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POCO X3 Pro Review – BMW in a Maruti Body

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
8th May 2021
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Poco X3 Pro
Review Summary

Sub-Rs 20K price tag all while injecting a powerful processor and other specifications and it has not failed. The Snapdragon 860 SoC is unlike any in this price segment and it is powerful. Paired with UFS 3.1 storage, the device is almost unstoppable. It is well-designed although the cameras are something that I cannot call a strong suit on Poco X3 Pro because it is decent and average. The device does get many things right but makes compromises too including a slower 33W charging, bulky at 216 grams.

PROS
  • Snapdragon 860 chipset
  • 120Hz refresh rate display
  • 48MP Quad-rear camera
  • IP53 Splash Protection
  • Liquid cooling system
  • Gorilla Glass 6
  • NFC compatibility
CONS
  • No 5G connectivity
  • No wireless charging
  • No support for 8K video recording
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
Battery Capacity
5160 mAh
Operating System
Operating System
Android v11
Screen Size
Screen Size
6.67 inches
Highlights:
  • Yes
  • Corning Gorilla Glass v6
  • 5160 mAh
  • Android v11
Introduction

Poco spiked into popularity with the success of Poco F1 in 2018 launched as a true flagship killer against the OnePlus 6. Since then, there have been several Poco devices that may or may not have attracted the masses. But with the Poco X3 Pro, things are now different.

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The sub-20k smartphone brings a lot of pros including a 120Hz display, a Snapdragon 860 processor among others. It does make some compromises here and there but to be honest, you are paying 1/3rd of what you would pay for a flagship phone so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

About the pricing, Poco X3 Pro is available in India with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage at Rs 18,999/-. You can choose between Golden Bronze, Steel Blue, and Graphite Black colour variants available. The higher-end 8GB+128GB variant is available at Rs 20,999/- on Flipkart India. You can avail of a tonne of deals and discounts including 10 per cent off on HDFC Bank Mastercard CC and BoB Mastercard Debit Card on their first translation. Avail standard EMI or No Cost EMI starting at Rs 3,167/mo. There’s also an exchange offer with up to Rs 18,999/- off on eligible devices.

Box Contents

A familiar box packaging of the POCO X3 Pr0 comes with standard box contents:

  • POCO X3 Pro device
  • 33W fast charger
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Sim ejector tool
  • Documentation

Poco-X3-Pro-Box-Contents

Specs at a glance

Before we talk in detail about the POCO X3 Pro let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?

  • Display: 16.94 cm (6.67 inch) Full HD+ IPS LCD Display, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
  • Storage: 6GB/128GB, 8GB/128GB
  • Software: MIUI 12 based on Android 11
  • Rear cameras: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • Battery: 5160 mAh, 33W fast charging
  • Weight: 215g
  • Dimensions: 165.30 x 76.80 x 9.40mm

Poco-X3-Pro-Specs

Familiar Look and Feel

As a typical case, Xiaomi (the parent company) has recycled the same chassis from Poco X3 to create what you are trying to find more about i.e. Poco X3 Pro. With that being said, you get the said polycarbonate back with a giant POCO insignia right at the middle that reflects in iridescent colours. The back panel is dual-tone gradient while the centre along with a giant circular camera bump is glossy while the sides are matte finish. Since there’s a mention of glossy here, you can expect pretty much some fingerprints and smudges that accumulate over time.

Poco-X3-Pro-Design

The phone is 9.4mm thick and has a weight of 216 grams which makes it quite heavy. Although Poco has tried to work with proper weight distribution but yet, the phone is among the heftiest so you will feel it too once you get a hold of it. But I would ensure that once you get a hang of its weight, it feels natural.

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The sides are plastic as well while the top where a giant display lies has a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on top of it. To put things into context, Poco X3 Pro is the first smartphone in this price segment to get a Glass v6 that should prevent it from multiple falls and drops and scratches alike.

Poco-X3-Pro-Charging-Port

Talking about the controls now, you get a power button on the right that doubles as a reliable fingerprint scanner. There’s a volume rocker on top of the power button as well. On the left side, you get a dual hybrid SIM card slot, and finally, there’s a Type-C port, a bottom-firing loudspeaker, a 3.5mm headphone, and a mic at the bottom. You get an infrared port and a secondary mic on top. Finally, the earpiece that finds its way between the display at the top bezel doubles as a secondary speaker too.

Punchy Display with 120Hz

Poco X3 Pro gets the same chassis as Poco X3 and so does the display tech. It is the same display with a 6.67-inch IPS LCD tech with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10 compliant, 450 nits of typical brightness, and a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Although the display is the same, is it possible that the usability and experience could be different. Let’s see.

Poco-X3-Pro-Display

The display is huge and that does make the phone heavy as well. But it’s crisp at 6.67-inch and has a 120Hz refresh rate. Apparently, I found out that the refresh rate dynamic changes based on the content being displayed or interacted with. It can go as low as 30Hz to 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90hz, and the top-most is 120Hz. The touch sampling rate is 240Hz that lets the display react much faster than usual budget smartphones.

You can set the refresh rate to 60Hz or 120Hz but it does dynamically change based on the content. Certain UI elements and video playback apps get 60Hz locked while social media apps could engage a higher refresh rate along with games subject that the title in talks supports it.

The typical brightness of the device is 450 nits which are adequate on lit days although I do think getting greater nits on the clock would have helped Poco X3 Pro stand out. The display has HDR10 certification and comes with Widevine L1 so watching HD content on the phone is as crisp and punchy as possible. However, HDR is probably not available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix but YouTube for some reasons.

If you are switching to an AMOLED display, the LCD panel does have some shortcomings and you will instantly feel the difference. Some alternatives with AMOLED panels that I would like to add here are Realme 8 Pro and Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max.

Overall, the display is crisp, has punchy and vivid colours, and great viewing angles. It is large enough to accommodate many people watching a movie or show at once.

SuperCar Performance

Poco X3 Pro sports a Snapdragon 870 SoC paired with Adreno 640 GPU, LPDDR4X RAM, and UFS 3.1 storage which are some powerful specifications in the device. The chipset handles everything with ease so no matter if you are switching between multiple apps, multi-tasking, or playing high-octane high-graphics games like Call of Duty Mobile, it can take it all. I know that the phone doesn’t have the optimum read and write speed a UFS 3.1 would bring but it is a Sub-20K device, some corners require trimming.

Running benchmarking tests on Poco X3 Pro revealed that it does stand strong among its competitors. To put things into perspective, it scores 2574 points and 735 points on multicore and single-core tests on Geekbench 5 respectively. These numbers outrun the scores made by Realme 7 Pro, Realme 7 5G, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, and a few others.

Poco-X3-Pro-Geekbench

The Snapdragon 870 SoC does make a lot of difference in terms of performance on Poco X3 Pro. It is truly a beast on a budget and something you should really consider when buying a phone on a tight budget of Rs 20K.

Much Refined Software

Poco X3 Pro arrives with Android 11 powered MIUI 12 and Poco UI on top of it. It is almost the same interface as the MIUI 12 although Poco has claimed that it is clean. It does have some bloatware to check out and the GetApps does send some spam notifications now and then. Talking about the software, it is still worth using with a tonne of features that you wouldn’t even get with Android 11. The RAM management is very aggressive which is something of a problem since it kills immediately unlike other UIs that will keep the app active for some time.

Poco-X3-Pro-Android

Don't Buy For Cameras

In a nutshell, Poco X3 Pro uses a downgraded 48MP primary camera at the back while the ultrawide snapper has been brought down from 13MP to 8MP. It is paired with a 2MP macro, 2MP depth, and a 20MP front selfie shooter and that’s the camera rig on-board Poco X3 Pro.

Poco-X3-Pro-Back-Camera

Let’s see how the primary sensor fares. The sensor captures 12MP shots by default thanks to 4-in-1 bing technology. This ensures that the shots have a huge dynamic range, vibrant colours, and a good amount of detail retention. You can go upwards of 48MP mode which brings out more details and the images usable even if you zoom in. The phone has a dedicated night mode as the case with other devices although this one is quite better, it snags more details in a low light setting and the dynamic range is high as well.

Next up, the 8MP ultrawide sensor has been downgraded which means lower resolution aka lower quality of shots and you can see the difference if you compare it side by side. The shots are decent, the dynamic range can be a hit or a miss at times and the sharpness around the corners is missing too.

The macro sensor as it goes without saying doesn’t perform well with its low resolution as well. The depth sensor is used by the primary sensor for depth effect so it works as an average 2MP depth sensor.

The front, on the other hand, grabs quality shots although I would rather use it for calling and some things here and there but won’t trust it will capture the best images always. Daylight shots are usable although things become apparently average at night.

Overall, I must say that if not totally worse, the Poco X3 Pro camera performance didn’t impress me a lot. Some of its competitors have the best camera in this price range so yeah if the camera is a priority to you, check out a few other devices in the sub-20K and sub-25K to find the perfect daily driver.

Enough Battery Life

Battery life is undoubtedly one of the crucial factors one would take into consideration when deciding on a phone to buy. Luckily, Poco X3 Pro’s battery performance has been stellar ever since I started using the phone. The colossal 5,160 mAh battery pack easily gives you one day of backup if used heavily. It has a SOT of between 6½ to 7½ hours which is great.

Poco-X3-Pro-Battery

Moreover, you can easily squeeze every ounce of the battery for a day and a half worth of battery life. Engage an Ultra Battery Saver Mode and you just got a few hours on merely 10 to 15 per cent of the battery.

Read More: Affordable Mobile Battery Replacement at Doorstep

Talking about the charging tech, Poco X3 Pro ships with a 33W MMT Charger capable of juicing up the battery in 59 minutes which is sweet for a mid-range device. Plugin the charger for half an hour and you get 59 per cent of the battery just like that. Though not the best, it is still a competitive charging tech.

Poco-X3-Pro-Charging

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

Make a checklist of a huge display, excellent battery life, high refresh rate, and the phone must be within your budget? If all these check out, there’s just one thing that remains and that’s a stereo speaker. Luckily, Poco X3 Pro ticks all the items in your checklist. The dual stereo speaker setup is great for watching movies and TV shows. As usual, the sound isn’t balanced so you’ll get most of the sound from the bottom-firing speaker (or right channel) while the left channel does put out quality output as well. The device comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack with aptX HD so listening to audio and videos is a blessing on X3 Pro.

Poco X3 Pro has an arsenal of connectivity features ranging from a USB-C 2.0 port, an infrared port, Wi-Fi 5 dual-band, and Bluetooth v5.0 with LE and A2DP. Finally, you also get a 3.5mm headphone jack and the device supports four major GPS navigation systems.

When it comes to the security aspect, Poco X3 Pro is loaded with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone in a jiffy. I am not a fan of side-mounted FPS although I do feel they are more convenient than using a facial recognition system since you will have to tap on the power button anyway and since here, you get power bottom cum fingerprint scanner, it serves a dual purpose. It is fast and reliable and so is the facial recognition system irrespective of how I feel about using it.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Snapdragon 860 chipset
  • 120Hz refresh rate display
  • 48MP Quad-rear camera
  • 20MP selfie camera
  • 33W fast charging
  • IP53 Splash Protection
  • Liquid cooling system
  • Gorilla Glass 6
  • NFC compatibility

Cons

  • No 5G connectivity
  • No wireless charging
  • No support for 8K video recording
Verdict
Sub-Rs 20K price tag all while injecting a powerful processor and other specifications and it has not failed. The Snapdragon 860 SoC is unlike any in this price segment and it is powerful. Paired with UFS 3.1 storage, the device is almost unstoppable. It is well-designed although the cameras are something that I cannot call a strong suit on Poco X3 Pro because it is decent and average. The device does get many things right but makes compromises too including a slower 33W charging, bulky at 216 grams. On the flip side, if your priorities are flagship-grade performance in a budget phone, an all-day battery life, and an awesome display, Poco X3 Pro is the way to go.


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