Full reviews of the Xiaomi Poco C65:
The Xiaomi Poco C65 is an affordable smartphone that was recently launched globally. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Poco C65 to see how it stacks up as a budget phone.
Pros and Cons of the Xiaomi Poco C65:
- Affordable price tag under $200
- Large 6.7″ display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Capable Helio G85 chipset and up to 8GB RAM
- Good battery life from 5,000mAh cell
- Headphone jack and microSD card support
- Cameras are just average
- Charging speed is slow at 10W
- The design is a bit bulky and heavy
- Ships with lots of bloatware
Unboxing and First Impressions
The Xiaomi Poco C65 comes in fairly standard retail packaging. Inside the box, you get the phone of course, a SIM ejector tool, a 10W charger and USB-C cable, and some paperwork. There’s no case or pre-applied screen protector included.
My first impressions upon unboxing the Poco C65 were generally positive. The gray color I received features an attractive shimmery finish that stands out from typical budget phones. I also like the matte texture which resists fingerprints.
While large at 6.7 inches, the phone feels decently built. The rear plastic shell isn’t premium, but it doesn’t seem cheap either.
Overall, the Xiaomi Poco C65 makes a good first impression as an affordable big-screen smartphone.
Design and Build Quality
The Poco C65 features a pretty large footprint due to its big 6.7” display. It measures 167.2 x 76.5 x 8.9mm and weighs about 201g. For comparison, that makes it taller and heavier than an iPhone 14 Pro Max. So one handed use can be tricky depending on your hand size.
On the plus side, I really like the shimmery gray finish of my review unit. It’s unique and manages fingerprints very well. The purple and black options are nice too.
Build quality is not flagship-grade but decent for an affordable phone. The glossy plastic rear shell feels solid, though the plastic frame is just average. I don’t think durability will be an issue with careful use. But it may not withstand lots of drops like glass or metal phones can.
The Poco C65 is equipped with a 6.7” IPS LCD display featuring an HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. This works out to a density of 395 pixels per inch, which is perfectly sharp for everyday use.
As an LCD rather than an AMOLED, contrast and black levels aren’t quite as good. But the panel gets plenty bright to overcome glare and has good viewing angles. Plus the 90Hz refresh rate makes the interface nicely smooth and responsive.
I’m pleased Xiaomi opted for a modern teardrop notch over a thick forehead bezel too. This gives the Poco C65 a more updated, premium look than its budget price suggests. There’s still a bit of a chin bezel, but it’s not too thick or distracting.
Just a single mono speaker is found on the bottom edge of the Poco C65. Maximum volume is about average. Sound quality leans very bright and tinny, as is typical of cheap phone speakers. But it’s good enough for listening to podcasts or YouTube videos at low to medium volumes. I recommend headphones or a Bluetooth speaker for music listening.
On the plus side, a 3.5mm headphone jack is included! This allows use of wired headphones without a dongle. Audio from the jack sounds decently clean and powerful. So audiophiles can rejoice over the Poco C65 retaining the beloved analog port.
Performance and Software
Powering the Poco C65 is a MediaTek Helio G85 system-on-chip, which contains an octa-core CPU running at up to 2GHz along with an Arm Mali-G52 MC2 GPU. My review unit has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. But there are 6GB/128GB and even 8GB/256GB configurations available too.
Performance has felt responsive thanks to the 90Hz display. Apps open speedily, and I haven’t encountered lag in my time with the phone so far. But don’t expect the sheer speed of premium phones either this is still an entry-level chipset after all.
I tested a few popular mobile games to see how the Poco C65’s gaming prowess stacks up
At Smooth graphics settings and Ultra framerate, PUBG hit 40fps consistently with hardly any dropped frames. This produced very playable performance even in intense firefights.
Call of Duty Mobile
Similarly, COD Mobile averaged 55-60 fps on Medium graphics and High framerate setting. Gameplay was nice and fluid.
Casual games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 also played flawlessly, even with their graphics settings maxed out. Suffice to say the Xiaomi Poco C65 handles mobile gaming surprisingly well considering its price point!
The Poco C65 ships with Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 software skin running atop Android 14. As with other Xiaomi phones I’ve tried, preinstalled bloatware abounds. Social media apps, games, and various Xiaomi tools clutter up the app drawer out of the box.
Many of these can be uninstalled but some redundant apps remain. This ends up feeling a bit annoying and messy. But on the bright side, the actual MIUI interface looks polished with nice animations and some useful features like system-wide dark mode and an always-on display.
On the back of the phone resides a dual-camera array:
- Main camera: 50MP, f/1.8 aperture
- Macro camera: 2MP, f/2.4 aperture
Meanwhile the hole-punch front-facing camera has an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture lens.
In typical budget phone fashion, overall camera quality is just midrange. Photos in daytime come out with natural color but finer details are lacking. Portrait shots exhibit decent background separation yet again lack sharpness. And without an ultrawide camera, flexibility is limited.
Low light photos get quite noisy with muddy details and inaccurate white balance. Night mode helps brightness but can’t work magic on the 1/2” sensor. The cameras are alright for casual shots but simply don’t match high-end phones.
Battery Life and Charging
A generous 5,000 mAh battery capacity gives the Poco C65 excellent battery life. Even as a heavy user I’ve been getting a day and a half of use per charge. With lighter use cases, I can see 2 full days being possible. Standby drain is impressively minimal as well.
Charging speed could be quicker considering the large battery though. The included 10W brick is pretty pokey – expect over 2 hours for a full charge. At least the phone does support up to 18W charging if you supply a faster third-party USB PD charger.
For less than $200, the Xiaomi Poco C65 brings to the table a nice mix of modern features and proven basics. You get a sharp 90Hz HD+ display, capable MediaTek G85 processor, expandable storage, and outstanding 2 day battery life. Performance is snappy, gaming works better than expected, and the shimmery design is downright gorgeous given the price bracket.
Cameras and build quality represent areas for improvement but that’s understandable for a sub-$200 phone. Considering its affordable cost, the Xiaomi Poco C65 punches well above its weight and should satisfy most budget-conscious buyers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Poco C65 support 5G networks?
Unfortunately no, the Helio G85 chip inside is 4G LTE only. You’ll be limited to GSM and LTE bands.
How long will the Poco C65 receive major Android OS updates?
Based on Xiaomi’s history, you can expect one more major OS update beyond Android 14 that the phone launches with. So likely Android 15 next year will be offered.
Is the display really 90Hz refresh rate?
Yes, Xiaomi confirms a 6.7″ 1080p IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate. However, it seems to default back to 60Hz in some apps until you manually select 90Hz.