Yes, yes, the Poco M2 Pro looks almost identical to the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Yes, yes, it also has the same specs, just a different name. But, seriously, who cares, especially when Poco is also owned by Xiaomi. It’s not like Poco is a rival of Xiaomi’s. So what if they copied their own phone and released it. This stuff happens all the time in the automobile industry and a lot of this has also happened in the smartphone space — one just needs to look at what the BBK Group brands are doing. The real question that matters is what is so good about this phone and what are its weaknesses.
- No matter what you say, the design is nice on this phone. Its identity crisis is a different conversation and immaterial to the consumer. It feels utterly premium for a phone of its price. The glass and metal sandwich works well and the addition of the dual-tone colours and patterns inspired by the Kevlar finish of the Poco F1 give this phone some character. There are ergonomic niceties too – like the side-mounted fingerprint scanner which works like magic, the presence of the 3.5mm headphone jack which I appreciate a lot in the age of Zoom calls, and the new haptic feedback system.
- Power-packed and versatile is the way I’d describe the performance of the Poco M2 Pro. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G which has been tried and tested on phones like the Realme 6 Pro and the Redmi Note 9 Pro. It’s reliable like a Maruti Swift. It has the extra sporty punch when you want to play games and at the same time, it is the epitome of frugality for getting daily tasks done without fuss. It also helps that there is 6GB RAM and up to 128GB storage.
- It has possibly the best camera package that you can get on a phone south of Rs 15,000. Yes, this is the same quad-camera package with a 48-megapixel sensor, a 119-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, a macro camera and a depth sensor. The software is also versatile — there is a great pro mode and you get wide-colour gamut. All in all, this is a tremendous camera stack which takes superb photos in day time while providing solid results in the night time. At the same time – it is decent with video especially 4K 30 frames per second, while also having a decent handle on portrait mode and macro photography.
- The software experience on the Poco M2 Pro is better than other Xiaomi phones because it comes with the Poco launcher out of the box and it doesn’t have ads in the interface. Poco is also promising an update to Android 11 pretty soon which is also neat. There is reason to believe Poco here as they have done a stellar job of supporting the Poco F1 even two years later.
- The hidden trump card of the Poco M2 Pro, like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, is its battery. There is a humongous 5,000mAh battery which lasts and lasts. It’s like the damned roadrunner. I was clocking an average of 9/10 hours of screen on time and upwards of 30 hours of use on a single charge. Poco has also packed a 33-watt fast charger in the package which ensures everything gets juiced up in 90 minutes.
- The fact that this phone looks identical to the Redmi Note 9 Pro is going to irritate or piss off a lot of people in the tech sector. It kind of defeats the point of having a separate brand, if you’re going to release the same phone in a different finish with slightly better software.
- The major downside of the Poco M2 Pro is inherited from the Redmi Note 9 Pro. It is the display. I mean it’s fine — you can watch Netflix or Hotstar on this, but since the brightness level isn’t that great – it will be problematic to view content under direct sunlight.
- The front-facing camera is just about okay — there are plenty of phones which do selfies better. This is a minor quibble in the scheme of things but a quibble nonetheless.
should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a phone priced under Rs 20,000, I’d definitely recommend the Poco M2 Pro. The issue of it being a rebranded Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro doesn’t make this a bad phone. In fact, it has the fundamentals of one of the best phones around. And at the same time, one has to admit, Poco has improved this phone from the original which makes it even more compelling. That being said, I’d still recommend the Poco X2 over this, if you have a better budget.