Poco C65 Review: Decent for the Price

 

The Poco C65 is the latest budget offering from the company in India. It’s got a decent set of specifications, a large display, a big battery, and triple rear cameras. The latest C-series phone from Poco features a couple of firsts in the segment, according to the company. The handset is identical to the Redmi 13C 4G in terms of specifications and design but carries some subtle changes. I’ve been trying out the new Poco C65 for the last week, and here’s what I think of it.

Poco C65 price in India

Poco C65 price in India starts at Rs. 8,499 for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. The phone is available in two more configurations. A 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option is priced at Rs. 9,499, whereas the 8GB RAM + 256GB variant will cost you Rs. 10,999.

If you use your ICICI Bank card to make the purchase, you can get an instant Rs. 1,000 discount on the Poco C65. The phone is available for purchase on Flipkart in Pastel Blue and Matte Black colour options. You get a 10W charger, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, and the phone in the box. Unfortunately, there’s no case included in the box.

Poco C65 Review: Design

The Poco C65 looks quite good for a phone that is priced under Rs. 10,000 (bank offers included). There’s no metal or glass on the phone, except on the front, but the phone has a nice look and feel. I’ve been using the Pastel Blue variant of the phone, which has a plastic back and frame. The rear panel has two design elements. It’s got a matte finish to it mostly, and there’s a rectangular glossy section at the top, which houses the triple camera setup, the LED flash sit, and carries the Poco logo.poco c65 back poco-c65-design

The matte finish at the back does make the phone slippery, but at least it’s not a fingerprint magnet. It’s also a big phone, but you don’t feel the weight. The phone weighs 192 grams. At the front, the phone features Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the display, which gets thick bezels all around. The bottom bezel is especially thick, giving the phone an outdated look.

Poco C65 Review: Display

Poco has included a large display on their new C-series phone. The Poco C65 gets a 6.74-inch display with HD+ (720 x 1600 pixels) resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s not a bad display at all, and in my time with the phone, it was readable under direct sunlight as well. The phone is set to auto-refresh by default, which automatically switches between 60 and 90Hz based on the content. You can always set it to 60 or 90Hz, but the latter will use more battery.

The display offers up to 600 nits of peak brightness and decent viewing angles. You can enjoy watching videos on the Poco C65, and it also gets L1 widevine certifications so that you can watch 1080p resolution videos on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. The phone also comes with TUV low blue light and flicker-free certification that helps offer a pleasing viewing experience.poco c65 front poco-c65-display

The display on the Poco C65 also offers Vivid, Saturated, and Standard colour modes to choose from. Overall, the phone has a decent display.

Poco C65 Review: Software

Out-of-the-box, the Poco C65 comes with the MIUI 14 skin based on Android 13. I also received a software update in the one week I’ve been using the phone that installed the November Android security patch.

Poco has promised up to two years of Android OS and three security updates, which is pretty good for a budget smartphone.poco c65 software poco-c65-software

MIUI 14 offers a lot of features over stock Android, but there’s also plenty of bloatware. Straight out of the box, the Poco C65 had a bunch of pre-installed games and apps. However, these apps can be uninstalled if you don’t want them on your phone, which is nice. You will find some ads here and there, but mainly in the form of app suggestions. When setting up the phone, you are also asked if you’d like to use the Glance lock screen that cycles the lock screen wallpaper whenever you want to unlock the phone.

There’s also a keyboard that pops up when you first open the app drawer, but you can disable this keyboard as it tries to show you app recommendations.

Poco C65 Review: Performance

The Poco C65 performs decently. The phone has a MediaTek Helio G85 SoC, which isn’t a new chipset. I noticed some lag when using the phone. The lag was present when scrolling through apps, switching apps, multi-tasking with more than a couple of apps running in the background, and when performing other daily tasks.

Poco has paired the MediaTek SoC with up to 8GB of RAM on the Poco C65. You also get up to 4GB of additional virtual RAM that borrows from the internal storage. I did not run any benchmarks, as I don’t think it was required to assess the phone’s performance in day-to-day use.

Can you play games on the Poco C65?

Yes, you can. However, games like BGMI or Asphalt 9 require you to tone down the graphics settings to get a playable frame rate. With BGMI, the game automatically sets the graphics to HD and the frame rate to High. I was mainly able to play the game smoothly with these settings, but I did face some lag from time to time. Touch sensitivity when gaming is alright, as the phone has a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The phone did get warm while playing resource-intensive games such as BGMI and Asphalt 9.poco c65 gaming poco-c65-gaming

Using the Poco C65 to play games is totally alright, but expect some lag and not the best graphic performance when playing games such as BGMI. I also noticed the phone getting warm during gaming and resource-intensive talks.

Poco C65 Review: Battery life

The Poco C65 has a 5,000mAh battery that supports up to 18W fast charging. However, it only comes with a 10W charger in the box. Using the included charger, it takes a while to charge the phone fully. With a 30-minute charge, the phone hit 22 per cent, and it crawled to 44 per cent in an hour. A full charge took 2 hours and 32 minutes. I would recommend buying an 18W charger.

In my time using the Poco C65, the phone easily lasted over a day with some gaming and camera use. If you’re not a gamer, maybe you could get two days of usage out of it.

Poco C65 Review: Cameras

Poco C65 features an AI triple rear camera setup that includes a primary 50-megapixel sensor, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a third AI depth camera for portrait photos. For selfies, there’s an 8-megapixel sensor housed inside a waterdrop notch.poco c65 camera poco-c65-cameras

The camera interface is easy to use and offers quick access to all the main photo and video modes. However, the Macro mode is hidden in the drop-down menu. You get an HDR toggle and an option to choose different filters in Photo mode. The phone also lets you take photos in full 50-megapixel resolution, but that doesn’t support HDR. The Poco C65 can shoot 720p or 1080p resolution videos at 30fps.

The image and video quality of daylight photos taken from the primary sensor had average colour and details, even when I used the full 50-megapixel mode. I guess the image quality is just fine for a phone that costs under Rs. 10,000. Video quality in daylight is also alright, with a lot of noise when you zoom in to 2x. No optical or electronic image stabilisation exists, but you get autofocus.

Top: 1x standard mode; Bottom: 2x zoom

At night, the photos taken from the primary camera are noisy and lack details. Once again, using the 50-megapixel mode doesn’t help much. A Night mode is available on the Poco C65, which can help with low-light photos. Images taken in Night mode have less noise and capture more light when compared to shots taken in the Photo mode.

Top: 1x standard lowlight; Bottom: 1x Night Mode

There’s also a Macro mode available that produces images with average levels of detail. Only two of the three rear cameras are usable – the primary 50-megapixel sensor and the 2-megapixel macro sensor. The third camera is only there to collect depth information for Portrait photos. The smartphone takes portrait shots in 1x, and there’s no option to zoom in. Having a dedicated sensor for depth information helps in edge detection, but it isn’t perfect. You can, however, adjust the depth when taking a portrait shot.

Top: Portrait mode; Bottom: Macro mode

Now, coming to selfies, the front camera takes decent photos. There are enough details, and you get a beauty mode as well. The front camera supports portrait mode, video capture at up to 1080p 30fps, and Time-Lapse. You also get a flash feature that uses the display as a source of light. Again, photos and videos are average, which isn’t a surprise coming from a phone in this price segment.

What else does the Poco C65 offer?

The Poco C65 comes with a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. The phone also comes with Bluetooth 5.3, 4G LTE, a microSD card slot, dual-SIM support, and dual-band Wi-Fi. You also get a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is fast when it works. There were a couple of instances where the sensor did not immediately recognise my finger. It sometimes takes a couple of taps to work. The phone also supports Face Unlock, but I wouldn’t recommend using this as it’s not secure.

A single speaker is available at the bottom, which is decent. It gets loud enough to be useful indoors but lacks any kind of bass. The ear speaker is good enough, and the haptic motor is quite strong.

Poco C65 Review: Verdict

For the price, yes, you should buy the Poco C65, especially if you get the Rs. 1,000 instant discount. It’s got a large screen, good battery life, and decent build quality. The 50-megapixel rear camera offers average performance in daylight but isn’t very good at night. However, the phone lacks 5G support, but there aren’t many phones in this price segment that offer this feature. If you’re looking for a budget Android phone with a big display and a battery but don’t particularly care about performance or cameras, then definitely give the Poco C65 a look.

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