Poco Pods, launched towards the end of last month in India, mark the first foray of the Poco brand into the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) earbuds market in the country. What sets these earbuds apart is their remarkably affordable price tag of Rs 1,199 (~$14), making them an enticing option for budget-conscious consumers. Available exclusively on Flipkart, we had the opportunity to try out the Poco Pods, and here's a glimpse into our hands-on experience with them. Before reading ahead, here's a look at some of its key features advertised by the brand, up to 30 hours of playback time, 12mm Xtra Bass drivers, 60ms low-latency for gaming, Bluetooth 5.3, google Fast Pair, ENC, and IPX4 rated splash / sweat resistance.
Poco Pods TWS earbuds: What's in the box?
Here's a look at the retail box contents of the Poco Pods:
- Poco Pods TWS earbuds with charging case
- Eartips (small and large)
- User Manual
Design and Comfort
The Poco Pods are a well-designed product with a compact build. The oval-shaped charging case has a matte finish on its plastic body, with a glossy strip running around the sides. It features yellow-colored Poco branding on the front, giving it the company's signature dual-tone color scheme. It is available in the Midnight Groover color only.
The case has a USB-C charging port and a charging indicator at the bottom. The overall build feels sturdy, but it does not have a premium feel. However, the design is good enough for budget TWS earphones. The earbuds come with medium-sized ear tips pre-installed, but additional sizes are included in the box for a customizable fit. Each earbud is black in color and has yellow eartips. The L and R markings distinguish the left and right earbuds. Each earbud also has a microphone and an LED indicator. The retail package does not include a charging cable.
The Poco Pods are featherlight, weighing just 41 grams for the charging case and 3.6 grams each for the earbuds. The in-ear design with silicone tips provides a comfortable and snug fit during physical activities such as jogging, working out, and cycling. The buds and stem are well-designed and stay securely in the ears even during physical activities. The IPX4 sweat and splashproof rating ensures durability during workouts.
Connectivity and Controls
The Poco Pods offer the latest Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity along with the Google Fast Pair feature. Pairing the Pods with any Bluetooth device is a simple process. Simply enable Bluetooth on your device and open the Poco Pods case. The LED indicator (available on the bottom of the case) will blink, and a prompt will appear on your device to connect the Pods for the first time. Subsequent connections are automatic; the Pods will connect to the device as soon as Bluetooth is turned on and the case is opened. Alternatively, you can also connect the Pods by taking them out of the charging case, putting them on, and triple-tapping on the left and right ear touch areas. Then, open the Bluetooth settings on your phone and connect to the Poco Pods.
The touch controls on the Poco Pods are intuitive and easy to access. A double-tap gesture on either earbud allows you to play/pause music or answer/hang up calls. Triple-tapping on either side of the earbuds lets you reject an incoming call or move to the next track. To go back to the previous song or increase / decrease the volume, you need to use your smartphone.
|Long press on right / left on an incoming call||Reject call|
|Double press on right / left earbud||Play / Pause | Answer / End call|
|Triple press on right / left earbud||Next Song | Reject call|
You can also press and hold both earbuds for 1.5 seconds to enter or exit gaming mode. However, it's important to note that the Poco Pods do not come with Smart Wear detection, so the audio won't pause when the earbuds are taken out of the ear.
While the Poco Pods do come with Xiaomi Earbuds app support on android and iPhone, the app offers limited features. You can view the battery level and enable the low latency gaming mode. Unfortunately, there are no customizable settings in the app. The touch control gestures cannot be modified, and the lack of app support means that controls are fixed and non-customizable. Despite this limitation, the touch controls are easy to use and offer decent accuracy.
Sound Output, Call Quality and Battery Life
The Poco Pods TWS earbuds are equipped with 12mm drivers, and the audio quality is well-tuned for the price bracket, particularly for users who enjoy a thumping and bass-driven sound profile. The lower frequencies are prominently boosted, which is ideal for genres like party tracks and modern pop. However, the bass-heavy output does slightly muddle the mid-range and high-frequency sounds, causing some nuances in the mix to be lost.
While the overall sound quality is enjoyable, some elements in the mix may not be as pronounced due to the emphasis on bass. Since there is no support for an equalizer, there is no option to customize the audio output to their preference. However, this can be compensated for by using the music player's equalizer. The Poco Pods support the common SBC audio codec, which, while having compression algorithms that may affect audio quality, allows for an affordable price point. This may result in a subtle loss of nuances in certain genres with intricate layers and arrangements, but the overall focus on delivering a thumping and impactful sound signature remains a standout feature.
The call quality on the Poco Pods is generally acceptable, offering a decent experience for both indoor and outdoor use. It goes without saying that indoor calls offer a better experience than Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC)-enabled outdoor calls. The ENC functionality helps to filter out background noise, making the user's voice more audible and improving call quality in less-than-ideal situations such as noisy or windy conditions. However, wind noise may still impact call quality while the Poco Pods during outdoor activities like cycling or running. While the ENC feature contributes to improved call clarity, it's not a complete substitute for active noise cancellation (ANC), which can more effectively eliminate unwanted background noise.
The Poco Pods pack a 440mAh battery in the case and a 34mAh battery in each earbud. According to the brand, with a single charge, the pods can offer up to 30 hours of combined playback time with the case and 5-6 hours of standalone playback time. In real-world usage, the battery lasted for around 4 days with combined usage and the case. Charging the case takes around 100 minutes, and a 10-minute charge for the earbuds provides around 70 to 80 minutes of playback time. The battery life is generally satisfactory for everyday use, offering a decent amount of playtime on a single charge.
The TWS earbuds market in India is flooded with a plethora of options for earbuds priced around Rs 1200. There are many local players in the market with confusing offerings, which makes it a bit difficult to choose a reliable pair of TWS earbuds. In such a crowded market, a reliable brand like Poco has just one TWS earbuds option, offering a straightforward and trustworthy choice for consumers looking for quality audio and features at an affordable price.
Price and Availability
WHERE TO BUY
Priced at Rs 1,199 (~$14), the Poco Pods is listed on Flipkart for purchase in India. It is also available for purchase through offline stores in the country.
Disclaimer: All of the opinions in this Poco Pods TWS earbuds review are mine and based on my own experiences. There has been no editorial input from Poco.