Poco F4 GT is a gaming smartphone. A flagship with mainstream styling and gamer-friendly features that is affordable
You all know the drill. Any product “made for gamers” should be equipped with RGB lighting and a large battery, even if it means a bulky, and prioritize performance. The Poco F4 GT was not told.
The F4 GT is a slightly less traditional take on the classic formula. It has the hardware you would expect from a mid-range smartphone, plus some killer features that will make gaming a lot easier. It’s just as versatile as its other affordable models.
The Redmi K50 Gaming was previously sold in China. Poco has now launched the device here with a more European-friendly Android version. It also managed to lower the price of its starting price. Is it worth the money for those who want to move on their own?
Poco F4 Design & features
The glossy back panel is not adorned with any fun decals, and the flash that looks like a lightning bolt does not make it look like a gamer phone. But, the subtle RGB light strips surrounding the camera lens? It will do the job, but because it is only used for charging or playing games, it gets a lot of attention.
The Poco F4 GT ranks in most other aspects with mid-priced flagships. It features a flat front with a metal frame. To fit in quad stereo speakers, it has a slightly thicker metal frame. It is a heavy 210g so it won’t slip out of your pocket.
On the phone’s side, you will find a combination power button/fingerprint sensor. Although it’s not as intuitive as an under-display scanner, it does help keep the phone affordable and detects your fingers with high speed and accuracy. It is easy to accidentally trigger the activation by taking the phone from your pocket. Therefore, it is worth setting the activation to press instead of touch.
The pop-up trigger buttons are a standout feature. They stay hidden until you use them. The buttons will spring into position when you flick the release latches; if you flip them back, they nestle inside your phone. It’s like a fidget spinner for smartphones.
Although these triggers are familiar to other Xiaomi phones and Redmi sub-brands, it is the first time that we have had the opportunity to use them in the UK. These triggers are not a substitute for the Razer Kishi or standalone Bluetooth controllers, but they’re perfect for getting ten minutes’ worth of playtime when you have only your phone.
Poco F4 Screen and Sound
The F4 GT is affordable and doesn’t compromise screen quality. The F4 GT is a 6.67in AMOLED with Gorilla Glass Victus protection. It has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support and a 6.67in diagonal.
Although colours are vibrant and have lots of contrast, the images look a bit too bright out of the box. You can adjust MIUI to your heart’s content. The Vivid profile was changed to Natural, which made the pictures appear more real.
Flat-screen technology helps to keep reflections from distracting images at a minimum. Brightness is excellent, reaching high enough levels that videos can be seen outdoors. However, it’s still a far cry from flagship phones.
The F4 GT would have been able to stand out from similarly-priced competitors if it had an adaptive refresh rate. A higher resolution would be a good thing, but it usually comes at the cost of frame rates. Poco made the right decision to keep 2400×1080.
Stereo speakers work well with the screen and produce a balanced sound that mixes a variety of frequencies. The sound isn’t too loud, but it can still be used for personal listening. It’s a shame that there is no headphone jack, as team games often require the use of headsets. But Poco compensates for this by including a USB-C and 3.5mm dongle.
While Poco’s previous gamer-centric efforts were powered by a MediaTek CPU (the F4 GT), the F4 GT uses Qualcomm’s new silicon. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship processor comes with either 8GB or 12GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB onboard storage.
Although there is no active cooling like the Nubia RedMagic 7’s, Poco has installed a large vapour chamber to prevent the CPU from overheating. This helps the phone remain toasty even during extended play sessions, but it doesn’t seem to be more efficient than other Snapdragon 8 processor phones. It’s still a good effort, even though they cost more than the F4 GT.
Games should run at 60Hz or higher, and the screen will happily kick up to 120Hz if the title allows. Although the Torchlight Infinite Beta currently runs at 60 frames per second, frame rates were consistent smooth so it should be able to handle any game in the Google Play Store.
Even with MIUI 13 POCO-ified, it’s powerful enough to run Android 12 without any problems. The skin is very user-friendly. It only has a handful of preinstalled apps, and a few that are similar to Google’s, but these can be removed or hidden with just a few clicks. The Game Turbo toolbox, which lets you customize your play sessions and launch shortcuts, allows you to force the phone’s performance to be at its best whenever you open an app.
The F4 GT’s 4700mAh battery isn’t the largest, even for a flagship. The F4 GT’s battery will still last you for a day, but prolonged play sessions and longer hours may leave you searching for a socket. It is, therefore, less expensive than the flagships and other mid-priced options.
It supports fast 120W rapid charging. This is enough to fully refuel your phone in just 20 minutes using the included power adaptor. It also features an L-shaped USB C cable that allows you to charge your phone while having fun without wires.
Wireless charging is not available here. This is not surprising considering the price.
Although it is often left behind on gaming phones, Poco has made sure that one of the F4 GT’s cameras has enough pixels to work with.
The main snapper is equipped with a 64MP, F/1.9 sensor and a lower-resolution 8MP (f/2.2 ultrawide) with a 120-degree field. A 2MP, F/2.4 macro lens is also available, which is just as useful as the pixel count.
Daylight images look respectable rather than spectacular. Pixel-binned 16MP photos look sharp enough at first glance and hold up once you start to pixel-peep. It doesn’t produce too much noise and doesn’t overdo image sharpening. Even with HDR enabled, dynamic range is limited.
The standard setting is bright enough, but turning on AI image processing pushes things into the unrealistic territory. The 2x zoom simply crops the main sensor. This works fine, as long as you don’t try to zoom in digitally. The colours aren’t as accurate here.
Although the ultrawide lens is a beast in terms of detail and colour, it’s not as good as its counterparts. If there was plenty of light, it would be too bright and make images look unrealistic. The main sensor (right), is often more sensitive to ultrawide lenses (left).
Noise is generally kept to a minimum as the light fades. The auto Night mode handles exposure and detail very well, without taking too much time between shots. Streetlights don’t affect white balance, and colours still have a lot of impacts. It’s worth looking into the menus of the camera app to find the dedicated night mode. This preserves even more shadow detail.
The Poco F4 GT is a great choice for anyone looking for a phone that’s more game-friendly than the usual RGB-infused gizmos. The Poco F4 GT is fast, has a great screen and pop-up triggers make all the difference in playing.
However, it does miss out on some features that we would expect from a gaming phone like a headphone socket and expandable storage. The battery life is solidly in the middle tier. Although the camera is good enough for its price, you don’t need to spend more to get more lenses and better quality.