Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 made a bit of a splash in 2018 thanks to a combination of high-end specs and a mid-range ($300) price tag. Now the follow-up is here and it’s… a step sideways?

The Poco X2 is launching in India for $225 and up, which seems like a pretty good price for a phone with at least 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, 27 watt fast charging, liquid cooling, four cameras on the back, and two on the front and a 120 Hz display.

But other specs are decidedly mid-range.

For example, the 6.67 inch display may have a high screen refresh rate and support for HDR 10 video. But with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, it doesn’t have the same pixel density as the latest flagships.

The phone also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor rather than a higher-performance Snapdragon 765 or 855/865 chip. The Poco X2 uses UFS 2.1 storage, which is faster than the eMMC storage found on many phones in this price range, but slower than the UFS 3.0 storage used by higher-end phones.

On the bright side, the phone does have a 3.5mm headphone jack, an IR blaster, and a microSD card reader as well as a big battery (4500 mAh), and a fingerprint sensor (on the side of the phone).

The four rear cameras include:

  • 64MP Sony IMX686 primary
  • 8MP 120-degree wide-angle
  • 2MP depth
  • 2MP macro

On the front of the phone there’s a 20MP primary camera plus a 2MP depth sensor.

The Poco 2 will be available in three configurations:

  • 6GB/64GB for $225
  • 8GB/128GB for $240
  • 8GB/256GB for $280

Oh, and if you’re getting any sense of déjà vu from the Poco X2, that’s because we’ve seen it before — it’s basically a rebranded Xiaomi Redmi K30 4G smartphone. The key differences? The branding on the back says Poco instead of Redmi, and the Poco X2 will be available outside of China.

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10 replies on “Poco X2 is a $225 smartphone with a 120 Hz display (and mid-range specs)”

  1. It’s frighteningly easy to imagine what the discussion surrounding this phone will look like.
    See, this is the kind of phone that seems stupid not to get. It’s (almost) everything a phone should* be at an impossible to argue with price that makes sense for a disposable, portable billboard that makes phone calls.
    *Should, according to cherry picked opinions from a mixture of the extremes of both the phone enthusiast and phone sheeple marketing teams.
    And that mixture is the crux of the problem with trying to argue against it. Everything I don’t like about it is something every phone does and can easily be countered with an insult or accusation.
    The screen is too big: “phablets are just phones now, sweaty. get with the times, handlet”.
    There’s a hole punch: “It’s 2020, and every phone is doing that now! Just make the notification bar bigger, idiot.”
    Nonremovable battery: “Every phone does that, do you want to look like a luddite who can’t charge wirelessly?” and if you point at the Galaxy S5 wireless charging kit, “You’re going to replace it in two years anyway!”
    Locked bootloader that you can only unlock with xaiomi’s permission: “Every phone ever has had a locked bootloader, you don’t need root with ADB, if you want to run something other than android/iOS you must be a paranoid schizo with something to hide and you’d be taking an investment into something with no future!”
    And those insults carry weight, because for every one person you might persuade you’re not stupid for refusing to buy it, there’s ten more still convinced you are.
    It’s the ultimate in conformity to as many already conforming people (on a budget) as possible. As are most of xaiomi’s phones really. And for the “enthusiasts,” it’s got the phone jack, IR blaster, bootloader that isn’t completely unlockable, and the rest of the specs. That’s non conformal enough, isn’t it, you freak?

    1. To be honest I do not 100% understand your English, but I just wanted to add this one is still on the “too large” side for me regarding it’s physical size, weight, and pocketability for all practical purposes. Thanks for your understanding.

      Anyway. What makes for a great smartphone? According to renowned YouTuber MKBHD, it’s five things:

      – great display
      – great battery life
      – great design/build quality
      – snappy performance/software
      – last but not least, a great camera! (traditionally not Xiaomi’s best domain or am I mistaken?)

      As it’s still a budget conscious device, it has to cut some corners regarding all five important factors, right? Different folks may still have different preferences which of these five things are more important to them.

      For me the great debate is: better to buy a new mid ranger or an older flagship for a reduced price? I’m still in the older flagship with the reduced price camp but I hope midrangers can improve so they can offer better value alternatives for the older (reduced price) flagships.

      1. Those things do make a great smartphone. From a completely materialistic perspective. And for what most people use smartphones for. But what makes a smartphone great to me, is how much it lets me do things I want, and not do things I don’t want.
        And I just don’t want the things most people do, or what corporate marketing departments seem to think most people want.
        I’m not going to let mediocrity in the criteria you listed keep me from getting away from software I know is evil. If a phone does anything else well, that’s better, but not the first priority for me.

        1. I think most of us understand your point even if you fail at vocalising it.
          I agree to a large extent, not completely, and I believe it is because there is two ways to approach the problem. One is through “practicality” and the other is through “design”.

          It’s the same reason some people like to buy something depending on (objective) stringent metrics, while others like to purchase based on (subjective) the inputs of collective. Think of the difference between buying a bottle of wine, compared to buying a Desktop CPU. I already commented on this before, here’s the link: https://liliputing.com/2019/12/motorola-postpones-razr-foldable-phone-launch.html#comment-1135780

          Based on the differences between the two devices I explained, which would you prefer?
          …Device One, the Luxury which emphasises Style and Futuristic…or..
          …Device Two, the Flagship which emphasises Practicality and Ruggedness

          1. @Kangal, I’m not sure if you ask me or @Some Guy. But I’ve read mack on the previous discussion you linked to.

            “To protect these devices, you need a bulky case, or one with a face/wallet attachment.”

            I’m not sure what do you mean y a phone case with a face attachment, though.

            If you ask me which one of your two “extreme” fantasy flagships would I choose? These are two extreme opposites and in general I prefer middle of the way things in general or as a philosophy. So I’d take the more expensive one (more resale value) and replace it with the same $200 yesteryear’s flagship I’m content with anyways. Not to mention in my case, and in the case of quite a few users, male or female, neither of your options are considered pocketable.

            to recommend you something from the current landscape, how about the Fairphone 3? It may not be the ideal size to you (it comes in only one size) and if you are in the Us it may not support your country’s quirky bands but it supports most bands most people in the world use and a startup likes this offering an alternative has to start somewhere.

          2. @Steve

            Yeah, the commenting system isn’t the best. I was replying to “Some Guy”.
            Basically, I share his frustrations… there are more options than ever before, yet, we actually have far far less variety in the smartphone industry. It’s 95% of phones that are large-and-long “slab” running Android, and they all play that “copy-cat game” to the benefit of the OEM and detriment to the user experience.

            First of all, I was referring to the comment below/after that one. You know the one with basically the spec sheet. But I will clarify what I said, the “face/wallet” comment. Because these new devices have a curved front screen, to properly protect it you need to use something like these:

            https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l2632.R3.TR10.TRC1.A0.H0.Xs10+wallet.TRS1&_nkw=s10+wallet+case&_sacat=9394

            https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l2632.R2.TR4.TRC1.A0.H0.Xs10+lifepr.TRS0&_nkw=s10+lifeproof+case&_sacat=9394&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=9394&_odkw=s10+front+case+

            As for pocket-ability, I already stated the dimensions, which I put a lot of thought into:
            Rugged: 150 x 80 x 8.0mm
            Stylish: 179 x 79 x 7.9mm (same as above, screen is same width but longer)

            …now compare them to recent phones in the market
            Huawei Mate 20x: 175 x 85 x 8.2mm
            Oppo R11+: 166 x 82 x 7.8mm

            …or even think of Samsung Note 10+: 162 x 77 x 7.9mm
            …..then add a case: 167 x 82 x 10mm

            The “middle ground” is where we are now, see Samsung S10-5G. It might be your preference, but you are in the minority. Billions of owners and myself agree that current designs suck. It’s mostly to do with that weird aspect ratio. Go full out with “style” and adopt the 21:9 ratio… or be practical and revert to the compact 16:9 ratio. Slim Bezels like that on the Meizu 16s look aesthetically pleasing and they’re functional… unlike the bezels of something like the Moto G7/One Power. I like the idea of using bezels to house the front-firing stereo loudspeakers, even the ones on the recent ASUS RoG 2 are not that big, and the bezels help avoid accidental touches and give you someplace to rest your digits.

            Flagship phones cost over $500 USD. They don’t cost $200. That’s a subsidised price you pay in USA Contracts. However, the contract usually makes you pay more than full-price. So your tactic can still work, but it isn’t as you imagined, especially for countries outside North America. Recent midrange phones have gotten much better thanks to some new SoC’s and that competent IMX 865 camera, and ironically they’re getting more features and cleaner software than flagship phones these days. However, I’d still stick to a an ex-flagship phone to be fair.

            The best tactic seems to be to get a phone that’s 1.1 years old, then upgrade it every 1.6 years. Otherwise alternating between purchases in April and November months. That way before you buy it, the price drops massively (eg $800 to $500). And when you sell it, there’s not too much drop (eg $500 to $300). And that way you will be on the bleeding-edge of specs but not quite cutting-edge, and everytime you upgrade you would be sort of getting a “software update” as well. That extra couple months allows you to properly research which model to get, which root/custom rom to apply, and which accessories to buy….making the entire process much less headache. You cannot rely on any OEM for updates, or software/root, or for having decent accessories. You have to take initiative, and control those elements yourself….. Overall, if you use this tactic, it would in total cost you $1,300 roughly, as you would go through Five Phones, throughout a period of 8 Years.

          3. “Yeah, the commenting system isn’t the best”

            It’s fine. You just better initiate with @Name who you want to address, not a big deal.

            “First of all, I was referring to the comment below/after that one. You know the one with basically the spec sheet.”

            Yes, and that’s what I was answering to by choosing your more expensive phone, sell it and use my usual $200 old flagship. 🙂

            “I’m not sure what do you mean by a phone case with a face attachment, though.”

            Ah. Now I got it. It’s essentially a full frontal glass shield if I got it right from your eBay link. OK.

            “As for pocket-ability, I already stated the dimensions”

            And neither of these are pocketable to me, they are too big.

            “The “middle ground” is where we are now, see Samsung S10-5G. It might be your preference, but you are in the minority.”

            Indeed, you’ve found my preference, if I were to buy an expensive new phone (but why would I do so?) I would buy the Note10 (the “small one”) first, the S10 second. I don’t know if Samsung breaks down their sales regarding how many people buy their smaller and bigger flagships but I think it’s still quite a few people who prefer the smaller ones. There is still going to be a “normal size” S20. (I don’t give a … about the5G part. It’s for the carriers: https://www.cringely.com/2018/11/21/apple-knows-5g-is-about-infrastructure-not-mobile-phones/)

            “Go full out with “style” and adopt the 21:9 ratio… or be practical and revert to the compact 16:9 ratio. Slim Bezels like that on the Meizu 16s look aesthetically pleasing and they’re functional…”

            I like the Meizu design, but screen aspect ratio-wise it’s somewhere exactly in between the 16:9 and the 21:9 at 18.5:9 or something. 21:9 is too tall for me for pocketability. I prefer ~15 cm tall phones. The S10 and Note10 are like that. Similarly is the iPhone XR/11, Apple’s “affordable and popular” option.

            “Flagship phones cost over $500 USD. They don’t cost $200. That’s a subsidised price you pay in USA Contracts.”
            I’m several generations behind, that’s the time when it’s clarified which models are loved by the modder community and $200 is a good rough price for a “refurbished in like new condition” unsubsidized device. From Samsung it’s S7 moving to S8 territory (when the current flagship changes from S10 to S20 in one or two months).

            “The best tactic seems to be to get a phone that’s 1.1 years old, then upgrade it every 1.6 years.”
            “That extra couple months allows you to properly research which model to get, which root/custom rom to apply, and which accessories to buy… making the entire process much less headache.”

            That’s your tactic, it’s still too much headache for me. for a phone to hold on for 1.6 years. I would buy it for minimum 2 years – less headache/time. A good custom ROM is still much less resource-intensive than a community ROM, so a couple old device is just fine.

            You may enjoy this video by German YouTuber/enthusiast Wolfgang, I’ve learned something new from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSNGK9gmdpg

            Quirky info about my phone use, may be counter-intuitive to you without me clearly stating it, regarding dropping and protection. Now your phone is your main camera. What do everyone use on their cameras? A lanyard. Why don’t people use lanyards for their phones, too? Maybe less than 1 in 1000, but I’m such a weirdo: https://phoneloops.com/

            So how about the Fairphone 3 and you? They also have a friendly and lively discussion community you might be interested in joining…

      2. @Steve, Here’s an update:

        After careful consideration, I truly think the BEST phone, is the one that’s actually in one of three categories. And it is up to the user, to decide which category/personality they are, and hence which device suits their usecase, wants, needs best. My analogy is to cars, as it is pretty on point.

        -Think of one of these “Best Category” as like a Porsche 911…. its sleek, beautiful, fast, but uncomfortable to sit and lacks many features. Yet it is the dream car for some people.
        -For others the “Best Category” is the Jeep Wrangler, its tough, solid, easy to service but the ride is noisy and parking can be difficult. Basically the polar-opposite to the Porsche. That’s the dream car of some people, especially that want to “drive it till it dies/keep this for life” attitude.
        -Then somewhere in-between as “Best Category” there’s the Subaru Forester. It’s not quite rugged but not quite sleek, but it drives comfortably and parks easily. For others, this is their best car, it ticks the essential boxes and isn’t being pretentious.

        Device One: (JEEP) Rugged, with Maximum Features
        200 grams and 119 x 81 x 9.1mm dimensions
        5.11 inch screen, A7-paper sized aspect ratio 12.7:9 (like IMAX/Old TV)
        82.40% Screen to Body ratio (Slim bezels)
        2048 x 1448 RGBW LCD-IPS (no burn-in)
        60Hz Refresh Rate (much better battery life)
        +1,000 nits HDR10+ enabled
        Display Square Corners
        Uni-symmetrical design (10mm forehead)
        Sensors and Large Selfie inside the forehead bezel
        Front-firing boom monospeaker (doubles as earpiece)
        Side-mounted fingerprint scanner (with HR-BP monitor)
        Power button, plus three programmable buttons
        Single Large camera (attachable lenses for ultrawide, macro, zoom)
        DualSIM, microSD slot, and IrDa blaster
        ThunderBolt-3 port, and QuadDAC 3.5mm Headphone Jack
        Best Support for External Dock, Charging, HDMI, Ethernet, Aux, and Host-OTG
        Modularity with Rear-Pogo pins (magnetically snaps on, keyboard or gamepad)
        Rugged marketing photographs
        Padded corner and Non-slip Textured exterior overall (no case!)
        Thick (9.1mm) phone body (front, side, back)
        Sideframe of Aluminium
        Frontplate of Gorilla Glass 6
        Backplate of Aerospace-grade Polycarbonate (tough and shock-absorbing)
        Protection via Flat Tempered Glass for front, no protection required for rear (3M Skin)
        Non-submersible (IP66) Splash resistance
        5,119mAh User Removable battery
        Healthy-Battery Charging (20W)
        Regular Density Internals, Modular Design (Screen, Camera, Speaker, USB/3.5mm Ports)
        Jolla SailFish OS (but can flash Android or Alternate OS)
        Probably retails for USD $719 ??

        Device Two: (Subaru) Reliable, with Balanced Practicality
        180 grams and 145 x 80 x 8.0mm dimensions
        6.02 inch screen, aspect ratio 16:9 (like YouTube/New TV)
        86.00% Screen to Body ratio (Thin bezels)
        1440p-IGZO (most accurate)
        120Hz Refresh Rate (fluid animations)
        1,000 nits HDR10 supported
        Display Rounded Corners
        Symmetrical Top-Bottom Slim Bezels (6mm)
        Sensors and Regular Selfie embedded inside bezels
        Front-firing stereo loudspeakers
        Standard Rear fingerprint sensor
        Symmetrical/Reversible side buttons (Power, Volume Up, Volume Down, Camera)
        Double Main camera (symmetrical, can create 3D-recordings)
        NanoSIM, microSD slot, no IrDa blaster
        USB 3.1-TypeC, and Regular 3.5mm Headphone Jack
        Standard Support for HDMI, Host-OTG, and Connections
        Handheld Console with dedicated JoyCon physical attachment (pocketable gamepad)
        Standard marketing renders
        Matte and chamfered exterior overall
        Regular (8mm) phone body (front, side, back)
        Sideframe of Stainless Steel
        Frontplate of Gorilla Glass 6
        Backplate of Anodised Aluminium (scratch-resistant 7000-series)
        Protection via 2.5D Tempered Glass for front, optional Bumper Case for back
        Submersible IP68 shallow waterproofing
        4,800mAh non-removable battery (refurbishable/screwed in)
        Balanced Fast Charging (30W)
        High Density Internals, Semi-Modular Design (Screen, USB port, etc etc)
        Stock AndroidOne OS (Custom ROM ready)
        Probably retails for USD $800 ??

        Device Three: (porsche) Futuristic, with Maximum Style
        179 grams and 179 x 79 x 7.9mm dimensions
        7.49 inch screen, aspect ratio 21:9 (like Cinema/Movies)
        92.50% Screen to Body ratio (No bezels)
        4K-Pentile SAM-OLED (deepest blacks)
        144Hz Active Sync display (smoothest animation)
        794 nits Mobile-HDR compatible
        Display Rounded Corners
        Almost No Bezels (2mm each side)
        Underscreen dual selfie camera
        Vibrational Face Mono Speaker
        Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
        No buttons, minimalistic sides
        Triple rear camera (ultrawide, regular, zoom)
        eSIM, no microSD, no IrDa blaster
        USB 3.0-TypeC, but NO Headphone Jack
        Limited Support for Video out, OTG, and Connections
        Home Console via Xbox One controller connection (needs purse/backpack, not pocketable)
        Styled marketing renders
        Shiny and curved exterior overall
        Sideframe of Titanium Alloy
        Frontplate of transparent flat plastic (shockproof)
        Backplate of transparent flat plastic (shockproof)
        Thin (6mm) phone body (front to back), with thick (8mm) sideframe
        Protection via 2.5D Curved Tempered Glass for back and front
        Enhanced IP69 (ATM 5) waterproofing
        4,179mAh non-removable battery (glued in)
        Convenient Super Fast Charging (60W)
        Maximum Density Internals, monolithic design (non-refurbishable)
        Skinned FlymeOS Android (unlockable bootloader)
        Probably retails for USD $947 ??

        I suggest you compare each device line-by-line, to note the subtle and extreme changes. Let me know if you want any renders. And please REPLY BACK with which option YOU prefer from the three categories, cheers! : )

  2. Why is it that only the very highest end of phones are considered “high-end”? Isn’t there some amount of range there?

    1. It’s kind of arbitrary.
      In 2009-2016 and earlier we had the categories of: Feature-phone, Low-end, Midrange, High-end, and Special/Miscellaneous. Since then the industry has changed, we have largely lost those Novelty or Specialised devices, and we have replaced those Feature-phones, all using AndroidOS and some ARM processor. Things are a lot more “linear” but there really is a lack of overall variety.

      Now in 2016-2020 we instead have roughly segments/categories of:

      Entry-Level: $500, 8GB RAM, 256GB NAND, +1440p Screen
      Snapdragon (835, 845, 855, 865)

      PS:
      Beginning around 2014 and settling in 2016, we actually invented a new segment of “Luxury phones” and pushed High-end devices down a rung. So think of phones like the (Sony Z5c, Moto Maxx, Samsung Note 4) and compare them to phones such as (HTC Pixel 2, Samsung S8, LG V30) only a few months/years later to see how the industry has turned. The major feature differentiating the Luxury phones for the longest time seems to be waterproofing.

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