We have seen some of the best affordable devices during the first half of the year in India. Poco and Redmi are some of the few brands that came up with multiple budgets and mid-range smartphones in the country. These two companies have established themselves in the market and are now focusing to conquer the 5G segment. Poco started the year with the release of Poco M3, and now it has launched its follow-up device- Poco M3 Pro 5G. This is not only the company’s first, but India’s first 5G device, and we have been using the phone for quite a long time so that we can figure out how well the phone performs in the long run. So here is our review of Poco M3 Pro 5G (long term).
Poco M3 Pro 5G Review: Design and Display
The company has opted for a glossy plastic finish on the rear of Poco M3 Pro 5G. At first sight, it will look like glass, but the rear is an absolute fingerprint magnet. Yes, because of the glossy finish the back panel is more prone to attracting fingerprints, smudges and scratches, but the company has provided a back that is of good quality and will help in keeping the device safe. But we do suggest keeping a micro-fibre cloth handy.
The panel on the back has a fairly large Poco branding just below the camera module, which the company calls its switchblade design. The camera set-up consists of three sensors and a dual flash just beside the primary sensor. The phone is not uncomfortable, bulky or heavy, it is well balanced. You also get a side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the right side that also doubles up as a home button. The sensor is located in the right position and is a reliable one.
Also, the volume button is given right above the fingerprint sensor and on the other side, you get a SIM card slot. The company provides speakers on the top as well as at the bottom, so a stereo speaker setup. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is positioned at the top and the USB Type-C slot at the bottom. This 5G smartphone by Poco comes in three-colour options of Cool Blue, Power Black, and Poco Yellow. We have the Black colour variant for the review but the other 2 colour variants are quite good as well.
Coming to the display, the Poco M3 Pro 5G is highlighted with a 6.5-inch LCD having 1,080×2,400 pixels of resolution with a circular camera cut out at the top centre. There is a dual 360 degrees light sensor setup that can detect and adjust the brightness to very high levels. The display comes with a 90Hz refresh rate panel but by default, it runs on 60Hz, 400 nits of brightness and is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
We did our testing with the 90Hz refresh rate mode on and the device worked smoothly while scrolling the web pages, social media feed and while UI navigation. While streaming HD content on this phone the colour reproduction is on the cooler side, which looks less saturated when compared to AMOLED displays.
The contrasts are higher and the dynamic range is average as well, so the overall streaming experience is not what is expected from an LCD panel. That being said, there are plenty of options available in the market that offer an OLED display for what Poco is asking for. On the brighter side, the adaptive refresh rate panel automatically adjusts to 50Hz, 60Hz or 90Hz depending upon what is actually being run on the screen; this makes the battery last longer. This surely gives you a personalised experience but is probably not recommended for streaming HD content, nonetheless it is good for daily usage.
Poco M3 Pro 5G review: Performance and Cameras
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is powered by an 8-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC with a clock speed of up to 2.2GHz paired with Arm Mali-G57 MC2 GPU under its hood. It is offered with up to 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM storage and 128GB of UFS2.2 storage. The device which we have used comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Notably, the global variant supports 12 5G bands, and the India variant which we have supports 5 bands.
The phone easily handles day-to-day tasks such as social media, chatting, and browsing through the web. The COD: Mobile game can be played smoothly at medium graphics and high frame rate. We did not notice any frame drops here. We even tried out Asphalt 9: Legends and we didn’t feel any issues in terms of frame rate drop or lag, so in this department, the device offers decent to good performance. The smartphone does get warm if you play for over 30 minutes, but we would not necessarily mind it and we cannot call it a heating issue.
On the software front, Poco M3 Pro 5G runs on MIUI 12 based on Android 11. The biggest drawback of this operating system is that you will be spammed with plenty of notifications and advertisements that the pre-loaded unnecessary apps send. Yes, you do get bloatware, but they can be easily uninstalled.
Coming to the cameras, the Poco 5G smartphone comes with a triple rear camera setup that consists of a 48MP main camera with an f/1.79 aperture. Further, assisted by a 2MP macro camera with f/2.4 aperture and a 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4. In terms of taking selfies, the device is equipped with an 8MP front-facing camera at f/2.0 fps.
The Poco M3 Pro camera fails to maintain good contrast. In addition to this, the images produced also lack good dynamic range and sharpness. Surprisingly there is no ultra-wide lens, which is the biggest spoiler in our opinion. In terms of portraits as well, the phone fails to retain a natural skin tone, looks softer, lacks details and highlights. However, most images in daylight looked sharp and detailed, which is its saving grace.
We were not very happy with the selfies too. The selfies looked faded, soft and lacked details. For portraits the edge detection is perfect but still, the images look washed out. Something that Poco can improve in the next update.
On the other side, the close-up shots at the same time produced punchy colours and were sharp. The camera struggles in low light conditions; there is visible noise as you can see in the sample images, but the brightness is boosted when night mode is turned on. In terms of video recording, you are limited to 1080p at 30fps on the Poco M3 Pro 5G. But in the end, POCO did not make this a photography phone, it is a gaming phone after all.
The 5,000mAh battery on the smartphone will not disappoint you at all. Under moderate usage, the phone delivers a full day of battery life. Though the company has reduced the battery’s capacity from 6,000mAh battery to 5,000, which comes on the Poco M3. But the 5G smartphone is shipped with a 22.5W fast charger, which is actually good as the M3 includes an 18W fast charger only. The 22.5W fast charge takes 2 hours to completely charge the phone.
The company has made some compromises on the Poco M3 Pro 5G. The device is shipped with a similar camera set up as it has been shipped on the cheaper Poco M3. It does have 5G capabilities. Besides this, we think the company has not made any major changes in terms of features that too in the mid-price range. If the camera is your preference then you can definitely consider a better 4G smartphone. But if you want a good gaming smartphone within a budget (under Rs 20,000) this is one of the choices you should definitely look at.
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Decent battery life
- Good for gaming
- Below average camera performance
- Lacks wide-angle lens
- Charge time could have been better
For the latest gadget and tech news, and gadget reviews, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For newest tech & gadget videos subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can also stay up to date using the Gadget Bridge Android App. You can find the latest car and bike news here.