POCO has become the go-to brand for the budget category. They possess the best specs with a reasonable price tag. Poco F1, M2, M3 and even the X-series offers some amazing specs with some decent price tags. Above all, affordability has become their success mantra. For instance, even the flagship phones from POCO are more affordable than mid-range smartphones from many other brands.
POCO entered the market with the POCOF1, which turned into a very popular phone. Through this phone, POCO has managed to set new records in sales. They sold phones worth over INR 200 crore in just five minutes and broke the record that was once held by OnePlus in India. Thanks to its flagship range processor, liquid cool technology and above all, its affordability has made POCO F1 achieve the unachievable.
Now, POCO is trying to repeat it through POCO M3. An affordable mid-range smartphone that targets a competitive price segment. Released in this month itself, this phone is already getting huge attention. Like its predecessor, POCO M3 is also making a huge buzz. POCO announced that it sold over 150,000 M3 units during its first sale on February 9 via Flipkart. We managed to get our hands on it after a week and here’s what we thought after using it for a couple of days.
Before jumping to the review, let’s take a quick look at the specs that this phone is offering. These specs were offered for 10,999 INR.
It has got a 6.53 inch Full HD + display with Waterdrop Notch and also equipped with TÜV Rheinland® Low Blue Light certification. The FHD+ plus panel has a resolution of 2340×1080 at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi. It’s 1500:1 contrast ratio made colours neat and balanced. The screen looks good even in the bright ambient light, thanks to its sunlight mode.
The maximum brightness of it was 395 nits. However, it can reach 440 nits and we have no complaints about it. The display also supports colour temperature adjustments that’ll work for people like me who love night reading.
“Display was an asset to this phone.”
It’s has got a massive 6000 mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. According to GSM Arena, this phone’s battery has scored 154-hour Endurance rating. This hone stood as third to achieve this feat. On average, this phone’s battery offers 20+ hours of Internet Browsing and 16+ hours of video playback on a single full charge. However, these stats might vary for different users depending upon their way of usage. I can clearly say that this ginormous battery will last for a full day without any hiccups.
Coming to charging speeds, this phone needs that 18 W fast charging. Filling up that enormous battery is not an easy task. Even with that 18W fast-charging capability, you need to wait at least 2.5+ hours to see 100% battery. It took 30 Minutes to reach 25% and an hour to reach 47%.
“Battery was great, but charging speeds are moderate.”
Design & Build:
The phone is made of plastic and feels heavy at first glance. However, after using it for a certain time, you’ll get used to it. The weight of the phone is around 198 Grams and certainly possess an average thickness of 9.6 mm. The build quality seems pretty much descent, considering the price tag of it. Above all, the leather type finish on the back looks smooth, well designed and makes the smartphone look more expensive than it is. The back of the phone was not a fingerprint magnet and I love it more than anything. Unlike its previous models, the M3’s design was not a rework. It was exclusively designed for it and it looks cool.
“The design was pretty good considering the price point.”
POCO M3 runs on MIUI 12 out of the box and I don’t have pretty much anything to say about it. It’s a typical operating system that every Xiaomi phones get and it’s simple to manage. MIUI is pretty much the same for every one of their smartphones. If you are changing from the same, then you don’t find it difficult at all mastering it. It’s simple and easily understandable. However, you might find some bloatware apps that you are not signed up for and it feels annoying to uninstall them one by one after having your first boot.
The phone is a good performer. POCO took good care of selecting the right components for its phone. POCO M3 was powered by the all-new Snapdragon 662 chipset based on the 11nm manufacturing process. The CPU consists of 4x Kryo 260 Gold cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and 4x Kryo 260 Silver cores running at 1.8 GHz.
Above all, it has got LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 Storage which makes it amazingly balanced. It has also got Adreno 610 GPU for all the gaming stuff. Those are more than enough and you can’t expect a heavy performance more than this from a budget smartphone.
“It’s a solid performer and there is no doubt about it”.
Amazingly, this phone leaves you spellbound in this particular category. This phone has got a proper stereo speaker setup. The dual speakers were mounted at the top and bottom of the screen and they are amazingly loud. It even scored good marks in a sound test (-26.5 LUFS) conducted by GSM Arena. Unlike many smartphones, 3.5 MM jack was not deserted by POCO. That’s right! M3 has got 3.5 MM Jack and it felt so good to see it on a phone while others leaving it.
“Undoubtedly, It’s the best in the segment”.
POCO M3 has got 48MP Main shooter with Quad-Bayer sensor. The camera setup also includes a 2-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.4 macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens. Don’t fall for the number of pixels. The triple camera setup takes average quality photos and the night photography is a disaster. Its main camera can do the job for you in good daylight. The pictures look sharp and crisp when you take them in broad daylight. However, when the light fails, the camera fails. The dynamic range is below average and captures average details. The default 12MP photos are good and there is no point in using the 48 MP Mode. They are just upscaled images of the 12MP pictures.
The video performance was just average. It captures videos up to 1080@30fps with its main camera. There is no 4K mode, 60fps shooting as well.
The 8MP selfie camera is equipped with an f/2.1 lens and fixed focus. It’s downright below average and only noise comes out of it more than a clear picture. It struggles in almost all categories- exposure, focus, brightness, contrast and colours.
While the 2MP depth sensor is there for a reason and does its job decently, the other 2MP Macro shooter is there only for the namesake. Capturing photos through it is a nightmare. Every image taken out of it is pretty much unusable. It’s only there to boost up the cringe-worthy triple camera tactic that is used by companies to lure customers in. I think POCO compromised in this segment to make it more budget-friendly. Anyway, if you are looking for a good camera, M3 is not for you.
“Camera is the biggest disappointment in it”.
POCO M3 offers some amazing features at an affordable price tag. It has got a High-resolution screen, Good RAM, Processor, fast charging, new design and amazing speakers. Although some aspects were compromised, they were only compromised to make it more affordable. Hence, no complaints from me. It is certainly a new all-rounder in the market. The constant competition between mobiles brands made companies to push their boundaries and people certainly are benefiting from it. If you are looking for a budget all-rounder that can perform well in day to day tasks, POCO M3 is certainly a great choice for you.