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Poco C61 Review: Attractive Design At Affordable Price

- Updated: 2nd Apr 2024, 10:20 IST
  • 1
    Review Summary
  • 2
    Poco C61 Price In India And Variants
  • 3
    Poco C61 Box Contents
  • 4
    Poco C61 Specs At A glance
  • 5
    Poco C61 Design And Build
  • 6
    Poco C61 Camera
  • 7
    Poco C61 Battery And Charging
  • 8
    Poco C61 Display And Audio
  • 9
    Poco C61 Performance
  • 10
    Poco C61 Software And UI
  • 11
    Verdict
Review Summary

The Poco C61 tries to spruce up the entry-level segment with its premium glass-back design and long-lasting battery at an affordable price point. But is the phone a mere rebrand of the Xiaomi Redmi A3, or does it have the potential to disrupt the budget segment? I have been using the phone for a while now, and here is my review of the Poco C61.

The phone has a premium glass back with a large circular design that you can’t find on phones that cost twice as much. It also has a large 5,000mAh battery that can easily last a day.

But how does the MediaTek Helio G36 perform? Is the Android 14 Go Edition any different from MIUI? To find out, read my review of the Poco C61.

PROS

  • 90Hz Refresh Rate
  • Premium Design
  • Android 14 out of the box
  • Great Battery Life

CONS

  • Poor Performance
  • Some apps cannot be installed on the phone due to incompatibility issues
  • 10W Charging Speed
  • 720p Display With Teardrop Notch
Key Specs
Battery Capacity5000 mAh
Operating SystemAndroid v14
Screen Size6.71 inches
Highlights:
  • 5000 mAh

  • Android v14

  • 6.71 inches

Poco C61 Price In India And Variants

The base variant of the Poco C61, with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, costs Rs. 6,999. Furthermore, the 6GB+128GB variant of the phone retails for Rs.7,999.

Poco C61 Price In India

The Poco C61 is available in Ethereal Blue, Diamond Dust Black and Mystical Green colours on Flipkart.

Poco C61 Box Contents

The Poco C61 packs the following items inside the box:

Poco C61 Box Contents

  • Phone
  • Manual
  • SIM Ejector
  • Charger
  • Cable

Poco C61 Specs At A glance

Before we talk in detail about the device, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:

  • Display: 6.71 inches IPS LCD with 90Hz
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G36
  • RAM & ROM: 4GB 64GB,6GB 128GB
  • Software: Android 14
  • Rear camera: 8MP+0.08MP
  • Selfie camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Weight: 199 grams
  • Dimensions: 168.4 x 76.3 x 8.3 mm

Poco C61 Design And Build

The Poco C61 has an attractive glass-back design that you cannot find on phones, which cost twice as much. It is hard to believe that Poco has managed to bring such a premium design at an affordable price.

Poco C61 Design

Also Read: Realme Narzo 70 Pro Review: Great Cameras Meet Premium Design

The large circular camera module surrounded by the golden ring also adds to the minimalist design. Inside the camera island, you get a dual camera setup with LED flash and the AI camera branding.

Poco C61 Design 2

A Poco branding is on the bottom, while the rest of the back remains clean. The Diamond Dust Blue variant I have does look amazing, and people I showed the phone couldn’t believe it had a price tag of Rs.6,999.

Poco C61 Right

Also Read: Poco X6 Neo Review: The Neo Budget King?

The glass-back design feels premium in the hand and offers a good grip. It is also pretty thin, measuring just 8.3mm and weighing around 193 grams. However, I would have liked it if Poco had included a case in the box.

Poco C61 Left

Moving to ports and placements, the volume rocker and the power button are on the right, which also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor. On the left is the SIM tray, which also includes the micro-SD card slot.

Poco C61 Top

Also Read: Realme 12 5G Review: Stylish Mid-Ranger With Great Cameras

At the top, you get the 3.5mm headphone jack and the speaker grille.

Poco C61 Bottom

Similarly, you will find the USB-C port and the microphone at the bottom.

Poco C61 Camera

The Poco C61 boasts an 8-megapixel primary camera and a secondary AI sensor. On the front, you get a 5-megapixel selfie camera.

Poco C61 Camera

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Regarding daylight shots, the phone takes decent shots with adequate details and sharpness. However, the camera sometimes tends to overexpose the shots, ruining the lighting and overall look.

Poco C61 Daylight Shot 1 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 2 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 3 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 4 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 5 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 6 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 7 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 8 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 9 Poco C61 Daylight Shot 10

Moreover, the time taken to capture the photo is also long, which might result in you missing some crucial shots. The secondary AI sensor is only good on paper and has no practical use.

Also Read: Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: New Mid-Range Camera Champion

Poco C61 Night Sample 1 Poco C61 Night Sample Poco C61 Night Sample 3 Poco C61 Night Sample 4

Furthermore, the shots taken in low light scenarios are average at best as details take a hit. It’s best to avoid taking photos at night until it’s absolutely necessary as you don’t get a dedicated Night Mode.

Poco C61 Selfie Sample

The shots taken from the 5-megapixel front-facing camera are average, with output sometimes being blurry and grainy. You can record videos up to 1080p at 30FPS, which is a decent price. Overall, the Poco C61 can take decent shots during the day, although the low lights shots are average

Poco C61 Battery And Charging

The Poco C61 packs a 5,000mAh battery with support for 10W charging. Thanks to the 720p resolution and massive battery, the phone easily lasts a day with normal usage, including scrolling through social media apps, watching videos on YouTube and taking photos.

Poco C61 Battery

Also Read: Xiaomi 13 Pro Long-Term Review: Pro Grade Flagship Experience

However, charging the phone can take awfully long with the 10W charger in the box.It will take you around 2 hours to fully charge the device using the included charger in the box.

Poco C61 Charger

Xiaomi should at least offer 18W chargers on its phones in 2024, irrespective of the price, as competitors like the Realme C51 offer 33W charging at a similar price.

Poco C61 Display And Audio

The Poco 61 sports a 6.71-inch HD+ IPS LCD screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. Moreover, the screen has a peak brightness of 500 nits and Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.

Poco C61 Display

Also Read: Poco M6 5G Review: Bringing 5G To The Masses

The display has a teardrop notch and thick bezels at the bottom. Furthermore, the screen is bright enough indoors, although you may struggle to view it outdoors under bright sunlight. There is also a dedicated “Outdoor mode” for higher brightness, but it simply refuses to turn on due to “overheating issues” despite the phone staying relatively cool.

Poco C61 Display 2

However, the 720p resolution on this large screen size results in pixelation, especially when reading an article or text on it. I hope Poco will launch phones with full-HD+ resolution in the future.

Poco C61 Refresh Rate

Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro Review: The Perfect Mid-Ranger?

Thankfully, you get a 90Hz refresh rate, making the experience a bit smoother. However, the performance still remains sluggish, which I will discuss later in the performance section.

Poco C61 Content Consumption

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Despite the 720p resolution, I enjoyed watching “The Gentlemen” on Netflix. The screen offers natural colours, although I couldn’t find an option to change the colour settings.

Poco C61 Display Settings

For security, you get a side-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button, which is fast and accurate. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rare find on modern smartphones. There is a single speaker at the bottom, which is loud enough for most users.

Poco C61 Performance

The Poco C61 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G36 chipset, which is paired with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. This 12nm processor made its debut last year and is generally found in entry-level phones.

Poco C61 About Phone

The phone sometimes struggles with day-to-day tasks, even when opening apps like the Google Play Store. This is a bit surprising given that the Poco C61 runs on the Android 14 Go edition, which is lighter and consumes fewer resources than the standard build of Android.

Also Read: OnePlus 11 Long-Term Review: A True Flagship Killer

However, thanks to the 6GB of RAM, most of the apps that I opened remained in memory. Another strange thing is that some apps simply refuse to be installed on the phone due to some “incompatibility issue.” I haven’t experienced this on any other Android phone to date.

Poco C61 Gaming

Given the entry-level pricing, it would be too much of an ask to play any intensive or demanding games. It is best suited for casual games like Subway Surfers and Candy Crush. Still, if you wish to play titles like BGMI at Smooth and Medium (30 FPS) and CODM at Low and High.

Poco C65 Benchmarks

Furthermore, most benchmarking apps simply refuse to run or crash on the phone. I was unable to install Geekbench 6, so I had to install Geekbench 5 while AnTuTu V10 crashed during the test.

Moreover, the 3D Mark benchmark couldn’t run most of the tests as the phone does not support Vulkan API. This is the first time I have encountered a phone that cannot run most benchmarking apps. I hope this is a software limitation and not a hardware issue that Xiaomi could fix with a future update.

Also Read: Oppo Find N2 Flip Long-Term Review: Can It Flip The Competition?

In the 15-minute CPU throttling test, it throttled to 88 per cent, while the phone achieved a score of 152 in single and 550 in multi-core in Geekbench 5. Moreover, you get a score of 8338 on the AnTuTu storage test. Overall, the Poco C61 certainly misses the mark when it comes to performance, with phones like the Lava O2 offering much superior performance.

Poco C61 Software And UI

The Poco C61 runs on Android 14 Go Edition, a toned-down version of Android 14 that consumes fewer resources and is designed for entry-level smartphones. Interestingly, the UI on the Android Go found on the C61 is unique, offering a blend of stock Android and MIUI.

Poco C61 Android 14 Go

Despite the “cleaner appeal,” some preinstalled apps, such as Spotify, LinkedIn, Facebook Lite, Netflix, and PhonePe, can be easily uninstalled. The number of preinstalled apps is surprisingly lower than that of flagship Xiaomi phones.

Poco C61 Quick Settings

Starting with the MIUI part, the phone’s notification panel is borrowed from MIUI with the complete look and feel. You also get the Get Apps and System Apps updater and find MIUI to install additional apps and update your existing ones.

Poco C61 Bloatware

Also Read: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Long-Term Review – Worth to Buy in 2024?

There is also an App Vault for app promotions and recommendations. Plenty of MIUI apps are present on the phone, including Cleaner, MIUI dialer, Scanner, Calendar, Music, Clock, Feedback, Contacts, Mint Themes, ShareMe and more.

Poco C61 Settings

However, the real twist comes when you open Settings, where you get a stock Android interface instead of MIUI. Even the rest of the UI, from the lock screen to the app drawer, will remind you of a stock Android experience.

Also Read: OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite Review: Is the Cheapest OnePlus Phone Worth Your Money?

It feels like Xiaomi took the stock Android experience and sprinkled some MIUI elements in between, resulting in a somewhat weird look. You also get a “Themes” app, which ironically does not include any themes! Unlike the Themes app on MIUI, it is more of a wallpaper app that lets you set the wallpaper on your phone.

Moreover, you also get the option to enable 6GB of virtual memory, although I wouldn’t recommend it due to the slower eMMC 5.1 storage on board. Xiaomi has not clarified whether the phone will receive any OS updates, although you can still expect security patches.

Also Read: Nothing Phone (1) Long-Term Review: Still A Worthy Contender?

Overall, the Poco C61 definitely offers a unique software experience with a mix of elements from stock Android and MIUI. I would have preferred either a complete stock experience or an MIUI experience instead of a mix of both.

Verdict

The Poco C61, with a large circular camera module, tries to bring an attractive design for the first time in the Rs.7,000 price segment. If you prefer style over substance, then the Poco C61 is definitely the phone for you.

The Poco C61 offers a large display, long-lasting battery life and decent cameras. However, you will need to deal with the sluggish MediaTek Helio G36 chipset,720p resolution and slow 10W charging.

There are plenty of options in this price range, like the Lava O2, Motorola G04, Poco C65, Realme Narzo N53 and the Tecno Spark Go 2024, which have better specifications at a similar price.



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