The POCO M3 is the latest addition to the company’s line-up of the mid-range segment, and a quick refreshment to its predecessor with potential enhancements. It has got a very appealing design to its back with a camera module that will interest many. With a design unique to itself at this price, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset at Rs. 10,999/- how does the POCO M3 stand in a segment with narrow margins to fight on? Let’s find out in our full review of the POCO M3.
Design and Display – The First?
The POCO M3 has a very unorthodox design to its camera module, one that looks different from the others just like the Nokia Lumia’s 40MP cameras back then. It is a plastic unibody design with a very even weight distribution that feels comfortable to hold in hand. The larger battery, however, adds a little bulk but considering that we have seen the POCO X3, the M3 here felt pretty balanced.
The display on the POCO M3 follows a pattern of being on the safer side by using a tried and tested 6.53-inch LCD panel with a waterdrop design. The colors on this one look natural, with fine saturation levels for media consumption. It also gets adequately bright in direct sunlight, and the auto-brightness sensor bumps up the contrast but certain margins for improving visibility. The touch response is also very good, and we faced no issues while typing rapidly on the POCO M3.
Performance – A raft with an engine
The POCO M3 uses the Snapdragon 662 chipset as it’s the brain, something we have seen on the similarly priced devices from Redmi and Motorola. The wide usage of this chipset can remind you of Qualcomm’s perfect Snapdragon 625, which was so well tried and tested by OEMs that we saw it on almost every other device in this price bracket. And the POCO M3 utilizes the chipset very well, and here’s how it fares.
In day-to-day tasks, the POCO M3 does a nice job with its app opening times for WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and more. The UI at times feels slightly sluggish when there are too many things happening at once, but it is something that one can see on most devices at this price, but it’s not as bad as the device being unusable. The POCO M3 gets your job done, and also has very sweet memory management well. We did not face any app reloading issues here, and there’s only a single 6GB RAM variant to offer.
If you decide to push the POCO M3 with heavy tasks like gaming, the table starts to wobble. With regular games like Subway Surfers, Cricket Games, or consider Asphalt 8 on the extreme side, the POCO M3 handles them well and does not thermal throttle. Games remain very playable and enjoyable with no severe stutters to see. But with games like PUBG Mobile Korean, the POCO M3 struggles quite a bit in maintaining its frame rate. We feel that something like PUBG Mobile would be too much asking for the POCO M3, and it’s not meant for such usage.
Don’t get us wrong, with regular games and daily tasks, the POCO M3 does a sweet job and when you consider using it as a primary device, it delivers right on the points.
Cameras – Not just Design!
The POCO M3’s rear camera setup looks attractive and consists of a 48MP primary sensor, a 2MP macro lens, and a third 2MP depth sensor. The primary camera does a great job in daylight, with a wide dynamic range and quick focusing. Images look sharp and retain a lot of details as well.
During the night, the primary sensor highers the ISO which results in grainy images, but these are bright enough to use on social media platforms. Videos shot with this sensor during the day have good colors, and decent dynamic range to start with. The resolution is capped at 1080p only, but the videos are pretty nice in our opinion. There’s no EIS, so it can get a little shaky while walking, but it is what it is on the POCO M3.
The macro lens comes in handy in close-up shots. The color reproduction on this lens is slightly different from the primary camera. The selfie shooter is housed by the hole-punch display and has a megapixel count of 8MP. Selfies look sharp, and the details can be a little smoothened in harsh lights, but the quality of the photos is neat. There’s also a portrait mode, that has a good sense of edge detection.
MIUI for POCO – Clean!
Straight getting to the point, there are no ads in MIUI for the POCO M3. It runs on MIUI 12 based on Android 10, and ships with certain pre-installed apps that can be uninstalled with a simple click. The feature-packed MIUI offers you a system-wide dark mode, biometric app locker, second space, and much more. The system feels very responsive, and the menu is well managed to drag through in a user-friendly manner.
The kind of hits that MIUI took with its recommendation services, has improved and here on the POCO M3, MIUI acts like a goof companion between the actual hardware and user with nothing much to interfere with bother in between. Functional, responsive, and clean is how we sum it up.
Battery Life – Good, Better, Best, POCO M3!
The battery is one the strongest points of the POCO M3 up its sleeve as it runs on a massive 6000mAh cell. The device easily takes you through a single day of usage that includes social media browsing, video streaming of a couple of hours, instant messaging, a few minutes of calls, and regular usage. The POCO M3 consistently gives a screen on time between 7-8 hours, and the standby time is insane!
The charging duties are handled by a 22.5W adapter, that ships in the box itself. The device, however, supports only 18W fast charging. Firstly it took us almost two days to drain the POCO M3 with regular usage, and when we connected it to the supplied charger, it takes around an hour to charge it to 40% and 0-100% takes 3 hours. It could have been a little faster, but considering the larger battery that already lasts long, we feel regularly topping it up will make for an insane battery cycle for the POCO M3.
The POCO M3 has a great design, one that looks very unique and a much-needed change in this segment with monotonous devices. The performance is good to use it as a regular driver, and the battery life is just insane! The presence of a headphone jack, a fingerprint scanner, and a Full HD+ display makes the POCO M3 a very good deal at Rs. 10,999/- Although the device feels to be slightly heavy, it gets you comfortable within an hour and all these factors combined make the POCO M3 a good recommendation from our side.