Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Shoulder Button, 120W Charge for $530!

I used to think gaming phones were a gimmick. I’m not talking about the early batch of pre-iPhone era devices like the Nokia N-Gage or Gizmondo, nor the early 2010s devices from Sony and Samsung with slide-out controllers. Those devices really brought something new and different to the mobile market. I’m instead referring to the recent resurgence of gaming phones, which debuted four, five years ago led by the likes of Razer, ASUS, Honor and Nubia.

My highlight was that, apart from adding an LED light strip to the back of the phone and better copper cooling internally, the first batch of gaming phones operated mostly like any other Android phone on the market. I still remember testing the Honor Play back in 2018 and asking the company how the phone differed from the six other Huawei/Honor devices tested that year.

But gaming phones started to justify their existence in the last few years with real meaningful addition Like a physical fan, controller accessories, or my favorite, shoulder buttons, that instantly made a phone more suitable for gaming. Most of these shoulder buttons are in the capacitive sensor variety, but Xiaomi has offered real pop-up buttons that now provide real tactile, clicky feedback in some devices. The latest is POCO F4 GT.

The POCO F4 GT is not a brand new device. If you follow the Chinese smartphone landscape closely, or if you’re familiar with Xiaomi’s tendency to rebrand existing mid-tier phones for another market, you’ll know that the POCO F4 GT is exactly the device as The Redmi K50G (G stands for Gaming) was launched in China two months ago. I don’t think most people would mind a rebrand, as you’re getting a lot of key components at a very reasonable price.

    POCO F4 GT’s pop-up shoulder buttons and great speaker really enhance the mobile gaming experience. Even if you don’t play games, the F4 GT is still a solid all-around phone.

Poco X4 GTPoco X4 GT

POCO F4 GT: Pricing and Availability

The POCO F4 GT comes in two configurations: 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM and 12GB RAM + 256GB ROM, which cost €599 ($639) and €699 ($746) respectively in Europe, and Hong Kong and the Southeast Almost equal in Asian regions like Asia. , But if you order the phone between April 27 and May 7, POCO is offering an early bird discount of €100 on each price, which means the base 8GB + 128GB variant will cost €499 (with a price tag of €499). Can be had for $532.

The POCO F4 GT will be available for sale at POCO’s online store as well as online retailers like Amazon, Lazada, AliExpress, Shopee.

POCO F4 GT: Specifications

Specification Poco F4 GT
construction
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on Display
  • metal frame
  • glass back
Dimensions and Weight
  • 162.5 x 76.7 x 8.5 mm
  • 210g
Show
  • 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED
  • 2400 x 1080 resolution
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 480 Hz touch sampling rate
  • 800nits Typical Brightness
  • DCI-P3 wide color gamut support
  • HDR10+
  • 1920Hz High Frequency PWM Dimming
society
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • adreno 730
RAM and Storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM + 128GB UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 12GB + 256GB
battery is charging
  • 4,700 mAh
  • 120W Wired Fast Charging Support
Security
  • side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • ai face unlock
rear camera
  • Primary: 64MP Sony IMX686, f/1.9
  • Ultra-Wide: 8MP, f/2.2, 120° FOV
  • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4
front camera 20MP, f/2.4
Port USB Type-C
Audio
  • symmetrical quad speaker
  • Dolby Atmos Certification
  • Hi-Res Audio Certification
  • Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certification
connectivity
  • 5G (SA+NSA)
    • Supported Bands: n1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41/77/78
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 6e (2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz)
  • bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
Software Android 12 . MIUI 13 for POCO based on
other features
  • CyberEngine Super Wideband X-Axis Linear Motor
  • LiquidCool Technology 3.0
  • colour’s:
    • stealth black
    • knight silver
    • cyber yellow
  • magnetic pop-up trigger

About this hands-on: Xiaomi Global has provided me with the POCO F4 GT review unit for testing. This article had no input from Xiaomi.

POCO F4 GT: Hardware and Design

If you’ve seen the Redmi K50G, the POCO F4 GT won’t bring any surprises. The design is the same, the only visible difference is the branding which has changed from Redmi to POCO at the bottom-left corner of the device. My unit is “Night Silver” in color and I love how it looks and feels (I like it more than yellow and black shades). However, the glass back is a bit reflective and not completely matte, and it can attract subtle fingerprints.

The two inward-pointing arrows (“> <") have a slight texture as they are ever slightly raised above the glass. Since this is a gaming phone, it definitely has an LED light strip. Two of them are present, also forming arrows pointing inwards to the camera module. Another nice touch is the LED flashlight in the shape of a lightning sitting next to the camera module.

As a gaming phone, the POCO F4 GT needs to deliver a better visual and audio experience than usual, and the phone hits it out of the park in the speaker department

As a gaming phone, the POCO F4 GT needs to deliver a better visual and audio experience than usual, and the phone knocks it out of the park in the speaker department: It has a quad-speaker system with two speakers and two speakers. There are two tweeters, which are placed inside. A large speaker grilles the top and bottom of the device. The grilles are larger and deeper than usual, giving more room for sound to spread. They are also symmetrical in placement and shape. I can definitely hear fuller audio. However, there is no headphone jack.

For a 6.7-inch, 2400 x 1080 OLED display, it’s quite sharp and vibrant, but there’s a slight drop in 800 nits brightness, and the refresh rate may only be 60Hz or 120Hz, but it’s got touch sampling rates up to 480Hz and Gorilla The glass is covered by victus.

magnetic pop-up trigger

The two shoulder buttons are called “magnetic pop-up triggers,” and by default they’re blank, popping up only when you physically flip a switch. The buttons offer very flashy, bouncy feedback, and can be used outside of gaming to launch specific apps or phone functions like a flashlight (customizable in settings). However, the switch to release the buttons is a bit loose and can be accidentally toggled on or off while pulling the phone in and out of the pocket. I wish they were more firm. POCO claims that the buttons have been tested to withstand at least 1.5 million times.

POCO has given the X4 GT the latest and greatest components when it comes to processing power and memory: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with LPDDR5 RAM (8GB or 12GB) and UFS 3.1 storage (128GB or 256GB). The size of the 4,700mAh battery is a bit small for a gaming phone, but it can be charged at a whopping 120W. From my testing, I was able to get the phone from 0-100% in 18 minutes – that’s pretty crazy.

cameras

Cameras are fine. The main system consists of a 64MP IMX686 sensor paired with a small-ish 1/1.73-inch image sensor, along with an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro sensor. There is a 20MP selfie camera on the front. During the day, photos have solid sharpness and dynamic range. In fact, the main camera is fine even at night, thanks to pixel-binning and Xiaomi’s really good Night Mode. But the ultra-wide really struggles at night.

Colors are accurate without looking exaggerated, and you also get some bokeh if you point close enough to a subject – though I think it’s mostly software-generated due to the smaller image sensor.

POCO F4 GT: Software

POCO F4 GT runs on Android 12 with MIUI 13. Overall performance is similar to Xiaomi/Redmi phones, with a fast, responsive UI that’s heavy on animations and whimsical touches (like app icons exploding to bits when uninstalled).

As a gaming phone, there is an additional gaming feature called Game Turbo. It’s a floating menu that can be swiped into view while a game is on. It offers general performance boosts such as clearing background memory, turning off notifications, as well as allowing assignment of shoulder triggers and recording screen with the tap of a button.

The most unique feature is probably the “Voice Changer” which, as the name suggests, will change how my voice is heard by other gamers (in games that support voice chat, such as online first-person shooters). .

POCO F4 GT: Performance and Battery Life

When I reviewed Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi 12 Pro, last month, I noticed that the phone heated up faster than usual. Indeed, the app couldn’t finish the 20-minute “Wild Life Extreme Stress Test” in 3DMark. I’m happy to report that the POCO F4 GT’s improved thermals — which include extra-large copper cooling plates — work wonders, as the F4 GT scored higher than my Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in a 20-minute stress test. can terminate. The Galaxy S22 Ultra scored. Other benchmark numbers are also respectable and are sitting firmly in flagship phone territory.

Gaming performance was fine for me, though I’m not the heaviest of gamers. The Genshin Impact ran at a steady framerate, and the shoulder trigger came in very handy for playing my favorite game, Call of Duty. The phone did get a bit hot, but I rarely noticed large framerate stutters. The phone’s speaker and microphone placement has also been well thought out, as they don’t get easily blocked by fingers.

As a typical smartphone, I didn’t notice any problems – apps like Instagram, Gmail, and Slack apparently worked flawlessly, and thanks to the top-notch speakers, the phone also excels as a Netflix/YouTube viewing machine. Is.

Battery life is the only area that’s up to par – as the phone is for gaming, the 4,700mAh cell isn’t big, and from my experience, a one-hour gaming session can quickly drain about 30% of the battery. But considering how fast the phone can top up, it’s not a big deal. Under normal usage, the phone can last for 12-, 13 hours on a single charge.


POCO F4 GT .  gaming onPOCO F4 GT .  gaming on

POCO F4 GT: Early Impressions

With a starting price of €499 ($531), the POCO F4 GT is a good value even if you don’t play any games. It’s got one of the best speakers on any smartphone right now, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip that’s less likely to be throttled, and a 120Hz AMOLED display. Cameras are the only area where you can do better in this price range.

With a starting price of €499 ($531), the POCO F4 GT is a good value even if you don’t play a game

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But if you play mobile games? A particularly graphically intense first-person-shooter and open-world RPG? Adding shoulder buttons and better thermals, the POCO F4 GT is a top performer. The POCO F4 GT is not only a gimmick, but it is also a really good value all-rounder.

    POCO F4 GT’s pop-up shoulder buttons and great speaker really enhance the mobile gaming experience. Even if you don’t play games, the F4 GT is still a solid all-around phone.

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