Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review: A smartphone that punches above its budget price Review

Victoria D. Doty

Xiaomi has a trio of smartphone brands — Mi, Redmi and Poco. The most recent Poco model is the reasonably priced Poco X3 NFC, which you can get for £199 (inc. VAT) with 64GB of storage, or £229 if you’d fairly have 128GB. The cost is definitely powerful, but does […]

Xiaomi has a trio of smartphone brands — Mi, Redmi and Poco. The most recent Poco model is the reasonably priced Poco X3 NFC, which you can get for £199 (inc. VAT) with 64GB of storage, or £229 if you’d fairly have 128GB. The cost is definitely powerful, but does this handset make any design or aspect compromises that hamper usability?

The Poco X3 NFC is a shining example of how reasonably priced phones are catching up with mid-range handsets in conditions of design. An all-metal chassis is not feasible at this cost, but it does have metal sides and a difficult polycarbonate backplate. Impressively for a spending plan handset, the Poco X3 NFC has an IP ranking for dust and h2o resistance — though it is really only IP53, which implies the phone is ‘dust protected’ and can take care of ‘spraying water’. However, these options, alongside with a Gorilla Glass 5 display, give the Poco X3 NFC a reasonable level of defense towards knocks, drops and spills.

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Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC is a six.sixty seven-inch phone based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 732G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 64GB (£199) or 128GB (£229) of inside storage (expandable by way of MicroSD). It runs Android 10 with the MIUI 12 overlay, is IP53 rated for dust and h2o resistance, and the IPS display has a 120Hz refresh price.


Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet   

My overview unit was the gray choice (a deep blue/gray to my eyes). If you choose a brighter color, there is a blue choice of very similar hue to handsets from Huawei, Honor and OnePlus. What none of people phones have, although, is a huge vertical strip of black diagonal stripes operating up the backplate, into which the ‘Poco’ brand is embedded.

The handset is a little chunky at 9.4mm thick, and the quad digital camera array at the back again is housed in a lozenge that protrudes considerably. Luckily, the lozenge is centrally positioned so the phone does not rock and roll when placed on a desk and the display is pressed.

However, the backplate collects fingerprints, and is easy and slippery to grip. This is a major phone also, at seventy six.8mm huge and one hundred sixty five.3mm tall. I could not arrive at across the six.sixty seven-inch display one-handed. It really is a little weighty at 215g.

The proper edge of the handset has a quantity rocker and electricity button which houses a fingerprint scanner. Both of those are responsive and give the very softest of clicks when pressed. Xiaomi delivers a 3.5mm headset jack on the base edge, alongside one of the two speaker retailers. The other is in a huge, narrow grille over the display. Involving them they crank out reasonable quality audio: bass tones are not especially powerful, of system, but top quantity does not grate. I have heard a lot worse.

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The IR blaster and Mi Remote application are valuable options on a spending plan phone.


Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

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The top of the handset houses an IR blaster, which, for people who like to use their handset to regulate a Tv set or other IR-responsive gear, is a true joy. Amongst the lots of pre-installed applications is Mi Remote, which can be populated with knowledge from a entire range of third-occasion gear. I’m not guaranteed how valuable Chinese satellite TVs will be in the Uk, but the range of suppliers underneath every single of the top-level headings is genuinely massive.

The NFC in the handset’s name reveals that this is an NFC-geared up phone. Some spending plan phones absence this aspect, and devoid of it mobile payments are not feasible. It really is a pleasant shock to see it right here, and I never blame Xiaomi for heralding the actuality in the handset’s name.

There is an ingredient of advertisement support in this handset. From time to time adverts pop up and want to be dismissed before you can carry on. It really is a way of maintaining the handset’s value down, but it is actually, actually annoying. 

The display is a six.7-inch, twenty:9 component ratio IPS Lcd panel with one,080 by two,four hundred resolution (395ppi). The 120Hz refresh price — extraordinary on this kind of a reduced-value phone — assists with responsiveness, and the display feels nippy underneath the fingers. There’s a modest top bezel and a marginally further (but nonetheless modest) base bezel, and the display-to-overall body ratio is 84.7%.

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Android 10 and preinstalled software package took up 22.8GB of our overview unit’s 64GB of inside storage.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

At 395ppi, the display resolution is a little down below par, which mars the world wide web website page looking at encounter marginally. However, it is really churlish to complain also significantly, provided the cost. There’s a centrally located pinhole for the entrance digital camera, which is barely obvious when the handset is in use.

The Poco X3 NFC runs Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 overlay that tweaks the inventory Android glance-and-really feel. There are copious added purposes, which is why the 64GB installed on my overview handset had a big 22.8GB chunk taken out of it, leaving just 41.2GB no cost. This can be augmented with a MicroSD card, at the value of access to the second SIM slot. If the 64GB will never work for you, the 128GB edition of the Poco X3 NFC fees £229. It really is not a big markup for a lot more storage.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (no cost PDF) (TechRepublic)

The 4 cameras at the back again are: 64MP f/one.89 huge angle 13MP f/two.two ultrawide angle 2MP f/two.four macro (4cm) and 2MP f/two.four depth sensing. The entrance-struggling with digital camera is a 20MP f/two.two huge-angle unit. The two key rear cameras conduct perfectly for a handset at this cost issue, though the macro and depth-sensing cameras are less spectacular. The selfie digital camera is wonderful for social media obligations.

The Poco X3 NFC is a fantastic performer, thanks to its mid-range Snapdragon 732G chipset with 6GB of RAM. In accordance to Qualcomm, the 732G delivers 15% quicker graphics rendering than its 730G predecessor (found most lately in the Google Pixel 4a). As considerably as CPU performance goes, the Pixel 4a turned in Geekbench 5 scores of 547 (one core) and 1489 (multi core), even though the Poco X3 NFC scored 566 and 1557 respectively. By way of comparison, the Geekbench Android benchmark charts are at this time headed up by the Snapdragon 865-based OnePlus eight, with 898 (one core) and 3277 (multi core).

Battery performance was a mixed bag. The 5,160mAh battery is the greatest I have found for a even though, even beating the 5,000mAh battery in the £299 Moto G 5G Additionally. Below the PCMark for Android Perform two. battery daily life take a look at it delivered twenty several hours forty five minutes of daily life from a whole cost, when compared to eighteen several hours 49 minutes from the Moto G 5G Additionally. But the tables were turned when I asked the Poco X3 NFC to play whole-display YouTube video continuously. Executing so for three several hours depleted the battery by twenty five%, even though the Moto handset only dropped fourteen% undertaking the same job.

The Poco X3 NFC supports 33W rapid charging, with a claimed potential to go from vacant to thoroughly charged in 65 minutes and to deliver sixty two% cost in 30 minutes. The necessary 33W charger is supplied.

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Pop-up ads may possibly irritate, but assist to hold the cost down.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Conclusions 

Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC is wonderful worth for cash, if you never mind the pop-up adverts. The more high priced of the two alternatives is likely the one to go for, provided its 128GB of storage — but even that, at £229 (inc. VAT), punches over its cost. NFC support, an IP53 ranking, an interesting backplate design, reasonable speakers and an IR blaster may not audio like significantly individually, but together they make an interesting offer.

However, the standout options are the six.sixty seven-inch display with its 120Hz refresh price and the Snapdragon 732G chipset, which provides strong benchmark performance. Whilst the 5,160mAh battery seems to battle with extended video playback, it really should get lots of individuals by the day with potential to spare, even though rapid charging support is another as well as.

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