The spirit of the first-ever Pocophone – the F1 – continues to live as part of the newly announced Poco X3 Pro and the Poco F3. These two mid-rangers reach new heights with 120Hz screens, flagship-grade chips, stereo speakers, large batteries. And today, we’ll be exploring the cheaper Poco X3 Pro – the first Snapdragon 860 carrier – and its bang for the buck features.
The Poco X3 Pro builds on top of the Poco X3 NFC, and they both look alike. The Pro version employs much better hardware, though – it is the first phone to run on the Snapdragon 860 SoC – a repackaged version of the once (and still) flagship Snapdragon 855+ chip.
Just like the Poco X3 NFC, the Poco X3 Pro is IP53-rated for dust protection and splash resistance, it packs a 6.67″ IPS LCD screen with 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate support, and the same 5,160mAh battery capable of 33W fast charging. You also get stereo speakers, a microSD slot, NFC, an IR blaster, and even a 3.5mm jack.
Oddly, the camera is a bit different and not in a good way. See, the Poco X3 Pro has a quad-camera on its back with a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth snappers. It’s not bad, it’s just that the regular X3 model offered a 64MP main and a 13MP ultra-wide shooters, and we can’t but feel the Pro as being demoted in this department.
Well, obviously the most significant upgrade since the original X3 is the much-improved SoC, which should allow for reaching beyond 60fps on many of the popular games and utilize the full potential of the 120Hz screen. This is often an issue with the HRR-capable mid-rangers, and we will gladly take the update, be it at the expense of some camera megapixels.
Let’s dig into the specs now.
Poco X3 Pro specs at a glance:
- Body: 165.3×76.8×9.4mm, 215g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 6), plastic frame, plastic back; IP53, dust and splash protection.
- Display: 6.67″ IPS LCD, 120Hz, HDR10, 450 nits (typ), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; 240Hz touch sampling.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 (7 nm): Octa-core (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 Prime + 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold + 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485 Silver); Adreno 640.
- Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11, MIUI 12, Poco launcher.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultrawide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
- Front camera: 20 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3.4″, 0.8µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/120fps, 1080p@960fps; gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5160mAh; Fast charging 33W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); Infrared port; NFC; Stereo speakers; 3.5mm jack.
We can’t think of anything missing on this €250 phone. Yes, we would have liked a telephoto camera and an AMOLED screen, but maybe that’s why we have the Poco F3 and the supposedly upcoming F3 Pro?
We can feel we are in for a treat with the Poco X3 Pro, but before we dig in, let’s first unbox this thing.
Unboxing the Poco X3 Pro
The Poco X3 Pro retail bundle brings no surprises, and it is as rich as we are used to getting with the Poco and Redmi phones. Inside the box, you’ll find the promised 33W power adapter and а 3A-rated USB-C-to-A cable.
There is also a transparent silicone case, which has a small protective cover for the USB port. The flap is a bit annoying when you need to charge your Poco X3 Pro, but we can appreciate the extra care for the port.
And for the true Poco fans, the box also contains a bunch of Poco stickers you can put on your computer, monitor, desk, car, and whatnot.
The Poco X3 Pro gives you a flagship-grade screen, outstanding performance, excellent battery endurance and speedy charging at the unbeatable price of €249. And when you think it can’t get better than that, you notice the little things like splash protection, stereo speakers, a capable camera, and fan-favorite connectivity options. And then you just wonder how is it possible for Xiaomi to offer this so cheaply?
We can ponder on this as long as we like, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? What you should be asking is if the competition can match this offer.
The Realme 7 Pro is a good match to the Poco X3 Pro, and it shines with an AMOLED screen, but it’s limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and the Snapdragon 720G is no threat to the flagship Snapdragon 860. The Realme 8 Pro is just around the corner, but it seems to be focused on camera upgrades instead of screen and/or performance.
A good gaming-oriented alternative is the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G – it costs as much as the Poco X3 Pro. It packs an HD 60Hz OLED and runs on the powerful Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset. Its quad-camera is quite capable, while the battery endurance is simply remarkable. We know this Samsung cannot match the 120Hz 1080p screen, but it can offer 5G and even more battery life while keeping the gaming performance on a similarly high note.
Then there is the already cheaper Poco X3 NFC. It has a bit better main camera and offers the same 120Hz screen, but the performance isn’t as impressive due to the mid-range Snapdragon 732G chip. You can get it for €50 cheaper than the Pro, but we are not sure if it’s worth it. If your budget is €200, you better keep an eye out for the early birds Poco X3 Pro sales, which will go for exactly €200.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro also costs €250 and is an excellent alternative to the Poco X3 Pro. This Redmi has an even better 120Hz AMOLED screen and some flagship-worthy 108MP main camera on the back. It matches the stereo speakers and battery skills and the IP53-rated body. The chipset in charge of everything is the Snapdragon 732G – which isn’t as powerful as the 860. You have to decide whether a better screen and camera are worthy over 40% or so performance gap.
Realme 7 Pro • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G • Samsung Galaxy A52 • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Finally, if you want a phone like the Poco X3 Pro, but with an AMOLED screen, look no further than the newly announced Poco F3. It’s literally the X3 Pro with a 120Hz OLED and an even faster Snapdragon 870 SoC (a repackaged SD865 version), but sadly the microSD slot had to go. The Poco F3 will go on sale for €350, but the early adopters will be able to get it for just €299.
We loved the Poco X3 Pro, and you can easily tell that. There is hardly a better performer at that price level. And early birds can get one for as low as €199.
The Poco X3 Pro offers unbeatable flagship bang for some entry-level buck, but it also impresses with so much more – display, speakers, battery, charging, and even camera. This achievement is something for the history books, just like the first Poco F1’s was and the X3 Pro receives our outright recommendation.
- Signature design; IP53-rated for dust and splash resistance.
- Large screen with 120Hz refresh and HDR10 support.
- Excellent battery life, fast charging.
- Balanced stereo speakers, good loudness.
- Top notch performance, outstanding stability.
- Dependable cameras day and night, okay selfies.
- Good 4K clips, EIS works, too.
- MIUI 12, Android 11, 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, microSD slot.
- Intriguing launch price
- Somewhat bulky.
- Screen pixel response time isn’t ideal (we are nit-picking here).