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POCO X6 series launched: 512GB phones for well under $400
- POCO has launched the X6 and X6 Pro in global markets.
- These are effectively rebadged versions of the Redmi K70E and Redmi Note 13 Pro.
- Expect a starting price of $249 for the new series.
POCO is no stranger to rebranding, as it frequently takes Xiaomi devices and gives them a fresh coat of paint and a new name. Now, the company has launched the POCO X6 and X6 Pro, and these phones continue this rebranding trend.
The two phones have plenty of features in common, such as a 1.5K 120Hz OLED screen, optical in-display fingerprint sensors, 67W wired charging with a bundled charger, and an IP54 rating.
POCO X6 Pro: What makes it a Pro phone?
POCO’s Pro device is the more capable handset in some ways, and it’s a rebranded and reskinned version of the China-only Redmi K70E. For one, it’s serving up a Dimensity 8300 Ultra chip that touts newer CPU cores and on-device generative AI support. This Pro device also brings newer Bluetooth and Wi-Fi standards compared to the vanilla model, namely Bluetooth 5.4 and Wi-Fi 6.
Otherwise, the POCO X6 Pro serves up 8GB to 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage, a 5,000mAh battery, and a mid-tier 64MP+8MP+2MP camera system.
What’s it like to use the POCO X6 Pro?
We briefly spent time with the X6 Pro, and I must admit that I really love the yellow pleather back on our review unit.
Otherwise, the plastic frame belies the phone’s mid-tier trappings. So those hoping for more premium build quality (i.e. a metal frame) might have to look elsewhere. But the phone feels sturdy and the Gorilla Glass 5 front and pleather back means it should survive a fall.
The X6 Pro also ships with HyperOS out of the box, albeit with the POCO Launcher atop the skin. You only need to spend a few minutes with the device to realize that it’s MIUI with a few tweaks here and there. Unfortunately, one of these tweaks is that you can no longer switch to the classic unified control center/notification shade. Yep, you’re forced to either swipe from the top left for notifications or from the top right for the iOS-style control center.
It’s also worth noting that the phone ships with plenty of bloatware as well as the GetApps store. I really feel like a broken record at this point, but POCO needs to get its bloatware situation under control. Meanwhile, the GetApps store serves up frequent notifications about app update suggestions. Needless to say, the software is serviceable but other brands have generally left Xiaomi/POCO in the dust here.
It’s a little too early to draw conclusions about performance, especially as POCO has blocked the likes of 3DMark and GFXBench ahead of the launch event as of writing. However, Geekbench 6 scores tentatively suggest CPU performance that’s similar to 2022’s flagship phones, while PCMark points to system-wide performance in line with some 2023 flagship devices.
Either way, it looks like the POCO X6 Pro isn’t going to change your mind if you’re not a Xiaomi fan. But wallet-conscious fans of the brand might want to take a closer look. Consumers who want a well-rounded mid-ranger but don’t mind the less-than-stellar software should also add this to their watchlist.
POCO X6: The cheaper option, with one standout feature
Meanwhile, the standard POCO X6 seems to be the Redmi Note 13 Pro for the most part. It delivers a respectable Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chip that seems more in line with the likes of the Snapdragon 778G. This phone also packs a 5,100mAh battery, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of base storage. We’re particularly happy to see the latter here, putting flagship efforts from Apple, Google, and Samsung to shame.
Interestingly, the vanilla model is listed with Gorilla Glass Victus screen protection, as opposed to the Pro variant’s Gorilla Glass 5. So you might want to opt for this model over the Pro device if you’ve got butter fingers. In saying so, the apparent glass back is a fingerprint magnet of note. I also noticed that the rear camera cutouts gathered a copious amount of dust within minutes of unboxing the device.
POCO X6 series: Hot or not?
The POCO X6 does, however, stand out thanks to the inclusion of a 3.5mm port. Audiophiles and people who still prefer an aux cable should therefore keep this phone in mind.
Other features worth knowing include a similarly mid-tier 64MP+8MP+2MP triple rear camera system, an identical 16MP selfie camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and an IR blaster. It’s interesting to see a 64MP main camera here too, as the Redmi Note 13 Pro actually packs a 200MP main sensor instead.
The POCO X6 ships with MIUI 14 rather than HyperOS, with POCO promising a software update to HyperOS as soon as possible. This isn’t ideal for most but could be a perk for enthusiasts, as Xiaomi’s latest Android skin makes life more difficult for tinkerers.
POCO X6 series pricing and availability
POCO hasn’t dished out availability details, but the firm’s phones are typically available in the likes of Europe, South East Asia, and the UK.
The POCO X6 Pro starts at $299 for the 8GB/256GB version, while the 12GB/512GB model starts at $369. However, POCO is offering early bird pricing of $279 and $339 respectively. Either way, sub-$400 pricing for a 512GB smartphone is pretty impressive.
The standard POCO X6 starts at $249 for the base 8GB/256GB option. Need 512GB of storage? Then the 12GB/512GB model will set you back an impressive $319. The company is also offering early bird pricing of $229 and $289 respectively.
Unfortunately, the company didn’t dish out pricing in local currencies for the likes of Europe, the UK, and other markets.