Poco M3 Review: Poco M3 comes with a Snapdragon 662 processor, 6GB RAM, and a Poco M3 battery.
Poco’s latest smartphone, the Poco M3, has just arrived in India. It is priced at sub-Rs.15,000 to compete with other smartphones such as the Redmi 9Power and Moto G9 Power.
The Poco M2 is its successor and it has some improvements such as a larger battery, more RAM and better cameras. Is this enough to make it superior to the rest? To find out, read our complete review.
Poco M3 Design
The Poco M3 has a similar size to the M2. The Poco M3 has a 6.53-inch display with a dewdrop-notch at the top. Although the bezels are thick, this is normal considering the price. The M3’s plastic body is solid and has been made by Poco. The back panel is textured, which keeps fingerprints from it and makes it easier to grip the smartphone.
Poco has increased the M3’s battery capacity to 6,000mAh. This is compared to the 5,000mAh Poco M2. The smartphone now weighs in at 197g. This is evident when you hold it. The smartphone’s back has been curved by Poco to make it more comfortable to hold.
The volume and power buttons are located on the right. They are well-placed, so they are easy to reach. The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the power button. The buttons provided excellent clicky feedback, which made it difficult to guess the second.
The SIM tray is located on the left, and the 3.5mm audio jack (and an IR emitter) are located on the top. A secondary speaker can be found above them. Along with the primary microphone, the speaker, and a USB Type C port, the Poco M3 features a USB Type C port.
The Poco M3’s back is very well designed. It makes the phone look much more expensive than it is.
The phone’s raised camera module features a piano-black design element that runs across its back and a large Poco logo. This looks great, but it is the only Poco M3 spot that can pick up fingerprints. It also stops the phone’s tendency to rock around when it is flat on a desk.
The box contains a 22.5W charging cable and a transparent case. Poco pre-applies a screen protector to the M3. Three color options are available: Poco Yellow (Cool Blue), and Power Black. This review was done with a Poco Yellow unit. It caught my attention because of its bright yellow color.
Software and Specifications for Poco M3
The Poco M3 is one of the few sub-Rs. 12,000 smartphones have a Full-HD+ display. The majority of manufacturers offer HD+ resolutions in this price range.
The Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power (Review), is an exception. Poco M3’s 6.53-inch display has a 19.5 to9 aspect ratio, making it both tall and narrow. The Poco M3 has Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is a nice touch.
The Poco M3’s hardware is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, which is a popular choice for this price. It’s also used to power the Redmi 9 Power as well as the Moto G9 Power.
The M3 comes with 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and either 64GB or 12GB UFS2.2 storage. The base variant, with 64GB storage, was my choice. It costs Rs. I had the base variant with 64GB of storage for this review. The price for the higher variant is Rs. 11,999.
It is somewhat odd that storage variants use two different standards. The price difference between them is negligible, so it’s hard to decide which one you prefer. You can expand your storage by using the microSD card slot. The Poco M3 has Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, dual 4G, and five navigation systems.
On the Poco M3, you get MIUI 12 as an addition to Android 10. With a few minor changes, the UI is very similar in design to MIUI on Xiaomi smartphones. The December Android security update was installed on this smartphone.
The Poco M3 is supposed not to have ads, like its Redmi counterparts. I didn’t notice any during my review period. Poco was also free of spammy notifications.
This tip tips the balance in favor of Poco over Xiaomi. You still have a lot of preinstalled apps, such as Facebook and GetApps. All of them except Mi Pay could be uninstalled.
The UI will be familiar to anyone who has used a Poco smartphone or a Xiaomi smartphone before. You won’t have any problems switching to the UI from another device.
You can easily switch to swipe-based navigation on the Poco M3. You can also use gestures like the three-finger swipe for a screenshot and the three-finger swipe to make a selection.
Poco M3 Battery Life and Performance
The Poco M3 was flawless throughout the week that I used it. It is easy to access and quick to unlock the smartphone with the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It is possible to also set up facial recognition.
This worked well. With 6GB RAM, I was able to multitask easily and the phone could run multiple apps at once before closing them.
Although the display is good enough to read indoors, I found that the brightness was a little too low for outdoor use. Stereo speakers can enhance your experience while watching videos.
To compare the Poco M3 to its competition, I ran the benchmark tests. The Poco M3 scored 180.594 points in AnTuTu. This is the same score as the Redmi 9 Power.
It scored 5883 points in PCMark Work 2.0. It scored 312 points in Geekbench 5 single-core and multi-core tests. In GFXBench’s Car Chase graphics and Manhattan 3.1 graphics tests, the Poco M3 achieved 31 and 12 fps respectively.
Call of Duty Mobile was played on my Poco M3 and defaulted to High graphics quality with a Medium frame rate. Although the game played smoothly, the rear got slightly warmer around the camera module.
After playing the game for 10 minutes, I noticed a 3 percent drop in battery. Although the battery drain is slightly higher than expected, it should still be manageable given the large battery.
The Poco M3 can easily last more than a day and a half with my usage. The phone lasted approximately 16 hours in our HD video loop test. The supplied charger charged the M3 to 28% in 30 minutes, and 54% in one hour. It took 2 hours to fully charge the phone.
Poco M3 Cameras
The Poco M3 has a triple camera setup in the back. It includes a 48-megapixel primary camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. There is also a 2-megapixel depth sensor. It also has an 8-megapixel camera in the dewdrop hole for selfies.
The camera app is easy to use. Although all the settings are clearly laid out, you will still need to enter a sub-menu in order to use the macro camera. This is something Poco has not changed. AI is built into the camera app. It can recognize what your phone is pointed at and adjust settings accordingly.
The Poco M3 took great photos. The phone took decent photos in daylight but I had to change HDR to Auto each time I launched the camera app. Although objects at a distance showed good detail in brighter areas, the shadows were lacking definition.
Close-up shots were average and required me to wait for the phone’s focus to be locked. The Poco M3 was able to distinguish the subject from its background and create a soft depth effect.
The Poco M3 was able to detect edges well in portrait shots. The Poco M3 can recognize people and objects. You can also adjust the blur level before taking a photo. You can get closer to your subject with the Macro camera than the primary camera. The Macro camera output has a lower resolution and much less detail.
The low-light performance of the camera was poor and I could see the grain. The phone takes approximately four seconds to capture one shot when Night mode is enabled. Night Mode produces better detail and less grain, but it does look oversharpened.
The Poco M3 took average selfies and the color tones were a little off. Portrait shots are possible with the Poco M3, which has excellent edge detection. Low-light selfies were also average and had excessive smoothing.
Video recording is limited to 1080p, both for the primary camera and the selfie-taker. The result is shaky footage because there is no stabilization.
If you are looking for a stylish smartphone, the Poco M3 will do. It has a powerful processor, 6GB RAM, and good performance. Multitasking and gaming are easy, and the 6,000mAh battery provides good battery life.
The camera performance is not the best. The Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power (Review) is a good option, but the Poco M3 offers more RAM and comes with ads. You can also check our list of best smartphones below Rs. 15,000.