Since the Xiaomi split, the company has been diversifying their smartphone portfolio. The M2, M2 Pro and the X3 were launched in India. The Poco M3, a new budget smartphone by the company, has now been launched. It replaces M2. It replaces the M2. Its unique design makes it stand out. Indian customers will be happy to know that the smartphone comes with 6GB RAM as opposed to the global version which has 4GB. These are all enough reasons to declare the Poco M3 as the best smartphone under the highly-coveted $15K price tag. Let’s take a look.
POCO M3: Key Specifications
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
- GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 610
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: UFS2.1 64GB/UFS2.2 128GB MicroSD Card: Expandable up to 512GB
- Rear cameras: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 8MP
- Display size: 6.53 inches
- Type of Display: IPS LCD
- Display resolution: Full HD+ (2340×1080).
- OS: Android 10, MIUI 12
- 18W Fast Charging, Battery: 6000mAh
- Dual SIM: Yes
POCO M3 – DESIGN AND BUILD
The Poco M3 is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful phones within this price range. We were sent the yellow version of the phone for review. The phone’s textured back panel looks amazing. It certainly made heads turn. You can choose from three different colors: Cool Blue (Poco Yellow) and Power Black (Power Black). It is made from plastic but looks and feels premium.
The SIM tray to the left can store two NANO SIMs and a microSD card with up to 512GB expandable memory. There are two storage options available: 64GB and 128GB. You can get the 64GB model at Rs 10,999 but you can also buy an additional 64GB version. The phone’s bottom has a USB C charging port, microphone, speaker, and IR blaster. The phone’s top has a 3.5mm audio jack as well as an IR blaster.
The selfie camera is in a small notch on the front that looks almost like a dewdrop. The Settings menu can be used to completely remove the notch if you’re not happy with it. This is a fantastic option. The bezels, which are 10K thick, are still acceptable. The box includes a basic silicone case as well as a 22.5W adapter. The phone cannot support fast charging at 18W, which is quite curious. We discovered many similarities between the phones, including on Redmi 9 Power.
The Poco M3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC. This processor is very popular in this price range. This processor comes paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC and 6GB LPDDR4X RAM. This is compared to the 4GB RAM found in the global Poco M3 edition. You have the choice of 64GB or 128GB UFS2.2 storage options. The base 64GB model starts at Rs 10,999 and the 128GB version starts at Rs 11,999. Our benchmarking tests revealed that the Poco M3’s performance in this price range is not very good, at least for benchmarks.
The device scored slightly lower than the Realme Narzo 20 and Redmi 9 Power in AnTuTu 8.2, but the 9 Power was just a little better. While the Poco M3 scored lower than the Narzo 20 Redmi 9, Power, and again the Narzo 20 in the Geekbench 5 Single-Core tests, it did better in Multi-Core. It still trails the 9 Power.
POCO M3: DISPLAY
Poco M3 is one of the few smartphones with Full HD+ displays at around 10K. Redmi 9 Power also has an FHD+ screen, which is another commonality among these budget-friendly smartphones. The Poco M3 has a 6.53-inch IPS LCD screen and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The company has pre-installed a screen protector, which is a nice touch.
The display of the Poco M3 is superb, with vibrant colours and excellent viewing angles. Although the display may appear saturated, this is not unusual for smartphone displays. The display’s peak brightness is 400 nits indoors. The peak brightness measured at 212 nits. In bright sunlight, the Poco M3 may have problems. It was however, readable outside better than the Redmi 9 Power.
WideVine L1 support can also be found on the phone. This allows you to stream HD content directly from your box, such as Netflix and other OTT platforms. This combination and the stereo speaker setup make it very immersive for content watching. The dewdrop notch can sometimes be distracting. We would love a punch-hole cutout, but the price is reasonable.
POCOM3: BATTERY LIFE
The Poco M3 has a massive 6,000mAh battery that supports 18W Fast Charging. More companies are offering ‘Power’ smartphones to sub-12K users. This is something we support. The Poco M3’s battery can last for around two days so even heavy users can use the phone. We spent the entire day streaming content, playing Asphalt 9 or COD: Mobile, taking photos and recording videos. The battery had remained solid at 46% by 10 pm.
The adapter can charge the phone at 18W Fast Charger, despite being 22.5W. The phone was fully charged in less than two hours and fifty minutes. This is quite slow. If you’re not a heavy user, however, your device won’t require as much charging. We found that Netflix HD streaming for half an hour reduced the battery’s power by 6 percent. GPS navigation decreased it by another 6 percent.
You can charge USB-C devices with the Poco M3 externally by using it as a power source. The phone supports reverse wire charging. You can connect your Poco M3 to another device by using a USB C-to-USB C cable. You can use it to charge other USB-C devices. It isn’t fast enough for charging other devices but it should be capable of giving other phones an additional percentage point of battery life, or charging smaller devices such as TWS headphones.
POCOM3: CAMERA PERFORMANCE
The Poco M3 features a triple rear camera system. It features a 48MP primary lens with an f/1.8 aperture, and a macro camera of 2MP having an aperture of f/2.4. An aperture of f/2.4 is also available for a 2MP depth camera. The ultrawide lens is not available on other models, such as Redmi 9 Power or Realme Narzo 20. Selfies can be taken with an 8MP camera. Here are some examples from our camera models.
The main camera captured decent daylight photos. The dynamic range was acceptable but the shadows were not detailed enough. HDR was turned on to make this possible. The phone could extract more information from shadows when HDR was turned on. Despite some background blur, the phone is unable to focus on close-ups. Although Pro Colour mode can add a pop of colour to photos it can sometimes look cartoonish.
Macro mode does not have auto-focus so the focus locking problem is even more complicated. It is very difficult to focus the camera in macro mode. The 2MP lens photos are not of good quality, even when they do.
Low-light performance of the primary rear camera is poor. The phone is noisy and difficult to focus. Night Mode makes low light photography a little easier. However, focus issues remain.