Upon its launch, the Poco X3 Pro had a huge challenge to deal with: Could it challenge the same market that its predecessor, the Poco X3 NFC dominated before? For this review, we’ll discuss how the Poco X3 Pro lived up to expectations, while mostly also obviously cutting a few corners to get there. While there are some noticeable downgrades (especially on the rear camera part) it’s still enough to put this phone into our recommended list.
Packaging and Contents
View our full unboxing here:
Design and Build
Simply put, the Poco X3 Pro is a big and heavy phone. The Poco design principle likely focuses more on performance rather than aesthetics, which is great for some users.
The 6.67-inch screen, coupled with 9.4mm thickness and a whopping 215g weight, makes the Poco X3 Pro a very hefty device. For a simpler comparison, it’s as thick as 5 Php1 coins stacked on top of each other.
At the back, it’s still not the sexiest phone in the world, with the Poco logo clearly displayed. The almost-circular camera bump is quite thick and super noticeable. The finish at the back is very plasticky, but not really a huge fingerprint magnet.
Despite the relatively low price tag, it’s quite surprising that Poco was able to squeeze in a pretty good screen on the Poco X3 Pro.
The Poco X3 Pro has a large 6.67-inch, FHD+ (2400×1080) LCD panel that can support up to 120hz refresh rate and 240hz touch response rate. It’s covered by a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 glass. While it is still and LCD panel and not a more advanced (and expensive) OLED panel, Poco decided to use this panel to also drive down the price.
The refresh rate can be adaptive, thus it can go from 30hz to 120hz depending on what type of application you are using. This is great for saving battery life, especially on apps that dont really need the full 120hz capability.
Thus, while performance is great for gaming, it suffers from some noticeable discoloration and lack of contrast, issues native to plain LCD panels. However, all these downsides would only be noticeable if you’re used to using OLED panels.
Poco definitely knows its target market for this device doesn’t really mind pro-grade level color accuracy. Rather, it focuses on having a great display with high potential for gaming performance.
Internals, UI, and Performance
Powering the Poco X3 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SOC. Although this is a rebranding of the Snapdragon 855+ from last year, it’s still a wildly impressive system for a midrange phone. It’s built on a 7nm process and has a maximum clockspeed of 2.96Ghz. We were also given the 8GB RAM + 256GB storage version, which was definitely more than enough to run the phone quite smoothly.
As for the UI, there’s a distinct simplicity in the MIUI 12 based on Android 11 UI on the Poco X3 Pro. It looks well-balanced and doesn’t drift too far away from stock settings. Xiaomi has been doing pretty well so far for both their Xiaomi and Poco branded phones in this aspect. It’s a UI that’s just made for no-fuss consumers. On the downside, there is a lot of pre-installed bloatware which does dampen the overall starting experience.
Gaming is definitely the main feature of this phone. We threw a few games on the phone and we were blown away by its smooth, gaming-focused performance.
Playing League of Legends: Wild Rift proved to be a great experience, with the Poco X3 Pro capable of pushing out 60 FPS quite smoothly at Ultra settings, with minimal heating issues. I would not be surprised if in the future, it could also possibly push this game to 90FPS with Wild Rift’s update.
Call of Duty: Mobile also played pretty well on the phone, even at very high settings and max frame rate, and most options ticked on. Although the phone did get hotter than usual within 30 minutes of playing, we were especially surprised at how smooth the entire experience was.
In addition, we also played other titles such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Ragnarok: Eternal Love, and Genshin Impact. While it didn’t have any issues at all with Mobile Legends and Ragnarok, Genshin Impact was slightly stuttering at times. Of course, Genshin Impact challenges even the highest-end of phones, so there really was no surprise there.
Overall, gaming was a fantastic experience on the Poco X3 Pro, and equipped with a decent battery life, it’s definitely built as a mobile gaming device.
The Poco X3 Pro is powered by a massive 5,160mah battery, that can be charged via USB Type-C with its included 33w fast charger. Based on our tests, the phone lasted more than 1 day even with 3-4 hours of high-powered gaming use. It was pretty difficult to drain the battery on normal usage, and we usually ended up with around 20% remaining by end of the day.
Powering the main camera module of the Poco X3 Pro is a 48MP Wide camera with an aperture of f/1.8, which seems good enough for a phone at this price range. It also has an Ultrawide 8 MP f/2.2, a 2MP Macro f/2.4 and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. Overall, the camera setup is quite complete and can shoot acceptable photos and videos.
However, overall performance was a bit disappointing compared to similar phones in its price range. Some power users would not be very satisfied with the images and videos produced by the Poco X3 Pro. For the most part, colors are a bit washed, and details are not so crisp, even in good lighting. Poco definitely took a step back when it comes to the camera – but hey, this phone can’t have everything at its minimal price, right?
Wide photo mode tends to look a bit too curved at the edges, with some detail disappearing compared to the standard photo mode. Without HDR turned on, the standard photo setting also seems to lack contrast, while colors looked slightly more pale than usual.
Taking close up shots proved to be a little bit more disappointing, with the camera tending to over-smoothen some details and also lacks some color accuracy.
Using the 48MP mode on the camera was not really a great experience, and details were even more washed out when zoomed in. However, one thing to note here is that when it’s not zoomed in, the photo still maintained acceptable quality.
While the main camera obviously would result in greater detail, the front camera actually did well in both standard lighting and low lighting situations. While more lighting would definitely benefit the phone more, the front 20MP shooter proved to be a stronger point in the overall camera setup.
For simple and casual social media use, the Poco X3 Pro will not disappoint in producing great photos and videos for a variety of situations. However, if picture quality is your main priority for choosing a phone, the Poco X3 Pro might not be your best bet for this price range.
Make no mistake about it – The Poco X3 Pro is meant for those looking for a high-performance phone while on a mid-range budget. There are clear budget cuts such as the mediocre camera, lack of 5G connectivity, and its huge physical size. However, for those who focus purely on gaming performance, the Poco X3 Pro is a clear winner – and the best choice at this price point.
Display: 6.67″ IPS LCD, 120Hz, HDR10, 450 nits (typ), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; 240Hz touch sampling
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 (7 nm): Octa-core (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 Prime + 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold + 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485 Silver); Adreno 64
RAM + Storage: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
SIM: Dual-SIM – SIM 1 + Hybrid (SIM or microSD)
Expandable storage: MicroSD up to 512 GB (shared SIM slot)
Back Camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultrawide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4
Front Camera: 20 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3.4″, 0.8µm
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio
Ports: USB Type-C, 3.5mm Audio Jack
Battery: 5160mAh; Fast charging 33W
Software: Android 11, MIUI 12, Poco launcher
Colours: Frost Blue, Phantom Black