These are two of probably the most complicated Android telephones I’ve utilized in 2024

The Poco F6 Pro and Poco F6 on a table.
The Poco F6 Pro (left) and Poco F6 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Poco isn’t a smartphone model many might have heard of, however those that have will principally affiliate it with bright, colorful gaming phones. That’s not the case for the Poco F6 and Poco F6 Pro, Poco’s two newest units which might be surprisingly mature in look, but nonetheless furnished with among the customary design aptitude anticipated from the model.

However, regardless of sharing a reputation, the 2 F6 telephones are actually totally different. It’s fairly arduous to work out which one is the true star simply from wanting on the specification sheets, as there are attention-grabbing issues about each. When they arrived, I had my SIM card within the Google Pixel 8a, so which new Poco cellphone ought to change it? I used them each to search out out.

Poco F6

The Poco F6 rear panel.
Poco F6 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I used to be very intrigued to strive the Poco F6 because of it utilizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor, which is one I’ve not skilled but. The barely deceptive title signifies it’s a high-end chip, nevertheless it’s actually a mishmash of assorted outdated Snapdragon 8-series chips assembled like a “greatest hits” model for moderately priced Android telephones. This truly sounds fairly good. So, is it?

I’m utilizing the 12GB RAM Poco F6 mannequin, and it’s an awesome performer. Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the very best in-game settings, at full brightness and in Poco’s Ultimate gaming mode setting, didn’t trigger any points, and the sport was easy, quick, and thrilling. It’s able to working the 3DMark benchmarking app’s ray tracing-infused Solar Bay Stress Test, and it regarded flawless on display. It actually made the cellphone heat to the contact, however not scorching, and it sailed by means of the take a look at. My first expertise with the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is a really constructive one, and the Poco F6 appears to be an awesome cellular gaming associate.

A person holding the Poco F6 showing the screen.
Poco F6 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The light-weight plastic physique (simply 179 grams) and massive 6.67-inch AMOLED display assist enhance its gaming credentials, and the twin audio system sound nice, too. Encased within the sparkly rear panel are two cameras — a 50-megapixel Sony IMX882 essential digicam with optical picture stabilization and an 8MP wide-angle digicam. The Poco F6 isn’t a digicam celebrity. Coming from the Pixel 8a, which has a superb digicam, I discovered the F6’s images inconsistent, as they typically confirmed boring or inaccurate colours, whereas the noisy, pixelated wide-angle digicam was an inevitable disappointment.

One hidden function that’s distinctive to the F6 is Contactless Gestures, which is discovered underneath the Active Visual Perception menu on the cellphone. It helps you to wave your hand in entrance of the selfie digicam to manage music, reply and finish calls, and scroll by means of paperwork. It solely works with just a few Poco customary apps and Netflix and is significantly slower and fewer handy than touching the display, nevertheless it was a nostalgic throwback to telephones just like the LG G8 ThinQ, proper all the way down to it not working very effectively. It’s odd it’s not included on the Poco F6 Pro.

Elsewhere, it has a 5,000mAh battery with 90-watt charging (the charger is included within the field), 5G and NFC connectivity, an IP64 water- and dust-resistance score, a 120Hz refresh price, and Xiaomi’s HyperOS software based mostly on Android. I discovered Poco’s interface over HyperOS busy and distracting, and was instantly postpone by the numerous vibrant colours (it’s prefer it was designed with crayons) and a number of preinstalled apps.

The Poco F6 is an effective begin, however my SIM stayed firmly within the Pixel 8a. Would the Poco F6 Pro change that?

Poco F6 Pro

The back of the Poco F6 Pro.
Poco F6 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Poco F6’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 turned out to be a spotlight of the cellphone, however what concerning the Poco F6 Pro? My curiosity was piqued by the 50MP essential digicam, listed as a Light Fusion 800 sensor, which I’ve not seen earlier than. Would it enhance over the disappointing Poco F6’s digicam? It does, however not in the best way I’d need, and it undoubtedly hasn’t inspired me to swap from the Pixel 8a both.

The Light Fusion 800 essential digicam is joined by one other poor 8MP wide-angle digicam and a ineffective 2MP macro digicam, so simply because the F6 Pro has a further digicam on the spec sheet, don’t assume it’s higher. The essential digicam amps up the saturation in comparison with the F6, but additionally will increase the noise. It’s a fairly unrefined digicam on the whole, with element crushed underneath the burden of overexposure in vibrant circumstances or misplaced in murky distinction ranges. I’ve solely taken a handful of images with every new Poco cellphone, however neither has impressed or pushed me to exit and take extra.

The Poco F6 Pro's screen.
Poco F6 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The F6 Pro has a strong, dependable Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor inside and never the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3. It’s a well-recognized, environment friendly, and spectacular performer, so I had no considerations utilizing the cellphone. There’s additionally sooner 120W wired charging for the 5,000mAh battery. The 6.67-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display has a 3200 x 1440 pixel decision and is brighter than the F6’s display — and it’s all wrapped up in a really cool steel and glass physique, with an attention grabbing, cracked ice-like impact on the again.

It’s actually a step up from the F6, however the cellphone is heavier at 209 grams, and for some purpose, it doesn’t have an IP score to enhance sturdiness. The identical HyperOS software program and Poco interface are put in. While I choose the design of the Poco F6 Pro and belief the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, exterior of the brighter, higher-resolution display, the Poco F6 will most likely fulfill most individuals on the lookout for a midrange cellphone that’s not all concerning the digicam.

Using the Poco F6 Pro underlined why I wasn’t certain which of the 2 I ought to dedicate probably the most time to utilizing, as its title and on-paper digicam spec ought to make it the extra fascinating and extra thrilling of the 2. However, the Poco F6 has some extra options that add worth, and since neither digicam is superb, I couldn’t discover many causes to stay with the F6 Pro.

More confusion, as typical

It was complicated to have a look at the totally different spec sheets and attempt to determine which new Poco cellphone to spend probably the most time with, as each have attention-grabbing facets. I break up my time evenly and found the Poco F6 is the higher cellphone of the 2, with little except for the display to promote me on utilizing the F6 Pro. But even working this out hasn’t meant the confusion has ended. Irritatingly, these two telephones aren’t distinctive in Xiaomi’s in depth catalog.

Poco is a part of the Xiaomi household, though precisely how intently the businesses work collectively isn’t clear. The reality is the Poco F6 and Poco F6 Pro are very intently associated to 2 different Xiaomi telephones — the Redmi Turbo 3 and the Redmi K70. Both of those additionally use Xiaomi’s HyperOS software program, however with the MIUI interface and never Poco’s eye-gougingly colourful one. So once we began out, there was a alternative of two telephones, however now, you’ve received a alternative of 4 telephones.

This degree of confusion isn’t new to Poco because of its sophisticated relationship with Xiaomi, and which you select will probably come all the way down to the place you reside, what’s out there, and which model “speaks” to you (and your pockets). On that topic, on the time of writing, Poco has not confirmed the value and availability of both the F6 or F6 Pro, however we’ll replace this text once we know extra.

After all this time spent making an attempt cameras, processors, and software program, which cellphone do I feel you must exit and check out? That’s straightforward, it’s the Google Pixel 8a.

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