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At just $500, the high-performance Poco F2 Pro hits OnePlus and Samsung hard

POCO Global Launch Event

Poco has announced the Poco F2 Pro smartphone, and it looks like one of the better value releases of 2020. Wait, who? Poco made a splash with the original Poco F1 in 2018, and it grabbed headlines and hearts with its excellent blend of performance and low cost. The Poco F1 sold well, with 1.64 million shifted by the fledgling company, and it has high hopes for the sequel.

Poco is pushing the performance of the new phone as a reason to buy, just like it did with the Poco F1. The Poco F2 Pro has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, the same as you’ll find in many other top smartphones this year, including the OnePlus 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.

Of course, this means the F2 Pro also has 5G connectivity. To provide consistent performance Poco has added liquid cooling, much like it did with the first model. The system has 10 heat sensors to identify the hot spots, and then multiple layers of graphite, graphene, and a big vapor chamber to keep it cool.

For the design, it’s reminiscent of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and the OnePlus 7T. Made from metal and Gorilla Glass 5, there is a circular camera module on the back, set at the top center of the body. This module contains a 64-megapixel main camera — the Sony IMX686 sensor — along with a 13-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 5-megapixel macro, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor too. A pop-up 20-megapixel selfie camera completes the list.

On the front is a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen without a notch or hole-punch, delivering a 92% screen-to-body ratio, HDR10+ support, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. It runs Android 10 with the Poco Launcher 2.0 over the top. Poco Launcher 2.0 is even available as a download for all Android phones through Google Play.

What else? There’s a massive 4,700mAh battery inside, which Poco says will last for two days before it’s flat, and is recharged using a 30W fast charge system. It’ll take just 63 minutes to reach 100%, according to the company. It even has a 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR blaster, plus it comes in blue, purple, white, and gray. If some of this sounds a little familiar, it’s because many of these features can be found on Xiaomi’s phones, including the Mi 10 series. This makes sense as Poco is a Xiaomi sub-brand, and the two share technology.

The big deal is the price, because the Poco F2 Pro is great value compared to the competition. It starts at $500, or 500 euros for the standard 6GB/128GB version, or $600/600 euros for the 8GB/256GB model. It’s going to be an import at first, with Gearbest being one of the partners, but availability through Amazon will arrive in the future, although it’s not clear if that includes the U.S. Either way, the new Poco F2 Pro looks like it’ll take up the role once played by OnePlus, by being a specs-focused brand that doesn’t go overboard on price.

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