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Poco F4 GT review: Blurring the lines

The Poco F4 GT is a puzzling proposition in a number of ways. First of all, it launched ahead of any ‘regular’ Poco F4 model, so it’s not exactly clear where it fits in the company’s lineup.

Secondly, it is – broadly speaking – just a rebadged Redmi K50 Gaming, which, in itself, is remarkably similar to the Black Shark 5 series.

In short, there are a lot of blurred lines. On paper, however, it does still tick all the right boxes for those who want a fast and powerful mid-range smartphone.
For a phone priced in the mid-range segment, the Poco F4 GT gets a huge amount right. It’s fast, there’s a big screen and even bigger, booming speakers, but there’s also some neat touches, like the LED lighting on the back and the shoulder trigger buttons.

The biggest downside here is that MIUI – Xiaomi’s skin – still needs a lot of taming to make it behave in the way that we want it to, with lots of needless layers and apps. It’s the only thing really stopping this from being a truly great device.

We also have questions about why the Poco F4 GT actually exists, too – or, rather, why it exists alongside the extremely similar Redmi K50 Gaming and latest Black Shark phone. Really, it just seems like an exercise in fine-tuning branding, marketing and offering some minor features in order to reach a tiny niche of people.

However, there’s no doubting that – for its price tag – the F4 GT delivers a heck of an experience, and is absolutely a phone worth considering if you want top tier performance and don’t want to spend lots of money.

When you’re part of a wider company that churns out dozens of new phone models every quarter, making a brand new design for every regional variation of a product is obviously unfeasible. So, it’s not exactly surprising to see a cut-and-paste job on a Poco phone. In fact, Poco and Redmi (both Xiaomi sub-brands) have often released very similar devices in the past.

For the most part, it’s very much the typical glass rectangle slab, so we won’t bore you with too many of the typical details. However, there’s still plenty here that sets it apart from your typical smartphone. As always, it’s the small details that make the difference.

With elements like the gaping channels on the top and bottom edge, designed to let out the sound from the stereo speakers, this is very different to the grilled design we often see.

Then there’s the LED lighting around the camera unit on each side. Two mirrored chevrons of light illuminate and can be set to come on for different purposes. For instance, they’ll light up when you plug the phone in to charge, and you can have them flash and pulse when you receive notifications and phone calls. You can even have them light up when gaming.

As if that wasn’t magic enough, the LED flash for the camera itself is set in a Harry Potter-esque lightning-shaped scar next to the camera housing. Sadly, you still have to manually hunt for the flashlight icon in quick settings to turn it on, though – you can’t just yell “Lumos Maxima” and hope it’ll do something.

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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