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POCO X3 Pro Review: Is it really a successor to POCO F1?

POCO F1 was POCO’s first phone launched back in August 2018, which did very well with the brand’s strategy to disrupt the Indian smartphone market, also it gained a special place in consumer’s hearts. Now more than two years have elapsed and after numerous requests about the successor of F1, POCO has launched POCO X3 PRO which they are calling the successor to F1. But is it really a successor? Let’s find out in our  POCO X3 Pro Review.

Also, Read | POCO M3 Quick Review: 10 Things You Should Know Before Buying It

POCO X3 Pro Review

Key Specifications POCO X3 Pro
Display 6.67-inch 120Hz LCD
Screen Resolution FHD+ 1080×2400 pixels
Operating System Android 11 with MIUI 12
Processor Octa-core, Up to 2.96GHz
Chipset Snapdragon 860 (7nm)
GPU Adreno 640
Internal Storage0 128GB
Expandable Storage Yes. Up To 1TB
Rear Camera 48MP Sony IMX 582, f/1.8 aperture + 8MP 118˚ ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture + 2MP macro + 2MP Depth
Front Camera 20MP, f/2.2
Battery 5160mAh
Fast Charging 33W
Dimensions 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4 mm
Weight 213 g
Price 6GB+128GB- INR 18,999

8GB+128GB- INR 20,999

POCO X3 Pro Unboxing

Just like any other brand’s premium phone, the Poco X3 PRO’s box comes in black, stating few claims like “Made In India” and “India’s #1 Quality Smartphone Brand” (the claim which is made by every other Chinese brand).POCO X3 Pro Review

These are the things the box comes with:

  • Handset
  • Clear Protective Case
  • Xiaomi Branded 33W Power Adapter (Quick Charge 3 Certified)
  • USB A to C Cable
  • Sim Ejection Tool
  • Documentation (User Guide and Warranty Card)

Also, Read | 3 Ways to Fix “MSA Keeps Stopping” Error On Redmi, Poco, or Xiaomi MIUI Phones

POCO X3 Pro Build and Looks

To keep the price under control, Poco has opted for a dual-tone plastic back on Poco X3 Pro, where the glossy part in the middle easily picks up fingerprints. It feels like a downgrade, even while carrying the “Pro” branding, as the last-gen Poco X2 had GG5 back. Towards the front, we get Gorilla Glass 6, which is first in this segment (both X2 and X3 had GG5), the frame on the sides is made of plastic.

As this one comes with a big camera bump, the phone wobbles a lot when tapped on the upper-half portion of the screen from the sides. Though the wobbling is not there when tapped from the lower end of the phone.POCO X3 Pro Review

The overall design looks similar to the Poco X3 with just minor changes in the Poco branding. The form factor is similar too, but this time Poco has worked on the weight and thickness, as X3 Pro is 9.4mm thick compared to 10.1mm on the X3. Since the X3 received a lot of criticism about its weight this time X3 Pro weighs about 213 grams as per the brand. But in our testing, it came out to be 215 grams, which is slightly lighter when compared to X3 with 225 grams. So, I would say Poco has definitely worked on the feedback, but the phone still feels bulky and heavy in hand, I hope Poco works to refine it more in the next model.POCO X3 Pro Review

POCO X3 Pro Display

POCO X3 Pro comes with a 6.67″ FHD+ LCD HDR10 display which comes with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, and a 240Hz Touch sampling rate.POCO X3 Pro Review

The display produces good colors, as well as, it supports up to 84% NTSC Color Gamut. In our testing, I noticed a slight bleeding issue around the punch-hole, which can be observed with white background.POCO X3 Pro Review

The peak brightness is 450 nits (our lux meter test result was 320 lux), which is low as compared to competing phones like Redmi Note 10 Pro and Pro Max which scored above 500 lux in our test. Yet you can see the display on POCO X3 Pro at max brightness while outdoors.POCO X3 Pro Review

The panel comes with Widevine L1 certification as well. But the viewing angles are not the best on this one.POCO X3 Pro Review

POCO X3 Pro RAM, Storage, & Price

The POCO X3 Pro comes with LPDDR4X RAM paired with UFS 3.1 storage to justify the tagline. This is the read and write speed, we got during our speed test. There are 2 variants of POCO X3 Pro:

  • 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM for ₹18,999
  • 8GB RAM + 128 ROM for ₹20,999

POCO X3 Pro does not support a 3 card slot and comes with a hybrid slot only. So you can either use 2 sim cards or 1 sim and SD card at a time.POCO X3 Pro Review

POCO X3 Pro Performance

Just like POCO F1 which disrupted the market by providing a flagship processor, at affordable prices. This time too POCO has tried to repeat history as the all-new POCO X3 Pro comes with Snapdragon 860, which is a slightly tweaked version of Snapdragon 855 Plus and is based on 7nm architecture. This is paired with Adreno 640 GPU to handle the graphic-intensive tasks.

Since SD 860 is really similar to SD855 & SD855 Plus, I decided to compare the Antutu Scores. So I picked the Oneplus 7 Pro running on SD855 and POCO X3 Pro running on SD860. In our testing, POCO X3 Pro’s AnuTu score came out to be 4,87,206, and Oneplus 7 Pro’s Antutu Score came out to be 4,42,553. POCO X3 Pro comes with all the necessary sensors.POCO X3 Pro Review

To further test the performance we ran the Antutu Stress Test on the POCO X3 Pro for 15 mins, and the CPU performance ranged between 40-80% and went above 80% only three times. During the test, the battery dropped from 82% to 76% which is not a major one. And the temperature went from 31 degrees Celcius to 40 degrees Celcius.

We also ran a dedicated CPU throttling test and we found that the CPU starts throttling after 3 minutes. It went down to as low as 78% but then again remained stable near 80% throughout the next 2 minutes.

POCO X3 Pro Software

POCO X3 Pro runs on MIUI 12.0.4 based Android 11 out of the box, which is great. During the review, we found the UI to be fast, responsive, and feature-packed. even though the display supports up to a 120Hz refresh rate, we experienced minor stutter while scrolling chrome and social media apps.POCO X3 Review

Since it comes with the POCO launcher, we haven’t noticed any ads in the UI, but we do get some bloatware in the name of Glace on the lock screen, and few other apps pre-loaded like Netflix, Facebook, Mi Credit, Mi Pay, Prime Video, Amazon. All these apps can be uninstalled by what’s strange is that in order to do so you need to go into App info settings, as there’s no option to uninstall them from the App launcher.

POCO X3 Pro Audio

POCO X3 Pro comes with a dual stereo speaker, the main speaker is located at the bottom, while the earpiece doubles as a secondary speaker. Also, there’s a small hole on the top part of the plastic frame which works as an additional vent for the secondary speaker, just in case you block the earpiece while gaming or watching videos.POCO X3 Review

The audio output from these dual stereo speakers is really loud as you can easily hear them outdoors, they are also Hi-Res Audio certified. Also, we do get our favorite 3.5mm jack at the bottom.POCO X3 Review

POCO X3 Pro Gaming

Speaking of gaming it can play Call Of Duty Mobile at Very High Graphics and Frame rates up to Max, even though the display supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, but you’ll only get up to 60 fps in COD Mobile.

In our POCO X3 Pro review, when we did gaming for a 60 minutes stretch, during which the temperature went from 33 degrees to 39.2 degrees, and the battery dropped from 22% to complete shutdown. While gaming the handset got a bit warm but we didn’t notice any frame drops or major heating during the session.

That is because we do get a Cooling system here which consists of Multilayer graphite sheets and a D5 Copper heat pipe, POCO calls this “LiquidCool Plus”, and claims that it can keep the temperature 6 degrees cooler.POCO X3 Review

You can also enhance your Gaming experience by adjusting the touch response, sensitivity, and can even enhance the visuals, by tweaking the preferences for every single game under Game Turbo. There’s also a Z Shocker Haptics motor, which is not something amazing like flagship phones and doesn’t feel too bad either. It’s like, it will get the job done, but don’t expect it to be the best for gaming.

POCO X3 Pro Camera Performance

Talking about the cameras, POCO X3 Pro comes with a Quad Camera setup. The primary lens is a 48MP which comes with a Sony IMX582 sensor and f/1.8 aperture, accompanied by an 8MP ultrawide lens, and the other two typical cameras are just for the namesake a 2MP + 2MP macro lens and depth sensor. On the front, there is a single 20MP shooter.POCO X3 Review

The 48MP primary camera performs well enough, but don’t expect it to perform like a camera champ. The skin and facial hairs look over-processed but it does a great job at retaining colors in the image, the colors look punchy and pleasing to the eyes. But when we move indoors the colors tend to look a bit flat.

The 8MP Ultrawide as expected does not retain a ton of details but when it comes to backlit scenarios, then X3 Pro starts to struggle. Sometimes the lens manages to retain good colors, while sometimes it fails to capture good colors.

The 2MP depth sensor performs like a good backstage dancer of the last row with the main 48MP lens, as we never know whether it is actually working or not. Talking about real results from the portrait mode, it really does capture good pictures by separating the background, the edge detection is good on human subjects, and even with action figures. But here too, the facial details look over-processed.

Action Figure Portrait

Now comes the 2MP macro lens, which is a Fixed Focus camera. Here are few sample shots in macro mode, you can judge them yourself.

Mango macro mode

Flower Macro

Selfie Camera Performance

The 20MP shooter at the front captures good pictures, which looks a bit on the softer side but gets the job done. The edge detection is good on the front as well. Selfies from this one can easily fetch you few social media likes or maybe some hearts (at least more than what I get).

PS: Mask was removed just for the photo sample.

As far as videos are concerned, POCO X3 Pro supports up to 4k 30fps from rear cameras. While it is capped to FHD 30 fps on the front. We also get super steady mode which is only available for the main lens. But things just don’t stop here as we also get more options like up to 960fps super slo-mo, VLOG Mode, and a dedicated short video mode, and Dual video mode as well. It also supports the Clone photo mode, and Long exposure mode for the camera enthusiasts out there.

POCO X3 Pro Bio-metrics & Security

POCO X3 Pro Questions and Answers

Q. Do earphones come inside the POCO X3 Pro box?

A. No, earphones are not there in the box.

Q. Does POCO X3 Pro comes with a fast charger in the box?

A. Yes. POCO X3 Pro supports USB PD fast charging and the 33W fast charger is included in the box.

Q. Does POCO X3 Pro have a dedicated SD card slot?

A. No. It comes with a hybrid sim card slot. You can either use 2 Sim cards or 1 Sim and 1 SD card.

Q. Can I remote control my TV, and AC with POCO X3 Pro?

A. Yes, POCO X3 Pro comes with an IR blaster that allows you to control these appliances.

Q. Does POCO X3 Pro support WiFi calling?

A. Yes.

Q. Can I use two 4G (Jio) SIM cards at one time on POCO X3 Pro?

A. Yes, you can use two 4G SIM cards at the same time as it supports the Dual SIM Dual VoLTE feature.

POCO X3 Pro Review: Conclusion

Now comes the main question! Should you consider buying the Poco X3 Pro, as a successor to the legendary POCO F1. Since POCO F1 was recognized as the most affordable power monster of the time, POCO X3 Pro has checked most of the boxes to continue the legacy of the F1. So, in my opinion, you can call it a successor of F1.

If you are a gaming person who wants the most powerful and balanced performance at an affordable price, then you won’t find a better deal than POCO X3 Pro. But if you want a slim phone with really good camera performance, then sorry my friend I won’t suggest POCO X3 Pro to you.

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Gaurav Sharma

As an editor, Gaurav ensures the delivery of quality-rich, detailed, and accurate content tailored to the right audience. His three years of experience as a reviewer allow him to provide comprehensive evaluations of various consumer gadgets. On the video front, Gaurav serves as a video production manager for both long and short formats and anchors short videos at GadgetsToUse.