POCO X3 Pro Review: Flagship Killer

POCO X3 Pro Review: POCO’s entire legacy is made on delivering exceptional value smartphones—so much in order that the corporate has practically stolen the “flagship killer” crown from OnePlus. Well, OnePlus is equally responsible during this regard but that’s a subject for an additional video. Anyway, POCO recently launched the X3 Pro, debuting a flagship-grade chipset and a really familiar design. With everything that the phone is packing, is it the simplest phone in its range? Let’s determine during this review of the POCO X3 Pro.

POCO X3 Pro Specifications:

Body:76.8 x 165.3 x 9.4mm, 215 gm, IP53 dust/splash resistant
Display:6.67-inches IPS LCD “DotDisplay”, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, 450 nits brightness
Resolution:FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio, 395 PPI
Chipset:Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 (7nm Mobile Platform)
CPU:Octa-core (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485 Silver)
GPU:Adreno 640
Memory:6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage (expandable)
Software & UI:Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 for POCO on top
Rear Camera:Quad-camera;

  • 48MP f/1.79 primary lens, AF
  • 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, 119º FOV
  • 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor, 4CM (fixed focus)
  • 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor
Front Camera: 20MP f/2.2 sensor (punch-hole cutout)
Audio:Stereo speakers with Hi-Res Audio, 3.5mm headphone jack
Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
Sensors:Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Ambient Light, Electronic Compass, IR blaster
Connectivity:Hybrid Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Galileo / Beidou, NFC, USB Type-C, 4G LTE
Battery:5160mAh with 33W fast charging (33W adapter provided)
Color options:Phantom Black, Metal Bronze, Frost Blue
Price in Nepal:Rs. 32,000 (6/128GB) | Rs. 37,000 (8/256GB)
Price in India:6GB+64GB = 16,999INR | 6GB+128GB = 18,499INR | 8GB+128GB = 19,999INR

POCO X3 Pro Review:

Design & Build

  • 76.8 x 165.3 x 9.4mm, 215 grams
  • Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
  • IP53 dust and splash-resistant

Like I said earlier, the POCO X3 Pro is not any stranger to the eyes. In fact, it bears an equivalent visual aesthetics, form-factor, and everything else because the POCO X3 NFC. While we’re obviously on board with the company’s original design practices, reusing one that wasn’t as well-received seems like a misplaced trust here.

POCO X3 Pro Design

So yeah—it’s not the foremost comfortable phone to possess in your pocket or your hand. Weighing 215 grams with a 9.4mm thickness, the POCO X3 Pro is certainly not for those that prefer a compact device. That’s to not say that the phone has downright terrible ergonomics, absolutely not. With all the opposite phones I’ve had for review this year, I personally found myself wont to the build quality of POCO X3 Pro almost directly .

The weight distribution sure could’ve some work though since the lower half the phone feels relatively heavier than the upper half. Regardless, the curved sides do help things a touch , and ooh—contrary to the all-glossy finish in its predecessor, POCO has implemented a matte look on the edges here.

Protected against dust or splashes

Moving on, the phone is IP53 certified against dust and splashes also . That’s nice. due to the borrowed design, X3 Pro features a plastic back and plastic frames which could feel a touch out of place for a phone that boasts a Snapdragon 860 chipset inside. In any case, it doesn’t catch fingerprints or smudges the maximum amount although the camera does end in slight wobbles when placed on a flat surface.

POCO X3 Pro features a power button on the side that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. it’s easy to succeed in and unlocks the phone during a flash—unless your finger is sweaty or a touch wet that’s . Just above it’s the quantity rockers that click well and are fairly easy to succeed in too.

Similarly, the left frame holds the hybrid SIM slot that accepts two nano SIMs or one SIM and a MicroSD card. Finally, the highest frame gets an IR blaster and a microphone whereas you’ll find a headphone jack, a USB-C port, another microphone, and therefore the bottom-firing speaker grille on rock bottom .

Display

  • 6.67-inches FHD+ IPS LCD display
  • 120/240Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection

Coming to the front, you’re greeted with an equivalent 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen—now protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 rather than Gorilla Glass 5 on the POCO X3 NFC. an equivalent display means X3 Pro also features a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch rate . Moreover, this screen embeds the company’s DynamicSwitch technology which switches the refresh rate between 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz when selecting the High refresh rate mode.

POCO X3 Pro Display

And this was one among the main complaints many users had with POCO X3 NFC’s promised 120Hz smoothness—or rather its imperfection. POCO isn’t the primary company to supply a dynamic refresh rate on its phones and that we haven’t really noticed such inconsistency when a screen automatically toggles between different refresh rates on other phones till now.

Unfortunately, POCO’s implementation still leaves room for complaint as we could still notice micro-lags every now then , especially when scrolling through the UI rather fast. We presumed this was happening on the X3 NFC due to its relatively under-powerful Snapdragon 732G chipset but this reminder makes us shift the blame towards the screen itself or the software optimization instead—it’s probably the previous .

Besides, MIUI isn’t the foremost optimized Android skins out there and therefore the “POCO” customization is nearly next-to-nothing during this case. I desire this issue might be solved just by force enabling 120Hz refresh rate all the time so POCO’s indifference towards the difficulty is questionable.

Plus, seems that it’s absolutely possible since an XDA member unlocked how to enable the 120Hz refresh rate all the time on POCO X3 NFC. But in fact , you’ll got to have the phone bootloader unlocked and rooted.

Widevine L1 certified

Anyway, I’ve had no issue regarding the touch response though. Its viewing angles are pretty nice, colors pop fairly well for an LCD screen, and therefore the punch-hole cutout is pretty minimal too. you’ll also stream HD videos on Netflix and other streaming sites since POCO X3 Pro’s screen is Widevine L1 certified also . it’s also HDR10 compliant but weirdly enough, the screen automatically evolves with a yellow tint when watching HDR videos on YouTube.

Stereo speakers with Hi-Res Audio

Talking about content consumption, POCO X3 Pro’s stereo speakers get plenty loud and therefore the mids and highs sound pretty much balanced too. Yet, the bass reproduction is nearly non-existent here. I’ve had no issue regarding call quality on this phone though.

POCO X3 Pro Display

Moreover, this display doesn’t get very bright either. With 450 nits of typical brightness that POCO says can get even higher with Sunlight Mode turned on, I found it to be a touch of a struggle when watching the phone under direct sunlight.

On the opposite hand, it can quite dim and thus using the phone under the sheets has been a cushty experience. another thing, there’s also a notification LED right above the display. While i wanted it had been an RGB LED rather than plain white, the mere inclusion of a notification indicator may be a win on behalf of me .

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC (7nm)
  • 6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage (expandable)
  • Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 for POCO on top

On to the performance side of things, POCO X3 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 860. This 7nm chipset is nearly just like 2019’s Snapdragon 855+. It reportedly features a slightly better AI engine and POCO says the 860 features a better ISP than the 855+ also . So as you’ll tell, the X3 Pro is definitely the best-performing phone in its price range.

Ther Snapdragon 860 here has been paired with 6/8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage. With all this, my experience with the phone has been spectacular. Apps install and cargo quite fast and juggling through multiple apps is not any hiccup here. Yet, with heavy apps or games into the combination , you’ll notice reloads on certain apps most the time. All of this boots up with MIUI 12 supported Android 11—alongside the aforementioned POCO customization.

Bloatware and ads

As expected from a Xiaomi (or Xiaomi inspired) phone, the X3 Pro comes with a few of bloatware apps but you’ll prefer to uninstall them. And in fact , there are ads. I also desire I should mention an obscure bug in Facebook Messenger I witnessed. for a few reason, i might get text/call notifications even after I’d already attended it the primary time. Weird. Let’s now take a glance at some benchmark scores:

POCO X3 Pro
AndrobenchSequential Read1455.53 MB/s
Sequential Write525.39 MB/s
AnTuTu v8Total489153
CPU133679
GPU191850
Memory82680
UX80944
Geekbench 5CPU (Single Core)N/A
CPU (Multi-Core)N/A
Compute (OpenCL)N/A
PCMark (Work 2.0 Performance)10197
3DMark (Wild Life)N/A

Those numbers read real impressive, huh? But weirdly enough, the Geekbench app kept crashing whenever i attempted to urge a benchmark reading whereas the 3DMark app straight up wouldn’t let me run it—citing that POCO might’ve disabled it for a few reason.

Gaming experience

Nevertheless, let’s mention the gaming performance now. Powered by the pseudo-flagship-grade Snapdragon 860, I expected an exceptional gaming experience on the POCO X3 Pro. And thankfully, the phone delivered to my expectations to the foremost extent. But pushing the silicon to its limit heats up the device quite fast and to quite extreme degree.

POCO X3 Pro Design

For this review, I played Genshin Impact on its highest settings on the POCO X3 Pro. This includes all the graphics variables cranked to the max like 60 fps, High visual effects, High render resolution, and Extreme motion blur. Unfortunately, the phone’s cooling solution simply couldn’t catch up under this.

I graphed its initial CPU and battery temperature at 34ºC and 31ºC which quickly rose to 68ºC and 45ºC, respectively after just 5 minutes of gameplay. The CPU temperature jumped to 71ºC after 16 minutes and at this moment, it had been getting really difficult to carry the phone. To further push Snapdragon 860’s limit, I continued playing it for a touch over 40 minutes where I recorded POCO X3 Pro’s maximum CPU and battery temperature at 76ºC and 46ºC, respectively.

The hand-rest area is uncomfortably hot whereas the camera module is even hotter. Gameplay during this setting, on the opposite hand, is fairly smooth with a stable 60fps gaming most of the time. But, I did notice minor stutters every now then , although the performance didn’t throttle the maximum amount even when the phone got extremely hot.

Dialing it down

So, it’s quite fair to mention that Genshin Impact isn’t meant to be played at its max settings on this phone. Therefore, I dialed down the settings to High graphics and 30 fps. Here, the gameplay got significantly better—especially within the thermal department. After 20 minutes, the CPU and battery temperature rose to 63ºC and 41ºC, respectively while the gameplay was relatively smoother also . The camera module still got pretty hot but not the maximum amount when playing at the very best setting.

Likewise, comparatively less demanding titles like Call of Duty Mobile run extremely well at their max setting. I set the graphics to Very High and frame rate to Max while also turning on anti-aliasing. Under this, the gameplay was buttery smooth although the temperature got a touch out of hand than I’d anticipated—but to not the uncomfortable point though. PUBG Mobile can hit HDR graphics and Extreme frame rates or Ultra HD graphics and Ultra frame rates.

Under both settings, the sport play is fairly smooth while I did notice few stutters after around 20 minutes into the game. Finally, Shadowgun War Games, which may be a 120 fps optimized title runs smoothly under Ultra High graphics and 120 fps.

All in all, POCO X3 Pro’s gaming performance is impressive although its thermal solution struggles when pushing through graphics-intensive titles. the corporate says it’s used multi-layer graphite heat dissipating material but from my experience, that seems simply insufficient.

Cameras

  • Quad-camera setup at the back
  • (48MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2MP portrait)
  • 20MP selfie camera inside the punch-hole cutout

POCO X3 Pro Back Cameras

Time to urge to the camera portion of this POCO X3 Pro review. Surprisingly, the phone features a downgraded quad-camera setup compared to the POCO X3 NFC—in terms of megapixel count that’s . Here, you get a 48MP primary and an 8MP ultrawide sensor compared to the 64MP and 13MP lens respectively on its predecessor.

Besides this, it brings an equivalent 2MP depth, 2MP macro lens alongside a 20MP selfie camera. For this review, I compared the cameras on POCO X3 Pro against that of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max which features a 108MP main sensor.

Normal Images

Here, the traditional daytime images from the Note 10 Pro Max retain more detail and appearance sharper. Plus, it also produces close-to-natural colors whereas the POCO X3 Pro tends to oversaturate them by a touch .

However, the X3 Pro usually features a better dynamic range and on some occasions, photos tend to seem a touch brighter too.

Wideangle Images

There is a clear color shift when switching to the ultrawide mode on the POCO X3 Pro. Yet, that’s an honest thing. Here, the saturation has been dialed right down to a comparatively natural level and therefore the highlights are improved too.

But compared to the Note 10 Pro Max, it omitted on finer details and appears a touch grainy and oversharpened. Still, ultrawide photos from Note 10 Pro Max have low black levels.

Portrait Images

Subjects in portrait images look considerably dark from the POCO X3 Pro. It also looks excessively sharp while also missing out jittery detection on certain occasions.

You can also notice a small reddish hue here whereas Note 10 Pro Max’s portraits look comparatively more natural with a soft undertone.

Macro Images

Macro images are significantly better on the Note 10 Pro Max, which is especially because of its variable autofocus distance of three – 10 cm. On the contrary, shooting close-ups from X3 Pro’s 4 cm fixed focus is sort of frustrating.

As you’ll see, macro shots from Note 10 Pro Max retain better details albeit with a wild boost in saturation.

Selfie Images

Coming to the selfie, once more , subjects look over-sharpened on the X3 Pro with low black levels and boosted saturation. It also tends to possess a soft yellowish tint.

POCO X3 Pro Front Camera

Selfies from Note 10 Pro Max look softer with muted colors while highlights are a touch overblown here.

Portrait selfies share an identical story while the X3 Pro thankfully churns out brighter-looking photos. On most occasions, edge detection is best on the X3 Pro.

Nighttime Images

Getting to low-light photos, the pictures enter terms of color on the Note 10 Pro Max and thus look livelier. It also retains better details with less noise while nighttime images from X3 Pro tend to possess better sky details in some instances.

Turning on night mode, the X3 Pro delivers better highlights and more details while also looking oversharpened, whereas night mode photos from Note 10 Pro Max look brighter, have better shadow details and dynamic range.

You can also shoot lowlight photos from the ultrawide lens on the POCO X3 Pro. But the photos look too soft with little detail preservation.

Night mode does help a touch in controlling the exposure but it’s nothing to write down home about.

Like the Realme 8 series, POCO X3 Pro also has Tit Shift mode for miniature photography.

Videography

You can increase to 4K/30fps videos from both phones and during this resolution, I found that the X3 Pro wins out with relatively better stabilization. Additionally, the 1080p/60fps footages are slightly more stable on the X3 Pro also .

1080/30fps videos are neck-and-neck in terms of stabilization from both phones while the Note 10 Pro Max has worse exposure control. The latter goes for other resolutions too. Upfront, the 1080p/30fps selfie videos retain similar stabilization on both phones while subjects look oversaturated on Note 10 Pro Max.

Does Gcam help at all?

For this review, I also installed Gcam on POCO X3 Pro to ascertain if it might bring any improvement.

Luckily, it does. Normal images enjoy balanced saturation, well-managed highlights, and even better dynamic home in most instances.

Selfie photos look more natural from Gcam too. Moreover, it also unlocks 4K/60fps recording but it’s quite shaky. Likewise, I found videos to be more stable from the phone’s native camera app compared to Gcam.

Battery

  • 5160mAh battery with 33W fast charging

With that out of the way, let’s get into the battery life. Packing an enormous 5,160mAh battery, I expected around a day’s endurance from the POCO X3 Pro and therefore the phone just about met my expectation. Using the phone under 120Hz refresh rate and brightness set to around 60%, I managed to urge 6 – 6.5 hours of screen-on time here. My usage mostly consisted of a few of hours of gaming, juggling through social media apps, and binging YouTube.

POCO X3 Pro Design

I did find X3 Pro’s battery-saving algorithm a touch on the aggressive end. Certain apps like AccuBattery’s background process would get terminated overnight. Regardless, the phone juices up pretty fast. In our test, the 33W charger inside the box took POCO X3 Pro from 1 to 100% in 1 hour and 9 minutes. to match , we clocked Redmi Note 10’s smaller 5000mAh battery to completely jazz up in an hour and 22 minutes via a 33W charger.

Conclusion

Wrapping up this review, the POCO X3 Pro is a superb phone for the price—no doubt. Its stellar Snapdragon 860 chipset will handle almost everything you throw at it and therefore the 120Hz screen, while not well optimized, is most definitely better than a typical 60Hz display. So, if you’re a mobile gamer and are trying to find a mid-range phone which will erupt the foremost demanding titles, then this is often the one to urge .

Interestingly, it’s also priced the precise same as POCO X3 NFC—an objectively inferior phone in most departments. But ultimately, the POCO X3 Pro isn’t for everybody . From its unappetizing LCD screen, chunky build quality, to the software inconsistencies, it’s not an ideal phone by an extended shot.

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Note: All Image on this post  Credit Goes to Gadgetbyte Nepal and MI.

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