More or less 3 years ago, Xiaomi was a low-cost Chinese brand that was trying to make its way into the smartphone market and take customers away from Samsung and Huawei. Today, Xiaomi is no longer (only) a low-cost Chinese brand trying to make its way into the smartphone market: it also sells high-end and ultra-high-end phones such as the Mi 10T Pro and in Italy it has managed to override Huawei and get closer to Samsung.
So what? And therefore over time it has created two brands that can somehow take its place in the low or medium-low range, namely Redmi and above all Poco, which for us Italians has a name that makes you laugh but whose results in terms of sales are far from laughable. One of the latest arrivals in the Poco range is the smartphone subject of this test: it is called X3 Pro and derives in some way from the X3 Nfc of autumn 2020.
How the Poco X3 Pro is made and how it works
It is not a small phone, although it did not give us the impression of being overly large (perhaps because we used it together with a OnePlus 8 Pro): it has a 6.67-inch IPS screen with Full Hd + resolution and refresh rate. settable at 120 Hz and weighs more than 200 grams, also due to a battery of 5160 mAh.
Under the shell, in plastic, there is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor, which is a sort of enhanced version of the old 855 but still performs better than those present on phones of the same price range, and 6 or 8 Gb of Ram, combined respectively with 128 or 256 Gb of internal memory; the version we tested is 6/128.
The first setup is pretty straightforward, especially if you’ve followed our tips for doing the backup of the previous smartphone: it is not necessary to create a Xiaomi account, you can log in with your profile on Google, retrieve the old data and that’s it; at the first start, the phone will obviously check if there are software updates, which is Android 11 with the usual MiUi customization (version 12) of the Xiaomi.
How does the Poco X3 Pro take photos?
As now more and more smartphones, the Poco X3 Pro is also equipped with 4 rear cameras: the main one has a resolution of 48 Mp and is flanked by an 8 Mp wide-angle and a pair of 2 Mp lenses each, one for macros ( that is the super close shots) and one for the bokeh effect (the cutout useful for portraits).
Overall, the photos look like this: well (or even very well) during the day and in general in good light conditions, not very well if you get carried away with the zoom, rarely well with the darkness even though there is a Night mode, which however works too much and returns a bit artificial images. Let’s be clear: the shots are generally fine for use on chat, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks, but if you download them to your computer you realize that there is something wrong.
Fun fact: with stickers, like Apple
In the box of the Poco X3 Pro there is a well-made silicone cover, the battery charger (which you never know these days) and also a leaflet that groups a series of colored stickers with the company logo, reminiscent of a little ones with the bitten apple characteristic of Apple’s iPhones.
How much it costs and who will have to contend with
At the time of writing, the two variants of the Poco X3 Pro cost 199 and 249 euros, which is about fifty euros less than what their list price would be. Except for the valid Motorola Moto G10, in this segment of the market the competition is made up almost exclusively by other Poco, such as the aforementioned X3 Nfc, or by the various Redmi Note 8 Pro or 9 Pro. Among all, our choice would go to ‘X3 Pro, which has a decidedly superior technical data sheet, but only if the prices remain the current ones.
What we liked
What we appreciated the most, during the more than 2 weeks that we used the X3 Pro as a second phone, was the experience of use in general: always fluid, never stumbling, fast even in the shot, it does what it he is asked without effort. And without making the user struggle, which is what well-designed technology should do.
The battery performance is also convincing: we have always easily overcome the 2 days of stand-by and the fast charge (from 33W) is really fast and allows you to get around 100% in less than an hour. It is also rare to find in this segment of the market.
What we didn’t like
We have already said it in the past, we reiterate it: we are not big fans of the MiUi and instead we love the stock version of Android very much, so the software of this Poco does not meet our tastes very much. But it is a matter of taste, in fact.
The real problem is the difficulties we had with the notifications: on many, many occasions, the smartphone suddenly stopped sending sound alerts, as if it were in Silent or Do not disturb mode and every time it was necessary an annoying restart to restore place things. More: if several notifications from different people arrive at the same time or within a few minutes on the same app (Whatsapp, for example), the on-screen preview often confuses the sender and content of the message. With effects that are both hilarious and disturbing, like the smart working colleague who writes “I love, what do you want for dinner tonight?” and the boyfriend who informs that “The first quarterly of 2021 is ready”. There is hope for an update that fixes this bug, before relationships end… or new ones emerge.