Poco F6 Review: Excellent Performance, Mid-Range Cameras

Poco F6 Review: Excellent Performance, Mid-Range Cameras

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The F-series is an important lineup for Poco, as the Poco F1 was the first phone from the brand to launch in India. A friend of mine still has the phone, and it runs fine even today. The F1 was a true flagship killer with an affordable price tag. However, things aren’t the same as they used to be, and you’ll find out why at the end of the review. The newest member in the F-series is the Poco F6. Like most F-series phones, the F6 is promised to deliver flagship-level performance thanks to the latest Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset.

I’ve been using the Poco F6 for the last couple of weeks to find out if the new phone is still an affordable flagship killer like the original F1 or just a mid-range upper flagship. Read on to find out.

Poco F6 price in India

The Poco F6 is available in three variants. The base 8GB RAM + 256GB storage option is priced at Rs. 29,999, the 12GB RAM + 256GB variant will cost you Rs. 31,999, and the 12GB + 512GB option is priced at Rs. 33,999. What’s impressive is that the phone ships with fast LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage.

What’s not impressive is the colour options. The phone is sold in two finishes – Black and Titanium. You get a matte finish on the rear panel with both options.

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The box contains a 120W fast charger, but the phone is capped at 90W

 

We received the top-end variant of the Poco F6 with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage. In the box, the phone came with a soft-touch silicone case, the usual set of paperwork, a SIM ejector tool, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, and a 120W fast charger.

Poco F6 Review: Design

When it comes to design, the Poco F6 keeps things simple. The design is very minimal, with a plastic back and frame. The rear panel has a smooth finish, and while it can be a little slippery, it is not prone to fingerprints or smudges. We have the Titanium variant, which is definitely the better-looking of the two options. A slight glimmer from the rear panel is visible when light hits it at certain angles.

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The rear panel has a smooth finish to it

 

You get two large circular camera rings that protrude from the back. A circular LED flash is placed right next to them. I’m not a huge fan of the large camera rings, but I think some may like it. As for branding, there’s a minimal Poco logo and a ‘50MP OIS’ etched on the back panel. The back also has chamfered edges, making it easy to hold in hand. The phone feels good in my hand. It weighs just 179 grams and is 7.8mm thick.

On the front, the phone now gets Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the display. The screen has slim bezels all around and offers a screen-to-body ratio of 94.2 percent. The Poco F6 has a good-looking front that can easily be mistaken for a high-end premium phone. You also get an in-display fingerprint scanner placed at the bottom and a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera at the top centre.

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The Poco F6 doesn’t get a 3.5mm headphone port

 

The right frame houses the volume and power button, the top houses a microphone, an IR blaster, and a loudspeaker, and the bottom gets the USB Type-C port, another microphone, and the secondary speaker.

Poco has improved the IP rating on the new F6, with the phone now offering an IP64 rating, which is a nice bump from the IP53 rating on the Poco F5.

Poco F6 Review: Specifications and software

The Poco F6 is the first phone in India to launch with the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 SoC. This is an all-new chipset from Qualcomm that uses the same 4nm fabrication process as the more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The chipset is paired with fast LPDDR5x RAM up to 12GB and UFS 4.0 storage up to 512GB. It gets the Adreno 735 GPU.

For connectivity, you get a USB Type-C port, 5G Dual SIM, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, an Infrared blaster, and support for the usual set of GPS satellites.

Although placed very low to my liking, the in-display fingerprint scanner works well. I faced no issues with it during the review period. It also unlocks quite fast.

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The phone comes with up to 12GB LPDDR5X RAM

 

Poco has packed a 5,000mAh battery in the F6 that supports 90W fast charging. You do get a 120W charger in the box, but the charging speed is capped at 90W.

The Poco F6 runs Android 14-based HyperOS out-of-the-box and is promised to receive three major Android updates and four years of security patches. That’s pretty good if you ask me.

In terms of features, you get all the goodness of HyperOS but with some pre-installed apps. Luckily, there are no Hot apps or Hot games, and all the included games and apps can be uninstalled. Along with the usual HyperOS features, the phone also gets a couple of AI features. These include AI Gesture control, AI Image Expansion, AI Eraser Pro, AI Bokeh, AI Noise Cancellation, AI Network and Connectivity, and Wildboost 3.0.

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The AI Gesture control feature mostly feels like a gimmick, for now

 

I tried AI Gesture control and some AI image editing features on the Poco F6. The AI Gesture control works, but not all the time, and has somewhat of a steep learning curve. It also currently only works on Netflix and the inbuilt Music app. You can increase or lower the volume, play/pause content, and forward/rewind/switch music by using hand gestures. It’s mostly a gimmick, but when it works, it’s kind of cool.

The AI image editing tools are also a hit or miss. You can erase objects, remove people, add blur, and change the sky in photos. These features don’t require an internet connection, which is nice, but the results aren’t perfect or as good as some of the other similar features in the market. I tried to remove an object, and while I got decent results most of the time, sometimes the AI just added an object instead of removing it.

Overall, the Poco F6 provided a good software experience with plenty of features and customisation. While the AI Gesture control isn’t that useful, some of the AI features, such as the image eraser, can do a good job.

Poco F6 Review: Performance

Moving on to performance, the Poco F6 is as good as a mid-range phone gets. The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is an excellent chip, and while it may not be as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or Gen 3, it delivers a great balance of performance and efficiency. The phone scored very well in all the benchmarks I threw at it. In AnTuTu v10, the Poco F6 scored 14,57,491 points in performance mode. On Geekbench 6, the phone scored 1,835 points in the single-core CPU tests and 4,693 in the multi-core test.

In real-world usage, I did not face any performance issues such as lag or stuttering. The animations, scrolling, and overall software were smooth.

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The phone offers HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support

 

The Poco F6 also has a good display that is great for watching all kinds of content. You have features such as HDR mode and AI Super-resolution that make watching things more fun. The phone has a 6.67-inch LTPS AMOLED display with 1.5K resolution, up to 480Hz touch sampling rate, and a 120Hz refresh rate. You can choose between a dynamic refresh rate or a display that is set to either 60 or 120Hz.

The display offers a peak brightness of 2,400 nits and supports Dolby Vision HDR 10+. I had no issues reading the display indoors and outdoors under direct sunlight. It’s a lovely bright display offering three main colour modes – Original Colour Pro, Vivid, and Saturated. There’s also a custom mode if you want to fine-tune the display colours. I found the Original Colour Pro mode to be the best. The panel also offers good viewing angles.

Moving on from the display, the Poco F6 also delivers good sound. You get a hybrid speaker setup that is loud and offers some bass as well. The vocals are clear, even at full volume, and the overall sound quality is quite good. The call quality is also good, with microphones performing well even outdoors.

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Most games run at full settings with ease

 

Gaming on the phone is fun. Throw any casual game at it, and you’ll never face any lag or hiccups. Even graphics-intensive games run well on the Poco F6. I played BGMI and Genshin Impact on the phone at their highest settings and faced no issues. Touch sensitivity is also good; you can use the Game Turbo app to improve gaming performance further.

With gaming comes heating, but I’m happy that the phone did not heat too much when gaming or while using the camera. It did get warm to the touch, but not enough to put me off from gaming. The phone only gets hot when charging.

Talking about charging, the Poco F6 performed very well in our battery test. The phone managed to last about 21 hours in our HD video loop test, which is pretty good. When it comes to normal daily usage, the phone consistently lasted more than a day and a half. Throw in some gaming, YouTube, Netflix, GPS navigation, and camera usage, and I still got around 6 hours of screen time. When you run out of juice, the 90W fast charging can take the phone from 0 to 100 in about 1 hour 10 mins.

Poco F6 Review: Cameras

Finally, let’s talk about the cameras. The Poco F6 has a dual camera setup, one less than last year’s F5. There’s no 2-megapixel macro camera this time around. You get a 50-megapixel Sony IMX882 primary sensor with f/1.6 aperture and OIS and an 8-megapixel Sony IMX355 ultra-wide unit with a FoV of 119 degrees. For selfies, there’s a 20-megapixel unit up front. The camera interface on the phone is easy to use and offers plenty of features. There’s a Pro mode, a Night mode, and even a 50-megapixel mode. You can swipe down from the top to toggle various features such as Gridlines, AI camera, Tilt-shift, and Burst mode.

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You get a 20-megapixel camera on the front for selfies

 

Coming to the image quality, the primary 50-megapixel Sony sensor takes well-detailed photos in daylight conditions, and there’s not much to complain about. The colours, dynamic range, and white balance are good, only slightly boosted by what your eye sees. The primary camera also performs well in low light in auto and Night mode. The images are sometimes much brighter than they are, especially in darker conditions, and you’ll see some grain as well. However, there are good details with controlled noise when there are enough light sources around. The Poco F6, despite turning off Beauty mode, tends to smoothen and whiten skin tones slightly. There’s also no major difference in details when you choose the 50-megapixel mode. Below are some daylight and lowlight samples.

Photos shot using the primary camera in daylight and lowlight conditions (Tap to Expand)

 

With the ultra-wide camera, the results are good in daylight conditions with decent details, but the camera suffers in low light. The colour profile differs from the primary camera, and the images are not as bright or colourful. Check out some samples from the ultrawide camera.

Photos shot using the 8-megapixel ultrawide camera (Tap to expand)

 

Moving over to the front, the 20-megapixel selfie camera takes decent shots in daylight. The details are good, the colour is mostly natural, and the beautification features don’t interfere when turned off. In low light, the selfies do have plenty of noise if no flash is used. The camera does have an excellent wide field of view, though, which is nice.

When it comes to video, the Poco F6 can shoot 4K at 60fps using the rear primary camera. However, if you want stable videos with OIS, you’ll have to switch to 1080p at 30fps. The videos shot on the phone at 4k 60fps have plenty of detail but slightly muted colours and shadows. The panning is good, but if you try to walk or run, the stabilisation isn’t that great. However, in 1080p 30fps, the stabilisation is pretty decent. The primary camera also performs well in low light conditions, although with added noise. The ultra-wide camera can shoot at 1080p 30fps, but the results aren’t that great, even in daylight conditions. You’ll find noise and darker shadows in the video.

Poco F6 Review: Verdict

The Poco F6 is a mid-range phone that competes with the likes of the new Realme GT 6T, Vivo V30e, and the Realme 12 Pro+ (Review). There’s also the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ (Review), the Nothing Phone 2a (Review), and the Samsung Galaxy A35 (Review). While all of these phones are priced similarly, they do not offer the same performance as the F6. The same story applies across the board regarding battery life. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ does offer an IP69 rating, whereas the Realme 12 Pro+ gets a usable third telephoto periscope camera, which is unheard of in this price bracket.

I’d suggest the Realme 12 Pro+ or the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ if you want a better camera setup. Those looking for a better or unique design should look at the Realme 12 Pro+, the Galaxy A55, or the Nothing Phone 2a. The Realme GT 6T offers a similar camera setup but larger battery and faster charging. If performance, display, and gaming are all you care about, then the Poco F6 would be a wise choice.

So, to answer my question, is the Poco F6 an affordable flagship killer? Almost. If the cameras were better, it would definitely be. However, it is still an excellent choice for anyone looking for an all-rounder mid-range champion. The Poco F6 does everything well and gets an easy recommendation from us. It still is excellent value for money.

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