POCO X3 Pro review: a people's hit with flagship hardware
First of all, the X3 Pro differs from the popular X3 NFC in its Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chip. The system on the chip is almost a complete copy of the Snapdragon 855+. The processor part is built with three clusters: one 2.96GHz Cortex-A76 main core, three 2.42GHz Cortex-A76 performance cores and four 1.8GHz energy efficient Cortex-A55 cores. The differences between the two generations of chips lie in software enhancements for camera performance and support for up to 16GB of RAM, which is irrelevant in our case.
Paired with the Snapdragon 860 is the Adreno 640 graphics accelerator. The POCO X3 Pro has 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Storage is not difficult to expand with microSD, but you have to choose between a second SIM card or additional memory. The vendor claims to have liquid cooling technology in the smartphone. However, it doesn't save much against trotting. According to the benchmark CPU Throttling Test, after 7 minutes of running the test performance drops to 75%, and for half an hour of the application - up to 60% of the original figure. In turn, the graphics accelerator under load is much more stable: in the 3DMark stress test after the twentieth cycle the performance decreased by only 1%.
Next, we tested the Snapdragon 860's capabilities in practice. Each game was run with the best graphics settings. The device always worked in maximum performance mode, which is activated through the proprietary Game Turbo utility. The fps measurements were made in PerfDog software.
Nowadays IPS matrixes are more often installed in budget phones, so quality LCD panels can be seen more and more seldom. Surprisingly, the POCO X3 Pro has remained an 'old timer'. It has a 6.67-inch IPS screen with FHD+ resolution. The colour rendering of the panel is not as saturated as that of competitors with AMOLED, but colors look more natural. The maximum brightness is enough for a comfortable perception of information in direct sunlight.
The main tricks of the matrix is support for 120 Hertz scanning and touch response rate of 240 times per second. The latter is especially relevant in fast-moving games. The panel's drawbacks include a fading black background at a slant and highlights on the perimeter of the screen and front camera. The display is covered by Gorilla Glass 6 with an oleophobic coating, which is already covered with a protective film from the factory.
Externally, the X3 NFC and X3 Pro can be distinguished by the presence of two matte stripes on the plastic cover. Otherwise, it's the same weighty and chunky gadget with a fingerprint scanner in the power button, a protruding camera pad and an aluminium bezel around the perimeter. At the top end there's an IR sensor for controlling home appliances and at the bottom there's an audio jack. It is pleased with the presence of stereo speakers, although the speaking one is quieter than the main one. Above the display is a LED indicator, which will be indispensable due to the lack of Always on Display.
It comes with a transparent silicone case that protects the camera unit and screen from drops with its high sides. This case has a cover for the USB Type-C port, which the first thing you want to do is to cut it off - it prevents you from using the connector. The smartphone is not afraid of rain and dust, its case is licensed under the IP53 standard. However, swimming in the pool with the Poco X3 Pro is clearly not worth it.
The novelty is running Android 11 OS, on top of which the MIUI 12 shell is installed. The proprietary interface has never been known for its lightning-fast responsiveness, and the Poco X3 Pro is no exception. Despite the powerful processor, in the work of the system now and then noticeable friction. Among the interesting features are a wide customization of the desktop, a couple of power saving presets and cleaning the speakers with a loud 30-second signal. The gadget also boasts an NFC module and a Z-axis vibration motor with a soft kick.
The rear camera consists of four modules. The main lens is now a 48 megapixel Sony IMX582 (instead of the 64 megapixel IMX682 of the previous model). Helping it out is an 8-megapixel wide-angle with a 119 angle of view and f/2.2 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro module and a depth sensor. The fixed-focus front camera gets a 20MP resolution and f/2.2 aperture. The built-in shooting app offers a large number of presets, which we tested below.
The POCO X3 Pro video writes in maximum 4K resolution at 30 fps. There's no stabilization in this mode.
When recording FHD video at 60 fps electronic stabilization is activated. The device performs decently when shaking, however, the autofocus is slow to focus.
The smartphone also copes with overloads from loud music. During the recording of the concert Kino there were no serious artifacts on the sound track.
POCO X3 Pro has an impressive 5160 mAh battery. The battery has enough energy for a day of moderate use without any problems, but the autonomy strongly depends on the selected screen hertz. In our standard FHD clip playback test in air mode, the phone lasted around 14 hours and 18 hours when scrolling through a YouTube clip. In the game Genshin Impact, the gadget lasted 3 hours and 40 minutes, and in Asphalt 9, it lasted around 5 hours. The figures are not record-breaking, but are normal for such a mobile phone.
The novelty supports fast charging. The manufacturer has put in the kit power supply for 33 watts. With it, the device is charged to 50% in half an hour, and to 100% - in 1 hour 15 minutes.
The novelty makes a mixed impression. Surprisingly, the POCO X3 Pro is inferior to the previous X3 NFC model in terms of photo capabilities. Otherwise, the device boasts a good battery life, a high-quality IPS display with 120 Hertz and a recognizable design. The Snapdragon 860 chipset still has plenty of juice: the smartphone easily pulls off the most demanding games.