Poco X3 Pro Review | Worthy Successor to the NFC?

Published on April 2, 2021
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Video transcript:

now this big blue bugger here the poco x3 pro is one of the most exciting smartphones launched so far in 2021 mostly because it’s an upgraded version of last year’s excellent poco x3 nfc which on the highly scientific steven seagal skill is definitely a full-on proper executive decision so what you get here is a small handful of upgrades including stronger design and a performance boost to compete with recent rivals like the redmi note 10 pro of course the burning question is is the poco x3 pro and under siege or is it an under siege too well i’ve had my sim slapped in there i’ve been using it as my full-time smartphone for almost a week and here’s my in-depth poco x3 pro review and for more than the latest greatest tech please do plug subscribe and hit that notifications bell cheers so gonna start off rather negatively unfortunately and one thing i really don’t enjoy about the poco x3 pro is the way it looks which hasn’t really changed at all from the old x3 nfc i know this is a budget blower but i found the understated aesthetics of the redmi note 10 pro much more appealing the x3 pro’s two-tone finish and slightly obnoxious brandon definitely ain’t doing anything at all for me especially as that shiny central strip is a total grease magnet you can grab the pocket x3 pro in three different colors this blue f is otherwise also black or bronze and i’ve got to see that darker effort definitely looks a bit better than this one but the good thing is that the poco x3 pro is suitably durable despite being made of polycarbonate no scratches or scuffs to speak of so far and if you are paranoid you do at least get a condom case bundled in the box there to help keep it extra protected it’s also good to see the poko has upgraded the screen protection for the pro model from gorilla glass 5 to gorilla glass 6. so this thing is super super safe especially as you’ve got a pre-installed screen protector on there so it’s basically tougher than a pack of petrol station beef jerky at 215 grams though the poco x3 pro is also a proper heavy sword considering the plastic construction and factory in the near 6.7 inch design and one-handed play is about as enjoyable as wiping your bun with sandpaper although at least me ui 12 does throw in a decent screen shrinking feature and that’s just one of many pleasurable additions that miui adds to that android feature set and of course me ui is one of the more divisive launchers out there no denying that whatsoever but i gotta say i am enjoying it a hell of a lot more than i used to just a year or two ago technically of course it is the poco launcher here or me ui for poco but it’s essentially the same miui experience that you get on the redmi note 10 pro down to the lovable control center and those brilliant bonus bits like the video toolbox now criticism of me ui tends to fall in one of two categories the first being oh it’s full of ads and no it’s really really not the only time i ever saw any adverts of any description here on the poco x3 pro was when i was installing an app from google play and as one console in the comments my unboxing pointed out you can just tap on this little clog up here and then tick receive recommendations or rather untick it and then those will just vanish from site and the second criticism is that miui is a buggy piece of doggy plop and i gotta say it again yeah sure i saw the occasional little quirk here in miui but i saw far more bugs in one ui when i was reviewing samsung’s galaxy a52 5g and as for iphones don’t even get me started on iphones alright so if you’re going to criticize me ui you certainly can’t be jumping on a samsung and an apple and seeing that that is a better experience i also approve of that edge mounted fingerprint sensor which does the job beautifully it’s fast it really demands a second scan unless you’ve got sticky digits or something and it meant that i really have to rely on the fierce unlock which is really helpful when you’re outside and masked up well thankfully the fierce recognition is really good if you need that too as for the storage well it comes with 128 gigs as standard otherwise you can throw a bit more cash pockets weight for 256 gigs worth which is pretty rare at this sort of price point and either way it’s ufs 3.1 nice and nippy again something found more or more premium handsets and if even 256 gigs isn’t enough space for you well good news you’ve got a dual sim setup in here otherwise you can use that second sim slot to stick in a micro sd memory card up to one terabyte in size surely that’s enough space i mean like how much pawn can one person download now the poco x3 pro’s 6.67 inch ips screen has been ripped wholesale from the x3 nfc serving up the same respectively sharp full hd plus visuals sure it’s not an oled screen which is what you do get with some rivals like the redmi note 10 pro and xiaomi’s mi 11 lite and while this display is apparently hdr10 certified you currently don’t get hdl stream and support with services like netflix but all the same contrast is respectable and you can tweak that color output to suit your liking just bear in mind of course the no oled display means no always on display feature which is a real shame although you do get the tiniest dinkiest little notifications like hidden away in this earpiece speaker up top and like a lot of budget smartphones these days a surprising amount in fact the poco x3 pro also supports 120 hertz super fast refresher though skimming around in the ui is generally a little bit judgy not super smooth unfortunately that’s generally down to the heaviness of me ui my only real complaint here is the brightness levels which you know max them out you can just about see what’s going on on a sunny day and we have actually been having sunny days here in the uk here pip hurrah but unfortunately the auto brightness is about as useful as a chocolate sauna i found i was constantly having to manually tweak it because it was just a little bit too dim especially in the evenings you’ve also got a stereo speaker arrangement on the poco x3 pro and that’s pretty bloody good for the price those speakers pack a proper wallet at top volume and without much distortion and like a lot of budget blows you’ve got a proper headphone jack here so you can hire that stupid dongly thing you’ve got full support for high-res audio on here via the old headphone jack of course and even when streaming via bluetooth 5.0 i found i got a really nice crisp clear sound coming through as well and a pretty decent range but the big upgrades here over the old poko x3 nfc is that snapdragon 860 chipset which is a freshly jigged version of the excellent 865 which powered a lot of last year’s flagship phones you’ll get either six or eight gigs of ddr4 ram depending on which model of the poco x3 pro you pick up my review sample was the six giga and i’d absolutely bugger all issues with everyday performance beyond the occasional judo when flicking through that ui which as i mentioned before probably down to the launcher that adreno 640 gpu can handle pretty much everything thrown on its way including a tasty bit of gentian impact action although i did have to drop those detail levels at times to keep the action smooth as i did see a fair few frame rate drops on those default medium settings still i did find that i could game for hours without stopping thanks to the liquid cool technology stuffed inside of the pocket x3 pro this basically consists of a copper heat pipe partnering up with some sexy graphite layer action plus the 240 hertz touch sampling of that display means subtle latency when you’re swiping and putting the screen in a semi-frantic fashion you also get a bevy of gaming features to give you more of a chance when you’re surrounded by gribblies who’d like nothing better than to turn your face into the next loin cloth note however that you get subtle 5g connectivity here on the poco x3 pro still it’s a real shame that they haven’t chucked that in but if that’s going to be an issue for you you want that extra bit of future proofing well they’ve got likes the xiaomi mi 10 tea light which is still an absolute bloody stunner as for the battery tech it’s a 5160 milliamp cell no change there versus the older poco x3 nfc and i found that was absolutely brilliant even a crazy long day with about sort of seven to eight hours of screen on time playing the immediate stream good bit of camera use all that good stuff i still found the poco xt pro had plenty of juice left in the tank at the end of that one and like quite a lot of other budget smartphones that have been launched recently you’ve got 33 watt wires charging and of course no wireless charging as well so let’s finish up with a squint of that quad lens camera tech and the poco x3 pro rocks a 48 megapixel primary shooter which captures 12 megapixel picks by default but they still pack in enough finer detail to look good on a big screen the pro usually does a solid job of keeping your subject sharp even when they’re squirming around more than a squirrel with the squits you usually get quite natural skin tones although when shooting in brighter daylight the background will often be saturated and i did see some lens flare and halo and here and there but for a bunch of smartphone these photos look pretty good to be fair indoor snaps also come out well if your subject is perfectly still while the night mode helps to brighten up a dimly lit scene and the ai mode can swap between features to give you the best possible shot although at times this does also really piddle about with the color reproduction and gives you an artificial looking image the addition of a 2-megapixel depth sensor helps to produce some stunning portrait shots adding in a tweakable bucky effect in the background and you’ve also got an 8-megapixel ultrawide angle lens which again is respectably efficient for an affordable blower the color reproduction isn’t quite as natural and you will see some distortion at times but it does the job when needed and last up there’s what you do a 2 megapixel macro lens which produces low res crappy looking photos of things up close if that’s your bag my 4k video samples came out pretty good on the whole again pretty much what i would expect from a cheaper handset image stabilization is decent even at that ultra hd resolution although audio pickup is a little quite in front of the camera my own voice was certainly picked up much clearer and louder where you get the usual distortion whenever the wind starts gusting and finally around front you’ve got a 20 megapixel selfie shooter and it’s absolutely fine again with those same portrait smarts as the rear cam even indoors with soft light and you’ll get a good looking shot as long as you are stuck still sorry there is what i think of the poco x3 pro after using it as my full-time blower for about a week or so and i gotta say i’m still slightly leaning more towards the redmi note 10 pro absolutely adore that smartphone but there’s lots to love here and that snapdragon 860 chipset it’s good news for anyone who wants to game on something a bit more demanding uh though as i said like some gentian impact maybe a little bit of a stretch unless you really bump down those detail settings now i’ve just done a full massive budget comparison between this bad boy that redmi note 10 pro the real me 8 pro and xiaomi’s fresh new me 11 lite as well so go check that out if you want a closer look at some of the best budget smartphones of 2021 for more reviews of the best budget blowers please do put subscribe and ding that notifications bell and have yourselves a fantastic rest of the week cheers everyone love.
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