POCO F4 GT

POCO F4 GT

When POCO first announced their F4 model, a lot of people thought that there were a few features that were missing or the company had just decided to cut costs and go for cheaper components. After all, the F1 became notorious for offering the then flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, for the first time in the budget segment, while the F4 has to make do with a two-year-old Snapdragon 870 processor? This was very unlike POCO, which initially became famous for its ability to offer the best components at the lowest price possible.

Some people just thought of it as the gradual evolution of a company that finally came to terms with the dilemma between price sensitivity and performance goals. While others more correctly assumed that there must be another model out there that fills the gap in the true flagship killer segment. Especially considering that almost every smartphone that comes out these days features a Pro, Max, or Ultra variant that caters to the individual needs of people with different budgets. With the announcement of the POCO F4 GT version, this rumour certainly turned out to be true. So, let us take a look at this top-tier budget offering that claims to be ‘The Apex of Power’.

Display & Build Quality

Even though the GT model shares a name with the F4, they are pretty different when it comes to design and aesthetics. The GT model gives up on the flat back design and instead embraces the more familiar curved look that might look bulky but is just a few mm thicker and wider. The rear glass panel is given a frosted metallic look that is distinct from the regular model, owing to the personalised ‘gaming’ aesthetic. Even the camera module has been re-designed to look like an hourglass, with in-built notifications LEDs running around the border. This gives the phone a very different look, especially in the race-inspired yellow variant with black highlights.

On the front, the protection is increased with the addition of Gorilla Glass Victus, with even bezels on all sides and a discrete hole-punch camera in the top centre. The display itself is a similar 6.67″ 10-bit AMOLED panel, which supports HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. For a smooth touch experience, the panel features a 120Hz refresh rate and 480Hz touch sampling rate. Even though it isn’t an LTPO panel, it is still more than enough for most use cases. While the display does lose out of peak brightness to its cheaper cousin, the real highlight comes in the form of a specialised dimming mode, which supports up to 1920Hz PWM dimming. This means that the display is optimised for use in low lighting conditions, thus, significantly reducing the discomfort that flicker can cause to your eyes.

Audio & Connectivity

The amazing visual experience is supported by an equally great audio experience, which is powered by a quad-speaker stereo solution that hosts independent sets of tweeters and woofers on both the top and bottom. This setup also features Dolby Atmos support for an authentic surround sound experience. The other half of the audio experience is enabled by a special 3-mic array, which features a dedicated gaming mic that has been added on the side for better voice capture during gaming.

Similarly, the antenna bands have been explicitly placed to ensure that your hands don’t muffle the signal while intense gaming sessions. There is even a special ‘Multi-Link 5.0’ technology built into the software, which automatically switches between cellular and Wi-Fi networks to maintain a high-speed and stable online experience. During gaming sessions, all of these systems work in sync with the ‘Game Turbo’ mode to deliver the best possible gaming experience to users.

One key highlight of this system that takes it from a regular budget smartphone and brings it into the category of a true gaming model is the addition of physical pop-up triggers. These triggers are hidden within the body and can be ‘popped up’ with the help of dedicated locking sliders present next to them. The mechanism uses eight magnets to offer a smooth and tangible clicking experience. Since the buttons and the components behind them are both hardware-based, it offers extremely low latency and superfast feedback, which are crucial for a tangible gaming experience.

You get a similar experience even with the buttons that you click on the screen, thanks to a new CyberEngine Super wideband X-axis linear motor, which is claimed to be one of the largest vibration motors in a smartphone, with a super-large 560mm size and an advanced magnetic steel design. This translates to transient vibrations in excess of 5Gpp, which is pretty exceptional for a budget smartphone. This whole ‘physical’ theme is rounded off by a fingerprint sensor on the side, which is pretty responsive and durable for this price range.

Performance & Battery

What truly isn’t on par with the price range is the performance of the device, which truly sets the standard for budget smartphones. With a 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the latest LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, and a dedicated multi-layer cooling solution designed to keep these flagship components from being throttled, the POCO F4 GT truly pushes the boundaries of what can be accomplished by an affordable flagship killer. While the performance of these components has already been proven in many devices, it is truly the cooling system that decides how much performance you can actually use on a sustained basis.

This is why the company has paid special attention to the ‘LiquidCool Technology 3.0’ system, which uses dual vapour chambers made from next-generation stainless steel VC and 3D step VC, along with a 6904mm super-large graphene layer and 3D high-power graphite. These and many other innovative materials work together to efficiently transfer the heat through multiple layers, from the inside to the outside of the device. This is required not only for maintaining the thermal output of the chipset but also for the excess heat produced while charging.

Charging is another highlight of the system, which supports up to 120W of what is being called Smart HyperCharge. The company provides the fast charger for free with the device and a special cable that has an L-shaped socket for easy charging while gaming. This charger claims to power the device to 100% in just 17 minutes. This is made possible by splitting the 4700mAh cell to reduce the heat buildup and share the charging load. This dual-cell battery and multi-tab winding setup have already been proven to help keep the charging temperatures low and battery health a priority. However, we would still recommend using a slower charging setup for more longevity.

We haven’t mentioned anything about the camera array because it features the same setup that you find in the regular F4, with a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The performance of the cameras in both models is pretty average and would only detract from the overall value proposition. This is why it seems like even the company itself isn’t doing a lot to highlight them. Still, even with all the things that we have already highlighted, it sure seems like the F4 GT is a future-proof flagship killer that certainly justifies its existence.

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