Poco X6 Neo Review: Budget Hero

Budget smartphones are plentiful, and every brand is trying to do something different to capture the attention of the masses. The Poco X6 Neo is the new kid in the block, well not actually new, it’s a rebranded Redmi Note 13, but with some changes to its design and software. The key selling points for the Neo are its slim display bezel and an overall slim form factor. The Poco X6 Neo joins the Poco X6 and the Poco X6 Pro. This results in a series of devices that stretches from the budget segment deep into to the mid-range.

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

Poco X6 Neo Review: Price in India

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

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Poco X6 Neo is available in three colour options

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

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

Poco X6 Neo Review: Design

In terms of design, the Poco X6 Neo is certainly a good looking phone. We’ve been testing out the Martian Orange colourway, which has a marble-like finish on its back panel that shines though when light hits the surface. It’s kind of cool and is certainly eye-catching. Otherwise, the panel has a matte finish to it, which is good at resisting fingerprints and smudges.

It’s got a flat frame with a slight taper that makes the phone comfortable to hold in hand. Both the frame and back panel are made from plastic, which helps keep it light at just 175 grams. There’s also a rectangular camera module at the back with the dual cameras, which protrude outwards quite a bit. When laid on its back, the protruding cameras makes the phone wobble.

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The Poco X6 Neo has a single loudspeaker

The Poco X6 Neo is also quite thin, at just 7.69mm. On the front, you get skinny bezels around the flat display which gives it a very premium appearance. There’s no thick chin either 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 specifications, the Poco X6 Neo is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC, which is based on a 6nm fabrication process. It is paired with a Mali-G54 MC2 GPU and up to 12GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. You can’t expect faster RAM and storage on a phone that’s priced this 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, whereas the right frame houses the SIM ejector tray, which supports dual SIM or a single SIM and a microSD card. At the top you’ll find an infrared blaster, a microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone has 5G support, Bluetooth 5.3, dual-band Wi-Fi, and support for the usual global positioning systems.

Poco has used a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the X6 Neo that’s placed underneath the Power button. The scanner is fast and works well. We did not face any issues during our time using the phone.

The phone packs a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 33W fast charger. Out-of-the-box, the Poco X6 Neo runs Android 13-based MIUI 14, and you will get two years of Android and 4 years of security updates. However, since Google will soon launch Android 15 later this year, you’re essentially only getting one year of Android OS update 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 Glance lock screen (which thankfully can be disabled), along with plenty of bloatware and advertisements. While most of the bloatware can be uninstalled, there are a couple of apps that you’ll have to live with. There’s your usual set of MIUI 14 features onboard the phone as well.

Poco X6 Neo Review: Performance

In terms of performance, there’s not much going on with the X6 Neo because it is your average run-of-the-mill performer. The MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC is decent for everyday use and for 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 benchmarks, the phone scored 613 points in single core tests and 1,798 points in multi-core tests. 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 equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC

One of the key selling points of the Poco X6 Neo is its display. You get a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, full-HD+ resolution, and up to 2,160Hz touch sampling rate. The panel also features 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 appear to be uniform and give the device a premium look. It’s quite a rare sight to see displays with such thin bezels at this price point, especially of the AMOLED variety. Most phones in this price bracket get an LCD panel, which means less deeper blacks and no support for Always-on Display (AOD).

The screen gets bright enough thanks to 1,000 nits of peak brightness, but it has a typical brightness of just 500 nits. The screen is visible outdoors, but only barely. The phone offers three colour modes – Vivid, Saturated, and Standard. We’d recommend going with the Standard colour mode if you want the most accurate colours, or Vivid if you want the phone to adjust colours based on what’s on the display. You can also adjust the colour temperature on the phone. Viewing angles are pretty good with no change in colours and contrast.

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The Poco X6 Neo has a 500 nits display

The phone comes with a single loudspeaker that can get loud, but it lacks any sort of bass. Microphone and ear speaker quality is also decent and I didn’t face any issues when making phone calls. The Poco X6 Neo is good for content consumption, but it would’ve been nice 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 wasn’t surprising. You can play BGMI and other graphic intensive games on the phone, but don’t expect high or ultra graphics. BGMI selected HD graphics by default but had most of the effects greyed out. During long gaming sessions (30 to 45 mins) the phone did not heat-up much, and performance didn’t drop. Touch sensitivity was also good, but there were a few misses here and there. I didn’t notice any heating issues when using the camera or during regular usage. The phone stayed cool in most scenarios.

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

Coming to software performance, I did not notice major lagging or stuttering when navigating the UI, opening apps, or using the camera. Yes, the phone did lag occasionally when switching camera modes and I did notice some stutter in animations. Overall though, the 120Hz refresh rate helps overcome these rare stutters and it’s not going to be a dealbreaker.

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

Poco X6 Neo Review: Cameras

Alright, let’s talk about the cameras. 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 laid out right in front. There’s a dedicated 108-megapixel mode, a Night mode, Portrait, Documents, and a More option that gives you access to Time-lapse, Slow motion, Pro mode, Panorama, and AI watermark.

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Poco X6 Neo has a 108-megapixel main rear camera

Daylight shots from the main camera show good detail with accurate colours in most shooting scenarios. However, it wasn’t able to handle difficult lighting conditions well, despite having the HDR option enabled. The 108-megapixel captures pack more detail, are surprisingly sharp and colour accurate. In low-light, the camera doesn’t perform very well even in Night mode. There’s a big drop in detail, sharpness, and colour accuracy. You will also see washed out colours and details.

Poco X6 Neo primary camera sample (Tap image to expand)

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 so, don’t pack much detail. There’s plenty of watercolour effect seen in zoom shots especially at night. Daylight shots are better and do have some level of detail.

Poco X6 Neo primary camera sample (Tap image to expand)

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 get bad once the sun goes down. There are no options to choose in Portrait photos, but you can adjust the depth of field. Edge detection in daylight average. In low light photos, you will notice flaws with edge detection.

When it comes to selfies, the Poco X6 Neo again manages decent photos. Daylight selfies are good and have a good level of details with accurate white balance and colours. Low Light selfies are washed out and lack details.

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 videos, expect it to have plenty of noise and artefacts. The dynamic range is also not great in daylight videos and things get worse in lowlight conditions. Stabilisation in video is decent at best, start running and you’ll see all the jitters. 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

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

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

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