Poco X6 Neo review: A budget-friendly powerhouse?

The Poco X6 Neo’s software is a mixed bag, with the Poco launcher and various features of MIUI 14
The image shows Poco X6 Neo. — Amazon
The image shows Poco X6 Neo. — Amazon

In the world of budget smartphones, where every brand is vying for attention, the Poco X6 Neo stands out, although not entirely for its originality. It is essentially a repackaged Redmi Note 13, tweaked a bit in design and software. The slim bezels and slender build are its main draws, positioning it alongside the Poco X6 and Poco X6 Pro in a lineup that spans from budget-friendly to mid-range offerings.

The Poco X6 Neo hits the Indian market in two variants. The base model, boasting 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, is tagged at INR15,999, while the more robust 12GB RAM + 256GB storage version is priced at INR17,999.

Poco X6 Neo specs

But, let’s dive deeper. The device dazzles in Astral Black, Horizon Blue, and Martian Orange — I tested the 12GB RAM Martian Orange version. Along with the phone, the box includes a case, a 33W fast charger, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, and standard paperwork.

Design-wise, the Poco X6 Neo is quite the looker, especially in its Martian Orange avatar with a marble-like back panel. This design choice not only catches the eye but also cleverly resists fingerprints and smudges. Despite its plastic frame and back panel, the device feels comfortable and lightweight at just 175 grams. However, the protruding dual cameras on the back do cause the phone to wobble when laid flat.

The phone's slimness, measured at just 7.69mm, and its nearly bezel-less front display, lend it a premium feel — something not typically seen in this price range. It also features an IP54 dust and splash resistance rating and a Gorilla Glass 5-protected display.

Under the hood, the Poco X6 Neo is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 6080 SoC, complemented by a Mali-G54 MC2 GPU. It offers up to 12GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. While you can't expect top-tier RAM and storage at this aggressive pricing, the phone holds its own reasonably well.

The device includes a side-mounted fingerprint scanner integrated with the power button, and I found it to be swift and reliable. With a 5,000mAh battery and 33W fast charging, the phone runs on an Android 13-based MIUI 14, promising two years of Android updates and four years of security updates. However, given the imminent launch of Android 15, this essentially means just one year of Android OS updates for the X6 Neo, which is a bit underwhelming.

The Poco X6 Neo’s software is a mixed bag, with the Poco launcher and various features of MIUI 14, alongside a considerable amount of bloatware and advertisements. Though most can be uninstalled, some remain unavoidable.

Performance-wise, the Poco X6 Neo delivers average results. It handles everyday tasks and some gaming without much fuss, but don't expect groundbreaking performance. Benchmarks align with its mid-range positioning.

The display is a high point for the Poco X6 Neo. The 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and impressively thin bezels offers a premium visual experience uncommon in this price bracket. However, the screen's outdoor visibility and the phone's single loudspeaker are areas where corners were cut.

Gaming on Poco X6 Neo

Gaming on the Poco X6 Neo is enjoyable, though settings default to lower graphics quality for more intensive games. The phone maintains a cool temperature even during extended use, and touch sensitivity is generally good, barring a few misses.

Battery life is a strong suit, easily lasting a day and a half with regular use, and the 33W fast charger does a commendable job of quickly recharging the device.

Now, let's address the camera setup. The Poco X6 Neo features a dual rear camera with a 108-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Daylight photography is where this camera shines, offering good details and colour accuracy. However, it struggles in low-light conditions, and the zoom capabilities are limited. Portrait photos are decent in daylight but suffer in low light. Selfies are respectable during the day but lack detail in darker settings. Video recording is capped at 1080p 30fps, and while functional, don't expect cinematic quality.