﹛﹛Poco X2 (review) is the last smartphone from Chinese smartphone brand Poco that I tested. Though among the good ones of its time, the smartphone left me in the lurch simply because I was expecting Poco to make a comeback after a silent gap of over two years after the Poco F1. The next Poco smartphone that I used after about a year, the Poco X3 Pro, seemed to be a performance-centric package. With Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 system-on-chip in tow, the Poco X3 Pro is touted to be the spiritual successor to the Poco F1. But is it really that? Let＊s find out:
﹛﹛Poco is one of the brands that do not shy away from experimenting with radical colour themes in their smartphones. That legacy continues with the Poco X3 Pro. Aimed at young buyers, the phone comes in three jazzy colour options 每 graphite black (review unit), steel blue and golden bronze. The colour theme is accentuated by an unconventionally shaped rear camera module and an intriguing patterned design on the back cover. Speaking of the back cover, it is made of good quality polycarbonate featuring a thick glossy stripe at the centre sandwiched between stripes in matte finish on the sides. The centre stripe features a Poco logo, which is big enough to come to notice but outlined for minimal distraction. Rounding up the package is the IP53 rating, which is good to handle minor water splashes and dust abuse. It is, however, strongly advised not to expose the phone to either water or dust as both can damage the phone severely. While the overall design is good, the build is uninspiring. The Poco X3 Pro is big, heavy and bulky. It weighs 213g and is 9.4mm thick on its thinnest side.
﹛﹛Not much seems to have changed here since the Poco X2 and the display on the Poco X3 Pro is mediocre at best. The phone sports a 6.67-inch LCD screen of a fullHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution, stretched in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. Though the screen does well with contrast, it seems off with regard to colours, brightness and viewing angles. The screen supports HDR10, but the panel＊s abysmal brightness hampers its utility to a large extent. The brightness might not be good enough for HDR10 content, but it does not temper the screen＊s sunlight legibility. It is also a competent screen for fast-paced games like Call of Duty Mobile, thanks to the 240Hz touch sampling rate. As for the refresh rate, the screen goes up to 120Hz and variably adjusts it based on on-screen content requirements. That said, the user interface (UI) transitions appear lively and enhances user experience (UX) in regular operations (browsing, social media, etc). Being an LCD panel, the phone＊s display does not include the on-screen fingerprint sensor, which is placed beneath the side-mounted power button. It is safe, fast and accurate and one of the best things this smartphone offers.
﹛﹛The Poco X3 Pro delivers good imaging experience compared to its peers. It boasts a quad-camera set-up on the back 每 a 48-megapixel primary sensor of an f/1.79 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor of an f/2.2 aperture and a 118-degree field of view (FoV), a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor.
﹛﹛On the front, the phone has a 20MP primary sensor of an f/2.2 aperture.
﹛﹛Details aside, the phone＊s primary sensor is a capable unit. It takes detailed shots with a modest dynamic range and minimal noise in most conditions. Though it is tuned to capture saturated colours, it manages to keep colours close to natural at its native resolution. The ultra-wide sensor takes satisfactory (but not exceptional) shots. These have some noise, and soft corners. However, the barrel effect is negligible. The macro lens and depth sensor are for novelty. The phone＊s front camera is good, too. Its utility, however, is best suited for selfies and portraits.
﹛﹛The Poco X3 Pro is a performance-centric smartphone, and it delivers the wholesome experience. The phone handles everyday tasks with ease, and easily pulls off graphic- and processor-intensive workloads, too. It gets a little warm at times, but not so much as to become uncomfortable to hold and operate. While the performance is top-notch, the user experience is marred by Android 11 operating system-based MIUI 12 UI for POCO. The UI is integrated with a lot of customisation options, but it also comes with bloatware 每 some of which generate a lot of undesired notifications. The Poco X3 Pro stands tall with regard to performance but its entry-level midrange affiliation gets apparent through inconsistencies in UI and that dampens the overall user experience.
﹛﹛Performance and battery efficiency usually move in opposite directions 每 if one is good, the other is not. But that is not the case here. Instead, the Poco X3 Pro sets the benchmark for performance-centric devices by being equally good with regard to on-battery time, too. The phone easily sails through a day on a single charge on regular usage. With moderate use, it manages to stretch for most part of the day before asking for a refill. Complementing the stellar on-battery time is the phone＊s fast-charging capability. It ships with a 33W fast charger, which replenishes a completely drained battery in just about an hour and 10 minutes.
﹛﹛Priced Rs 19,999 onwards, the Poco X3 Pro is a performance-centric smartphone good for everyday use, gaming and productivity work. The phone＊s cameras have nothing to write home about, especially if you compare it with all-round or camera-centric smartphones. However, they are competent and one of the best available in budget and midrange performance-centric smartphones. That said, consider the Poco X3 Pro primarily for its performance because that is where it shines the brightest. Otherwise, there are better smartphones to consider, such as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (review), Samsung Galaxy A52 (review), etc.
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﹛﹛Read our full coverage on Poco F1