Without control, power is nothing

A few months after the Poco X3, Poco is launching a slightly more muscular Pro version. Poco’s philosophy is essentially based on performance and autonomy. The brand believes that these two criteria remain the most important for consumers.

Poco is developing in the shadow of Xiaomi and relies on an extremely interesting techno-price ratio. Definitely on paper. Is this checked in use? We will see this in this review of the Poco X3 Pro.

Poco X3 Pro price and availability

The Poco X3 Pro is available for 299 euros. It’s inviting itself in an increasingly crowded segment. In this price range we find the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, the Realme 8 Pro or the Galaxy A52 4G. Three models with an excellent techno-price ratio.

Poco X3 Pro 6/128 GB at the best price base price: € 249

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Poco X3 Pro 8/256 GB at the best price base price: 299 €

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Design: me, ugly and evil

In the past, Poco didn’t particularly stand out for his talents as a designer. The smartphones still correspond to the codes of the Asian consumers, less those of the Europeans, as the imposing logo on the back of the Poco X3 Pro shows.

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This plastic model does not shine because of its elegance. A wide glossy band (successor to fingerprints) extends over the entire back. The two outer bands inherit a matt coating. For once we would have liked a little more sobriety with a fully matt bowl.

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Even if it means opting for rough finishes, you might as well share it with everyone. The photo module also takes on an unenviable format. Particularly noteworthy is the shape of a rectangle with rounded widths. Unknown and we understand why.

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Do you think we’re cruel? Wait a bit until you know the animal’s weight. 215 grams, that is the beautiful baby that has to be transported and handled every day. An acceptable weight for a glass smartphone, much less if it is clad in plastic, even if the generous battery justifies this excess weight.

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The other elements are positioned classically: USB-C and speakers at the bottom, on / off (with fingerprint reader) and volume buttons on the right, NanoSIM slot on the left. We appreciate the good integration of the screen and the presence of a 3.5 mm jack. A very small consolation.

Screen and audio: ouch

We’ll see later, Poco puts the package on performance. Of course, in order to get your X3 Pro at a reasonable price, you had to make sacrifices elsewhere.

The screen is the first element to suffer. No AMOLED here (in contrast to Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10), but a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel with Full HD + definition, a refresh rate of 120 Hz (all the same) and a sampling frequency of 240 Hz.

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Choosing an LCD panel has several disadvantages: black is less black, contrasts less pronounced and energy consumption is higher. Unfortunately, the Poco X3 Pro meets all of the criteria.

Some LCD panels are of excellent quality as you say. You’re right. However, this is not the case here. When it leaves the factory, the screen is poorly calibrated and looks too blue.

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To correct the recording, it is not enough to juggle between the different display modes. Not only do we need to identify the correct mode, but above all we need to adjust the color palette and temperature to find the best compromise. And it’s a lot harder than it seems.

We will console ourselves with the very good brightness of the panel, which allows it to be used in direct sunlight. The frequency of 120 Hz will delight gaming enthusiasts and fans of social networks. As long as you compromise on autonomy.

Surprising audio

If the screen doesn’t completely convince us, the audio quality is there. First, because the presence of a 3.5mm jack allows headphones to be connected without an adapter. Second, because the Poco X3 Pro is Hi-Res certified, which guarantees great sound quality. Finally because it is Bluetooth 5.0 compatible and supports SBC, AAC, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX TWS + and LDAC codecs.

Whether you are a wired or wireless team, there is something for you. The Poco X3 Pro offers excellent sound quality and can even compete with some premium models. The speakers do the job, but don’t impress. You can’t have it all either.

Performance and interface: all good

Historically, the Poco brand has made a name for itself with an emphasis on performance. The Poco X3 Pro carries this philosophy with it as it contains a Snapdragon 860 processor that delivers almost as much power as a high-end 2020 smartphone. In this price range, it’s just breathtaking.

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The Poco X3 Pro therefore has no difficulty in completing everyday tasks, including the most resource-intensive. Thanks to its 6 GB of RAM, it will continue to work without ever showing signs of fatigue.

Gamers will also benefit from the Adreno 640 GPU which allows them to play the latest fashionable licenses (Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile, etc.) with high graphics configuration and impeccable fluidity.

MIUI 12: Travel to familiar terrain

This excellent performance is accompanied by MIUI 12, the same interface as that of Xiaomi smartphones. We will therefore not dwell on a piece of software that has been analyzed longitudinally, generally and extensively in our recent tests of Xiaomi devices.

MIUI 12 is one of the most fun version of Android to be used on a daily basis. This new version is highly customizable and finally welcomes the application drawer that is so dear to purists’ hearts. The iOS-inspired graphics charter has the advantage that you navigate in familiar areas if you come from the world of Apple.

Also note that Poco has gotten rid of certain unnecessary or even annoying elements from MIUI 12. We are thinking, for example, of the reduced number of pre-installed applications or the lack of advertising, even during the damn antivirus scan (unfortunately still there).

Autonomy blah, very fast charging

The disadvantage of an LCD panel is that it uses more energy than an OLED panel (the latter has LEDs that go out to produce black). This is even more true when the refresh rate peaks at 120 Hz.

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Unfortunately, the Poco F3 Pro is the perfect example of this. Although it is equipped with a generous 5160 mAh battery, it hardly manages to survive the day of versatile use. As long as we’re nagging about the videos or the game, we’ll have to go through the top-up box every night. Nothing dramatic, but far from the performance of its buddy, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, equipped with an… AMOLED screen. CQFD.

To make up for this lack of stamina, a 33W charger is included. The smartphone charges to 60% in 30 minutes and 100% in an hour. Excellent results, especially in this price range. Obviously the Poco F3 Pro is not compatible with wireless charging. The opposite would have been very surprising.

Camera: good and bad

Photography has never been at the center of Poco’s priorities. However, the growing consumer interest in this criterion (even with affordable models) has forced the manufacturer to question itself. The Poco X3 Pro therefore inherits a muscle configuration that consists of the following four modules:

a wide angle (f / 1.8); 48 Mpxl (1 / 2“; 0.8 µm) sensor, PDAF an ultra wide angle (f / 2.2); Field of view 119 °; 8 Mpxl sensor with macro lens (1: 2.4); 2 Mpxl sensor a 2 Mpxl depth sensor; Lens aperture f / 2.4

Regulars of Xiaomi smartphones recognize a pretty classic but effective combination. This is all the more true for this X3 Pro, which thanks to its Snapdragon 860 chip benefits from even more performance for better digital image processing.

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Far from being perfect, the main sensor is comfortable in good lighting conditions. The sharpness is good, the contrasts pronounced and the colors realistic. We could hardly blame him for a somewhat capricious white balance. However, given the price of the smartphone, it is difficult to withhold it from him.

Like its competitors, the Poco X3 Pro does not deliver a telephoto lens, which is too expensive for products in this product range. We therefore have to be satisfied with a purely digital zoom. Up to 2x it turns out that it is quite correct. In addition, the image becomes less sharp and the noise points to the tip of the nose.

Thanks to the depth sensor, you can take high quality portraits with the main module. The section is clean, the bokeh correct. Best of all, you can adjust the background blur intensity during and after the shot.

At night, the Poco X3 Pro doesn’t earn anything as long as you’re using night mode. Without it, the images are too degraded to be exploited. No wonder for a smartphone at 300 euros.

So far, the X3 Pro is doing pretty well. Unfortunately, like many smartphones that are sold under the mark of 300 euros, the secondary sensors do not meet the standard.

Given the lack of interest in the macro lens, we can forgive its mediocrity. On the other hand, we are stricter when it comes to evaluating the ultra-wide angle.

The latter includes, without being catastrophic, all the bugs that other manufacturers have largely fixed. First, the distortion is clearly visible. Then the loss of detail is obvious, even in the center of the picture. Finally, the difference in colorimetry compared to the main sensor is obvious. Too bad the processor’s performance would have made it possible to do a lot better.

Let us conclude this chapter on photography with two more positive comments. The 20 Mpxl front sensor (wide-angle 1: 2.2 lens) does its job very well. The Poco X3 Pro can also record 4K at 30 frames per second with decent results.

Poco X3 Pro 6/128 GB at the best price base price: € 249

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Poco X3 Pro 8/256 GB at the best price base price: 299 €

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Our opinion on the Poco X3 Pro

The Poco X3 Pro perfectly embodies the brand’s philosophy: high performance and … that’s it. Apart from a particularly neat audio section and a polished surface, the X3 Pro never manages to compete with its competitors.

Its design lacks elegance, its camera lacks versatility, its screen lacks balance. The X3 Pro also lacks stamina and its charging system isn’t transcendent. Ultimately, the Poco X3 Pro is above all a powerful smartphone. But as everyone knows, power is nothing without mastery.

Poco X3 Pro

299 €

Performance and interface

9.0 / 10

Autonomy and Charge

8.0 / 10

Price-performance ratio

7.0 / 10

We love

Excellent performance Very good audio quality Good main photo sensor Fast loading Intuitive interface

We like less

Badly calibrated LCD screen Lack of elegance Heavy, very heavy secondary photo sensors to be checked. Autonomy too low

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