Weeks after its global debut, the POCO M3 is now available in India. It’s a distinctive looking and competitively priced phone powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Chipset and with a massive 6000mAh battery – something affordable phone buyers prioritize.
The dynamics of the affordable phone market have changed a lot since last year as the increased taxes and duties have made it really hard for OEMs to accommodate as much value. Poco being an emerging brand can manage at razer thin margins and views this as an opportunity, focusing its efforts in the under 15K segment. So, does the Poco M3 manages to impress? We will discuss that and more in our Poco M3 review that follows.
Poco M3 Pro Review: Price and Specifications
|Display||6.53-inch (2340 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+; Gorilla Glass 3|
|Chipset||11nm Octa Core Snapdragon 662 Mobile Platform with Adreno 610 GPU|
|Storage||6GB LPPDDR4x RAM with 64GB (UFS 2.1) / 128GB (UFS 2.2) storage; Expandable|
|Software||Android 10 with MIUI 12|
|Rear camera||48MP primary f/1.79), 2MP depth, 2MP macro camera|
|Others||Side mounted fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi, Stereo speakers|
|Dimensions and weight||162.3×77.3×9.6mm; Weight: 197g|
|Battery||6000mAh, 18W fast charging|
|Price||6GB + 64GB – INR 10,999|
6GB + 128GB – INR 11,999
Poco M3 Unboxing
Poco M3 comes in a flashy yellow box and is not skipping any of the regular box contents. Here are all the things bundled in the box:
- TPU case
- 22.5W Wall charger (though, the phone only supports 18W fast charging)
- Data cable
- SIM ejector tool
- User manual
Poco M3 review: Design and build quality
The Poco M3 appears distinctive and refreshing. It’s available in three colors – black, yellow, and blue – and we opted for the playful bright yellow. Just looking at it, the Poco M3 makes quite a positive first impression!
The plastic back panel has a rubberized faux leather texture and the panel folds to form side edges. The peculiar rectangular black glass engulfing the triple camera setup is bound to draw polarizing opinions. That’s because the extra-large Poco branding might not sit well with many consumers, but I for one don’t particularly mind it.
The facia of the phone is dominated by a large screen with a dew-drop notch and a sizeable chin. At the top of the phone, there’s the earpiece, a 3.5mm audio jack, an IR blaster, and a microphone. The phone has the volume keys and the power button on the right side edge and the latter also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. A triple-card tray finds a real-estate on the left edge. Finally, at the bottom edge, there’s another speaker completing the stereo setup, a mic, and USB-C port for charging and data transfer.
Poco’s bold attempt with M3 design seems to be paying off well. We kind of like the look and feel of the phone, especially when compared against other available options in the same budget.
Poco M3 review: Display
The Poco M3 gets a 6.53-inches LCD screen with a 1920x1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate – which makes it among select few FHD+ phones in the under 12k segment.
The display has Gorilla Glass 3 protection layer on top and goes up 400 bright (claims Poco). This is a standard LCD display that’s tough to use outdoors under direct sun and viewing angles are not very wide. The good thing is that Poco adds options to tweak color profiles and temperature under display settings.
As far as media consumption, Poco M3 does not particularly stand out. Color vibrancy and contrast are about average. On a positive note, there is HD streaming support for Netflix and Prime video.
Poco M3 review: Performance and software
Just like the global version the Poco M3, the India edition is also driven by Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 platform. The 600-series octa-core chipset debuted earlier this year as a successor to Snapdragon 665. In India, Poco is pairing the Snapdragon 662 with 6GB RAM and 64GB UFS 2.1 or 128GB UFS 2.2 storage. It packs a 6000-mAh battery which seems to fast becoming an industry norm in under 15K segment. The massive battery also supports 18W fast charging while the bundled charger is capable of delivering 22.5W fast charging.
How’s the real-life performance of Poco M3?
Well, it has delivered a good day-to-day user experience thus far. Yes, there have been frame drops and glitches here and there, but that can be said for all affordable phones launched in the last 6 months. Navigating through UI and switching between the apps was smooth.
We were able to do some casual gaming on the Poco M3. High end games like Call of Duty mobiles didn’t run very smooth at high settings. Overall, our gaming experience on Poco M3 was moderate at best. If you are into gaming, we’d recommend you extend your budget by a few thousand and for MediaTek Dimensity G series chips.
On the software side, it runs on Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 software based on Android 10. Unlike, Xiaomi phones, Poco promises to offer an ad-free experience to its customers, but there are still push notifications from system and proprietary apps that need to be dealt with individually. There are several preloaded apps on the phone but most third party options can be uninstalled.
Once again, for the price, the performance and software are perfect apt. Buyers looking for a phone in the entry-grade segment won’t be disappointed.
Poco M3 camera review
Even in camera segment, Poco adheres to prevailing trend of stacking multiple sensors at the back of the phone. The Poco M3 flaunts a triple setup which is led by a 48MP sensor that’s assisted by a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor (which hardly serve any purpose). On the front, we have an 8MP selfie camera.
We had high hopes from the 48MP primary sensor which did deliver fairly decent images in daylight. While highlights are captured with a good amount of details but shadows turn out slightly soft. The HDR performance was a mixed bag.
The performance expectedly faltered in lowlight and dark scenes and we also noticed focus hunting issues occasionally. We tested portrait mode and the results were promising. The camera manages to detect subject edges and to effectively blur background. The macro camera delivers low-resolution images that aren’t really worth bragging about.
The selfie camera proved decent for the price. Images are a tad soft which is usually the case in this price range. Excessive smoothing to counter noise grains further eats into details more so in low light.
Poco M3 review: Battery
Battery is clearly one of the high points of the Poco M3. It packs a 6,000mAh battery that can easily last over a day and a half. We also perform HD video loop test, where it managed to last for 16 hours and 13 minutes. The bundled charger manages fully charge the Poco M3 in a little over 2 hours.
Poco M3 review verdict, pros, and cons
The Poco M3 manages to offers quite a lot for the asking price and is definitely worth considering. It looks distinctive, is a reliable performer and houses an assuring 6000mAh battery. The casual gaming experience is also fairly good for the price. Having said that, affordable price tag is bound to add limitations as are evident in display quality and camera performance.
Over all, the Poco M3 seems to make the right compromises and should appeal to a wide spectrum of people.
- Excellent battery life
- Distinctive looks
- Stereo speakers
- IR remote is an added bonus
- Supports HD streaming
- Average cameras
- Moderate charging speed