- The original design which even more expensive phones can envy
- The phones equipment is great while maintaining a competitive price tag
- NFC is missing, but Poco is catching up in many other subjects
Xiaomi Poco M3 Display
The Poco M3 display might be described as a quality spectacle with decent customization options. Expect a wide edge at the bottom and a few millimetres wide edge at the top, which turns into a small teardrop-shaped punch-hole with a front camera in the middle, and a thin edge at the sides. The 6.53-inch screen has gotten a 1,080 × 2,340 resolution.
The IPS panel has wide viewing angles, sufficient brightness and rich, vivid colours. Screen readability on the sun does not suffer significantly. The display area is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The phone pleasantly surprised with the screen settings as the screen can be simply turned on and off by tapping, there is a one-handed control mode with three different display sizes, a blue light filter or an option to adjust the saturation and colour temperature of the screen.
You can hide the notch on the top of the screen using a pre-built function which creates a classic black Android top bar on your screen which will visually merge with the notch. You can also replace the buttons below the display with gestures. Also as long as you stick to the older method of control, you can swap the bottom navigation buttons and define other actions when you tap or hold them. The phone lacks a notification LED, and a replacement in the form of an ambient display is unfortunately also missing.
Xiaomi Poco M3 Hardware
The Poco M3 features stereo sound and our favourite IR blaster but unfortunately lacks NFC. The eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 works with 4 GB of RAM, of which more than a half is used by the operating system after the start. The storage has a capacity of 128 GB, but you can also find a slightly cheaper version of the Poco M3 on the market with half of the storage.
After the initial launch of the phone, more than 16 GB is occupied by the operating system, which rises even higher to 19.4GB after updating the system and all applications. You can, however, save less than a gigabyte by uninstalling unnecessary pre-installed apps.
Poco can handle common daily demands, even some more demanding applications and games. For the most high-performance games, it is usually necessary to reduce the details, but it still gives you a decent gaming experience. The phone does not overheat and retains its performance even if you play on it for couple hours.
Xiaomi Poco M3 Connectivity
The connectivity of the phone is quite decent although it’s missing some key features. There is Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, Infrared blaster, USB OTG and reverse charging (turns your phone into a charging station for your other devices). Unfortunately, there is no support for 5G, which wouldn’t be such a problem as the absence of NFC, which will put off many potential users who use the NFC on daily basis. Also, we can’t expect to see wireless charging to be available here.
The fingerprint scanner has been integrated into the main power button. Despite the significantly smaller area than most of the fingerprint scanners usually have on their backs, it works very quickly and with a negligible error rate. The scanner will allow you to save up to five fingerprints and it is possible to customize it whether you just need to place your finger on the power button with the scanner or if it is necessary to press it. In addition to the fingerprint scanner, you can also use face unlocking, which works comparably fast, and even here with absolutely minimal error rate.
Xiaomi Poco M3 Battery and charging
Poco M3 battery with a capacity of 6,000 mAh is capable to keepe the phone running for over two days, and even with intensive use, you can usually get tot he second day without charging. Less demanding users might even achieve a three-day battery life in some cases.
The phone supports 18W charging, while the charger in the package manages up to 22.5W. When charging from the fully discharged battery, you will get to 40% in an hour and 100% in about 3 hours.
Xiaomi Poco M3 MIUI Software and Apps
The current MIUI extension in version 12.0.5 works on Android 10. In terms of software, your user experience will be very close to Xiaomi or Redmi phones. The system has been fine-tuned decently, it reacts quickly and without hesitation.
With the MIUI launcher, you are able to choose any screen with your icons to be selected as the main one. You can find all applications in the main menu, which can be divided into categories and works independently from the desktop where you can place apps you use the most. The notification panel is also customizable, allowing you to adjust the order and number of switches (26 in total available). The appearance of the panel can be changed to an alternative design similar to the one in iOS.
Even though we understand why they are there, the phone would certainly do without unnecessary pre-installed applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, or some optional applications from Google, but if you do not need them, you can easily remove them. There is also the usual equipment known from MIUI in the form of a file manager, notes, compass, dictaphone, remote control, or FM radio.
Xiaomi Poco M3 Camera
You can get some solid photos and average video out of Poco M3. The phone got three lenses on its back. The main one with a resolution of 48 MP takes 12MP images, which creates one photo out of four scanned points. Don’t be alarmed, as it can also use full resolution if you need the full 48 MP. The remaining two lenses got only 2MP resolution (macro and depth sensors) and serve mainly to support the main sensor.
Poco M3 camera specs:
Main lens: 48 MPx, F1.79, 0.8 µm
Macro lens: 2 MPx, F2.4, 1.75 µm
Depth sensor: 2 MPx, F2.4, 1.75 µm
The phone takes pictures with decent sharpness but the focus on the details is not so good, especially in darker areas of photos, they merge. The colours are rich, they correspond to reality, you will occasionally come across oversaturated shots and unfortunately, many photos are affected by significant noise. With deteriorating lighting conditions, expect darker colours and more pronounced blending of details. At a given price level, however, Poco gives above-average results.
You will also have to settle for Full HD at 30 fps when recording a video. The absence of 4K is excusable at this price range, but Poco M3 could be so much better with higher frame rate. The videos are slightly behind the photos in terms of quality, they benefit from a more vivid color rendering and better stabilization. On the other hand, compared to taking photos, they are also more sensitive to good lighting conditions.
You can buy the Poco M3 in the higher version with 128GB of storage for £200, with a more modest 64GB design costing about £25 less. And you will definitely get enough fun for your money. Good fine display, decent performance, very good battery life, relatively fast charging and alright camera. In addition, dualSIM with memory SD card slot, headphone connector, fast fingerprint reader, high-quality stereo and wrapped in a unique stylish design.
But Poco isn’t perfect in everything either. It lacks NFC, has no notification LED and does not offer an alternative in the form of an ambient display. Fast charging is not that fast (even though the large battery is one of the reasons), the user interface lacks some of the features that are commonly available in MIUI, but Poco still competes well with the competitors at the same low-end, budget phone level.
The Poco M3 is a lower-class representative that relies on performance, good features, long battery life, a quality display and a solid camera. The most fundamental shortcoming is the lack of NFCs. If you look for a decent phone for around £200, you wouldn’t make mistake buying this Poco.
- Great design
- Quality screen
- Long battery life
- DualSIM + microSD
- Good performance
- 3,5mm headphones jack
- Fast Fingerprint scanner and Face ID
- Lack of NFC
- Average video recording
- No notification LED
- Noise in photos during low light conditions