The POCO M3 is now available in India, just weeks after its global debut. It’s a unique-looking, reasonably-priced phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor and a large 6000mAh battery – something that affordable phone buyers admire.
Since last year, the dynamics of the affordable phone market have changed dramatically, as increased taxes and duties have made it extremely difficult for OEMs to accommodate as much value. Poco, as an emerging brand, can operate on razor-thin margins and sees this as an advantage, concentrating its efforts in the sub-15K market. So, how well does the Poco M3 perform? In our Poco M3 analysis, we’ll go into all of this and more.
Poco M3 review: Design and build quality
Poco M3 comes in a bright yellow box with all of the standard Poco M3 goodies. The Poco M3 has a distinct and refreshing appearance. It comes in three colors: black, yellow, and blue, with bright yellow being our favorite. The Poco M3 gives a good first impression just by looking at it
The back panel is made of plastic with a rubberized faux leather texture and folds to form side edges. The unusual rectangular black glass that encases the triple camera setup is sure to elicit strong reactions. That’s because, while the extra-large Poco branding can annoy some customers, I personally don’t mind it.
A big screen with a dew-drop notch and a wide chin covers the phone’s front. The earpiece, a 3.5mm audio jack, an IR blaster, and a microphone are all located on the phone’s top. The volume keys and power button are located on the right side edge of the handset, with the latter also serving as a fingerprint scanner.
On the left edge, a triple-card tray finds a place. Finally, on the bottom edge, there’s another speaker, a mic, and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, completing the stereo setup.
Poco M3 review: Display
The Poco M3 has a 6.53-inch LCD display with a 1920x1080p resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate, making it one of the few FHD+ phones under 12,000.
The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has a brightness of up to 400. (claims Poco). This is a regular LCD screen that is tough to use outside in direct sunlight and has limited viewing angles. The good news is that Poco’s display settings provide options for adjusting color profiles and temperature.
Poco M3 review: Performance and software
The India edition of the Poco M3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 platform, just like the global version. As a successor to the Snapdragon 665, the 600-series octa-core chipset debuted earlier this year. Poco is offering the Snapdragon 662 with 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1 or 2.2 storage in India. It has a 6000mAh battery, which is quickly becoming the industry standard in the sub-15K market. The large battery also supports 18W fast charging, while the provided adapter supports 22.5W fast charging.
So far, it has provided a decent day-to-day user experience. Yes, there have been a few frame drops and bugs, but that is true with all affordable phones released in the last six months. It was easy to navigate the UI and move between apps.
On the Poco M3, we were able to play some casual games. In high settings, high-end games like Call of Duty mobiles didn’t run very smoothly. Our gaming experience on the Poco M3 was, at best, average. If you plan on gaming, we suggest adding a few thousand to your budget and purchase MediaTek Dimensity G series chips.
It is driven by Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 app, which is built on Android 10. Unlike Xiaomi phones, Poco offers an ad-free experience to its customers, but there are still application and proprietary software push alerts that must be dealt with individually. The phone comes with a few preloaded applications, but most third-party apps can be uninstalled.
Once again, the performance and software are excellent for the price. Buyers searching for an entry-level phone would not be disappointed.
Poco M3 camera review
Poco follows the current trend of stacking multiple sensors at the back of the phone even in the camera section. The Poco M3 has a triple camera setup that includes a 48MP sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor (which hardly serve any purpose). We have an 8MP selfie camera on the front.
The 48MP primary sensor lived up to our expectations, delivering good images in daylight. While the highlights are captured with a lot of precision, the shadows are a little too soft. The HDR output was hit or miss.
In low light and dark scenes, the performance suffered as predicted, and we occasionally found focus hunting issues. Portrait mode was put to the test, and the results were positive. The camera is able to sense subject edges and blur the background effectively. The macro camera produces photographs with a low resolution that aren’t worth boasting about.
For the price, the selfie camera performed well. The images are a little soft, but that’s to be expected in this price range. Excessive smoothing to reduce noise grains eats away the data, particularly in low light.
Poco M3 review: Battery
The Poco M3’s battery is unquestionably one of its strongest features. It has a 6,000mAh battery that should last at least a day and a half. We also conducted an HD video loop test, which lasted 16 hours and 13 minutes. The Poco M3 can be fully charged in just over 2 hours with the bundled charger.
Poco M3 review verdict, pros, and cons
The Poco M3 manages to deliver a lot for the money and is certainly worth considering. It has a unique design, is a solid performer, and comes with a helpful 6000mAh battery. For the price, the casual gaming experience is also very strong. However, the low price tag is bound to introduce limitations, as shown by the display quality and camera efficiency.
Overall, the Poco M3 seems to strike the right balance and should appeal to a wide range of consumers.