POCO X3 Pro review: Powerful, but camera performance is subpar

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The fact that the new POCO X3 Pro goes for less than P13k is unbelievable. An upgraded version of 2020’s POCO X3 NFC, this device is packed with features that don’t fall short of performance. It’s made for multitaskers and gamers who don’t want to shell out big bucks on their day-to-day smartphone. Read on to know why.

Design and display

This device is a big brick and is on the heavier side, with a weight of 215 grams. Its plastic rear has a dual matte and glossy finish, as well as a large Poco logo printed at the bottom. The design is far from sleek but evokes a gaming vibe.

At the right side of the phone sits the volume rocker and power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. With a big phone like this, however, I had to change grips when I would use the fingerprint scanner and the volume rocker after.

The POCO X3 Pro has a massive 6.67-inch display and a punch-hole 20MP selfie camera. The display produces crisp, detailed images when the content you’re watching is HD. And when you turn up the refresh rate to 120Hz, you’ll be able to scroll through the menu or social media feeds without lags. It does eat up battery, though, but at least you can switch it down to 60Hz to save power.

At the bottom of the phone, you have the speaker grille, USB-C port, and the 3.5mm jack. Speaking of speakers, the audio of the X3 Pro is pretty good. It sounds as whole and loud as my iPhone 12 mini’s speakers.

Camera

This device is propped as a gaming phone for a reason. Its quad rear camera (48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP), while impressive on paper, are quite disappointing IRL. Photos lack vibrance and remain dark in low light. When I was using the ultrawide and the selfie shooters, I noticed that the image looks a bit pale, like there’s a filter on.

The only thing special about it is the way it’s shaped. Other than that, you get shooters only decent for casual social media posting.

Performance

Now this is where this bad boy shines. Packing a Snapdragon 860 processor, the X3 Pro can handle all your favorite games. I’ve been using it to play Genshin Impact and it hasn’t failed me yet. However, when I was playing Sky: Children of the Light at higher graphics, I encountered a few lags.

With its big 5,160mAh battery, I can play my favorite games non-stop for hours. It can stream hours-long content on YouTube and still have battery to spare. Charging is a breeze, too. The phone can go from 20 percent to full 100 in a little over an hour with the 33W fast charger.

Out of the box, this phone runs on Android 11. The MIUI 12 skin looks sleek and you have a wide array of themes to choose from to make the phone your own. However, the phone comes with a lot of bloatware, which can consume a lot of space in its 128GB or 256GB internal storage.

Speed says

With a starting price of P12,990, the POCO X3 Pro is a real bang-for-your-buck gaming and entertainment phone. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, watching videos, or playing triple-A mobile titles, the X3 Pro will keep you glued to the screen all-day.

Specs

  • Android 11, MIUI 12 for POCO
  • 6.67-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB internal storage
  • Rear camera: 48MP (f/1.8) + 8MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4) + 2MP (f/2.4)
  • Front camera: 20MP (f/2.2)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, NFC, Infrared, FM radio, USB-C 2.0, OTG
  • 5,160mAh battery with 33W fast charging
  • Phantom Black, Frost Blue, Metal Bronze
  • 6GB+128GB – P12,990; 8GB+256GB – P15,990
Words and photos Ayie Licsi

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