Poco X6 Neo Review: Budget Hero

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Budget smartphones are plentiful, and every brand is trying to do something different to grab people’s attention. Poco X6 Neo is the new kid on the block, not really new, it’s a rebranded Redmi Note 13, but with some changes in its design and software. The main selling points for the Neo are its slim display bezels and overall slim form factor. The Poco X6 Neo joins the Poco X6 and Poco X6 Pro. This results in a range of devices that span from the budget segment to the mid-range.

We’ve been testing the budget Poco X6 Neo for a week to find out if it’s a good phone for around Rs. 15,000 and here’s what we got.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Price in India

Poco X6 Neo is available in two variants in India. The base model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs. 15,999, while the highest 12GB RAM + 256GB storage option can be yours for Rs. 17,999 has been kept.

Poco X6 Neo is available in three color options

Poco X6 Neo is available in Astral Black, Horizon Blue and Martian Orange. We got the 12GB RAM variant in Martian Orange for review.

In the box, the Poco X6 Neo comes with a case, 33W fast charger, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, SIM ejector tool and normal paperwork.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Design

In terms of design, Poco X6 Neo is definitely a good looking phone. We’re testing the Martian Orange colorway, which has a marble-like finish on its back panel that sparkles when light hits the surface. It is kind of cool and definitely eye-catching. Otherwise, the panel has a matte finish, which is good at resisting fingerprints and smudges.

It has a flat frame with a slight taper that makes the phone comfortable to hold in the hand. Both the frame and the back panel are made of plastic, which helps keep it light at just 175 grams. Along with the dual cameras, there is also a rectangular camera module at the back, which protrudes slightly outwards. When placed on its back, the protruding camera shakes the phone.

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Poco X6 Neo has a single loudspeaker

The Poco X6 Neo is also quite thin, at just 7.69mm. On the front, you get a skinny bezel around the flat display which gives it a very premium look. There is no thick chin like you see on most phones in this price bracket. The phone offers an IP54 dust and splash resistant rating and the display screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 5.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Specifications and Software

Moving on to the specifications, the Poco X6 Neo is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC, which is based on a 6nm fabrication process. It is coupled with Mali-G54 MC2 GPU and 12GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS 2.2 storage. You can’t expect fast RAM and storage on a phone that costs so aggressively.

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Poco X6 Neo has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner

The phone comes with a USB Type-C port, a single loudspeaker and a microphone at the bottom. The volume and power buttons are placed on the left side, while the right frame houses the SIM ejector tray, which supports dual SIM or single SIM and microSD card. On the top you will find the infrared blaster, microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone has 5G support, Bluetooth 5.3, dual-band Wi-Fi and support for general global positioning systems.

Poco has used a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the X6 Neo which is placed below the power button. The scanner is fast and works well. We didn’t face any issues during our time using the phone.

The phone has a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 33W fast charger. Out of the box, Poco X6 Neo runs Android 13-based MIUI 14, and you get two years of Android and 4 years of security updates. However, Google will soon be launching Android 15 later this year, so you’re essentially only getting a year’s worth of Android OS updates with the X6 Neo, which is kind of disappointing.

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Poco X6 Neo has a lot of bloatware

In terms of software features, you get the Poco Launcher on the phone with plenty of bloatware and ads along with a Glance lock screen (which can thankfully be disabled). While most bloatware can be uninstalled, there are some apps you’ll have to live with. The phone also has your usual set of MIUI 14 features.

Poco X6 Neo review: Performance

In terms of performance, there isn’t much going on with the X6 Neo as it is your average run-of-the-mill performer. The MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC is suitable for daily use and some gaming. We ran some benchmarks on the phone and here are the results. With AnTuTu, the phone scored 4,59,491 points. On Geekbench 6’s CPU benchmark, the phone scored 613 points in the single-core test and 1,798 points in the multi-core test. In the GPU test, the phone managed a score of 1,407 points. As you can tell, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

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The phone is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC

One of the main selling points of the Poco X6 Neo is its display. You get a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Full-HD+ resolution and a touch sampling rate of up to 2,160Hz. The panel also has super thin bezels all around. The side bezels are razor-thin at just 1.5mm. Meanwhile, the top bezel is 2mm and the bottom bezel is 2.5mm. At first glance, the bezels look uniform and give the device a premium look. It’s a rare sight to see a display with such thin bezels at this price point, especially in the AMOLED variety. Most phones in this price bracket get an LCD panel, which means less deep blacks and no support for always-on display (AOD).

The 1,000 nits peak brightness makes the screen bright enough, but its typical brightness is only 500 nits. The screen is visible outside, but only rarely. The phone offers three color modes – Vivid, Saturated and Standard. We recommend going with Standard Color mode if you want the most accurate colors, or Vivid if you want the phone to adjust colors based on what’s on the display. You can also adjust the color temperature on the phone. Viewing angles are very good with no change in colors and contrast.

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Poco X6 Neo has a 500 nits display

The phone comes with a single loudspeaker that can get loud, but lacks any kind of bass. The microphone and ear speaker quality is also decent and I didn’t face any issues while making phone calls. Poco X6 Neo is good for content consumption, but it would have been better if the company had included stereo speakers.

I played Call of Duty: Warzone on the Poco X6 Neo and it automatically set the graphics quality to ‘low’, but this was not surprising. You can play BGMI and other graphic intensive games on the phone, but don’t expect high or ultra graphics. BGMI chose HD graphics by default but most of its effects were greyed out. During long gaming sessions (30 to 45 minutes) the phone did not overheat and performance did not suffer. Touch sensitivity was also good, but there were a few misses here and there. I didn’t notice any heating issues while using the camera or during regular use. The phone stayed cool under most circumstances.

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Gaming is fun on the Poco X6 Neo thanks to the large display

As for software performance, I didn’t notice any major lagging or stuttering while navigating the UI, opening apps or using the camera. Yes, the phone occasionally lags when switching camera modes and I noticed some stuttering in animations. Overall though, the 120Hz refresh rate helps eliminate these rare stutters and won’t be a dealbreaker.

The Poco X6 Neo’s 5,000mAh battery will easily last me half a day with regular usage that includes some gaming, watching videos, listening to music using wired headphones, taking photos, browsing the web and making a few calls. With heavy usage that includes an hour of gaming, photo/video capture and a few hours of streaming content, the phone will last me a day. The phone supports 33W fast charging and comes with a charger in the box. In our tests, charging the phone from 1 to 100 percent took about 1 hour and 15 minutes, while a 50 percent charge was achieved in about 35 minutes.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Camera

Okay, let’s talk about the camera. The Poco X6 Neo comes with a dual rear camera setup that includes a 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HM6 sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, the phone has a 16-megapixel sensor for selfies and videos. The camera app is easy to use and has most of the camera modes right in front. There’s a dedicated 108-megapixel mode, a night mode, portrait, document and more options that give you access to time-lapse, slow motion, pro mode, panorama and AI watermarks.

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The Poco X6 Neo has a 108-megapixel main rear camera

Daylight shots from the main camera show good detail with accurate colors in most shooting scenarios. However, even though the HDR option was enabled, it was not able to handle difficult lighting conditions well. The 108-megapixel capture pack is more detailed, surprisingly sharp and color accurate. In low light, the camera doesn’t perform very well even in night mode. There is a big drop in detail, sharpness and color accuracy. You will also notice washed out colors and details.

Poco X6 Neo Primary Camera Sample (Tap Image to Enlarge)

Poco X6 Neo primary camera sample captured at 3X digital zoom (tap image to expand)

The Poco X6 Neo offers 2x and 3x digital zoom from the primary camera, but the zoomed shots are digital crops and hence, don’t pack much detail. Zoom shots especially at night have a rich watercolor effect. Daylight shots are better and have some level of detail.

Poco X6 Neo Primary Camera Sample (Tap Image to Enlarge)

Poco X6 Neo primary camera sample captured at 3X digital zoom (tap image to expand)

You also get a 2-megapixel depth sensor which is used when capturing portrait photos. The camera takes decent portrait photos in daylight, but things take a turn for the worse when the sun goes down. Portrait photos have no options to choose from, but you can adjust the depth of field. Edge detection in daylight averages. In low-light photos, you’ll notice edge detection flaws.

When it comes to selfies, the Poco X6 Neo again manages decent photos. Daylight selfies are good and have good levels of detail with accurate white balance and colors. Low light selfies are washed out and lack detail.

The Poco X6 Neo only offers 1080p 30fps video recording from both the rear and front cameras. While you can use the camera to record video, expect it to have a lot of noise and artifacts. Dynamic range isn’t great in daylight videos either, and things get worse in low-light conditions. The stabilization in the video is decent at best, start running and you will see all the fear. In slow motion mode you can record at 720p 120fps, but the results are mediocre.

Overall, the camera setup on the Poco X6 Neo is good for basic daylight photography.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Verdict

Poco X6 Neo 5G starting price Rs. 15,999 and sees competition from phones like Realme 12 5G, Redmi Note 13 5G and Vivo T3 5G. However, only the Realme 12 5G is in the same price bracket, while the others cost a bit more. Of course, when you pay more, you also get a better phone, especially when it comes to camera performance.

Poco’s X6 Neo’s hardware isn’t really new, but it offers good value for money. The AMOLED display is definitely something you won’t find in this price segment and is great for content consumption. The phone can take good photos even in daylight. You get good battery life and decent performance too. At this price point, the Poco X6 Neo is definitely a hero.

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