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Poco M3: The Big Budget Smartphone

The Xiaomi spinoff brand, Poco, had established itself as a “Flagship Killer” since its early days. The Poco M series also walks a similar path. After setting the budget segment on fire with the Poco M2 last season, the Poco M3 has become the new talk of the town. Why would it not? What other sub-25k phone packs this good a package?

The Xiaomi-backed brand, now independent, has what budding brands can only drool over– the backing of a market-leading tech giant. And it shows! As soon as you pick up the phone, you immediately notice that this phone is what it claims: bang for your buck.

The display is not what you call flagship class, but there is little room to complain. Like most of what Xiaomi offers, the screen is ample bright with a teardrop style notch. Yes, the teardrop style notch and visible bezels look so 2019, but that can be quickly set aside considering the price. The screen in itself is a 6.53 inch IPS panel with 1080p resolution.

On the back is where the phone becomes a breath of fresh air. Taking a step back from the glossy fingerprint magnets we are used to seeing on flagships and ‘flagship killers,’ the Poco M3 features a plastic back with a leather-like texture.

Contrary to popular opinion, plastic is in many ways better than glass. It’s shatterproof, cheaper to manufacture and durable. Plus, the absence of branding on the plastic gives it a relatively clean look. In contrast, the massive glass window that houses the optics is what makes this phone stand out. The designers at Poco decided to add the word “POCO” on the glass quarter of the phone’s back, making it even more pronounced.

The Poco M3 wouldn’t have stood out in its class for the design alone. The smartphone packs a good chipset, all sorts of connectivity, stereo speakers, and an impressive battery with 6,000mAh capacity and fast charging. Oh, and not pointing fingers, but the fast charger is included in the box.

The cameras on the Poco M3, like its chipset, are pretty vanilla. It is not bad by any means, but then again, we put anything we have through the same metrics as the highest-end flagships out there. For a smartphone that is a quarter the price of the modern-day flagship, there is really no room to complain.

The photos retain respectable details, but the shadows lack definition. Even so, with ample light, this phone will surely pump-out decent Instagrammable shots. Sadly, the same cannot be said for night mode shots. Low-light photos from the Poco M3 are grainy and over-sharpened. Things take a turn for the better with the dedicated Night Mode turned on, but don’t expect a miracle.

Okay, so far, the review has been “average phone but great for its price,” as the Poco M3 doesn’t really excel in any department: chipset-average, camera-average, screen-average, design…, I must say that the design has grown on me, but that is subjective, so I leave that to the readers. Despite the so-so spec sheet, the Poco M3 does shine when it comes to battery life. The behemoth 6000mAH cell on the smartphone makes it a confident two-day phone.

The phone will set you back for Rs 19,300 to 23,000, depending on the variant you decide to get. The final verdict: Poco M3 is an excellent package for the price and is a deserving candidate to consider if you are willing to compromise a little on the camera department, and more importantly on a tight budget.

Body:
162.3×77.3×9.6mm
198g
Gorilla Glass 3(Front)
Plastic back & frame.

Display:
6.53”
IPS LCD
400 nits
1080x2340px resolution,395ppi
19.5:9 aspect ratio

Chipset:
Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662 (11 nm): Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
Adreno 610

Memory:
UFS 2.1 – 64GB 4GB RAM, OR
UFS 2.2 – 128GB 4GB RAM
microSDXC (dedicated slot)

OS/Software:
Android 10, MIUI 12

Rear camera:
Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.0”, 0.8µm
Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4
Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4

Front camera:
8 MP, f/2.1, (wide), 1/4.0”, 1.12µm

Video capture:
Rear camera: 1080p@30fps
Front camera: 1080p@30fps

Battery:
6000mAh
Fast charging 18W
Reverse charging

Misc:
Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); FM radio; Infrared port; stereo speakers; 3.5mm jack

I am Sushil Neaupane and I am a writer, techie, and travel enthusiast. I have a fascination-cum-obsession with mobile technology and I am always on the lookout for the next best gadget. If you happen to come across something along those lines, feel free to reach out to me.

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