Sep 19, 2020 Reviews
The X3 NFC is the latest offering from Poco, a company which sits under the Xiaomi umbrella, which is known to deliver tech with impressive specs for a very low price. Coming in with a ridiculously low price starting from $235, the Poco X3 NFC could take the world by storm with its insanely aggressive pricing for what you get.
Design wise, we have a pretty standard phone for the price point. The Poco X3 NFC supports a poly carbonate back panel and a frame made up of aluminum alloy. It doesn’t look as premium as other flagship phones but for the price point, we don’t really expect it to. The phone has a circular design for the camera array and a strip down the middle with the big Poco branding which shifts in color as you move it. Buyers might be put off by the huge branding but it will easily be covered by your palm once in use. Since the phone is on the larger size and weighs 215g, we love how sturdy it feels in the hand. It is available in 2 colors, Shadow Gray and Cobalt Blue.
The phone features a 6.67-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 240+ Hz touch sampling rate. The high refresh rate makes it great for content consumption and gaming. As the scream is LCD and not AMOLED you get a sort of discoloration near the bezels. The display is bright but not bright enough as we would have liked to see. The aspect ratio is 20: 9, and the pixel density is 395 PPI. The quality of the screen, even in spite of the IPS matrix, is excellent. Black has a rich hue, while white is well displayed in bright and sunny weather. The phone is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, giving you a well protected phone.
With a high AnTuTu score, this phone is deemed better than 87% of the phones in the market. Just those numbers alone are enough to convince that this might be the best value phone of 2020. The phone is powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor which according to Poco is "the most powerful Snapdragon 700 series 4G processor to date”. It boots MIUI 12 on top of Android 10 which is disappointing as the Android 11 was released days after this phone. In terms of memory, the phone packs 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage which is expandable via microSD card.
Usually with budget phones, the camera is compromised on and while it is evident that the camera wasn’t the main focus of the Poco X3, what you are getting is pretty decent. The phone features a quad camera set up which packs a 64MP primary camera with Sony IMX 682 Quad-Bayer sensor with f/1.9 lens and 0.8µm pixels, a 13MP snapper with 13mm f/2.2 lens and 1.0µm pixels, a 2MP macro camera with f/2.4 aperture and 1.75µm pixels, and finally a 2MP depth sensor. In the front, there is a small camera cutout housing a 20 MP camera. You get decent results from the primary camera in good lighting with good dynamic range. This is the only camera in the setup which supports night mode though admittedly in low light, the camera tends to pick up a fair bit of noise. The ultra-wide photos are poor in detail and the exposures are quite dark. As this camera doesn’t use dark mode, any pictures taken in low light are pretty much unusable. The Poco X3 NFC’s video is not all that impressive. The phone captures 4K@30fps videos with its primary and ultra wide cameras. While the camera doesn’t expose particularly well and the details are average, the colors are accurate, the contrast is great. It may not be the best camera setup around but Poco threw them in to allow their users to have fun with a decent camera experience at a low price.
Battery is another highlight of this phone thanks to the 5,160 mAh battery and may last up to 2 days granted that the phone is only used for basic functions such as calls, online browsing and video payback. In addition, the Poco X3 supports fast charging and comes with a 33W charger. Xiaomi claims that that charger should be able to charge 62% in 30 mins and 100% in 65 mins.
The hybrid stereo speaker setup deserves a separate section of its own as it is rare to find one on a budget phone. Xiaomi has basically amplified the earpiece speaker to work with the main speaker for a stereo effect. The performance is pretty good with good sound clarity and minimal sound distortion. It does however produce an echo and the amount of bass is not that great.
At that price point what you get from this magnificent phone is just baffling. Just looking at the specs on paper, it puts this phone in the league of the Pixel 4a and Oneplus Nord but significantly cheaper. While it may not be the most perfect smartphone we’ve come across, it has a powerful and gaming-friendly hardware, adequate performance, a decent camera setup, a phenomenal battery and a high refresh rate all at a bargain price. It would be safe to say that at that price, we are willing to overlook all of its shortcomings and believe that all its issues are trivial compared to the value you’re getting out of this.