Poco F4 GT hands-on: Very gimmick, very cool, very powerful

Poco F4 GT hands-on: Very gimmick, very cool, very powerful

Poco F4 GT hands-on: Very gimmick, very cool, very powerful

Xiaomi has just launched the Poco F4 GT, a gaming smartphone with a 120 Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and 120 watts fast charging all starting at around 600 dollars. With its price half that of a 2022 Android flagship and its cool retractable triggers, will the Poco F4 GT find its niche? I was able to take a first look at the smartphone before its release and give you my first impressions, while waiting for my full test.
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The Poco F4 GT in a nutshell

The Poco F4 GT is available since April 26, 2022. In Europe two memory configurations are available: 8/128 GB and 12/256 GB, sold for €599.90 and €699.90 respectively, approximately $640 and $750, respectively. Poco is offering an early bird offer at €499.

The smartphone is positioned in the mid-range high-end segment. It’s not a full-fledged flagship like a Galaxy S22 or a Xiaomi 12, but it ticks all the right boxes with its spec sheet to bet everything on performance and multimedia content consumption.

Price-wise, I’d put it on par with a OnePlus 8T back in the day or a RedMagic 7. I don’t have a definitive opinion on the Poco F4 GT yet, but the first impression it left me with is pretty positive. But it could also be that Poco blinded me a bit with its gimmick like physical triggers.

Xiaomi Poco F4 GT design and build quality

In terms of design, the Poco F4 GT is classy and more restrained than its gaming brethren, though that DNA is still very much in evidence. Basically, it’s like wearing a pair of white sneakers to a wedding (I’m not judging, I’ve done it too). It’s classy but still flashy.

What I liked:

  • The retractable physical triggers are cool.
  • Looks more sober than other gaming smartphones.

What I didn’t like:

Poco F4 GT design au dos
The Knight Silver color of the Poco F4 GT is very nice / © NextPit

The back is made of matte glass covered with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The Poco F4 GT comes in 3 colors: Stealth Black, Knight Silver, and Cyber Yellow. I got the silver color for this hands-on. The slightly grainy matte back is covered with smoother coating patterns that act as a sort of anti-slip strip and grip your hands better.

The smartphone also features 4 Dolby Atmos speakers, and in terms of dimensions, the smartphone measures 162.5 x 76.7 x 8.5 mm and weighs 210g. The rectangular photo module is quite classic visually, except for the LED flash that is literally shaped like a lightning bolt. On the right side of the phone, we find not only the fingerprint reader under the on/off button, but also the triggers.

Poco F4 GT camera module
The Poco F4 Pro’s triple photo module and its flash-shaped LED flash / © NextPit

Oddly enough, I liked the fact that they are physical buttons and not haptic or tactile, as it is usually the case, lately. The clicky feedback of the triggers when pressed is more satisfying than the vibrations of the haptic versions, at first glance. But we’ll have to see how it performs in terms of precision, responsiveness, and also solidity.

The switch to activate of Poco F4 GT
On the right, the trigger and on its left, the switch to activate it / © NextPit

Indeed, the triggers are retractable and this gimmick is really cool, you can even have animation and sound effects when you extend and retract the buttons. But, even if Poco guarantees that each trigger can withstand 1.5 million presses, I can’t help but fear that their response will degrade too quickly.

The two triggers of the Poco F4 GT for gamers
The two triggers of the Poco F4 GT are retractable / © NextPit

After that, I tested them quickly on CoD Mobile and I rather liked them. Re-mapping (to assign a trigger to a virtual button on your touch screen) is very easy. And you can also use the triggers outside of gaming, assigning them features and other shortcuts. You have two physical buttons in addition.

Xiaomi Poco F4 GT display

The Poco F4 GT embeds a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution that is 2400 x 1080 with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of 480 Hz.

What I liked:

  • Good brightness.
  • 120 Hz refresh rate.
  • Flat screen suitable for gaming (to avoid false touches).

What I didn’t like:

  • The touch sampling rate is a bit weak.
  • The punch hole centered at the top of the screen in gaming mode.

The display of the Poco F4 GT
The screen of the Poco F4 GT in 120 Hz / © NextPit

I’m not going to go on and on about the quality of the screen in this hands-on. But in my brief use of the phone, I found the screen bright enough to be readable outdoors. The typical 800 nits advertised is about average for the market in this price range, in my opinion.

If I wanted to grumble a bit, I’d say I regret the centered placement of the punch, which takes a bit of immersion of when gaming. Gaming smartphones prefer to opt for a wider front to hide the selfie camera. The 480 Hz sampling rate is also not great when you know that OnePlus has reached the 1000 Hz mark on its OnePlus 10 Pro, for example.

But the AMOLED screen is still of good quality, especially since the fact that it is flat should please many of you.

The punch hole of the Poco F4 GT display
The 6.67-inch screen of the Poco F4 GT is pierced with a central punch / © NextPit

Interface: MIUI 13 made for Poco

The Poco F4 GT runs MIUI 13, based on Android 12. I’ll tell you more about this Android overlay in another test, but you can get a feel for it in this
guide to the best MIUI features and even
check if your smartphone will receive the update.

As for the update policy, Poco didn’t make any guarantees, but the manufacturer is content with the bare minimum in general. But I asked the press department if that had changed, hoping that Xiaomi’s recent efforts in this regard would trickle down to its sub-brands.

Also note that there are a lot of pre-installed apps and ads that you can remove.

Xiaomi F4 GT design interface
The Poco F4 GT interface looks like MIUI 13 / © NextPit

Performance: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and LiquidCool 3.0 technology

The Poco F4 GT features Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC and Adreno 730 GPU, all coupled with 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

I’m not going to comment on the performance. I’ll have to run my benchmark sessions and play around with the smartphone long enough to get an idea.

I obviously don’t expect any worries in terms of raw power. It’s, as always, on the temperature control side that it will come down to. Poco is touting its LiquidCool 3.0 technology and I can’t wait to see what it does in real life. For the sake of conscience, I’ve launched a benchmark loop on 3D Mark Wild Life and Geekbench 5, to give you an idea.

Poco F4 GT benchmarks results
The Poco F4 GT promises effective temperature control with its LiquidCool Technology 3.0 / © NextPit

Battery life: 120 watts and charger included

The Poco F4 GT packs a 4700 mAh battery that accepts HyperCharge fast charging at 120 watts. But you will have to wait for NextPit’s full review to see how it performs in real life use.

The 120 watts are always good to have, especially when you feel like playing but your battery is dead. I just regret the placement of the USB-C port which should be on the left edge for maximum ergonomics when playing on the smartphone.

On the other hand, I give a nod to Poco for including a charger in the box of the Poco F4 GT and one that is fully compatible with the 120-watt fast charge system!

Xiaomi Poco F4 GT technical specifications

Poco F4 GT specifications
ImagePoco F4 GT four color variants
Display6.67 inch, AMOLED DotDisplay
2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 120 Hz adaptive
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Memory128 / 256 GB ROM UFS 3.1
8 / 12 GB RAM LPDDR5
SoftwareMIUI 13 with Android 12
2 Android versions and 3 years of security updates
Rear cameraMain camera: 64 MP / f/1.9 aperture / 1/1.73-inch
0.8 μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel
Ultra-wide-angle: 8 MP / f/2.2 aperture / 120º FOV
Macro camera: 2 MP / f/2.4 aperture
Front camera20 MP / f/2.4 aperture / 1.4 µm 4-in-1 Super Pixel
AudioSymmetrical quad speakers, Dolby Atmos®, Hi-Res Audio certified, Hi-Res Audio Wireless certified
Battery4700 mAh
Wired (90°) charging: 120 W HyperCharge
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6E, BT 5.2, NFC, Dual GPS/Galileo, GLONASS/BDS
Dimensions and weight162.5 x 76.7 x 8.5 mm, 210 g
PriceStarts at $599

Conclusion: My first impressions

The Poco F4 GT is very interesting in terms of spec/price ratio. I know that for my use, it ticks just about every box, while being almost half the price of most current high-end Android smartphones.

I really don’t want to call it a flagship killer because that product concept is totally obsolete in 2022. But as an intermediate flagship, the Poco F4 GT has a shot. I think the fast charging and the price alone can make the phone stand out.

Even the most smartphone-averse might be tempted. There’s a reason why the Poco F4 GT’s triggers retract or its design is pretty plain. It doesn’t want to put its gaming side in your face, at least not too hard. Moreover, the Poco F4 GT has a big advantage over other gaming smartphones on the market: MIUI 13.

I’ll see you soon for the full test of the Poco F4 GT and to discuss my final “verdict”. In the meantime, I will try not to break the triggers by retracting them in a loop.

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