POCO X3 Pro Review — The True Heir To The POCO F1
+ Interesting price tag
+ Snapdragon 800-series chipset
+ Dual speakers is nice
+ Decent overall camera results
- Back design attract fingerprints
- Display isn't the brightest around
- Battery life could be better
- Not for those who enjoy lightweight phones
In this POCO X3 Pro review, we take a look at a Snapdragon 800-series smartphone that costs less than RM1000. That sounds like an impressive deal but if you’re wondering how exactly it performs, then look no further. Let’s get started with the device, shall we?
The top of the box is black in color and the bottom half is yellow. Once you take the top off, you’ll be greeted by a welcome note from the company, which I personally feel is a nice touch.
Taking everything out of the box and you can expect the following items to be found:
- POCO X3 Pro
- TPU case
- SIM ejector
- Charging brick
- USB-C cable
The smartphone sports a 6.67-inch FHD+ DotDisplay which supports 120Hz refresh rate. Though the bezels aren’t really thick around the edges, we can see that there’s a slight chin on the bottom. Just at the edge of the top is the secondary speaker, in case you might have missed it.
As usual, you got the volume rockers and power button on the right side of the device. The opposite side is where you’ll find the SIM tray slot.
On the bottom is where you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port, microphone, as well as the speaker grille (second speaker).
On the top, you can find the NFC, IR blaster, and secondary microphone.
Flipping over to the back, you can see clearly that we got the Metal Bronze variant of the POCO X3 Pro. The design is quite similar with the POCO X3 NFC, where there’s a big POCO branding in the middle as well as a similar camera cutout.
POCO X3 Pro Specifications
|CPU:||Snapdragon 860 Octa-core (1×2.96GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 3×2.42GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 4×1.78GHz Kryo 485 Silver) 7nm|
|Storage:||128GB UFS 3.1
Expandable up to 1TB (microSD)
|Display:||6.67″ IPS LCD (1080 x 2400), 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10|
|Camera:||48MP f/1.8 PDAF
8MP f/2.2 ultrawide
2MP f/2.4 macro
2MP f/2.4 depth
HDR, Panorama, AI, Night mode,4K/30fps,1080/120fps
|Selfie Camera:||20MP f/2.2|
|Connectivity:||LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
3.5mm headphone jack
33W fast charging (charger included)
|Dimensions:||165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm|
With the Snapdragon 860, it’s basically an overclocked version of Snapdragon 855+ so we could call it the “Snapdragon 855 Plus Plus”. Here on Antutu, we see a decent score of 462894.
Over at Geekbench 5, we see that the device sits just behind last year’s POCO F2 Pro. Both Single-Core and Multi-Core test shows decent results for the POCO X3 Pro.
In 3DMark we found a similar outcome where the smartphone ranks third on the list in the graphics department.
Surprisingly, the POCO X3 Pro does a rather impressive job in PCMark Work 2.0 test here, only bested by the vivo X60 Pro that we’ve reviewed recently. It even managed to beat last year’s flagship POCO F2 Pro in the process.
The most apparent weakness would be in the PCMark Battery Life benchmark where the device only lasted 8 hours and 21 minutes. Though it’s understandable that the phone was running on 120Hz refresh rate while doing the test, we didn’t expect it to last as short as that, seeing the battery size that’s considerably big and it uses an IPS LCD display.
When it comes to real life usage, I found the result to be quite similar. At the end of a day, I would usually end up with around 50% to 60%, depending on whether I play some light mobile games or not. You can expect higher battery life by turning to the lower 60Hz option, but then again you obviously want to enable the good features and not put it aside.
As for the charger, I found that in a 30-minute charging period, the device was able to juice up by 50%, in case you’re wondering how fast the 33W charger is.
Turning on the device itself for the first time, I felt that the display isn’t the best one around. Yes, I know that it’s not an OLED panel but somehow I felt that the LCD is a bit too dim, especially when I’m outside viewing it under the sun. The 120Hz is fast but I do notice slight stuttering when I swap between apps. I have a feeling that this is due to the panel, not because of a potential software issue.
The phone is not light on the hands, should that be a matter of concern for you and it doesn’t exactly offer you a ‘premium’ feel but considering the price point of the device, I can understand why they cut corners on the design part.
Continuing with the design, I like how the middle part and the POCO branding is reflective, but the glossy plastic back easily picks up fingerprints and smudges. If you want to avoid that issue, you would definitely need to use a protective case with this.
Though I’ve mentioned that the screen is a bit lacking, I can say that the dual speakers elevate the experience for me when it comes to watching videos. Both speakers sound equally loud and pretty good given the price point, which gets my seal of approval.
The POCO X3 Pro runs on Android 11 with POCO’s iteration of MIUI 12 right out of the box. The skin is slightly different, most noticeably the icons (see the camera app). Overall experience with it was smooth and if you’re used to MIUI or the POCO launcher, you should have no issues here.
As you’d expect, the camera UI is offers a similar experience. It is feature packed and easily customizable to your liking. There is a slight processing delay when it comes to Night shots but that’s pretty common for smartphones.
On paper, the POCO X3 Pro comes with downgraded cameras when compared to the POCO X3 NFC. Instead of a 64MP main camera and 13MP ultra-wide lens of the latter, the former comes with a 48MP primary camera and 8MP ultra-wide shooter instead.
Overall camera results are decent in good lighting as they show relatively accurate colors. The Night mode doesn’t offer a huge difference in quality compared to normal shots and it also takes longer to process, which is understandable given the lack of light.
I somehow feel that you’d be better off shooting with the standard mode instead of the 48MP one. It doesn’t do much but you can still see noise if you zoom in closely. The depth sensor does a decent job however at determining where the edges are.
As for the macro camera, it’s a hit or miss experience for me. Sometimes, the focus gets rather inaccurate and shots end up not being as detailed as I wanted it to be.
Check out the full sized photo samples here.
POCO X3 Pro Verdict
The POCO X3 Pro is not perfect as it has its downs here and there. Despite that, for the price of RM999, it is actually a decent smartphone if you’re upgrading from an entry-level or mid-range device as it comes with a host of nifty features and packs quite a bit of power.
In the end, we’ve decided to award the POCO X3 Pro with our Bronze Pokdeward (it’s fitting with the colour variant too).