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Poco M3 Pro 5G Review: Is It A Complete Package?
India always has been a major market for budget smartphones, paving the way for several Chinese brands in the last decade. Poco, Xiaomi's former subsidiary is one such brand that has been catering to the budget-conscious audience in the country. The company is now raging war against its counterparts with affordable 5G smartphones. The Poco M3 Pro 5G is the latest example of such.
- 90Hz FHD+ display with punch-hole design
- Affordable 5G-ready smartphone
- Good battery backup
- Cluttered UI
- Average low light camera performance
Locking horns with the likes of Realme Narzo 8 5G in the sub Rs. 15,000 segment, this device offers some high-end features such as a 90Hz FHD+ display and a 48MP triple-camera; making it a perfect mid-ranger in its category. But, does this device fit all the bills? Why should you consider this over its rivals? Read on to know:
Poco M3 Pro 5G: Elegant But Smudge-Prone Design
The Poco M3 Pro features a gradient finish which we have seen on numerous affordable and mid-range smartphones in recent times. The blacked-out upper-left portion housing the camera module and the Poco branding gives it a distinct look. Unfortunately, the shimmering surface picks up fingerprints and is smudge prone if not wrapped in a case. It is slippery as well.
The retail box comprises a transparent soft TPU case which you can use for added protection. The handset has a slim profile compared to the standard variant which allows for easy usage. But the tall form factor makes it slightly difficult for single-hand operations. That's the case with most of the smartphones nowadays that offer a large screen including its rival, i.e, the Realme 8 5G.
The front panel is neatly designed with slim side borders and a punch-hole at the centre-top of the display. The company has used an IPS LCD display which has 1080p FHD+ resolution and a higher 90Hz refresh rate. Poco is known for equipping a higher refresh rate in its affordable devices.
In fact, the brand is amongst those few which have introduced smartphones with a 120Hz refresh rate under Rs. 20,000 price mark. The Poco M3's panel is balanced in all aspects. The color production and viewing angles are good. However, the sunlight legibility is where this handset lacks. The output is decent not great with streaming apps.
While there are no issues with clarity, it isn't as vivid as an AMOLED panel. Do note that the refresh rate is set to 60Hz by default. You will need to change the settings manually to use the 90Hz settings.
Poco M3 Pro 5G: Lag-Free Performance Overall, Sufficient Battery Backup
Unlike the standard variant that uses a Qualcomm processor, the M3 Pro 5G is equipped with a MediaTek chipset; Dimensity 700 SoC to be precise. The new-generation octa-core 5G processor drives its rival, i.e, the Realme 8 5G as well. Power delivery is good with this processor. There are no noticeable lags in the performance when two or more apps are running in the background.
The device has a 4GB/ 6GB RAM option; select the latter to be sure of a better multitasking experience. Storage options are also dual; you can either select the 64GB model or the 128GB, model. There is additional microSD card support as well to suffice all the requirements. The gaming experience has been decent. We didn't find any persistent device heat-up issues which come as a respite.
The battery powering the Poco M3 Pro 5G is a 5,000 mAh unit that supports 18W fast charging. While the current norm is a 6,000 mAh battery for mid-range and budget smartphones, the 5,000 mAh unit packed inside the M3 Pro 5G doesn't disappoint. It takes close to two hours for a full recharge, but the power delivery you get is more than half a day. That's with moderate to extensive usage including HD video playback and gaming.
Poco M3 Pro 5G: Suitable For General Photography
The Poco M3 Pro 5G has a triple-lens camera module where the primary sensor is a 48MP lens accompanied by a pair of 2MP depth and macro sensors. The rear cameras capture 12MP pixel-binned images by default and support up to 1080p video recording.
The camera performance is decent if not great. The image output is clear but not as sharp and refined. The daylight images don't show washed-out colors, so you wouldn't be disappointed there. The camera app has additional shooting modes such as HDR, Portrait, Pro, Time-lapse, and Slow-motion.
Bokeh shots are well-defined, with no artificial-looking background blur. The stability is average with video 1080p video recording. For low-light imaging, the camera app has a dedicated Night mode. But, the images tend to appear grainy in dark lit situations.
An 8MP camera handles the selfies and also serves the purpose of video calling. It is a decent setup overall for social media uploads and calling. The selfie camera's performance is good with well-lit situations. However, low-light performance is average here as well.
Poco M3 Pro 5G: Software, Benchmark Performance
The Poco M3 Pro 5G uses the Android 11 OS which is wrapped around MIUI 12.0.2 skin. It's a familiar UI we have seen on Redmi and other recent Poco offerings. You don't get a stock Android UI, rather the pre-installed bloatware makes the UI a bit cluttered.
Not all the pre-installed third-party apps can be manually uninstalled which is a hassle at times with all unwanted spam notifications. You do get all the Android 11 goodies including improved gesture-based navigations, Digital Wellbeing, and others. The Poco M3 Pro 5G's performance has been fair with the benchmark tests.
In the Geekbench 5's single-core test, the device scored 557 points, while in the multi-core test it logged 1,573 points. In the Sling Shot Extreme test on 3D Mark, the device achieved 2,406 points. Lastly, in the PC Mark's Work Performance the device managed to achieve 8,464 points.
Poco M3 Pro 5G: Packs All You Need?
The Poco M3 Pro is designed for budget-conscious consumers who need a 5G-ready handset. If we speak of the pricing, the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option is priced at Rs. 13,999, while the 6GB RAM model can be purchased at Rs. 15,999.
This is competitive pricing which lands this device against the likes of the Realme 8 5G, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G and the Redmi Note 10S. The pricing here is definitely an edge over the rivals in addition to the 90Hz display and a 5,000 mAh battery.