Poco X3 Pro review: without control, power is nothing

by Kelvin
test poco x3 pro prix

A few months after the Poco X3, Poco launches a slightly more muscular Pro version. Poco’s philosophy is essentially based on performance and autonomy, the brand considering that these two criteria remain the most important in the eyes of consumers.

Poco evolving in the shadow of Xiaomi, it also relies on an extremely interesting techno-price ratio. In any case, on paper. Does this verify in use? This is what we will see in this test of the Poco X3 Pro.

Poco X3 Pro price and availability

The Poco X3 Pro is available for € 209.99 (6/128 GB). It invites itself on an increasingly crowded segment. In this price bracket we find the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, the realme 8 Pro or the Galaxy A52 4G. Three models with an excellent techno-price ratio.

  

Design: me, ugly and nasty

In the past, Poco has not particularly distinguished itself by its talents as a designer. His smartphones still meet the codes of Asian consumers, less to those of Europeans, evidenced by the imposing logo on the back cover of the Poco X3 Pro.

Dressed in plastic, this model does not shine by its elegance. A large shiny band (follower of fingerprints) stretches over the entire rear surface. The two outer bands inherit a matt coating. For once, we would have preferred a little more sobriety with a fully matt shell.

poco x3 pro design test

Even if it means opting for rough finishes, you might as well share it with everyone. The photo module also adopts an unenviable format. Particularly prominent, it takes the form of a rectangle with rounded widths. Unheard of and we understand why.

poco x3 pro camera test

Do you consider us a bit cruel? Wait a bit until you know the weight of the beast. 215 grams, here is the beautiful baby that must be transported and handled every day. An acceptable weight for a glass smartphone, much less if it is dressed in plastic, even if the generous battery justifies this overweight.

poco x3 pro autonomy test

The other elements are positioned in a classic way: USB-C and speaker on the lower border, on / off (with fingerprint reader) and volume buttons on the right, nanoSIM slot on the left. We welcome the good integration of the screen and the presence of a 3.5 mm jack. A very small consolation.

Screen and audio: ouch

We will see later, Poco puts the package on performance. Obviously, to offer your X3 Pro at a reasonable price you had to make sacrifices elsewhere.

The screen is the first element to suffer. No AMOLED here (unlike the Redmi Note 10 from Xiaomi) but a 6.67 ” IPS LCD panel with Full HD + definition, a refresh rate of 120 Hz (all the same) and a sampling rate of 240 Hz.

poco x3 pro screen test

Choosing an LCD panel has several drawbacks: blacks are less black, contrasts less marked and energy consumption greater. Unfortunately for him, the Poco X3 Pro ticks all the boxes.

Some LCD panels remain of excellent quality you say. You are right. Yet this is not the case here. When leaving the factory, the screen is incorrectly calibrated and draws too much blue.

poco x3 pro punch test

To correct the shooting, juggling between the different display modes is not enough. We must not only identify the right mode but above all adjust the color palette as well as the temperature to find the best compromise. And it is much more difficult than it seems.

We will console ourselves with the very good brightness of the panel allowing use in direct sunlight. The frequency of 120 Hz, it will delight gaming enthusiasts and fans of social networks. As long as you make some compromises on autonomy.

Surprising audio

If the screen does not convince us completely, the audio quality is there. First, because the presence of a 3.5 mm jack allows the connection of headphones without carrying an adapter. Then because the Poco X3 Pro is Hi-Res certified, guarantee of excellent sound quality. Finally, because it is bluetooth 5.0 compatible and supports SBC, AAC, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX TWS + and LDAC codecs.

Whether you are a wired team or a wireless team, there is something for you. The Poco X3 Pro delivers excellent sound quality and even allows itself to compete with some premium models. The speakers do the job but don’t impress. You can’t have it all either.

Performance and interface: all good

Historically, the Poco brand has made itself known by focusing primarily on performance. The Poco X3 Pro carries with it this philosophy since it integrates a Snapdragon 860 processor capable of delivering almost as much power as a top-of-the-line 2020 smartphone. In this price range, it’s just mind-blowing.

poco x3 pro interface test

The Poco X3 Pro therefore has no difficulty in accomplishing everyday tasks, including the most resource-intensive. Well helped by its 6 GB of RAM, he goes through the work without ever showing any signs of fatigue.

The players will also have for their account, the GPU Adreno 640 allowing to play the last fashionable licenses (etc.) with high graphic configurations and a flawless fluidity.

MIUI 12: journey into known terrain

These excellent performances are accompanied by MIUI 12, the same interface as that of smartphones by Xiaomi. We will therefore not dwell on a software part analyzed lengthwise, broadly and crosswise in our recent tests of Xiaomi devices.

MIUI 12 is among the most enjoyable Android versions to use daily. Highly customizable, this new version finally welcomes the application drawer so dear to purists. Its graphic charter pumped out inspired by iOS has the advantage of navigating familiar ground if you come from the world of Apple.

Note also that Poco has relieved itself of certain unnecessary or even annoying elements of MIUI 12. We think for example of the reduced number of pre-installed applications or the absence of advertisements, including during the damn antivirus scan (still there, unfortunately ).

Autonomy blah, very fast recharging

The disadvantage of an LCD panel is that it consumes more energy than an OLED panel (on the latter the LEDs go out to produce black). And that’s even more true if the refresh rate peaks at 120Hz.

poco x3 pro price test

Unfortunately, the Poco X3 Pro is the perfect illustration of this. Although equipped with a generous 5160 mAh battery, it hardly manages to exceed the day of use versatile. As long as we nag on the videos or the game, we will have to go through the recharge box every evening. Nothing dramatic but far from the performance of its sidekick, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, equipped with a… AMOLED screen. CQFD.

To compensate for this lack of endurance, a 33W charger is provided in the box. It allows to recharge the smartphone up to 60% in thirty minutes and 100% within one hour. Excellent results, especially in this price range. Obviously, the Poco X3 Pro is not compatible with wireless charging. The opposite would have been very surprising.

Camera: good and bad

Photography has never been at the heart of Poco’s priorities. But the growing interest of consumers for this criterion (including on affordable models) has forced the manufacturer to question itself. The Poco X3 Pro therefore inherits a muscular configuration composed of the following four modules:

  • a wide-angle (f / 1.8); 48 Mpxl (1/2 ”; 0.8 µm) sensor, PDAF
  • an ultra wide-angle (f / 2.2); field of view 119 °; 8 Mpxl sensor
  • a macro lens (f / 2.4); 2 Mpxl sensor
  • a depth sensor 2 Mpxl; lens aperture f / 2.4

The regulars of smartphones Xiaomi will recognize a fairly classic but effective combo. This is even truer with this X3 Pro which, thanks to its Snapdragon 860 chip, benefits from even more power for better digital image processing.

poco x3 pro photo sensors test

Far from being perfect, the main sensor is comfortable in good light conditions. The sharpness is good, the contrasts marked and the colors close to reality. We could just blame him for a somewhat capricious white balance. However, it is difficult to hold it against him in view of the price of the smartphone.

Like its competitors, the Poco X3 Pro does not have a telephoto lens, too expensive for products in this range. We must therefore be satisfied with a purely digital zoom. Up to 2x it turns out to be quite correct. Beyond, the image loses sharpness and the noise points the tip of its nose.

Well helped by the depth sensor, the main module allows you to capture good quality portraits. The clipping is clean, the bokeh correct. The icing on the optics, you can adjust the intensity of the background blur during and after the shoot.

Poco X3 Pro review: without control, power is nothing 5

At night, the Poco X3 Pro does not deserve, provided you use night mode. Without it, the pictures are too deteriorated to hope to exploit them. Nothing very surprising for a smartphone at 300 euros.

Poco X3 Pro review: without control, power is nothing 7

So far, the X3 Pro is doing pretty well. Alas, like many smartphones sold under the bar of 300 euros, its secondary sensors are not up to the main one.

Given the lack of interest in the macro lens, we will forgive its mediocrity. On the other hand, we are more severe when it comes to evaluating the ultra wide angle.

Without being catastrophic, the latter includes all the faults that other manufacturers have largely corrected. First, the distortion is clearly visible. Then the loss of detail is obvious, including in the center of the image. Finally, the difference in colorimetry compared to the main sensor is obvious. Too bad, the power of the processor would have made it possible to do much better.

Let us conclude this chapter devoted to photography on two more positive notes. The 20 MP front sensor (wide-angle f / 2.2 lens) does its job very well. The Poco X3 Pro can also shoot 4K at 30fps with decent results.

Our opinion on the Poco X3 Pro

The Poco X3 Pro perfectly embodies the brand’s philosophy: high performance and… that’s it. Apart from a particularly neat audio part and a polished interface, the X3 Pro never manages to compete with its competitors.

Its design lacks elegance, its camera of versatility, its screen of balance. The X3 Pro also lacks a bit of endurance and its charging system is not transcendent. Ultimately, the Poco X3 Pro is above all a powerful smartphone. But as everyone knows, without mastery, power is nothing.

Poco X3 Pro

€ 299

poco x3 pro test

Performance and interface

9.0 / 10

Autonomy and charge

8.0 / 10

Price-quality ratio

7.0 / 10

WE love

  • Excellent performance
  • Very good audio quality
  • Good main photo sensor
  • Fast recharge
  • Intuitive interface

We like less

  • Badly calibrated LCD screen
  • Lack of elegance
  • Heavy, very heavy
  • Secondary photo sensors to review
  • Autonomy too tight

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