Come to think of it, performance should be the promise of any good smartphone. But the Poco X3 Pro has been put together to de-prioritise some aspects to keep the price down, and yet offer a device that knows how to work hard and work fast. The idea is to offer a reasonable option for young power users on a budget who want to put performance above other bells and whistles.This phone is supposed to remind you of the original Poco F1 that started this brand off, but the X3 Pro isn’t quite meant to be the next Poco F-anything. That comes much later and will be more expensive. The X3 Pro meanwhile is meant to be configured for all-day heavy usage including some solid gaming.Big batteryThe Poco X3 Pro has a sort of vehicular heft about it. None of your slim and small and pretty and elegant. It’s one of those phones you wouldn’t drop on your foot because it’ll do some damage. It weighs 215 gm which come to think of it is just short of a quarter of a kilogram. The fact that it isn’t easy to hold for long sessions absolutely must be considered before buying. The X3 Pro is well rounded all over and is by no means thoughtlessly crafted, but it happens to be heavy as it has a big battery to match its power.|
The back of this phone is quite unusual looking. It’s got a glass band down the middle and two strips of polycarbonate flanking it on either side. A big vertical Poco logo hides in plain side on the glass. It doesn’t look bad, but you have to be on-board with the styling. On top, there’s an unusual camera housing with a big rectangular bump sitting on top of a just-visible circular part. It’s...well, different. The bump sticks out quite a big so this phone will be prominently non-flat on a flat surface.
Both the polycarbonate and the glass on the back show finger smudges so you’ll have to find your equation with that. The phone is IP58 splash resistant so it does have some protection but it’s best to avoid taking it in for a shower with you.
The X3 Pro’s 6.6-inch display is not an AMOLED — something one misses right away — but an 1080 x 2400 pixels IPS LCD which supports HDR10. It has that lack of lustre and vividness which is typical of an LCD but it’s a workable screen. It does have the much-wanted 120Hz refresh rate (adaptable) so at least it doesn’t feel slow. The front camera dot is top centre and quite tolerable. While they could have opted to put in an AMOLED screen, what was more important was to control the flicker and use ‘DC Dimming’ to improve eye comfort for long gaming sessions which necessitated using the LCD screen. It also has a 240Hz touch sampling rate, specially important for gaming. Fortunately, there are stereo speakers.
Strong gutsThe heart of the X3 Pro is its 7mm Snapdragon 860 processor, an improved 855 (read older but flagship) which was and still is a powerful one. It’s paired with 6GB or 8GB and 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. There’s a hybrid slot for a memory card.
Its power bears out in benchmark results but also in real usage. Everyday tasks are, of course, not a problem for this device but for the most part neither are processor intensive games. Special attention has been given to putting in a cooling system without which gaming could be a bit of a hot pursuit and so any warmth ensuing is safe and comfortable enough.
The battery on this phone is possibly responsible for the extra heft. It’s a 5,160mAh with 33W charging, topping up to 60 per cent in just over half an hour.
If there’s one love-it-or-hate-it aspect to this phone, it’s Xiaomi’s interface, MIUI specifically tuned for Poco on top of Android 11. From the time you set up the phone, you have to be alert what you give permission for, specially taking care to avoid GetApps which pushes app suggestions and other notifications constantly and annoyingly. There are preloaded apps, but one has seen much worse. The MIUI interface is actually customisation-filled and that’s what makes some people find it over-stuffed and not as smooth as it could be while others value the specific additional features.
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