Review Verdict: Despite using the same processor found in its predecessor, the POCO F4 is still a solid choice in the Philippines for its price thanks to improved charging speeds, updated display features, and new camera tricks.
- OIS on the main camera
- Improved camera performance
- Top-notch display
- No processor upgrade vs POCO F3
- 6GB/128GB variant is expensive
POCO F4 Review Philippines Specs
- Snapdragon 870 processor
- 6GB/8GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
- 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 120hz refresh rate, 480hz touch sampling rate, support for HDR10+ and DCI-P3, 10-bit color
- 64-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF and OIS, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera
- 20-megapixel selfie camera
- 4G, 5G
- WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 4500mAh battery
- 67w fast charging
- Android 12, MIUI 13
Months after the debut of the F4 GT, POCO brings over the vanilla F4 to the Philippines. Despite a focus on imaging performance, the F4 shares the same processor and RAM/storage variants as last year’s F3, though the company hopes that improvements in its display, camera, and charging speeds will be enough to entice consumers to buy it.
The F4 has a more modern design with its flat frame and glass back panel, giving it an illusion that it is slimmer than the F3 but in reality, the F4 is 0.1mm slimmer than its predecessor. The F4 has a large camera module that has a two-step protrusion. The upper portion has the triple rear camera setup with a metallic silver circle surrounding it, while the lower portion has an LED flash and 64MP OIS branding. One of the main upgrades of the F4 is the main camera, which uses a higher-resolution sensor and now has OIS–making the F4 the first POCO phone to have such a feature.
Save for the different camera module and less curvy design, the F4 has the same port and button layout as the F3–SIM card tray, USB-C port, and speaker at the bottom, speaker and IR port on top, and volume controls and fingerprint scanner/power button at the right.
Display and Speakers
We mentioned in our review of the POCO F3 that its AMOLED display is among its strengths, and the same applies to the F4. While it’s technically the same panel–120hz refresh rate, tiny punch hole for the 20-megapixel selfie snapper, and 360hz touch response rate, the F4 adds support for Dolby Vision on top of native support for HDR10+ content and the DCI-P3 color gamut.
Echoing our sentiments with the POCO F3, the F4 has one of the best AMOLED panels you can ask for in its price range, and we don’t mind the fact that the F4 still uses a side-mounted fingerprint scanner–an in-display fingerprint scanner would make it more premium, but would also make the phone more expensive.
The same can be said with its stereo speakers, where the POCO F4 delivers the same premium sound–with emphasis on the mids and highs–as its predecessor.
Despite the macro camera being downgraded to a barely useful 2-megapixel snapper without autofocus, the POCO F4 makes up for it with a high-resolution 64-megapixel main camera that has OIS.
While the POCO F4’s ultra-wide-angle camera performance is similar to what we have experienced with the F3, the main camera is significantly better. We noticed improved dynamic range with the POCO F4’s main camera, with highlights being less blown out compared to the F3. The improved image quality with the main camera is more noticeable in low-light scenarios, where the OIS aids in preserving detail and avoiding instances of blurry images.
For videos, the POCO F4 now allows you to shoot 4K video at 60FPS on the main camera, making it one of the most affordable phones to do so.
The addition of OIS is very helpful in reducing jitter when shooting handheld, making the POCO F4 a good phone for content creation.
Internals and Battery Life
POCO kept the same set of internals with the F4, so you still get a Snapdragon 870 processor and two variants: 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB. The POCO F4 is more expensive than the F3 at launch, making the 8GB/256GB the better variant–Php 21k is pricey for a phone that only has 6GB of RAM on board.
Despite using the same processor, the POCO F4 still trumps its rivals, as the Snapdragon 870 is a true flagship processor compared to the Dimensity 900 and Snapdragon 778G–two mid-range processors that are common within the POCO F4’s price segment.
Aside from being a flagship processor, the Snapdragon 870 has one of the highest clock speeds on a mobile processor, with its performance core running as high as 3.2Ghz. This is also reflective when it comes to gaming, as the POCO F4 can run demanding titles like Genshin Impact at the highest settings with ease.
While the frame rates we got using Gamebench show that the F4 fared lower than the F3, we think that this was a necessary decision on POCO’s part to keep the F4 from being alarmingly warm during long gaming sessions.
The battery remains roughly the same at 4500mAh, and the POCO F4 is just as power-efficient as its predecessor: with PCMark’s battery test, we managed to get 14 hours of battery life, which easily translates to at least a day’s worth of use. The POCO F4 does improve in charging speeds, as it now supports 67w wired charging–with the required charger included in the box. With the included charging brick, it takes around 40 minutes to fully top up the POCO F4’s battery from flat.
Wrap-Up and Conclusions
Despite using the same processor and being more expensive than the POCO F3 at launch, the F4 is still a very competitive phone for its asking price in the Philippines. The Snapdragon 870 it uses is a tried-and-tested processor for top-notch performance at the under Php 25k segment, and the addition of OIS in the main camera makes the POCO F4 a good option for those who are into serious content creation.