommend just sticking with the main camera for close-up shots. This captures details with more clarity, and is easier for focusing. However, in more distant shots (particularly on pictures of food) it has more difficulty keeping everything clear.
For selfies, the 16Mp snapper is a marked improvement over the X5. Skin details are much more visible, and the bokeh effect on portrait mode can pick out stray hairs with better clarity.
Video recording is available in 4K, 1080p and 720p, all at 30fps. A combination of OIS on the main lens and Poco’s ‘steady video’ mode helps minimise shake when moving around, but footage still tends to look a bit laggy and weird.
Battery Life & Charging
Large 5100mAh battery
Put simply, the battery life on the Poco X6 is incredible. It comes with a 5100mAh cell which is extremely tough to wear down, even when using the max 120Hz refresh rate.
On average, I could get two days usage out of this phone in between work, using it for Twitch, Netflix and taking photos. This was also reflected in our PCMark battery test (with brightness set to 200 nits), with the phone managing an impressive 13 hours and 24 minutes overall.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
What’s even better is that you don’t trade that big battery for slow charging. The included 67W brick juices it from flat to 87% in 30 minutes, meaning a quick five-minute charge could last you an afternoon. Note that the phone gets quite hot during charging, and no wireless option is included.
If battery life is important to you, then you should consider the Poco X6 5G as your new smartphone.
Cluttered MIUI 14
Three years of OS upgrades
Four years of security updates
The Poco X6 5G runs on MIUI 14, which is Xiaomi’s version of Android 13. This isn’t the latest version of this OS, but there are other mid-range Poco phones that are also a generation behind.
If you’re used to pure Android, or even Samsung’s One UI, then Xiaomi navigation may take some getting used to. Swiping down from the right accesses your quick settings, whilst the left brings up your notifications. This is the same set-up seen on iPhones.
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
Yet again, Poco disappoints by including a load of bloatware and games upon installation. There are tons of titles like ‘Block Puzzle Guardian’ (a Tetris-esque game) and ‘Dust Settle’. These can be uninstalled, but they clutter up your home screen when you first load up the phone. There’s also Xiaomi versions of Google apps, like an app store and photo gallery.
Poco has confirmed that the X6 will get three years of Android OS updates and four years of security patches. This is quite standard for phones of this price, but rivals such as Samsung and Google do offer longer.
Price & Availability
In the UK and Europe, the Poco X6 5G starts from £319/€329 for the 12/256GB variant. You can currently buy it from the Poco store, the Mi store and Amazon – the latter is offering a discounted price at the time of writing.
That starting price isn’t as low as the X5, but that series offered a 6GB RAM version. For the same configuration, the UK price is flat year on year. Whilst the brand did mention other storage and RAM variants for the X6, these aren’t live on the UK site at the time of writing. As with other Xiaomi models, it’s not available in the US.
With no networks offering the phone on contract, you’ll have to buy it outright and pair with a SIM-only deal.
It’s worth mentioning that the Poco X6 Pro starts from £369/€349 and comes with a better chipset, dedicated cooling system and Android 14. Plus, if you buy it through Poco’s early bird discount it’s not that much more expensive that the X6 – so, in this instance we’d recommend forking out a little bit more for the upgraded phone.
Outside of Xiaomi, the Honor Magic 6 Lite is a great viable alternative, another recent launch at the time of writing that comes with a more premium build. If having a cleaner OS is important, then you could consider the Samsung Galaxy A34 5G.
For further options, check out our guide to the best mid-range smartphones.
Should you buy the Poco X6?
On the hardware side, the Poco X6 is an upgrade on last year’s model. It has a a higher IP rating, improved speakers, a bigger battery and more capable rear and front cameras – plus smooth performances thanks to its Snapdragon processor.
It also retains the standard Poco compromises: a flimsy build quality, poor low-light camera performance and (most importantly) cluttered software with tons of app bloat. If you can overlook these flaws, then the Poco X6 5G is a strong mid-ranger… but the X6 Pro is even better still.