The Poco M3 was one of the most successful budget-oriented devices in Indian in 2020, and for good reason. The phone offered a good set of distinctive features, which should not be desired if you keep the price in mind. Now the new Poco M3 aims to improve on it with better experience, performance and looks. We used the Poco M3 for a week and here we think about the latest mid-range device.
Poco M3 specifications: 6.53 inch IPS LCD FHD + screen | Snapdragon 662 chipset, 6GB RAM + 64GB or 128GB storage. 48MP Main Camera + 2MP + 2MP Camera | 8MP Front Camera | 6,000mAh battery supporting 18,000 fast charging.
Poco M3 Review: Design
The best-selling Poco on the M2 is the new design of the M3. Although I don’t remind it of the OnePlus 8T cyberpunk version, the similarities are mainly with the rectangular camera module.
The phone is available in three colors, black, blue and Poco’s signature yellow. Three colors provide different levels between the rear panel and the larger black camera module. Black is the subtlest, while Poco Yellow is the most vibrant and my favorite of the bunch.
Of course, the best looking phone in the segment, the Poco M3 is one of the few phones that I would definitely use without a case or skin.
The phone has a single plastic back covering the front of the screen. The textured back panel is easy to hold, but it is missing on the sides, where it would have been most useful. Along the sides, you get a very tactile volume rocker keys and a power button with an in-built fingerprint reader.
The entire colored section of the rear is cleaned without any branding, which instead finds its way onto the camera module in larger fonts. I am not a fan of the ‘big-branding’ trend these days after Realme and Poco, and it should be said that it does away with some premium feel.
Poco M3 Review: Display
The 1080 x 2340 pixels FHD + panel of the Poco M3 is one of the plus points of the phone. The screen provides a crisp experience and the viewing angles are not bad either. The peak brightness of 400 nits changes to decent outdoor visibility, but not too much is expected under direct sunlight.
The previously applied screen protector was not very useful and quickly lifted both scratches and fingerprints. I would say peel it off and apply better quality protection or rely on Gorilla Glass 3.
Budget devices sometimes lead to issues such as screen bleeding near the edges. There are no such problems with the Poco M3. The vibrant colors are also quite accurate and you don’t see any yellow, green or pink marks anywhere. Although the contrasts at this price cannot be compared to AMOLED levels, this IPS panel is one of the best segments you can find.
Poco M3 Review: Camera
The 48MP camera is a clear upgrade over the older 13MP camera, which captures more detail and light in pictures. However, the disappearance of ultra-wide-angle sensors can be a deal-breaker for those looking for a more complete camera package.
In my view, an extra 8MP ultra-wide camera lens is nothing extravagant, but a much better deal on two near-useless 2MP sensors. It is already 2021 and the 2MP sensor needs to be removed.
That said, the new primary sensor on the Poco M3 takes fairly good shots, especially if you have good natural lighting around. The details look great, and the processing and dynamic range is slightly better than what you find at this value. However, photos tend to be soft at night and artificial / low light performance is above average.
The front camera also takes decent photos during the day, but falls quickly during the night and under artificial light, when the photos turn out to be grainy and soft, respectively. However, it is given in this segment.
Poco M3 Review: Software and Performance
The Poco M3 runs MIUI 12 on top of Android 10 and while Poco claims that you get an ad-free system experience, expect a suggestion screen when you install the application (4D in the collage below Image), which counts as advertisements. You also get a bunch of bloatware, most of which cannot be removed. There is still no way to get rid of Xiaomi’s ‘GetApps’ option from the Play Store.
On inexpensive devices, MIUI skin often acts as a double-edged sword, highlighting the weight of the skin and its best features. Be prepared to expect some occasional slowness in the MIUI 12 interface, especially noticeable when you have a bunch of notifications put together. However, this was significantly reduced after a software update.
The Poco M3 flies through day-to-day tasks with ease, and the extra RAM helps you run more applications simultaneously. The phone handles low to medium level games like mini-militia and bombsquad with ease, but it can feel a bit choppy in resource-heavy titles like Call of Duty or Need for Speed No Limits. Heating is not a problem due to the plastic backs.
The Poco M3 isn’t weak when it comes to performance, but this look is the most average part of a device that excels in all other areas. The fingerprint sensor was accurate, but not very sharp. The stereo speakers provide a great experience. Although the top and bottom outputs give you different volume levels and sound signatures, this experience is far better than any single speaker output seen in the segment.
Poco M3 review: battery life
The Poco M3 has a large 6,000 mAh battery and gives you easy days of use. To turn off this phone in two days, you must be an average or heavy user. With light use, the phone can easily be charged only three to four times a week. Keep in mind that resource-intensive games and apps, like most phones, will have a greater impact on the battery than lighter apps.
The presence of a USB Type-C port with 18W fast charging has now become standard at this price point and it is good to see that the Poco M3 does not give up.
Poco M3 review: verdict
If I select at night, the software can still use some weight loss to give the phone better user interface speed. However, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading from the M2, unless you absolutely want a new look from the M3.
The Poco M3 is a great budget device for the price you pay. Starting at Rs 10,999, the Poco M3 gets several important looks. The phone enhances the features of the popular M2 and editions like stereo speakers, unique looks and a large battery make it an ideal phone for teens and college students looking for a good budget device for less than Rs 12-13,000.