POCO has been really active in the Indian market after the success of its legendary POCO F1, a true beast for its price. Well, we still are yet to witness the true successor of the POCO F1, the company gave us its new iteration of the X series, which is their premium-midrange lineup. The POCO X3 is a next-gen product of the POCO X2 and brings in a lot of refinements this time. With the newer Snapdragon 732G chipset, a 120Hz display, and a massive 6000 mAh battery with 33W Fast Charging, is the POCO X3 an attempt by the company to fix the mistakes they had with the previous X2? Is the POCO X3 the best offering being priced at Rs. 16,999? Let’s find out here, in our full review of the POCO X3.

POCO X3 front

Design and Display

The POCO X3 has a very interesting approach in its design. The company has opted for a polycarbonate back panel, which is high-grade plastic in simple terms and has a shimmer look to itself when you glaze it through the lights. The panel itself is very sturdy to hold in hand, but POCO has its humongous branding that almost covers the entire back panel.

This was a questionable design choice as the shimmer looks really cool on the device, and a clean, simple back would have looked much better in our opinion. But it is what it is, you have the POCO branding above which is a very uniquely shaped camera module. A circle that tapers flat to its top and bottom, and is the home to the quad-camera setup on the device. The camera module does have a slight bump of around a millimeter and is made of glass.

POCO X3 home

So you have seen the POCO X3, it looks really great and appeals to you to pick it up, and you do so. That’s when you realize the POCO X3 is conventionally heavier than most phones today. At 225 grams, it slightly weighs more than most other devices but after using it for a couple of days, we eventually got used to it. Not just the weight, but even the footprint of the device is very large. If you have small hands, then you might take a considerable amount of time to get used to this device.

The back panel being glossy is a fingerprint magnet, and we had to wipe the back multiple times a day to maintain the glossy finish. The frame of the device is also made from plastic but on holding the device, with its slightly weighty design and curved frame, the POCO X3 feels robust in hand.

POCO X3 bottom

The POCO X3 has a 6.67-inch LCD screen with a Full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The higher refresh rate gets noticed right away as soon as you start scrolling on the device. While setting up the device, one will surely realize that the screen is much smoother, and flows like a fluid while scrolling. The display is HDR10 certified, and when we tested HDR content on Netflix and Amazon Prime, it was supported and the difference was there. We knew that it was an HDR display and not just a normal one. The colors on the device look good, and the panel is well saturated. The display with its accurate colors and 120Hz refresh rate never made us complain about the brand’s decision for using an LCD panel instead of AMOLED. Viewing angles were good and outdoor screen visibility was again fine with no issues encountered.

Performance

The POCO X3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G chipset, a refined and upgraded version of the Snapdragon 730G present on the POCO X2. Both have very similar core configurations and we have seen how capable the 730G is on the POCO X2. But, our testing reflected multiple conclusions. While playing games like PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile, the 732G on the POCO X3 was able to output good frames for smoother gaming but was inconsistent at times.

In tests like Sanhok-Bootcamp, the FPS had little fluctuations while landing but eventually became stable as the game progressed. This surely has to be optimization issues of the Snapdragon 732G as the POCO X3 is the world’s first-ever device to feature it. With upcoming MIUI updates, the already well-performing 732G is expected to become more stable and consistent. Here are a few benchmark results from popular benchmarking services.

POCO X3 Benchmarks
Benchmark Service Score
 AnTuTu   280,030
 Geekbench Single Core   567
 Geekbench Multi-Core  1,777

 

 

 

 

 

Well, it’s not just gaming for which you will use this device. In day to day tasks, the POCO X3 was swift in opening and switching between apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, YouTube, and more typical social apps. But the most prominent thing we noticed was how well the 732G was able to drive the 120Hz display while rapidly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter feeds. MIUI worked very well in the day-to-day tasks and we did not notice any lags or skipped frames even while scrolling rigorously. Well done, POCO!

Camera

POCO X3 camera

The POCO X3 has a quad-camera setup to its back, which is pretty common for now. A primary 64MP camera with an f/1.89 aperture, a 13MP wide-angle lens providing a 119 degrees wide-angle vision, and 2MP macro and depth shooters. This setup sounds very similar to the cameras found on similarly priced devices like the Realme 7, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, and others.

For Full Camera Samples: Open here.

The MIUI camera app offers a lot of AI enhancing features along with Auto-HDR as well. Images shot with the primary camera in broad-daylight turn out to be very sharp and colors being true to the original. No fancy over-saturation can be noticed this time. The wide-angle camera also does a good job and provides good details, suitable for posting on social media. The macro sensor although is something that we did not use as much, as the primary and wide-angle lens were so good, that we kept tinkering with them while collecting sample shots.

POCO X3 macro camera

Images shot during the night or low light conditions do take a hit in quality. With the normal mode, the details were okayish and images were usable for social media posts. When we switched to the night mode, the images turned out to be much brighter but were a little grainy. Don’t get us wrong, the POCO X3 has a very well-performing camera setup even in dark conditions, but the struggle can be seen when we compare the images that were shot during the day.

POCO X3 video

The POCO X3 is capable of shooting videos at 4K 30fps, and even at 1080p 60fps. There is no presence of OIS to be found on the rear cameras. POCO provides an option to electronically stabilize videos while shooting which works and compensates for normal shakes while walking. The actual video footage retains an amazing dynamic range, and the camera is very fast to shift focus between close and long-ranged subjects. The dynamic range adjustment while moving from a bright light source to a normal source was quick as well.

POCO X3 front camera

The selfie camera is placed in the center of the hole-punch display. It is a 20MP shooter. The MIUI camera app brings in a lot of beauty filters, and a portrait mode too. Selfies were very sharp and maintained a good dynamic range between the subject and the background. Videos from the front camera are capped at 1080p 30fps and preserve a good amount of details. It is suitable for a few outdoor vlogs as the selfie videos are not just sharp but even output fine colors. The camera experience on the POCO X3 was very appreciable and we enjoyed testing the cameras on the device.

User Interface

POCO X3 about

The POCO X3 runs on MIUI 12 based on Android 10. MIUI is a very heavily skinned version of Android and is nowhere close to Stock Android. But over the years, MIUI has had a very good reputation of being responsive and holding on tight for long term usages. That stands true for the POCO X3 as well. MIUI for POCO runs very well with no hiccups and is fast to respond while quickly switching between apps and has excellent memory management.

POCO X3 apps

MIUI offers a lot of features like System-Wide Dark Mode, Second Space, App Locker, Themes Store, and much more. But, things have been a little complicated with MIUI recently. There are a few bloatware applications installed like Facebook, which are just a click away to uninstall. Another questionable part is the presence of Ads in the UI. In our testing of the POCO X3, we did not come across ads in the system but this is something that POCO may or may not change with upcoming updates.

Battery and Media Consumption

The POCO X3 runs on a 6000mAh battery which is one of the largest capacities that we have ever witnessed on a POCO device. The battery easily lasts an entire day with intensive usage with over 30% juice left. Our usage included a lot of social media browsing, a couple of hours of intensive gaming like PUBGM and CODM, streaming music, and watching series on Amazon Prime, Hotstar, or Netflix.

The device easily provides a screen-on-time of over 7-8 hours and might increase on lighter usage. Not just this, the POCO X3 supports 33W fast charging that charges the device 0-100% in just 65 minutes! That’s really impressive. The fast charger comes bundled in the box itself, so need to search for a fast charger or a PD charger out in the market. Battery life on the POCO X3 is one of the best that we have ever witnessed in recent times.

The HDR10 certified display makes the content look rich on the 6.67-inch panel but the presence of stereo speakers is also a sweet addition. This is although a hybrid solution where the earpiece acts as the second speaker but the stereo effect does make a difference in media consumption. POCO also has included a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug-in your favorite earphones or headphones for enjoying the content.

Verdict

The latest processor, check! High refresh rate display, check! Large 6000mAh battery, check! Fast charging and headphone jack and many more things, ALL CHECK! The POCO X3 has solid specifications to offer at its price tag of Rs. 16,999 for the base 6GB + 64GB variant. At this price, the POCO X3 competes against the likes of Realme 7 Pro, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, and a few others. The POCO X3 has a different weapon in its pockets to fight against all of its competitors. With a solid set of cameras and a butter-smooth display combined with the Snapdragon 732G, the POCO X3 is our ideal recommended choice for the sub-20K segment.

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