[Test] POCO X3 Pro: decent performance for a smartphone under 300 euros, but really no more

the POCO X3 Pro is positioned on the segment of smartphones less than 300 euros, a segment in which we now find mobiles largely at the level of specs of the category above. With its processor Snapdragon 860 and its sensor 48 MP, the POCO X3 Pro seems a priori well equipped to integrate the long list of Android smartphones which offer a lot for a minimal entry ticket. After a few days of use, our results are however a little more mixed, even if the overall impression remains rather positive.

Poco X3 Photo 13

This big logo on the back is something all the same …

A divisive design

The POCO X3 Pro is first and foremost a look that stands out in the current mobile landscape, with this huge POCO logo on the back of the device. Difficult to hang on to this choice of design, even if of course all tastes are in nature. The blue / black / bronze stripe and this logo in the center remind us a little of the stickers of some old sports cars. In short, we have a little trouble with that, but it is not the most important on a smartphone, especially when the latter is priced at 250 euros.

Poco X3 Picture Of 5

The POCO X3 Pro is damn thick

The second design feature that jumps out at us, so to speak, is the thickness of the “Bouzin” : with almost 1 cm thick (9.5 mm exactly) and 220 grams on the scale, the POCO X3 Pro is one of the most massive smartphones that has fallen into our hands. To this general mastoc aspect we must add a really very protruding photo block, which adds an additional 4 mm to the whole. As surprising as it may seem, these rather imposing dimensions make the X3 Pro rather pleasant to handle. Forget the soap effect of many much more upscale smartphones …

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A decent panel, but the 120 Hz disappoints

The screen is a 6.67 inch FHD + LCD panel in 20: 9 aspect ratio which offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz (60 HZ by default). The display is generally correct, but the colors are a little dull (and too sharp in the saturated mode), not very faithful, and we notice some pixelation effects despite the definition of 2400 × 1080. The implementation of 120 HZ turns out to be much more disappointing since we notice clear slowdowns and jerks on scrollings, whether they are web pages or even the general MUI 12 interface. In 60 HZ, it is is even worse of course. It is difficult all the same to understand these fluidity concerns on a 120 Hz panel (and knowing that it is an 860 which grinds behind…). Finally, the maximum brightness of the panel is really not very high, which means that the mobile is not really suitable for outdoor use, especially not in good weather.

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Power, but not everywhere

And since we are talking about perfs, here again it is a small disappointment: the bench show the usual and promising scores of the Snapdragon 860, but as we said above, we notice clear slowdowns and jerks on the MUI 12 interface, as if the smartphone had missed the software optimization stage. On the other hand, nothing to say about the performance with the apps and in particular the games, even if the slightly sluggish screen of the X3 Pro does not allow to obtain an image as sharp and clear as usual on a Genshin Impact (our evaluation game on the last mobiles tested on KG). We could still expect a little better for a mobile equipped with the Snapdragon 860 and 6 or 8 GB of RAM depending on the model. Note that the fingerprint sensor is placed on the activation button (on the right edge, just below the volume buttons), and that the latter works without worry.

Audio: very good with headphones

Regarding the audio part, it is rather average at the level of the HP, with a sound that saturates quite quickly as soon as you increase in volume. On the other hand, it is rather very good with headphones (connected via the Jack port still present!), With a well-balanced and precise sound reproduction, comfortable on all types of content and musical genres.

Photo: sensor at the top … but ISP picking it up

Does the POCO X3 Pro make a good photophone? The answer is no. Is the photo sufficient for its price positioning? Yes, but narrowly. In mid-light conditions, without too much contrast between dark areas / light areas, the X3 Pro makes quite satisfactory shots, of those who make us tell us that the photo part has really evolved on modern smartphones from entry to range. Everything goes wrong when the photo takes relies on the ISP of the device, the results of which sometimes border on catastrophic.

Poco X3 Photo HDR And Normal 2

Without HDR activated …

Poco X3 Photo HDR And Normal

… and with HDR

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Poco X3 Photo 8

Photo taken with the 48 Mpx sensor

Poco X3 Photo 4

Still going for HDR, which manages quite well to unblock areas that are too dark or too bright, but the night mode is a joke that smooths everything to death and is generally useless, the 10x zoom is unusable (beyond the 2x magnification, we forget), the autofocus is unstable, the Macro mode is actually a blur mode (it’s not even exaggerated to say it), and the IA mode is so inconstant that it could fall into the box creative tools with random rendering.

Poco X3 Photo 10 Poco X3 Photo 9

Riddle, one of the two pictures above (in low light) was taken with the night mode and the other without… The night mode is generally not used for ANYTHING

Poco X3 Photo 6

It was totally impossible for me to get a sharp focus in Macro mode on a close object

The observation seems cruel, but we must all the same remember that in “classic” light conditions, and especially with the 48 Mpx sensor, the pictures are really correct, sometimes really good even …

A champion of endurance

Autonomy is the big highlight of the Poco X3, which is hardly surprising with a 5160 mAh battery. Once charged and in regular use, our test POCO lasted nearly 4 days before asking for mercy (in 60 Hz display, which we can largely favor given the lack of optimization of 120 Hz). And not to spoil anything, the mobile is compatible with fast charging (33W).

Poco X3 Photo 11

Conclusion: the technical sheet is not everything

The POCO X3 Pro is not a bad guy, and on paper, we expected a new contender for the title of “the most efficient mobile in the price range below 300 euros”. In the end, the X3 Pro certainly offers a lot for its price, but fishing on so many points that it never manages to forget on which segment of the range it is located. It’s quite a shame with such components (Snapdragon 860, 48 MPx photo sensor) and with this level of endurance, but it also illustrates the adage that “A technical sheet does not hit back”.

The Poco X3 Pro is available at Goboo for € 249, on LDLC and CDiscount

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