Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro review
The xiaomi poco x3 pro is a budget gaming monster phone.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is the best gaming phone you can get for the cash at the time of review, with impressive power and a sharp, smooth screen, but camera quality takes a hit in return.
Superb gaming performance
Long battery life
Impressive 120Hz screen
Relatively weak camera
Large and heavy
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The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro sounds like the upgraded version of the brilliant and affordable Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC , right?
It is. And it isn’t.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has a much better processor than the Poco X3 NFC. This has to be one of the very best Fortnite /CoD/Insert Game Here phones you can get at the price.
Price and availability Design Display Camera Performance and specs Battery life Should you buy it? Also consider
However, in some respects the Poco X3 NFC is better. Its camera is superior, and not just because it has more pixels, 64MP to the Poco X3 Pro’s 48MP. The Pro tends to smudge fine detail, and demonstrates poorer mid-tone contrast than the best in this class.
Is it a flat-out bad camera? No, but you can get much better.
All this really means is you don’t get the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro’s excellent Snapdragon 860 chipset for free. There are compromises.
Thankfully, they are largely found in the camera. As we'll get into more deeper in our Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro review, its 120Hz screen is great, battery life is excellent and, as you’d hope, there are no basic performance problems in Android.
Sure, we wish it had 5G. It doesn’t. You can now buy the Moto G 5G Plus for similar money, and it has 5G. But will being able to play games at similar frame rates as the previous year's top-end phones matter more to many? Of course it will.
The Poco X3 NFC is arguably a better-balanced phone than the X3 Pro, and as such it ranks among the best cheap phones . Camera quality counts for a lot, but this is yet another demonstration of the sheer value you get with a Poco-series Android.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: price and availability
- Starts at $250 / £199 (around AU$320)
Weight : 215g Dimensions : 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm Display size : 6.67-inch Resolution : 1080 x 2400 Chipset : Snapdragon 860 RAM : 6GB/8GB Storage : 128/256GB Rear camera : 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP Front camera : 20MP Pre-installed software: Android 11 Battery : 5,160mAh Charging : 33W wired
Xiaomi announced the Poco X3 Pro in March 2021. It's out now and starts at £199 in the UK, and around $250 in the US - though in the UK that's as a result of reductions from its £229 RRP, while in the US it's only available through third-party channels, so the price varies more. The price converts to roughly AU$320, but it's not currently available in Australia.
That's for 6GB of RAM, but for just a little more money you can get a version with 8GB.
As those prices show, this is just slightly more expensive than the Poco X3 NFC. Xiaomi hasn’t used the ‘Pro’ title and the phone’s new chipset to squeeze too many more dollars out of us. Thanks, Xiaomi.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: design
- Plastic construction (bar the display glass)
- Large at 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
- Fairly heavy at 215g
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro looks a lot like the Poco X3 NFC. And some of you are going to hate it.
There’s a very large ‘Poco’ logo printed on the layer under the back cover. Buy one of these and you can’t help but advertise for the brand every time you leave the phone on a table.
However, at least it’s not quite as bad as the ‘Dare to Leap’ slogan etched into some Realme rivals. A brand name is one thing, but a Facebook-grade inspirational quote? No thanks.
The back of the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is dressed up to look like dual-finish strips of matte and glossy glass. It is all-plastic, though.
Xiaomi used rear glass in 2020’s Poco X2 , but this phone and the Poco X3 NFC are largely plastic. There’s no glass bar the screen cover and top-most protective camera layer.
This is common among cheaper phones. Glass was once fairly common. Now it isn’t.
Other parts are typical of a value-first phone. The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has a fingerprint scanner on its side, rather than an in-screen one, but it’s great. It hasn’t, to the best of our recollections, failed recognition once during testing. And it feels fairly quick.
You get a headphone jack, and there are stereo speakers with good maximum volume and enough mid-range output to avoid sounding thin. We’ve listened to hours of podcasts on the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro. It did the job well.
When playing a game or watching movies you might notice the speaker above the screen sounds less powerful than the one on the bottom, but it is still far better than a mono speaker.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro also has an IR blaster, the little black dot on the top of the phone. This is used by the Xi Remote app to function as a universal remote. And while its library doesn’t have the commands for all our gear, we’re not going to complain about a more-or-less free feature. And we have some obscure techy stuff at home.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is a fairly large phone. It’s 76.8mm wide. That’s wider than a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or the nearer-in-price 21:9 aspect Moto G 5G Plus.
We haven’t minded too much, choosing for once to live like a rebel and not use a silicone case. But with a case attached, the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro may be a struggle for some hands.
However, it does at least have basic IP53 water resistance, giving it a fighting chance against splashes.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: display
- Smooth 120Hz scrolling
- Large 6.67-inch 20:9 display area
- Sharp enough 1080 x 2400 resolution
We can blame the screen for the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro’s larger size. And, well, it’s worth it.
This is a 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen with a 1080 x 2400 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. First, second and third impressions are great.
The Poco X3 Pro's screen looks sharp, color is bold, and the fairly large size instantly gives you the sense it’s made for games, video, and other stuff the enthusiast Poco crowd would enjoy. Poco phones seem to be popular among people who like to get a lot of tech for their cash.
Having a 120Hz screen at this price is excellent. And switching between 60Hz and 120Hz, an option here, shows there’s a real boost to Android menu scrolling at the higher refresh rate.
This is an LCD screen. It does not have perfect contrast, but we didn’t actually find raised blacks too noticeable even in a very dark room, at least with mixed content. You’d want an OLED if you spent a lot more, and its fast-responding pixels would make better use of the 120Hz refresh rate. But at this level? No major complaints.
The one other quirk is unlikely to bother too many people. Xiaomi puts two color intensity modes in the Poco X3 Pro, Standard and Saturated. Both are ‘hotter’ than the traditional sRGB color standard, so there’s no true relaxed color mode here. But this is probably more a sign we spend too much time looking at phones than anything else.
Brightness is not class leading. It seems to get a slight 'turbo' boost outdoors on bright days, but nothing close to flagship-like power.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: camera
- 48MP performs worse than several key rivals
- Soft-but-useful 8MP ultra-wide camera
- Poor 2MP macro and depth cameras
The cuts that Xiaomi made to accommodate a relatively high-end processor at a low price are felt most keenly in the Poco X3 Pro's camera.
On paper it has typical hardware for this class. There's a 48MP primary camera, a basic 8MP ultra-wide, and two terrible 2MP macro and depth cameras. We’re fine with the numbers. We're used to ‘filler' cams in affordable phones.
However, the Poco X3 Pro’s main camera performs noticeably worse than some of the alternatives, including Xiaomi's own Poco X3 NFC and Redmi Note 10 Pro .
Texture details those family members would draw with surprising clarity are obfuscated into mush through the X3 Pro’s eyes. Mid-tone contrast is significantly worse, and it seems to make greater use of detail-eradicating noise reduction.
Images are relatively soft, and the softness kicks up a level in the ultra-wide, as is to be expected from a budget 8MP sensor.
The main camera performance is the sort of thing we used to see quite commonly in phones with Samsung sensors, a few years earlier. But the Poco X3 Pro has a Sony IMX582 sensor.
Xiaomi uses it in the even cheaper Redmi Note 10 , which tells us cost is likely the issue here.
Time for a little context. This camera is not an embarrassment. The Poco X3 Pro can take nice photos, better ones than the Microsoft Surface Duo (original cost $1400 / about £1,075), which we tried recently. And it has a handy night mode that makes a huge difference to images’ dynamic range and brightness.
However, it is outperformed by the Realme 8 Pro , Redmi Note 10 Pro and Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC. This is a big issue if you value camera performance over gaming power.
The selfie camera is pretty decent, though. It uses a 20MP sensor, just like the more camera-focused X3 NFC.
Video tops out at 4K 30 frames per second, but there is proper stabilization for smoother clips.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: camera samples
Xiaomi poco x3 pro: performance and specs.
- Snapdragon 860 delivers brilliant gaming performance
- 6GB or 8GB of RAM
- Runs Android 11 with MIUI 12
The Poco X3 Pro lost ground in the camera section of this review, but it makes up a good deal of it with its chipset. That’s the Snapdragon 860, a processor that should interest many of you.
It’s a mid-range chipset with power similar to the Snapdragon 855 Plus, used in phones like the Asus ROG Phone 2 and OnePlus 7T .
Yes, they are old, 2019 phones. But the older 8-series Snapdragon chipsets are still more powerful than today’s 7-series ones.
The Poco X3 Pro is the best budget Fortnite phone you can get, at the time of review. Aside from short drops when loading new textures, this phone sticks glue-like to the maximum 30fps. It probably deserves a crack at the 60fps mode Epic Games unlocks for some high-end phones.
If you want serious gaming power for next-to-no cash, the Poco X3 Pro is a killer choice. Other phones may get the Snapdragon 860, but they don’t have it at the time of review.
The phone scores 2,530 points in Geekbench 5, far greater than the 1,800-ish of Snapdragon 765G phones like the OnePlus Nord . It roughly matches phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 7T.
As you’d hope, then, Android runs perfectly on the Poco X3 Pro too. However, the truly notable performance improvement over less powerful phones like the Poco X3 NFC is in high-end games such as Fortnite and ARK: Survival Evolved.
The Snapdragon 860 is paired with 128GB or 256GB of storage and 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Our review Poco X3 Pro has 6GB of RAM, so your experience should be at least as good as ours.
This phone runs Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 software on top. This is fairly inoffensive, but its icons look, to our eyes at least, far too big fresh out of the box.
One of the first things we did was to open up the ‘home’ settings, shrink the icons slightly and fit in more per page. You’ll see the result in the images here. A display this big deserved five columns of icons, not four.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: battery life
- Very good battery life even in 120Hz mode
- Moderately quick charging
- 5,160mAh capacity
The Poco X3 Pro has a 5160mAh battery, just like the Poco X3 NFC. Its stamina is similarly impressive, even with a much punchier processor.
We left the 120Hz display mode switched on during testing and were routinely left with 40% or more charge remaining by the end of the day.
On one day we kept a closer eye on the level. After starting the day at 7am, we still had 48% left by 11:30pm. That was after a solid day of use, including some browsing, a short gaming session, and a lot of audio streaming.
It lost several more percent of charge overnight and needed to be plugged in by lunchtime on day two. However, if you’re a lighter user you can expect the Poco X3 Pro to last two full days.
There are obvious benefits here for gamers, and we don’t think many should buy the Poco X3 Pro if they don’t care about gaming at all. You can play for, say, an hour a day and still not worry about whether it will last until bedtime. Stamina is impressive.
Charging speed is good enough too. The Poco X3 Pro comes with a 33W charger that takes the phone from flat to 59% in 30 minutes. Or to 100% in 59 minutes.
This isn’t sensationally fast like the OnePlus 9 , but considering the lower price and the high capacity of the battery itself, it’s a winner. Of course, there's no wireless charging at this price.
Should you buy the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro?
Buy it if....
You like to play games The Poco X3 Pro might be the best new phone at its price for gaming. Its power is on par with some last-generation top-end phones, letting it tear through titles that would challenge many phones far more expensive than this one. Swipe up those graphics sliders, it doesn’t matter.
You want two-day battery life Budget Xiaomi phones seem often to last a long time. The Poco X3 Pro will last almost two days for many people, and this kind of staying power is perfect for gamers. You can play for a while and not worry about it ruining your chances of getting to bedtime without a top-up.
You want a great screen The Poco X3 Pro's large, FHD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate stands out from the crowd of affordable phones. It's sharper and smoother than many at this sort of price.
Don't buy it if...
Camera quality is a top priority The Poco X3 Pro’s camera hardware has been diminished in order to accommodate the fast processor. Its images are significantly softer, with less fine detail and texture detail, than the Poco X3 NFC’s. It’s not a disaster, but it’s not great.
You want a small phone This phone is reasonably large. It’s relatively thick and the screen, which has a high inch count and is not excessively tall, leads to width comparable with some of the biggest phones. While this size is nothing unusual, it is an important factor to consider.
You want 5G We've reached the point where 5G is available on a number of affordable phones, but the Poco X3 Pro isn't one of them, so if that's important to you then you'll have to look elsewhere.
If our Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro review hasn't convinced you that this is the phone you want, here are three more phones to consider.
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC The Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC is a mostly slightly worse alternative to the Poco X3 Pro, but it actually has better cameras, so if photography is a priority then it's worth considering. Read our full Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review
Motorola One 5G The Motorola One 5G - also known as the Moto G 5G Plus - is similarly affordable and includes 5G - which you don't get here. The fingerprint scanner and cameras aren't the best though. Read our full Motorola One 5G review
Realme 8 Pro The Realme 8 Pro costs slightly more than the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro but it has better cameras, though it's another phone with no 5G, so it has some similar weaknesses. Read our full Realme 8 Pro review
First reviewed: May 2021
Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.
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POCO X3 Pro review: The undisputed value champion of 2021
Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: The POCO X3 Pro delivers blistering performance in the budget segment, easily beating every other phone in the category. You also get two-day battery life and 33W fast charging, a smooth 120Hz LCD panel, stereo sound, 3.5mm jack, IP53 water resistance, and Android 11 out of the box. If you're looking to upgrade to a new budget gaming phone, look no further.
Outstanding battery life with 33W charging
Stellar 120Hz LCD display
3.5mm jack, IP53 water resistance
No NFC in India
Why you can trust Android Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .
- Price and availability
- Design and display
- Performance and battery
- The competition
- Should you buy?
POCO burst onto the scene three years ago with the POCO F1 , with that phone offering a value package that is yet to be matched. The F1 wasn't a perfect phone by any measure — it had display and build quality issues, and it had plenty of software buds — but the fact that you could get flagship-tier performance from a phone that retailed for under $300 immediately endeared the enthusiast community to the F1.
POCO is now trying to recreate that with the X3 Pro. The phone is a turbocharged version of the POCO X3 that debuted at the end of last year, and the key highlight is that it is powered by a Snapdragon 860 — a higher-clocked version of the 2019 flagship Snapdragon 855+ chipset.
The flagship chipset immediately makes the X3 Pro stand out. The phone is available in India for just ₹18,999 ($260) and is set to go on sale globally for under $300, and there aren't any other phones in this category that come close to the performance figures of the X3 Pro. In short, this is one of the best cheap Android phones you can buy.
The phone also switches things up on the camera side, now featuring a 48MP primary lens — the regular X3 has a 64MP module — and an 8MP wide-angle lens. With the standard X3 targeted as a mainstream device, it's clear that Xiaomi is positioning the X3 Pro as a gaming-focused phone, so let's find out if the device holds up to its promises in real-world use.
About this review
I'm writing this review after using the global version of the POCO X3 Pro for a week on Jio's 4G network in Hyderabad, India. The phone was running MIUI 126.96.36.199 (RJUEUXM) based on Android 11 out of the box and received an update to MIUI 188.8.131.52 on day one.
POCO X3 Pro: Price and availability
The POCO X3 Pro was unveiled on March 23. The phone is now up for sale in India, and it is available in two configurations: a 6GB/128GB edition that costs ₹18,999 ($260), and an 8GB/128GB model that retails at ₹20,999 ($285).
POCO is also set to kick off sales of the X3 Pro in the UK and other European markets in the coming weeks. The phone will be available with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and the base 6GB/128GB version will debut at €249 ($295) with an introductory price of €199 ($235). The phone is available in Frost Blue, Phantom Black, and Metal Bronze color options.
POCO X3 Pro: Design and display
The POCO X3 stood out last year because it introduced an original design and wasn't a rebranded Redmi phone. Xiaomi is reusing the design here, and the POCO X3 Pro doesn't differ from the standard version on the design front. You still get a large phone with a massive battery, and the POCO branding at the back is just as prominent. With dimensions of 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm and a weight of 215g, the X3 Pro is one of the largest and heaviest phones in this category.
The POCO X3 Pro is big, bold, and bulky — this is not a phone for one-handed use.
I have the Indian version of the POCO X3 — which includes a 6000mAh battery — and next to it the X3 Pro feels lighter and easier to use. The latter weighs 10g less, and that makes a significant difference in day-to-day use.
As for the design itself, you'll find a polycarbonate back with a textured stripe running down the middle, and with the POCO logo situated within the texture. The textured section has a subtle gradient finish, and it has a glossy coating whereas the sides have a matte finish. The four camera modules and LED flash sit within the rear camera enclosure, and the circular housing along with the two-tone finish give the phone a bold look.
The sides of the phone gently curve as it meets the mid-frame, and that makes holding and using the X3 Pro that much easier. The frame itself is also made out of plastic and has a glossy finish. Like recent POCO phones, the X3 Pro also has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that's baked into the power button, and you can easily locate the module thanks to the indent on the right.
The volume rocker is also on the right, and there's an IR blaster up top and a 3.5mm jack at the bottom. The phone has a hybrid SIM card tray that lets you use either two SIM cards or a single SIM along with a MicroSD card.
While the X3 Pro is heavier than most phones in this segment, Xiaomi nailed the basics: the curves at the back ensure a great in-hand feel, and the camera module doesn't protrude too much from the chassis, so there's no wobble when using the phone on a flat surface.
Coming to the display, the POCO X3 Pro has the same 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel as the regular X3. The screen has an FHD+ (2400 x 1080) resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, and while Xiaomi has a nifty adaptive refresh rate tech on the Mi 10T series , that particular feature hasn't made its way to the POCO X3 series.
By default, 60Hz refresh is selected out of the box, and you can switch to 120Hz from the settings. There is a big difference when switching over to 120Hz, but there is noticeable ghosting at times. Xiaomi offers plenty of customizability for the panel, and you can change the color balance, schedule dark mode, and use the text-focused reading mode.
The X3 Pro has thin bezels at the top, but the bottom bezel is noticeably wider, and there is a hole-punch cutout. You'll find a wide earpiece just above the panel, and this doubles up as the secondary speaker. The stereo sound is loud and detailed, and it makes playing games or watching movies that much more enjoyable on the X3 Pro.
As for the panel itself, it is one of the best LCDs you'll find in this category. It has vibrant colors and excellent contrast levels, and I didn't have any issues using it under harsh sunlight. The screen is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 6, and the phone comes with a factory-installed screen protector.
POCO X3 Pro: Performance and battery
The marquee feature on the POCO X3 Pro is the Snapdragon 860 chipset. Although it's technically a new chipset, it is nothing but a rebranded Snapdragon 855+, and as such you'll find a single Cortex A76 core at 2.96GHz, three Cortex A76 derivatives at 2.84GHz, and four Cortex A55-based cores at up to 1.78GHz.
There's also the Adreno 640 GPU, and it is much more powerful than any of the Adreno 61x or 62x designs we've seen in this category of late. Qualcomm's decision to relaunch the chipset for 2021 is a smart move. The Snapdragon 860 has a built-in 4G modem, and the chipset is ideally suited for device makers that are looking to maximize the performance without switching over to a 5G-enabled platform.
What that means on the POCO X3 Pro is class-leading performance. The Snapdragon 860 is essentially a two-year-old chipset at this point — that's why the phone has Bluetooth 5.0 while the standard X3 has Bluetooth 5.1 — but it delivers standout performance where it counts. Thanks to the Adreno 640, the phone cruises through titles that handle over 60fps, like Dead Trigger 2.
In fact, the POCO X3 Pro crushes every other device in this category by some margin — outmatching the Snapdragon 732G-based Redmi Note 10 Pro Max , MediaTek Dimensity 800U-toting Realme X7 , Helio G95 on the Realme 7, and the Snapdragon 720G on the Galaxy A52 . Whether it's single or multi-core scores in Geekbench or 3DMark synthetic GPU tests, the X3 Pro handily beats its rivals.
Simply put, there isn't another device that comes close to the performance of the POCO X3 Pro. You're basically getting flagship-tier performance, and the fact that the phone is available for under $300 makes it a very attractive option.
There is no other phone in this segment that comes close to the performance of the POCO X3 Pro.
The X3 Pro handles day-to-day tasks without breaking a sweat, and it lets you play the most demanding of Android games without any lag or slowdowns. If you're looking to pick up a budget-focused phone for gaming, the POCO X3 Pro should be at the top of your list.
One of the ways Xiaomi was able to save costs with the X3 Pro is by limiting the number of LTE bands on the device. The Indian version of the POCO X3 Pro has LTE bands 1/2/3/5/8/38/40/41, and while that's adequate for 4G use in the country, it does limit the X3 Pro's potential for global roaming — not that it matters in these turbulent times. The global variant includes LTE bands 7/20/28 in addition to what the Indian model offers.
An interesting addition on the X3 Pro is IP53 dust and water resistance. While that doesn't mean you can submerge the phone, it is protected against dust ingress and sprays of water. It's great to see Xiaomi add some level of ingress protection to its phones. Talking about things that Xiaomi got right on the X3 Pro, the side-mounted fingerprint reader is fast and reliable in day-to-day use.
The phone has Wi-Fi ac connectivity, and like the regular X3, the X3 Pro misses out on NFC in India. That said, the global version I'm using does have the feature, so this particular limitation is only for the Indian model.
As for battery life, the X3 Pro comes with a 5160mAh battery with 33W fast charging — the same as the X3 NFC. The phone consistently offers over a day's worth of battery life even with heavy use, and I had zero issues in this particular area.
The massive battery means you don't need to worry about plugging in even after marathon gaming sessions, and when you do need to charge the phone, the bundled 33W charger takes 30 minutes to go from zero to 55% and a full charge in just over an hour.
POCO X3 Pro: Cameras
Like most phones these days, the POCO X3 Pro has four cameras at the back: you'll find a 48MP Sony IMX582 primary lens, 8MP wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro along with 2MP portrait lenses. There's a 20MP camera at the front, and like previous years, it is a fixed-focus lens. As I've stated numerous times in other reviews, the 2MP fixed-focus macro lens is there just to round out the spec sheet, and is not really usable in most scenarios.
The camera interface itself should be immediately familiar if you've used a Xiaomi phone in the past. All the shooting modes are easily accessible, and you have toggles for HDR, flash, timer, AI, Google Lens, and switching between the various lenses. The macro mode sits behind the action overflow menu, and you can add shooting modes to the ribbon by heading to the More tab.
Like the standard X3, the X3 Pro lacks 4K video at 60fps, with the option limited to 1080p. The Snapdragon 855+ easily handles 4K recording at 60fps, but with Xiaomi positioning the phone as a gamer-focused option, it didn't leverage this particular feature.
As for the photos, the X3 Pro relies on four-to-one pixel binning to produce 12MP shots — you can also use the full-res 48MP mode should you wish to do so. You get great photos in well-lit situations, with balanced dynamic range and accurate colors. The camera does a decent enough job in low-light scenarios as well, but the resultant photos are overly processed and miss out on details.
You can fix this particular issue by using the dedicated night mode; while it doesn't lead to noticeably better shots, at leas the images have better detail and decreased noise levels. The 8MP wide-angle lens also does a decent job in daylight, but it just doesn't measure up in artificial or poor lighting.
The cameras on the X3 Pro don't hold up against the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, and even the standard POCO X3 takes better photos in a few situations. Xiaomi isn't positioning this phone as a camera-focused option, and that is evident in the resultant shots.
POCO X3 Pro: Software
The main differentiator between POCO and Redmi is that the former doesn't include as many ads in the interface. MIUI for POCO is identical to MIUI, but you don't get incessant notifications or ads from the first-party apps. To its credit, Xiaomi is fixing the number of ads on the Redmi Note 10 series, and that is only set to get better with the upcoming MIUI 12.5 update.
MIUI 12 on the POCO X3 Pro is fast, fluid, and full of useful features.
The X3 Pro runs MIUI 12.0.2 based on Android 11 out of the box, and it includes all the new features Google introduced with the mobile OS. Xiaomi now has a new Control Center that is akin to what you'll find on iOS, but you can switch to the traditional notification pane that houses the toggles and shows incoming notifications in a single view.
There are a lot of features here; the new privacy hub makes it straightforward to see what services are using your phone's permissions, you get split-screen mode, floating windows, built-in app drawer, a robust theming engine, ability to use two instances of an app, and battery-saving modes. The app drawer automatically sorts apps into various categories, and you can easily change the order or delete these categories.
Overall, MIUI 12 gets a lot right, and it is a delight to use on the POCO X3 Pro. I didn't see any spam notifications during my usage, and the UI is well-optimized for the hardware. Xiaomi will deliver quarterly security updates and two platform updates, which is on par with the rest of the devices in this segment.
POCO X3 Pro: The competition
Xiaomi dominates this segment, and there are plenty of alternatives to the POCO X3 Pro. The regular X3 now costs ₹14,999 ($205) for the 6GB/64GB version, and you get better cameras and a larger 6000mAh battery with the same 33W fast charging. It isn't nearly as powerful as the X3 Pro, but if you don't see yourself playing a lot of games, it is a great option to consider.
Then there's the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max . The 6GB/128GB model costs ₹19,999 ($272), and you get a 120Hz AMOLED panel, much better 108MP camera, and a more premium design. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max doesn't measure up to the POCO X3 Pro in terms of gaming, but if you want a higher-quality display and camera that takes standout photos, it is the ideal pick. The Redmi Note 10 Pro features a 64MP camera and is otherwise identical to the Note 10 Pro Max, and it starts off at just ₹16,999 ($230).
If you don't want a Xiaomi phone, Samsung has you covered with the Galaxy F62. The phone has a 6.7-inch 60Hz AMOLED panel, and it features an Exynos 9825 chipset with plenty of power and a 64MP camera that takes great shots. The standout feature is the gargantuan 7000mAh battery with 25W fast charging. The F62 costs more at ₹23,999 ($325), but then again, you are getting a lot of phone here.
In global markets, the OnePlus Nord is the ideal alternative to the POCO X3 Pro. The phone has a Snapdragon 765G chipset, 90Hz AMOLED, better cameras, 30W fast charging, 5G connectivity, and cleaner software.
POCO X3 Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
You want the best performance
The POCO X3 Pro stands tall over other phones in this category; there isn't a device that offers the same caliber of performance. So if you need a phone for gaming or want a device that will deliver lag-free performance for several years, the X3 Pro is the default choice.
You need two-day battery life
With a 5160mAh battery under the hood, the POCO X3 Pro consistently delivers two-day battery life. You will easily get over a day and a half worth of use even if you're a heavy user, and with 33W fast charging, it takes just an hour to fully charge the battery.
You need the extras
The X3 Pro has a 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, stereo sound, and IP53 dust and water resistance. Xiaomi hasn't missed out on any of the essentials here, and that makes the phone a great overall package.
You should not buy this if ...
You need a great camera
The POCO X3 Pro takes decent photos, but it doesn't quite measure up to the Redmi Note 10 Pro or Pro Max in terms of camera quality. So if you see yourself taking a lot of photos, you may want to consider other options.
You need a compact phone
With a 6.67-inch screen and massive 5160mAh battery, the X3 Pro is one of the largest and heaviest phones in this category. It doesn't feel unwieldy, but it isn't conducive to one-handed use.
With the POCO X3 Pro, Xiaomi has once again shown that it understands the budget segment better than anyone else. Between the POCO X3 and Redmi Note 10 series, Xiaomi has five phones that cater to a wide swathe of consumers.
The Snapdragon 860 delivers outstanding performance in day-to-day use and gaming, and the phone has a healthy lead over devices featuring the Snapdragon 732G/730/720G and the Helio G80/G95. Combine that with stellar battery life with 33W fast charging and an excellent 120Hz LCD display with stereo sound and you get one of the most exciting phones for under $300.
Sure, the cameras aren't on par with the regular X3 and the device misses out on 5G, but Xiaomi isn't targeting those attributes with the POCO X3 Pro. This phone's sole reason for existing is to deliver the best possible performance, and it manages to do just that.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd .
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POCO X3 Pro review: Power packed, but no all-rounder
Poco x3 pro, what we like, what we don't like.
Mid-range competition in the smartphone industry is tough, and it’s not easy for any handset to stand out. This is an even bigger challenge when you are building upon the legacy of one of the most popular “value flagships” ever.
The POCO X3 Pro is a spiritual successor of sorts to the Pocophone F1 (or POCO F1 in India) — a smartphone that changed the value proposition through its high-end specs at a cutthroat price. However, the landscape has changed quite a bit since the days of the F1, both in terms of market demographics and price of components.
So, is the POCO X3 Pro and its performance focus the way to go in the mid-range segment? That’s what we aim to find out in Android Authority ‘s POCO X3 Pro review.
What you need to know about the POCO X3 Pro
- POCO X3 Pro (6GB/128GB): £229/€269/Rs. 18,999
- POCO X3 Pro (8GB/128GB) : Rs. 20,999
- POCO X3 Pro (8GB/256GB) : £249/€299
The POCO X3 Pro is available starting at £229, €269, and Rs. 18,999 (~$260) in the UK, Europe, and India, respectively. This puts it squarely in the competitive mid-range segment in India and pushing into entry-level fare in the West. The phone is available in three color variants: Golden Bronze, Graphite Black, and Steel Blue.
In a sea of similar devices, the X3 Pro is laser-focused on performance and there is a noticeable skew in the spec sheet towards that end. The Snapdragon 860 chipset powering the phone gives it a considerable leg-up over other phones in the segment.
Performance upgrades aside, changes between the standard POCO X3 and POCO X3 Pro are minimal. There’s Gorilla Glass 6 at the front this time around, as well as some curious changes in the camera configuration that we’ll address below.
Does the POCO X3 Pro look good?
The POCO X3 Pro is, for the most part, a turbo-charged version of the regular POCO X3 . As such, the design differences are minimal. The company has managed to slim down the bulky profile of the X3 by 1mm, but you can chalk that down to the smaller battery.
The boldly placed POCO logo at the back is definitely an acquired taste. A fingerprint-prone glossy strip in the middle is flanked by matte racing strips on either side. Up top is a rather large camera module that harkens back to the OnePlus 7T .
You’ll find a volume rocker and power button on the right side of the phone. The former has a slightly spongy feel to it that doesn’t instill confidence. The power button, on the other hand, doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. It’s perfectly responsive in day-to-day use, and it makes for a much better solution than a less reliable in-display fingerprint reader.
Other notable features include an IR blaster at the top, as is the case with most Xiaomi phones . Along the bottom edge is a USB-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, as well as stereo speakers. The speakers are well balanced but lack bass. They aren’t the loudest I’ve come across either but they’ll suffice in a pinch.
Moving onto the display, the 6.67-inch Full HD 120Hz panel is the same as on the POCO X3. Contrast levels on the panel are fantastic, though I would recommend switching to the standard sRGB color profile for accuracy.
It’s summer here in Delhi, the perfect litmus test for outdoor visibility. Pushed to the max, POCO X3 Pro’s screen is viewable outdoors, but it certainly isn’t an optimal experience. The POCO X3 did better here.
Finally, as you’d expect, black levels certainly aren’t as good as on an OLED display, but unless you watch a lot of video content on your phone, this really shouldn’t bother you.
The adaptive refresh rate goes all the way to 120Hz and scales well across the interface and apps. For better battery life, you can lock it down to 60Hz.
Overall, the POCO X3 Pro isn’t particularly exciting. It’s an iterative build on top of the standard POCO X3 with few if any quality-of-life improvements. Sure, you get Gorilla Glass 6 over Gorilla Glass 5 on the X3, and the phone is slimmer, but that’s not nearly enough to make a lasting impression.
Does the POCO X3 Pro have good cameras?
Here’s where things get interesting. Despite the moniker, the camera setup on the POCO X3 Pro is a noticeable downgrade over the POCO X3. Both the primary and ultra-wide sensors have been bumped down to 48MP and 8MP respectively, from the 64MP and 13MP sensors on the regular X3. While there might be some cost savings on Xiaomi’s end by switching to the much more common 48MP shooter, it doesn’t make a huge difference in the end results.
Related: The best budget camera phones you can buy
In fact, I found them in line with those from the POCO X3. Results still aren’t the most consistent. The lower resolution ultra-wide sensor also means you won’t have much headroom to crop and edit images.
Calibration is skewed towards oversaturation across the board, though photos do look nice enough for social media. The boosted colors are particularly noticeable in blues and reds. The default processing pushes sharpness and contrast levels a bit too much for my taste.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera has a similar color imbalance. Additionally, the lower resolution doesn’t leave you as much room to crop in.
Low-light and indoor imaging are the few areas where the POCO X3 Pro cameras do pretty well. There’s a good amount of control over noise, though the strong digital noise reduction is visible upon close inspection. The over-sharpening noticed in daylight shots is even more evident here.
Over on the front-facing camera, the 20MP sensor is capable enough, but the processing is a major letdown. Contrast levels are boosted to unnatural levels, and there is very significant sharpening and skin retouching. Elsewhere, the macro camera is functional but its 2MP resolution won’t let you do much with the images. Video recording tops off at 4K, 30fps. The quality is decent enough though the telltale signs of oversharpening persist.
Given the sheer amount of competition in the segment, POCO really should’ve focused a bit more on imaging rather than just diving deep into performance.
How’s the battery life?
Like the standard POCO X3, the POCO X3 Pro amazes with its battery life. Despite the more powerful processor and smaller battery, it shines when it comes to efficiency thanks to Xiaomi’s traditionally strong optimization. The 5,160mAh cell lasts a full day and more with ease. I regularly clocked over six hours of screen-on time from the phone with near-constant music streaming, a number of phone calls, text messages, and emails. With frugal use, you can easily expect two days of use from the phone.
When it comes time to charge the phone, the X3 Pro falters a bit. 33W isn’t nearly best in class, and it takes almost an hour to fully charge the phone. The realme X7 , in comparison, offers 50W charging. As you’d expect for the price, there’s no wireless charging support.
Is the performance any good?
Despite being positioned as a semi-successor to the POCOphone F1 in some regions, the POCO X3 Pro isn’t packing the absolute best processor on the market. Instead, it bows to the realities of the current market by focusing on value, while still delivering on the promise of power. The Snapdragon 860 might not be the best in the business, but it is still a very powerful processor. A reheated version of the Snapdragon 855 Plus, the 7nm chipset has the exact same core configuration and graphics chip as the 855 Plus. It remains just as capable today.
The interface is well optimized for the hardware, and the phone remained silky smooth throughout my time with it. The phone also excels at gaming with top titles like Call of Duty: Mobile running just fine with settings cranked up to the max. Genshin Impact runs well too, though you’ll have to turn down the resolution and some of the effects to get a solid 60fps. The phone didn’t heat up excessively in my experience.
- MIUI: The POCO X3 Pro ships with MIUI 12.0.4 onboard with POCO Launcher slapped on top. While the phone eschews ads in India (your mileage may vary in other regions), that doesn’t mean there’s no bloat. I can excuse some additions like Facebook and Amazon, but additions like GetApps with its full-screen takeovers are problematic.
- Updates : POCO has a mixed record with updates. The company has a slower cadence for updates, even though it delivers on its promise of two major update cycles.
- 5G support : The POCO X3 Pro ships without 5G support which is a rather big miss. While networks are yet to roll out in India, it is particularly important for global markets where 5G rollouts are well on the way.
- IP53 rating : Not many affordable smartphones include an IP rating, so it is nice to see here. It’s not a full-blown IP67 rating for complete protection from dust and water, but the phone should survive dusty environments or a mild drizzle.
POCO X3 Pro specs
Value and competition.
The POCO X3 Pro is competing in a crowded category with many high-quality options. While most alternatives will miss out on the sheer power of the POCO X3 Pro, they offer well-rounded packages that might be worth looking at. Aimed at a specific niche that is focused entirely on performance, the POCO X3 Pro is an appealing option. But if you’re not an avid smartphone gamer, there’s better value to be had in phones that take a more multi-faceted approach.
Perhaps the most obvious alternatives come from stablemate Xiaomi. The Redmi Note 10 Pro (or Redmi Note 10 Pro Max in India) (£249/Rs 18,999) does not offer as much raw power, but it has a more balanced spec sheet focused on day-to-day essentials like design and good cameras.
There’s also the Mi 10i , another excellent phone from Xiaomi for buyers in India. This one, like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, brings an excellent 108MP camera, as well as a Snapdragon 750G chipset for a bit more grunt under the hood. The Mi 10i is priced starting at Rs. 20,999 (~$288).
Related: The best phones under £300 in the UK | The best phones under 20,000 rupees in India
POCO itself offers a true POCOphone F1 successor in Europe: the POCO F3 . While we encountered some lamentable software issues in our testing, there’s no denying that the POCO F3 is an affordable powerhouse thanks to its Snapdragon 870 chipset and £329/€349 price tag.
Look a bit further and you’ll see competition from realme. The realme 8 Pro ‘s Snapdragon 720G chipset might not impress, but the 108MP camera will. The design is also fetching, and the phone includes 50W charging support. The realme 8 Pro is priced starting at £279/Rs. 17,999 (~$247).
Western buyers with an eye for great photos should also consider stretching to the Google Pixel 4a which now sits at just below the £300 mark in the UK, or €329 across the rest of Europe.
POCO X3 Pro review: The verdict
The POCO X3 Pro is a lot of things, but it’s not an all-rounder. The focus here was clearly on performance, at the cost of everything else. If you need a lot of grunt in your daily use, the POCO X3 Pro is perhaps the best option in the category. However, for a more standard workload — think music streaming, taking photographs, or texting — a more well-rounded option like the Redmi Note 10 Pro would be a better bet for most.
For that big-league chipset, POCO has sacrificed essentials like a superlative camera, a high-quality AMOLED display, and to a degree, the design. It’s not a bad phone, but rather a niche phone that’ll appeal to frugal gamers, or those who want to pack processing heat on a budget.
The POCO X3 Pro reminds me of a 2019 flagship, and that's not a bad thing
The POCO X3 Pro takes the POCO X3 NFC, a pretty good phone, and improves upon it with a better processor and more! Read our review!
The POCO X3 NFC made waves in the latter half of 2020 when it offered something that much of the competition could not -- powerful mid-range specs and a 120Hz display all at a low price. In Europe, you could pick it up for around €200 at launch, and I have personally recommended it to a number of friends after I spent some time with the device. The Snapdragon 732G that powered it was found in much more expensive mid-range smartphones like the Google Pixel 4a. Just when you thought POCO couldn't do it again, the POCO X3 Pro is launched, and it aims to do everything that its predecessor could do - with a whole lot more on top.
The POCO X3 Pro marks the debut of a rather special chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 860 . It's basically a Snapdragon 855++ (if that were to be a thing), making this a flagship-grade processor from just shy of two years ago. When the Google Pixel 5 came out, many lambasted it for its choice of a mid-range chipset in the 765G. Given that chipsets are getting expensive (and that likely won't be changing anytime soon), it seems that Qualcomm has come up with a solution - soup-up older chipsets in order to offer a more powerful chip, even if slightly dated, at a much lower cost. Mid-range smartphones are getting cheap, and mid-range smartphones are getting really good.
About this review: I received the POCO X3 Pro from POCO Global on the 12th of March, 2021. They did not have any input in the creation of this review.
POCO X3 Pro: Specifications
Poco x3 pro: what's good.
The POCO X3 Pro's biggest achievement is its low price tag. Coming in at €199 in Europe (as an early-bird price), it packs some impressive specifications for the price. You're effectively getting a two-year-old flagship (with the benefit of software support from POCO and Qualcomm) along with some other beefy specifications as well. Is it worth picking up over other mid-range devices? Probably yes at this price point. There are very few things that the Snapdragon 860 can't do. Couple that with a 1080p 120Hz IPS LCD panel and a fairly capable camera system and you have yourself a winner. €300 flagship smartphones are long gone, but this isn't a far cry away from being one. It's actually cheaper than the POCO X3 NFC was at launch, putting the POCO X3 Pro in an insanely competitive position.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 is no slouch
Given that the Snapdragon 860 is basically a more powerful 855+, then it stands to reason that this is still a pretty powerful chip. According to an Antutu benchmark, it scores just a little bit higher than the OnePlus 7 Pro , a fantastic device in its own right. It's not going to go toe-to-toe against the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 11, but it will pack a punch that a modern-day mid-range smartphone still can't quite achieve. The Adreno 640 GPU is still not found in mid-range chipsets and the 7nm production process aids in low-power high performance. Even the Snapdragon 765G only has an Adreno 620.
The POCO X3 Pro could find itself being a mid-range gaming smartphone on a budget, thanks to the Adreno 640 inside. You get some pretty decent sustained performance too, according to my testing using the CPU Throttling Test app. The POCO X3 Pro scores higher in the CPU Throttle Test too than devices with the Snapdragon 765G. You'll be able to play pretty much everything on offer on the Google Play Store, along with the ability to emulate a lot of past consoles and handhelds as well.
The camera on the POCO X3 Pro is rather capable for a device at this price range. It's nowhere near being a world-champion, but the combination of a 48MP primary sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide should put this phone in a decent position. There are also two other cameras too - a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. It feels like both cameras have been stuck on for show (especially the useless 2MP macro camera), but the primary sensors are good enough. It feels like wasted money though, as this device could remain exceedingly competitive with two cameras (or three, if you want to keep the depth sensor). I took a few pictures on this phone from both of the primary sensors to get a taste of what the POCO X3 Pro's camera is like, and you can check out the album below.
The POCO X3 Pro packs a 120Hz IPS LCD full HD panel, just like the regular POCO X3. It's a pretty good panel, though obviously, it's no AMOLED competitor. It gets the job done, looks good, and is fast and smooth. High refresh rate panels are getting cheaper, and they're some of the best improvements to come to smartphones in recent years. Packing them in at this price point is a testament to how far smartphones have come, and they're an easily noticeable smoothness boost to give to any smartphone. It gets bright enough in daily usage (though definitely nowhere near the brightest that I've tested) and it gets low enough in brightness to be comfortable in night-time usage too. Because it's an LCD, blacks don't always necessarily look like blacks, and you won't benefit from a rich contrast ratio that can be found on AMOLED panels as a result.
The headphone jack and IR blaster
The POCO X3 Pro packs a headphone jack - a commonality between mid-range devices. It works, you can plug wired earphones in, and it's likely one of the more powerful devices released in the last year to actually feature one. Given that many people will have probably made some form of a switch to wireless earphones , it's not as useful as it once was, but it allows you to use your fancy headphones or earphones with your smartphone instead. Another incredibly useful feature basically unique to Xiaomi devices as well is the inclusion of an IR blaster. The IR blaster allows you to control devices that use an infrared remote, such as TVs and radios. You can configure it from the Mi Remote app on your smartphone.
The battery life on the POCO X3 Pro is outstanding, largely thanks to the 5160 mAh battery in tow. It can charge at 33W using the included charger in the box and will power through pretty much anything that you throw at it. The phone charges in roughly under an hour, and I had no issue getting through a day of use on a single charge.
The POCO X3 Pro has some flaws though
The one glaring issue with the POCO X3 Pro is the fact that it is literally just a POCO X3 NFC with some slightly souped-up internals. It is completely indistinguishable from the NFC version of this particular device, with the only real changes being in the camera system and the chipset. Those are definitely big upgrades, but it still means that you're effectively getting a very similar device if you go with the X3 Pro instead of the X3 NFC. If you don't really care about how a phone looks, then this isn't really much of a con, but I know that many people would love for their slightly more expensive smartphone to at least be more discernible from the cheaper device. It's plastic too, and despite the internals, it can still feel quite cheap in the hand. The chassis on the back has been changed somewhat to have a more matte-feel on the sides, but it still feels more or less like the X3 NFC when you're holding it.
MIUI still isn't perfect, and it has its issues on the POCO X3 NFC just like it did on the Xiaomi Mi 11. I had to disable battery optimization for Facebook Messenger yet again in order to receive message notifications, and UI elements are broken still in some places. I'm generally a fan of MIUI, but it's not perfect, and forthcoming fixes for the likes of the Mi 11 will probably take a lot longer to reach the POCO X3 Pro due to the fact that it's a mid-range smartphone. Having to disable the system-level dark mode for each and every app that's had its design messed up is painstaking, yet it's an actual necessity for some apps.
The POCO X3 Pro is a step up above the POCO X3 NFC that launched in the latter half of 2020, but it's still more or less the same device with some slightly changed internals. Both devices look the same, and nobody could really blame you for mixing the two up. That doesn't mean that it's not worth picking up, but the devices are so similar that holding them side by side, it would be hard to tell them apart. It's fast, it's smooth, and the Snapdragon 860 can keep up with pretty much everything that you throw at it in a day-to-day sense. It's not the best chipset on the market and nor is it close to it, but it's an interesting chip from Qualcomm that helps to fill the gap between mid-range and flagship.
With the way that POCO has priced the POCO X3 Pro, matching it on point with the POCO X3 NFC's pricing, it becomes impossible not to recommend the Pro device over its non-Pro sibling. As far as I can tell from having used both devices, there is not a single aspect of the X3 NFC that is better than the X3 Pro. Whether POCO has made enough of a convincing argument to pick this device up over the rest of the competition though remains to be seen. In Europe it comes in at an early-bird price of €199, putting this below the starting price of the weaker POCO X3 NFC. The POCO X3 Pro misses out on very little when compared to mid-range smartphones that are near twice its price, and I'm excited to see what POCO comes out with next.
Poco X3 Pro review
Xiaomi's poco x3 pro misses perfection, but still nails fantastic value.
Digital Camera World Verdict
The Poco X3 Pro is one of the most powerful smartphones at its price point. Poco’s camera software has been boosted in 2021, so its pictures tend to better those of last year’s X3 NFC in most scenes, even though they aren’t always as detailed. Performance flies and the phone’s battery is also sensational, so if you can handle a few adverts dotted around the interface and some garish design, the X3 Pro is the obvious powerhouse choice, delivering across-the-board value and a very respectable camera.
Excellent price/performance ratio
Impressive main camera
Fantastic battery life
No AMOLED screen
Poor 2MP macro camera
Will be too big for some
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
The Poco X3 NFC , a lower-specced version of the Poco X3 Pro, launched in 2020, with a fantastic camera, an affordable price, and Xiaomi’s infamous third-party adverts in the user interface. Honestly, when a phone’s smashing out such good value, our tolerance for weird things like baked-in adverts goes up, and besides, you can turn them off. And so, despite these ads returning for round two in the X3 Pro, we were still jazzed to welcome another X3 to the Pocophone family.
Glancing over the specs though, and while the X3 Pro has seen a power boost, it’s also taken a hit when it comes to camera hardware compared to the X3 NFC. Last year’s 64MP Sony IMX 682 sensor has been dropped in favor of an IMX 582, the same sensor found on the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro , and the 13MP ultra-wide camera on the X3 NFC is switched out for an 8MP ultra-wide on the Pro. More like no-pro.
After a week with the phone though, we’re happy to be eating our initial words, with Xiaomi having improved its imaging software significantly on the X3 Pro. Add to the mix a giant battery, lots of storage, and a fantastically powerful chipset for the price, and budget phone fans intent on gaming may have a new champion to blast, smash and slash with.
Design and screen
Combining a 6.67-inch screen size with a plastic build, the Poco X3 Pro is a huge phone that doesn’t even pretend to be a flagship. With great heft comes plenty of room for ports though, and the X3 Pro crams in a headphone jack and an IR blaster, as well as the usual array of volume and power buttons, and a USB-C port.
Disappointingly, emblazoned on the back of the phone is, once again, a prominent ‘POCO’. Words on the back of phones are not for us, though at least the Poco X3 Pro’s branding is a bit less cringe-worthy than that of the Realme 8 Pro — though we’re guessing 35-50 somethings like us aren’t really either phone’s target demographic. Our Phantom Black version looks slightly more demure than the zingier Frost Blue alternative, and the phone’s also available in Metal Bronze.
With IP53 dust and splash protection, the Poco X3 Pro is hardier than many budget phones, and it also ships with a pre-fitted screen protector and a case in the box. Heavy, at 215g, and chunky at 9.4 mm thick, small phone fans will definitely want to look elsewhere, but with that big size, you also get a big screen, which should entice gamers and mobile movie watchers.
Clocking in at wide Full HD resolution (1080 x 2400), the Poco X3 Pro’s 120Hz screen isn’t the sharpest in the phone shop, but at its price, it’s at the top of the pack. Where it trips up a bit compared to some of the competition (specifically the incredible Redmi Note 10 Pro ), is with its screen technology. Instead of 120Hz AMOLED, as featured on a select few alternative budget bangers from Xiaomi, the Poco X3 Pro sports an LCD screen, so its blacks aren’t as deep and inky, while colors it displays don’t pop with the same level of va va voom.
Despite the fact you can get a better screen for less, however, as a package, the Poco X3 Pro delivers, with functional if not exemplary design and display credentials, provided you don’t take issue with its garish styling.
The Poco X3 Pro’s main camera module features a 48MP Sony IMX 582 sensor, matched with an f/1.8 lens and PDAF. It shouldn’t perform as well as the higher resolution X3 NFC, given the fact the NFC’s camera is headed up by a physically larger, 64MP IMX 682 sensor. That said, it does in challenging scenes, and that’s down to software as we’ll come onto.
The same can be said of the ultra-wide camera. With an 8MP resolution, the X3 Pro’s sensor pales compared to the 13MP sensor on the X3 NFC on paper, and while its detail wains in side-by-sides, the phone still delivers richer shots matched with better lowlight performance. As for the rest of the specs, the ultra-wide camera on the X3 Pro sports an f/2.2, 119-degree lens.
Two cameras that are the same as last year’s X3 NFC are the 2MP f/2.4 macro camera, with its fixed-focus lens, and the depth sensor. Additionally, the X3 NFC and Pro also feature a 20MP f/2.2 selfie camera.
Xiaomi phones all pack loads of shooting modes, and the X3 Pro is no exception, with *clears throat*: Auto, Pro, Photo, Video, Portrait, Night, 48MP, Short Video, Panorama, Vlog, Slow motion, Time-lapse, Long exposure, Dual video, and Clone mode available. The phone captures manual shots at up to 6400 ISO, and a 30-second shutter, with manual mode supported across all three lenses – take that OnePlus 9 Pro .
Detail in the Poco X3 Pro’s photos is great, though falls behind that of its more affordable X3 NFC counterpart. With fewer pixels, the camera isn’t quite as adept at producing massively cropable shots. At the same time, we also don’t mind, because its photos still look crisp, and the finish on X3 Pro photos edges ahead.
Color and saturation is generally great, with Xiaomi’s photos having a natural zing to them, until you turn on AI mode, after which photos have a radioactive, Simpson’s three-eyed-fish zing.
On the plus, the 20MP selfie camera is decent in all but the bleakest light, and the Poco X3 Pro shoots video at up to 4K resolution, 30fps. Despite the phone missing out on OIS, the video it captures still manages to handle handshake well thanks to electronic stabilization delivering the goods. Additionally, there’s a fun VLOG mode, as introduced on the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 .
Poco X3 Pro - sample video
Poco X3 Pro: Additional specs
Powered by a Snapdragon 860 paired with 6GB or 8GB RAM, the Poco X3 Pro delivers 2019/20-grade flagship power, which is still plenty of oomph for a 2021 phone. Running Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12, and Poco’s launcher over the top, there are a lot of layers to peel back. Some of these aren’t so great – third-party adverts, for example. Other elements are excellent – few interfaces give you so much control over screen calibration as Xiaomi’s.
While most apps run smoothly and we went through our week with the phone issue-free, a couple of interface gremlins reared their heads once or twice – Slack, for example, gave up on us. Was it the app or the phone? We don’t know, but a reset sorted the issue. Still, with access to the Google Play Store, and significantly better app support than Huawei phones as a result, not to mention smooth performance punctuated by the slick 120Hz screen that makes menus and websites glide, the Poco X3 Pro still delivers solid value.
With 128GB or 256GB storage plus micro SD card support, whether you’re a movie hoarder or a serial 4K recorder, you should have plenty of space for your stuff in the Poco X3 Pro. Rounding off, the phone’s giant 5160mAh battery, which charges at up to 33W is nothing short of stupendous. While it won’t last quite as long as that of the X3 NFC, it still got us through two days of moderate use, making it an infrequent charger’s dream. Sadly though, and unsurprisingly, there’s no wireless charging anywhere to be seen at this price point.
Poco X3 Pro: Verdict
The Poco X3 Pro’s price is right. In turn, much of what makes it imperfect can be accepted – the in-UI adverts (that can be turned off), no telephoto camera or OIS, not to mention poor macro performance and that overbearing POCO logo blasted vertically along the phone’s back. There’s a huge amount the X3 Pro gets right in addition to value though. For starters, its performance, battery life, and pure picture quality all impress. With stereo speakers, content sounds good, and despite no AMOLED display, thanks to a quality 120Hz IPS panel, it doesn’t look bad at all.
In turn, while any phone with the X3 Pro’s size and styling will be a bit niche – think teenager; if you dig the look, it’s hard to argue with the value. One of the best budget camera phones of 2021? Absolutely.
Read more: • Best camera phone in 2021 • Best budget camera phones • Best iPhone for photography • Best burner phone • Best 5G phone • Best phablets • Best flip phones • Best phablets
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Basil Kronfli is a freelance technology journalist and content creator with a number of specialisms. He started his career at Canon Europe, before joining Phone Arena and Recombu as a tech writer and editor. From there, he headed up and runs Tech, a technology YouTube channel, and has worked alongside this role at Future as a Senior Producer, sharpening his considerable video production skills.
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Poco X3 Pro(Graphite Black, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage)
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- 8 GB RAM | 128 GB ROM | Expandable Upto 1 TB
- 16.94 cm (6.67 inch) Full HD+ Display
- 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | 20MP Front Camera
- 5160 mAh Lithium-ion Polymer Battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 Processor
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For fast computing on the move, impressive photos, and all-day-long, uninterrupted performance, the POCO X3 Pro is the right device for you. This smartphone features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 for smooth function, 16.94-cm (6.67) FHD+ Display for clear visuals, and a 5160 mAh Battery to ensure that your smartphone does not run out of battery quickly.
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- Handset, Power Adaptor, USB Type-C Cable, SIM Ejector Tool, Protective Case, User Guide and Warranty Card
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Poco X3 PRO (5160 mAh Battery, 128 GB Storage)
About Poco X3 PRO
Poco X3 Pro is amongst the Poco phones portfolio, which has a sleek design and offers a slip-free grip being light on weight. This value for money smartphone will fulfill your operations with much convenience. Moreover, you will be able to buy this dual SIM mobile in Steel Blue, Golden Bronze, and Graphite Black color options.
Poco X3 Pro Display and Battery Life
The Poco X3 Pro smartphone comes with a 6.67 inches full-HD+ DotDisplay that has 120Hz dynamic refresh rate so that you can have an immersive experience while playing games or watching videos with vivid and crystal clear visuals. Moreover, this Poco phone’s screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels with 20:9 aspect ratio and 84.6% screen-to-body ratio. Also, it comes with Gorilla Glass 6 protection that protects your phone from scratches and breakage.
Apart from this, the Poco X3 Pro runs Android 11 with MIUI 12 on top so that you can have a clutter-free UI. Also, the phone houses a massive Li-Polymer 5160 mAh non-removable battery that will have 33W fast charging support. Hence, you will be able to use the phone for a longer period of time and you need not worry about battery drainage.
Poco X3 Pro Processor, RAM and Storage
You can enjoy a seamless and lag-free performance while browsing the web, accessing multiple apps simultaneously, and playing intense graphics games as the phone is equipped with Octa-core (1x2.96 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485 Silver) Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 (7 nm)processor.
In addition to this, the Poco X3 Pro smartphone is available in two variants - 6GB of RAM + 128GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM + 256GB of internal storage. Also, you will be able to expand the internal storage using a microSD card. This means that you will be able to store your songs, videos, pictures, games and other files without any space constraints.
Poco X3 Pro Camera Specifications
Speaking about the camera, the Poco X3 Pro comes with a quad camera setup on the rear so that you can click some awesome pictures and videos. There is a 48 MP primary camera with f/1.79 aperture, an 8 MP ultra wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture, a 2 MP macro lens with f/2.4 aperture, and a 2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Some of the features that are included on the rear camera setup are auto flash, face detection, digital zoom, and touch to focus. On the other hand, the mobile sports a 20 MP camera for clicking amazing selfies and doing video chats.
Poco X3 Pro Connectivity Options and Sensors
Poco X3 Pro comes with numerous connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, NFC, USB Type-C 2.0, and 3.5mm audio jack. Sensors on this smartphone include an ambient light sensor, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, infrared (IR), proximity sensor, and accelerometer.
Summary Poco X3 PRO
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POCO, LLC Xiaomi X3 Pro 4G LTE GSM Pro Global Unlocked Gamers (8GB + 256GB) 6.67 inch Dual SIM Quad Camera 48MP Quad Camera (NOT Verizon/Boost) (Metal Bronze)
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- Will NOT work on Verizon/BOOST/CRICKET or any CDMA Carrier. 5G + 4G VoLTE Worldwide Unlocked Dual Nano sim .
- 4G: FDD-LTE Band 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,20,28 TDD-LTE Band 38,40,41 / 3g Band 1,2,4,5,8 / 2G Quad Band
- 6.67 inch full screen display High refresh rate of 120 Hz Resolution: 1080 × 2400 FHD + Ideal For Gamers
- 48MP Quad camera with night photo mode + 20 Mp front Camera
- 5160mAh battery (typ) Supports 33W fast charging
- Bluetooth 5.1 / wifi 2.4 / 5 GHz GPS / A-GPS / BEIDOU / GALILEO / QZSS / GLONASS FCC ID: 2AFZZJ20SG
- Display size: 6.67 inches
- Wireless communication technology: Wi-Fi
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POCO X3 ProExactly What You Need, and MoreSnapdragon 860 | 120Hz DotDisplayCorning Gorilla Glass 6EVERYTHING YOU LOVED ABOUT POCO X3, AND MORE!Keep the silky smooth screen, the giant battery, the ultra fast charging and the studio-quality speakers.Upgrade where it mattersMOREQualcomm Snapdragon 860LEADING 4G FLAGSHIP PROCESSOR IN 2021The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor won't let you down even when playing graphically demanding games in high settings. Enjoy high speeds and lagless online gameplay.LiquidCool Technology 1.0 PlusSTAY COOLWHILE GAMINGEasily sustain peak performance during heavy gaming sessions, The heat dissipates in 3D so you can keep playing at full speed!Up to 6C processor coolingMulti-layer graphiteD5 copper heat pipe240Hz touch sampling rateFAST GAMING RESPONSEThe high 240Hz touch sampling rate decreases the touch latency and the responsive screen gives better in-game sensitivity control, taking your gaming experience to the next level.
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Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro
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Price in Bangladesh
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro Full Specifications
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro comes with 6.67 inches Full HD+ IPS LCD screen. It has a middle punch-hole front camera design. The device is protected by strong 6th generation Gorilla Glass in the front. The back camera is of quad 48+8+2+2 MP with PDAF, ultrawide, dual-LED flash, dedicated macro camera, HDR, depth sensor etc. and 4K video recording. The front camera is of 20 MP.
Poco X3 Pro comes with 5160 mAh big battery with a 33W Fast Charging solution. It has 6 or 8 GB RAM, up to 2.96 GHz octa-core CPU and Adreno 640 GPU. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 760 (7 nm) chipset. The phone comes with 128 or 256 GB internal storage and shared MicroSD slot. There is a side-mounted fingerprint sensor in this phone.
Among other features, there is FM Radio with recording, USB type-C, Infrared, Face Unlock, LiquidCool Technology, NFC etc.
Rating & Review
Mobiledokan score - 8.5.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro gets a MobileDokan score of 8.5 out of 10.
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Poco X3 Pro review
- Phenomenal performance
- Big 120Hz display
- Long-lasting battery
- Big & bulky
- Average camera
The Poco X3 Pro is for Android gamers or power users on a budget, with near-flagship processing power in one of the cheapest phones on the market. It’s big, it’s bulky, and the camera’s not great – but it’s still astonishing that Xiaomi has pulled this off.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is essentially an updated version of 2020’s excellent Poco X3 NFC. It’s almost exactly the same as that phone, in fact but slightly rebalances its specs to include an even more powerful processor and a few other upgrades, while compromising a touch on the camera side.
The X3 NFC was our favourite budget phone of 2020 , and the Pro is a better phone in enough areas to make it an easy recommendation too.
It might be more polarising than its predecessor though, doubling down on that phone’s strengths without improving on its weaknesses. More than ever this is a phone about pure power, delivering the best performance you could ask for at the price, but rivals are often slimmer, lighter, and take better photos.
Design & build
Design is one of the areas where essentially nothing has changed from the original X3 NFC aside from a new set of colours.
That means the same set of problems, unfortunately: the X3 Pro is big, with a 6.67in display; it’s bulky, at 9.4mm thick and 215g; and it’s pretty ugly with an enormous Poco logo emblazoned across the backside.
It’s not all bad though. The IP53 rating returns, giving the phone pretty respectable dust and water-resistance for a cheap phone – even with a headphone jack included – while an upgrade to Gorilla Glass 6 should make the display a bit more durable. The frame is still built out of aluminium, with a plastic back – and this is one of the phones where it really does feel plasticky.
There are three colours to pick from. Phantom Black (pictured) is a dark finish with subtle blue and orange hues running through it, while Metal Bronze and Frost Blue are a little more does-what-it-says-on-the-tin.
The new finishes are welcome, but ultimately the design is still the biggest problem with the X3 Pro. It’s heavy, it’s thick, and thanks to the Poco logo and plastic finish it both looks and feels kind of cheap. It’s not awful, but there are similarly priced phones from Realme and Oppo – and even Xiaomi’s other phone lines – that look an awful lot slicker.
The screen is a pretty clear strong suit here, so long as you’re happy with the fact that at 6.67in it is pretty large.
This is an LCD panel, rather than OLED, with an FHD+ resolution of 2400×1080. It supports a 120Hz refresh rate however, and 240Hz touch response rate, both of which will hold immediate appeal for anyone who games a lot on their phone.
Even better, the refresh rate can dynamically switch between five speeds, from 30Hz up to 120Hz, meaning that when necessary the screen can run a little slower to save the battery.
The display is bright and punchy, with vibrant colours. You won’t get the great contrast or colour depth that OLED can deliver, but the tradeoff to deliver a higher refresh rate at this price is a smart one for the X3 Pro’s potential buyers. As with the rest of the phone, this is a choice that prioritises pure performance and gaming prowess over niceties like pro-grade colour accuracy.
Specs & performance
Now we’re getting to the meat of what makes the Poco X3 Pro what it is: the core specs.
The X3 Pro was announced alongside its chipset, which debuted here: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860. This is a souped up version of the Snapdragon 855, which is the chipset that powered most of the biggest flagship phones in 2019.
Two years on you might think it would show its age – and in only supporting 4G, rather than 5G, to some extent it does – but even older flagship silicon is still faster than this year’s mid-range chips.
In benchmarks this is neck-and-neck with last year’s Galaxy S20 phones, and not far behind Snapdragon 865 phones like the OnePlus 8T or this year’s 870-powered Moto G100 – which costs more than twice as much. Compare it to the Poco X3 NFC and I saw a 50% improvement in the CPU-focussed Geekbench test, and more than 100% improvement in framerates in the graphics-heavy GFXBench tests.
Poco pairs the Snapdragon 860 with the choice between 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of storage – though there’s also a microSD slot to expand that further. Storage aside, I’d recommend the RAM boost if you can afford it – the price difference in the UK at least is only £20, and the long-term performance gains and future-proofing should make that well worth it.
Benchmarks are only one thing of course, but in daily use the X3 Pro proves its worth. This is the fastest, smoothest budget phone I’ve probably ever tested – if the design didn’t give it away, you really would think this was a high-end piece of kit. I have suffered very occasional stutters, and one app freeze, but I’ve been reviewing the 6GB RAM model – I suspect the 8GB models would even avoid those minor wobbles.
If there’s a trade-off to using the older flagship silicon, it’s in networking. I’ve already mentioned that this is a 4G phone, not 5G, but you also miss out on the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard. Even Bluetooth is limited to the older 5.0 standard – actually a downgrade from the Bluetooth 5.1 in the X3 NFC, and two generations behind the current 5.2 standard. That means no support for Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, which might impact headphone battery life and some other features, though this shouldn’t really be a dealbreaker for anyone.
As for security, a fingerprint scanner is built into the power button along the side of the phone. This might not have the sex appeal of an under-display scanner, but the physical versions remain faster and more reliable for the most part – this one included. You can also always use the selfie camera for a less secure 2D face unlock.
Speaking of – the cameras are the only part of the Poco X3 Pro that’s a fairly clear downgrade from the X3 NFC.
The rear setup is broadly similar, but differs in the details. You get four lenses, but two of them are both 2Mp: a macro lens and depth sensor. The other two are a 48Mp main camera (down from 64Mp) and 8Mp ultra-wide (down from 13Mp).
The main camera isn’t bad, to be fair. The lower resolution and smaller sensor size are counteracted slightly by an improved f/1.8 aperture, and in daylight the results are honestly pretty great. There’s no optical image stabilisation (OIS), so you’ll get a touch of hand-shake, but colours really pop, and a 48Mp sensor is still enough to pack in tons of detail.
It’s in low light that the main camera shows its limitations, with washed out colours and reduced detail and sharpness. Photos are still usable for sure, but no longer quite so Insta-ready. Night mode helps, but results are still below what other comparably priced phones are capable of.
The ultrawide is more frustrating. Even in good light shots look a little soft, with severely reduced detail and faded colour compared to the main lens. In low light this only gets worse, with white balance and exposure problems thrown into the mix. Frankly, in low light this wide-angle camera sucks.
The selfie shooter is also pretty basic, but gets the job done. At 20Mp it can produce fairly detailed shots, but the f/2.2 aperture and tiny sensor once again see it struggle outside of really optimal lighting conditions.
As for video, you’ll manage 4K@30fps from the rear cameras, and 1080p@30fps from the front-facing. With no OIS on either this won’t deliver the smoothest, steadiest video around, but it’ll do the job.
All of this is basically par for the course for cheap phones of course. The X3 Pro doesn’t have a versatile camera, and performance will drop fast outside of good light. But if you just need a decent point-and-shoot that’ll cover your holiday snaps and Instagram stories, this is good enough. Just know that other brands in the budget space, like Realme or Oppo, put a little more work into their snappers.
Battery & charging
The 5160mAh battery here is pretty considerable, and plays a part in how hefty the overall phone is. In benchmarks it actually lasted a few hours less than the X3 NFC, despite identical battery capacity – perhaps the trade-off of a more power-hungry processor.
Despite that, in actual use this still offers excellent longevity. With lighter use I’ve managed to get two full days out of the phone between charges, and heavier users and gamers should have no problem stretching it out to fill the day.
At 33W the USB-C charging isn’t the absolute fastest around, but it’s still pretty nippy. 15 minutes was enough to top the phone up by 28%, with half an hour netting me 58% – easily enough for a full day’s use based on my habits at least.
There’s no wireless charging, but that’s really no surprise given the price.
The X3 Pro ships with Android 11 , running Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 skin by default. Xiaomi hasn’t promised any specific number of system updates for the phone, but based on the company’s track record it’s likely to receive the next two Android version updates.
There’s still a lot of variation between Android skins, and I have to admit that MIUI remains one of my personal least favourites. The busy, colourful UI makes system settings a chore to navigate, and a confusing layout means individual settings options never seem to be where you expect them to be.
Once you figure out how everything works there is at least plenty of customisation, but there are still confusing limitations here. The ‘floating windows’ feature, for example, lets you drag notifications down to open apps in their own mini-tab on-screen. This is all too easy to activate when you simply want to open a notification, it’s all too difficult to close the floating window and get back to what you were doing, and it’s frustratingly impossible to simply turn the feature off entirely.
The bottom line is that this isn’t the best Android experience out there, but it’s ultimately a matter of taste. It is also running the latest software version and should do for another year or two.
Price & availability
The Poco X3 Pro starts at £229/€249, which gets you 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, but I’d recommend you opt for the £249/€249 model, which includes 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.
Both versions are already discounted on the official Xiaomi store and Amazon , so you could save £20/€20 on that official price.
It’s roughly the same price as the X3 NFC – making it a no-brainer over that phone, unless you see it heavily discounted. We’re rounding up the best deals we see on both Poco X3 models , so check that article for the latest savings. Other good options at a similar price are the Realme 8 or Oppo A9 , but check out our full budget phone ranking for other top picks.
Sadly the phone isn’t available in North America.
The Poco X3 Pro is a phone designed for Android gamers or power users on a budget, though it might also appeal to those who want to go big on specs in order to futureproof their phone.
If pure performance isn’t your priority, then you can find phones that are slimmer and lighter, with better camera performance, for around the same price.
What you won’t find is any phone that can match this pound for pound right now. This is near-flagship processing power in one of the cheapest phones on the market, and it’s almost ludicrous that Xiaomi has pulled it off.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: Specs
- Android 11 with MIUI 12
- 6.67in Full HD+ (1080×2400) 20:9 IPS LCD, 120Hz
- Gorilla Glass 6 display, aluminium frame, plastic rear
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 octa-core processor
- 128/256GB internal storage
- microSD card slot
- 48Mp, f/1.8, PDAF main camera
- 8Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide
- 2Mp depth sensor
- 20Mp, f/2.2 selfie camera
- Video up to 4K @30fps
- Fingerprint scanner (in power button)
- 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Dual-nano SIM
- Stereo speakers
- 5160mAh non-removable battery
- Fast charging 33W
- 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
Author: Dominic Preston , Deputy Editor
Tech Advisor's Deputy Editor, Dom covers everything that runs on electricity, from phones and laptops to wearables, audio, gaming, smart home, and streaming - plus he's a regular fixture on the Tech Advisor YouTube channel.
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