- Equipment and design
- Performance and Benchmarks
Xiaomi has introduced another “flagship killer” from the POCO F series – the F4 model. And if last year in the POCO F3 review I complained that the new product differs too little from last year’s device, this year the forward movement has completely stalled. Instead of Redmi K50, the device was based on Redmi K40S, and therefore we received only an updated design and optical stabilization in the main camera. But maybe this is enough? Or are there some subtle improvements “under the hood”? Let’s study.
Specifications POCO F4
|Net||2G, 3G, 4G, 5G|
|Firmware||MIUI 13 on Android 12|
|Screen||6.67″, AMOLED, 20:9, 2400 x 1080 pixels, 120Hz, 360Hz touch, 900/1300 nits|
|Chipset|| Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 , 7 nm
CPU: 1 x A77 x 3.2GHz + 3 x A77 x 2.4GHz + 4 x A55 x 1.8GHz
GPU: Adreno 650
|SIM and memory card||2 x nano-SIM|
Main : 64 MP, OmniVision OV64B, 1/2″, f/1.79, autofocus, video recording 2160p@60fps
Wide Angle : 8 MP, f/2.2, 119 degrees, fixed focus, 1080p@30fps video recording
Tele macro : 2 MP, f/2.4, fixed focus, 720p@30fps video recording
|Selfie||Center hole , 20MP, f/2.45, 1080p@30fps video recording|
|Charger||USB Type-C, 67W|
|Wireless interfaces|| WiFi 6
A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, NaviC
|Biometrics||Fingerprint scanner at the end|
|Dimensions and weight|| 163.2 x 76 x 7.7mm
Equipment and design
We have a pre-production copy of POCO F4 on the test, so we don’t have a box with a kit. Therefore, under the camera it says “108 MP” instead of “64 MP OIS”; never mind. The camera itself is the same as in serial samples: 64 megapixels with optical stabilization.
One of the most notable changes in the POCO F4 has been the design. And if the previous generation, although it was not a masterpiece of aesthetics, looked nice, now it’s just some kind of darkness. Maybe this is my subjective claim; but, probably, any designer will confirm that placing three elements in a triangle, circled and placed on a square ledge is overkill. I’m talking about cameras, if anyone does not understand.
There is also a purely utilitarian claim to the cameras: the protrusion is made in the form of very sharp steps without the slightest rounding, it is unpleasant to touch them with your fingers. You will not cut yourself, of course, but I would like to be smoother. And in general, ergonomics are so-so: the phone does not seem to have increased in size, thickness, or weight (on the contrary, it has become a little smaller and lighter), but due to the flat back and almost flat edges it feels much more bulky than POCO F3.
But functionally everything that was in POCO F3 was preserved. Top: IrDA, microphone, additional earpiece output. Right: volume rocker and fingerprint scanner in the lock button (quick and pretty reliable). Bottom: multimedia speaker, USB Type-C and a tray with two nano-SIM slots. there is no microSD, no audio jack, but they have not been abandoned now. But the stereo is very good, the upper speaker is quite a bit inferior to the lower one in terms of volume and depth, and in simple tracks it is almost impossible to distinguish them. The vibration motor is linear (“taptik”), very pleasant.
The screen is according to all the canons of Xiaomi. 6.67″, 20:9, 2400×1080 pixels, 395 ppi, 1300 nits, 120 Hz. AMOLED, of course. DC Dimming is not provided, but you should not worry about this – the PWM level is acceptable. In general, the screen is healthy, no complaints I don’t have it.Color, brightness and other settings are fine.120hz is supported in all applications and some games;in standard mode, some applications also open at 60hz, if it’s annoying, turn on forced 120hz in the settings. – 360 Hz absolutely always.
MIUI 13 based on Android 12. I was too lazy to look for differences from MIUI 12.5, at first glance, the firmware has not changed at all. It doesn’t always work quickly, sometimes you can catch some kind of dullness, and a couple of times it even hung for me – I had to reboot. But let me remind you that we have a pre-production sample with non-final software on the test; some problems will probably be solved by release. Well, in general, MIUI is convenient and beautiful. Screenshots and move on.
The main camera of POCO F4 is triple. The main module has been heavily upgraded: now 64 megapixels, not 48 megapixels, and, most importantly, optical stabilization has been added. However, you shouldn’t be too happy about the sensor: instead of IMX582 with 0.8 micron pixels, they installed OV64B with 0.7 micron pixels; The size of the sensor did not change in the end. The width remained unpretentious (8 MP, OV8856, fixed focus), but the cool telemacro camera was replaced with a 2 MP macro plug (GalaxyCore GC02M1). Let’s see how all these cameras shoot.
In daytime conditions, the main camera shoots beautifully, but not very well: overly saturated colors, too much noise, sometimes – watercolor throughout the frame or lack of dynamic range. With a lack of light, it should be very, very cool thanks to OIS, but I didn’t feel much progress in photo quality either, the pictures are very mediocre. I also did not feel any particularly high detail due to the increased camera resolution. Shirik is unpretentious, but there is nothing special to scold him for, he copes with his tasks; unless, of course, shoot in good lighting. The macro camera has become completely useless, the previous zoom and autofocus module was much more interesting.
Video can be recorded at 2160p@60fps on the main camera, 1080p@30fps on the wide and front cameras, and 720p@30fps on the macro camera. OIS works on the main camera when shooting a video, and it does not work very powerfully: it compensates for minor shaking, but it does not cope when walking, and the result looks strange. EIS is simple in width and on the front, everything doubles.
But the photos on the front camera on the street are excellent, and in general this 20-megapixel module pleased me. Even in 2022, it’s rare to see front-facing cameras with good dynamic range.
Performance and Benchmarks
The hardware basis of POCO F4 is the same Snapdragon 870 that we saw a year ago in POCO F3. It is also, let me remind you, a slightly overclocked version of the Snapdragon 865 that underlay the POCO F2 Pro and most flagship smartphones in 2020. That is, we have a smartphone on the year before last flagship chipset – and if earlier it was a rarity, now it is perceived quite normally. In addition, few chips can offer the same level of stability under load as the Snapdragon 870. In gaming + performance mode, the smartphone has an almost flat line in both 3DMark and CPU Throttling Test; the drop in Burnout is due to GPU prioritization over CPU.
The behavior in games of the Snapdragon 870 is excellent. I’m not one of those super-demanding players who complain about 55 fps instead of 60, and therefore in the three resource-intensive games I tested – Call of Duty: Mobile, SuperTuxKart and Genshin Impact – I was completely satisfied with the gameplay at maximum settings. Smoothly, quickly, and even after 15-20 minutes of the game, when the phone warmed up. Throttling here is small, but the brightness drops significantly – up to 50% per hour in SuperTuxKart.
The battery capacity is 4500 mAh; compared to the previous generation, this parameter has not changed much. Autonomy, however, has become a little better, now it is 5-6 hours of screen on a single charge. Two hours of video at maximum brightness – minus 16%, an hour in the game – minus 22%. I can’t say anything about 67-W charging, since I don’t have a kit for the phone, but according to experience, Xiaomi’s 67 W is usually slightly faster than 33 W. So I wouldn’t expect much progress in this direction.
The quality of navigation is decent, but sometimes the phone can start to fail and draw a geotrack 10-15 meters from the real route. There were no problems with the quality of communication, the proximity sensor works accurately (although I still don’t understand if it’s software or real).
POCO F4 is a good mid-ranger, as was POCO F3. It runs all games, works smartly, has its own features such as an infrared port and a cool stereo. But there are also problems – inexpressive autonomy and a rather weak camera, which could not be developed using OIS. So it all depends on the price and availability of the device in Russia – and everything is fine with that: apparently, the new product can be bought for a little more than thirty in each DNS / Svyaznoy. If not for this factor, I strongly doubt that POCO F4 would have become a relevant choice.
© Oleg Lazarev. mobile phone