I think that reviewing a gaming smartphone without being passionate about - at least - mobile gaming - is a practically impossible undertaking. Luckily I love video games for smartphones / tablets like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, Dragon Ball Legends, Pokémon Unite. It goes without saying, therefore, that I was genuinely curious to try this device that I have been hearing about for some time. Just to make a clarification: I'm talking about POCO F4 GT, the global rebrand of Redmi K50G launched in China a few months ago. Since the debut of the Asian variant I had my eye on this little beast and now - finally - I can tell you what I think.
I just want to give you just another gem, just to better understand the role of POCO in the global tech scene. The company started out as a subsidiary of Xiaomi and originally sold premium phones at low-cost prices. After a brief absence of almost two years, the company returned to the limelight by releasing a series of devices with a unique design but which were, basically, rebrands of other terminals of the parent company or of the other Redmi sub brand. However, with the F4 GT, the consumer technology OEM has raised the bar, bringing to the market an amazing product that - alas - has a steep price. So: it is very fast (maybe too much), very powerful, beautiful., But will it have flaws? UNFORTUNATELY yes and they are also quite annoying, but they are not completely dependent on "him". So before we jump to conclusions, let me explain.
Review POCO F4 GT: lightning, someone stop it!
Design and materials
POCO F4 GT looks like a gaming phone and does nothing to hide it, rather. However, unlike the other models in circulation, this gaming smartphone is very balanced and is by no means tamarro. Elegant and discreet, with a back cover (mine in silver color) in satin glass, with valuable elements, the LED flash set in a "flash" and with a rectangular photographic module on the top of the panel. The frame is squared as the fashion of the moment wants and on the one hand we have the balance wheel for the volume (in a somewhat annoying position in my opinion, you press yes once and the other as well) and the compartment for the SIM. On the bottom (as well as on the top) there is the grille for the speaker (spoiler: it feels great) and the hole for wired charging (USB C). The microphone is not missing, of course. On the right frame there is the button for turning off and turning on the device that integrates the very fast fingerprint and there are two customizable triggers.
Weight 210 grams but I assure you they don't feel it; really balanced and pleasant to hold, despite its dimensions being 76,7 x 162,5 mm with a thickness of 8,5 mm. If you think about it, it's thinner than expected.
The buttons that there are (two, to be precise), are clicked to activate two pop-up triggers that can be customized at will: with a double tap or a long press you can activate certain functions but are designed above all for gaming. Noble materials, therefore, with aluminum and glass frames Gorilla Glass Foods everywhere. Also on the panel is a first-rate set of specs.
Impossible not to fall in love with the panel POCO F4GT: its specs are top notch. The drive is 6,7 inches with FullHD + resolution, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 120 Hz refresh rate and touch sampling rate equal to 480 Hz. Responsive is dir poco. HDR 10+ support and technology AMOLED to ensure perfect readability even in direct sunlight. Now, having said that, on the gaming front it's perfect. Titles will look more vibrant than ever and it's great for watching content on demand.
Here the difference with an IPS LCD screen is there and you can feel it all. The high frame rate in the game is noticeable, especially in shooters like COD.
Hardware and Performance
It is useless to deny it: POCO F4GT it's a beast, period. Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 made by Samsung using a 4 nanometer process, 3.1 GB UFS 256 memories, 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and so on and so forth. If desired, there is 3 GB virtual RAM. Do not miss the 5G modem, the dual band WiFi 6E, all at the top.
In everyday use it's a splinter, apps open and close in seconds, and gaming is on par with a handheld console. In praise of power, no doubt. So where is the problem? I'll tell you right away: it warms up, a lot. At the levels of the little one Xiaomi 12. This causes the device to fail to perform the AnTuTu stress test due to the high temperature and unfortunately, it drops the battery to peak in a few minutes. After 20 minutes of stress test, the smartphone was hot with batteries above 45 ° and the battery percentage had already dropped by 20%. Needless to say, the same thing happens in gaming: everything is fluid, fast, powerful but then you need a powerbank if you are out and about. As some would say, power is nothing without control.
On AnTuTu 3D, however, I recorded a score of 960251 (truly remarkable), broken down as follows:
- 211669 CPU side;
- 422771 on the GPU;
- 162364 MEM;
- 163447 UX.
Geekebench 5 instead, brings me back 1224 points in the single-core test e 3772 points in the multi-core.
Now I attach the screenshots of the benchark made with PCMag and 3D Mark:
Here I will be honest: we are not there, unfortunately. Qualcomm's SoC, as we also saw in the Xiaomi 12 review, heats up in an excessive way and this causes the 4700 mAh battery to peak in a few hours. With a "not too exaggerated" use, you don't get to mid-afternoon. The standby consumption is not bad, but what makes me turn up my nose is the heavy use. A phone made for gaming can't last like this poco.
Luckily, POCO inserts a charger in a 120W pack that ensures fast recharging in about 17 minutes. Fantastic.
At the front there is a 20 Megapixel selfiecam (it is a sensor Sony IMX569) and later we find a triptych consisting of:
- Sony IMX686 with 64 megapixels who managed to positively surprise me (during the day);
- a decent 8 Mpx ultrawide lens;
- a 2 Mega macro sensor.
On the photographic front I can tell you that I really enjoyed making images with this POCO F4GT; it will not be a cameraphone, yet it defends itself very well. Strange for a device that deals - mainly - with performance but that does everything great, and even more.
Although we are at the software, I want to tell you about the pop-up buttons which yes, they are great, but annoying if we don't remember to disable them. In the game you can customize them at will using the gaming mode, but POCO it also offers a menu for customization in everyday use (press or double tap). The setting is full of settings and you can choose them to your liking.
For the rest, we find the MIUI 13 based on Android 12 (to be precise, here is the 13.0.2), updated with the February patches. I always activate the buttons on the screen (I still like them a lot) and I find the manager for removing useless files from the device excellent (the so-called "cleaner"). You can also do a deep cleaning by easily removing photos and videos that we don't use or that are duplicates, rarely used apps and much more. The system icons are very nice, colorful and the notification curtain is minimal, essential and does not make me get lost in the maze of the settings as it happens to me with other skins. The MIUI 13 is confirmed as a Must, but here we enter into subjectivity. I really appreciate it, also because there is no longer the massive presence of bloatware as it used to be. I liked the Game Turbo and it allows you to read all the device settings in real time.
Price and conclusions
Those who are looking for a gaming phone and want a really concrete solution - to date - do not have much choice. We still have to get acquainted with other gaming devices but if they all have Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the music will not be so different: they will heat up and have a battery that will last "from Christmas to Boxing day". The target of this article is well defined: gamers, lovers of online shooter, racing games or those who - like me - appreciate Pokémon Unite and love doing challenges in the (virtual) company of their friends.
Costa much compared to the past? Yes, if we mean the previous top of the range POCO: the F4 GT is to be considered as a gaming device and then, in this sense, we note that its cost is not that high.
The official prices are:
- €599,90 for the 8 + 128 GB variant;
- 6€99,90 for the 12 + 256 GB version.
For those who want, we point out the Early Bird prices, valid until 23.59 pm on 29 April 2022:
- €499,90 for the 8 + 128 GB model;
- €599,90 for the model with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage.
As always, before criticizing it, it is necessary to understand who it is aimed at and what the competition offers. I am not an inveterate gamer, but I would buy this phone, also because it has a minimal aesthetic, a super elegant color and in the hand it is not as heavy as other bricks (I remember with nostalgia the old Asus ROG Phone 2 ... all a ' another story!).
Its criticality is essentially due to Qualcomm; POCO has done everything to contain consumption with an ad hoc cooling system, but it was not enough. It heats up quickly and it's not even summer. When we will use it in August with 40 degrees under the Gallipoli sun, how will we do it? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, put the 120W charger in your backpack, you will need it.
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