POCO C65 Review: A solid budget option

Back then, I used to consider the lowest tier of smartphones as not a worthwhile investment for our hard-earned money.

Now, even budget phones fascinate me with capabilities that actually meet our growing demands on technology. And this new POCO C65 seems to be another one of those devices that I may also consider recommending.

Let’s see what it can offer at a budget of more or less PhP 5000 ($100 USD).


  • Processor: MediaTek Helio G85
  • Display: 6.74 inches, 720x1600px, 90Hz, IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Cameras: 50MP Main, 2MP Macro, .08MP Auxiliary Lens, 8MP Selfie
  • Battery and Charging: 5000mAh Li-Po, 18W Wired Charging
  • Connectivity: 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, GPS, USB-C
  • Biometric scanner: Side-mounted fingerprint
  • Other notable specs: Expandable storage (MicroSDXC)


At first glance, it’s not hard to notice the sleek and elegant feel of the POCO C65's design. On your hands, the device feels very well made and there isn’t any body flexing to be noticed. The material is plastic with a mixture of a glossy and rough finish.

Housing the camera is a rectangular camera module that has the recognizable POCO branding right across.

This is available in three colors: black, white, and the one we have in our hands here is the blue variant which to me, looks the most attractive among the options.

In terms of its ergonomics, there really isn’t much to expect for comfort as most of the device feels flat from its back to its side edges. All the buttons are easily reachable, placed on its right side, including the side mounted fingerprint scanner.

POCO did retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, which can be found at its top.


Possibly one of the POCO C65’s main selling points is its 90Hz refresh rate. Presumably, most people who would be looking at this phone might be upgrading from an older 60Hz device.

However, that refresh rate is as far as it goes when it comes to what this display can brag about. This screen has a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels, which on paper looks very dated compared to other smartphones nowadays.

This is a 6.74-inch LCD screen with a dewdrop notch, which has some relatively thicker bezels.

I’d say the colors are vibrant enough and the brightness is adequate for indoor use. Once you take this outside though, this display will show its weakness. The screen struggles to be visible even at max brightness and the viewing angles and contrast are mediocre.

Though, I do find that media consumption is still an enjoyable experience on this due to its large screen size. So for people who are eyeing this phone for this purpose, they won’t be disappointed.


The POCO C65 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 chipset, which is a mid-range processor that we’ve experienced from a few years back. This is a modestly capable chipset, so I am expecting this to perform similarly from what I had previously enjoyed.

This phone does come in 6GB or 8GB of RAM variants with 128GB or 256GB of storage options, which gives it quite some headroom for apps to run.

For daily tasks like social media browsing and media consumption, the performance feels adequate. It manages to do most of what I need with just a few lags here and there.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s fast, but it also won’t be painstakingly slow.

Gaming is a bit of a different story though. Playing Call of Duty: Mobile, the POCO C65 can run this game at medium graphics settings at decent speeds.

While the game runs smoothly without noticeable stuttering, player movement felt delayed at times. In game, it would seem as if it is running at full speed but once you put it side by side a more capable phone, that’s when you’ll notice the slowdown.

By no means am I good at this game but I had a wild losing streak before I realized it was the phone that was actually holding me back. This means, competitive gamers who are very sensitive to lags, are likely to get frustrated playing on this.

On the other hand, for games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, this game runs smoothly without any problems. So for those who primarily enjoy MOBA games and other slower paced games, you’ll still definitely enjoy playing on this.


This phone runs on MIUI 14 designed for POCO out of the box. Which offers customization options and some nifty features like the tabs in the app drawer for more organization choices.

There are some bloatware and bugs though. One bug I have noticed is with the Wi-Fi which loses connection from time to time.

You can easily just connect back again but admittedly, it will feel bothersome when you experience it repeatedly. One moment you’re busy using the phone and then all of the sudden you'll wonder why it isn't responding only to find out it got disconnected.

Hopefully, this is an issue that can be addressed through updates.


The POCO C65 has a camera setup on the back, consisting of a 50MP main camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a .08MP auxiliary lens.

As to how it performs, the main camera seems to be very capable at capturing detailed and sharp photos in good lighting conditions. Fine details are still observable and colors seem to look color accurate.

I did misjudge my shots taken with this though. Viewing the images through the C65's screen, the photos looked like a low res mess that lacked quality. But upon checking the images on my laptop, they were actually pretty good.

To be perfectly honest, I find this to be very admirable for a phone at this price point. It's nothing exceptional, but its pretty decent. I've seen some higher priced phones from other brands that actually perform worse. Although most of the shots do look like they could use a little more saturation. Some photos taken with this look a bit pale.

Low light shots on standard and on night mode look respectable as well. With proper shooting technique and composition, this can definitely take nice photos worthy of posting on social media.

POCO C65 Low light standard mode

POCO C65 Night mode

Plus the results were also consistent whether indoors or outdoors.

I didn’t have much expectation with its 8MP front facing camera but I think this also took decent selfies despite the low megapixel count.

Battery and charging

Having a 5000 mAh battery, the POCO C65 can easily last a full day of moderate usage. I do keep my mobile data connection turned on whenever I go out and even then, this phone still manages to have more than enough juice to last until the following day.

For charging, personally, I think 18W should be the bare minimum even for budget smartphones. Anything less would be unacceptable in this day and age. The POCO C65 only comes with a 10W charger but the phone actually supports up to 18W. So there is room for upgrades when it comes to its charging capabilities.

Juicing this up with the charger it comes with however, would need about two hours to get fully charged.


The POCO C65 is one of the most affordable phones that I have reviewed recently, and having experienced what it is capable of, makes me say that this is truly a phone I can recommend for people who are really tight on budget.

You're getting a large storage capacity, decent performance and a very capable set of cameras. At the price POCO is asking for this, I don't think we can really ask for more other than a better screen.

Sure, it has some drawbacks, but if this is truly the one that fits your budget, I'd say, give it a go.

The POCO C65 6GB+128GB retails for PhP 5,499 while the 8GB+256GB is priced at PhP 6,499.

Andre Ibarle

Andre is the go-to tech guy for most companions. He loves to geek out on tech old and new and has a knack for storytelling through words, capturing moments with a camera, and bringing ideas to life on screen. With years of experience in writing, photography, videography and playing Super Mario World.

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