Buy now £219, Mi.com
- evaluation: 8.5/10
- Dimensions: 165.3 mm x 76.8 mm x 9.4 mm
- Weight: 215 gr
- Show: 6.67 inch FHD+ DotDisplay, Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- battery: 5160 mAh
- Slices: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860
- The operating system: Android 11 with MIUI 12 for POCO
- camera: Rear 48MP, 8MP Ultra Wide, 2MP, Depth 2MP; 20 megapixels front
The X3 pro looks like a budget smartphone as you can imagine. It has a large screen, has a specific weight and looks bulky. And compared to other Xiaomi phones, it leaves a little to be desired.
Xiaomi also needs to realize that putting the phone’s name on the back of the device is not a good way to attract buyers. Granted, it does give other commuters on public transit the chance to see what phone you’re on, but that approach detracts greatly from the overall design. People now know that Xiaomi makes good phones – maybe make the line a few spots smaller?
Read more: 8 best budget smartphones
The X3 pro has an IP53 rating, which means you have a decent level of water and dust resistance, especially for a budget phone and headphone jack. Just don’t think you can use it poolside.
Besides the general heft of the thing, all three colors look attractive, and for the plastic back, it doesn’t feel too cheap. However, compared to other devices — from competitors and Xiaomi itself — it doesn’t win any beauty contests.
Display and sound
Things get better when you actually run the X3 pro. The heavy-duty screen (covered with Gorilla Glass 6, bonus points) offers a bright and colorful FHD+ LCD panel that’s decent enough at this level it’s almost tailored for gaming performance, with a potential 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch response rate.
Read more: 16 best bluetooth speakers for every budget
The sound is just as impressive as the screen, with stereo speakers when you’re in landscape, making it ideal for videos and games. It’s no problem for the budget you get in many devices — the sound is impressively clear, and of comparable quality to phones twice its price.
The X3 pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 chipset, and you can tell from the power off. It’s an improved version of a previously flagship chipset, and it still performs a light level ahead of contemporary budget processors. As the Snapdragon name suggests, this phone is sleeker than any we’ve tried at this level, and it’s a sure winner for any gamer looking for a cheap way to enjoy their favorite titles. This model also includes some great cooling technology – we never felt like the phone was overheating during heavy use.
It’s unbelievable that Xiaomi managed to put these chips together and offer a phone at this price. We don’t think there is a more powerful phone on the market in this budget.
Read more: Xiaomi Redmi note 9T smartphone review
There’s no 5G capability inside, which is a shame, as its similarly priced cousin the Redmi note 9T (£245.69, Amazon.co.uk) offers access to the ultra-fast network. However, for many users, that’s a small price to pay for a good few years of impressive processing power in a phone you can replace when 5G becomes ubiquitous, without having to take out a mortgage.
There are rumors that the X3 pro is on the list to take advantage of the imminent global launch of Xiaomi’s in-house Android skin, MIUI 13, which means owners will be able to enjoy Xiaomi’s latest software for a good while now.
The camera, like the design, is pretty standard for a budget phone. However, it still takes decent shots. The main 48MP camera does a good job in fair lighting, and exhibits good color perception. It does start to struggle in darker settings, without managing to brighten the scene much, but if you’re looking for a decent camera for taking the single shot on the go, the X3 pro will do the job.
Read more: 12 of the best compact cameras for getting the perfect shot every time
The selfie camera is pretty much the same. It works well, bringing out a lot of detail in good lighting, but it starts to suffer when you veer too far from it. Video, again, is enough for many users, with 4K capability from the rear cameras. Good enough for social media, not for professional broadcasting.
Verdict: Xiaomi poco X3 pro
When you unbox the Poco X3 pro, you’re greeted with the slogan “Everything you need, nothing you don’t”. This is absolutely true. This is simply a high-performance smartphone at a price that should be much higher.
The marketing for the X3 pro is primarily focused on the phone’s gaming capabilities, but many of its features extend to making the phone an impressive device for general use. Friction-free switching between apps, the Snapdragon 860 chip ensures lag-free gameplay, cooling technology keeps your phone from overheating during demanding media sessions and the screen produces rich, bright colors with welcoming clarity.
The look may be a little too aggressive for some, but it feels solid in your hands, and the camera performs at an acceptable level. The screen is a good size and offers 120Hz refresh rates, which makes everything silky smooth, and the battery will give you about 18 hours of non-stop video. It all comes together to make for a phone that performs well above the price you pay.