Poco X3 NFC Review: Best Budget Phone 2020

The Poco X3 NFC is the latest model from Poco line of phone by Xiaomi. It’s running the newest Snapdragon 732G 4G processor paired with 6GB RAM and a fast 120ghz FHD+ 6.67″ LCD with 395ppi. It comes with stereo speakers and a hefty 5160 mAh battery that can last a whole day and some. Let’s check out how a $299 phone performs.

Unboxing

Unboxing the phone we can see the box is packed neatly with the phone and it also comes with a 33W charger and a transparent case. There isn’t any headphones or stickers included in this version from Singapore.

The Poco X3 NFC weighs 215g and the body is 165.3×76.8×9.4mm. The Glass is Gorilla Glass 5 and it comes protected with a screen protector film out of the box.

The frame is made of aluminum and with a plastic back. Suprisingly it is IP53-certified for dust and splash protection. There is an option to clear dust from the speakers as it’s part of the frame and a tiny white status LED is on the top speaker.

The display is 6.67″ LCD with a 1080x2400px resolution, this is 20:9 aspect ratio. We can expect 450 nits of brightness from this unit. It is also advertised to have HDR10 and 120Hz refresh rate. There is no curve on the screen panel and we can see the bezels are not too thick compared to certain phones in this price range. The front selfie camera is 20MP thru a tiny punch hole design.

On the rear  you can see the coating of this Shadow Gray with the big logo POCO inside a patterned bar makes it stand out. But the biggest thing that stand out is the 4 cameras setup together with dual LED flash.

 

On the left side we can find the hybrid-SIM slot and no buttons on this side. The tray holds either 2 SIM cards or 1 SIM card and microSD card. It supports up to 256gb on paper but I’m certain it can handle 512gb cards.

On the right we can find the volume keys and the power button. The power button is also the fingerprint sensor and it’s quite snappy.

 

On the top we can find an IR blaster and a mic

Lastly the bottom it’s the 3.5mm audio jack on the left and USB-C port in the middle.

I find the phone weigh distribution not too bad and it’s definitely needs 2 hands to do handle it properly. The phone is sturdy and feels well made and the free anti-bacteria case fits well too.

Display

The Poco X3 screen resolution is 1080 by 2400 pixels and that is 395ppi with HDR10 support. That aspect ratio of 20:9 which makes it feels taller but it is better for scrolling websites. The LCD panel support 120Hz refresh rates and there is an option to make it work dynamically if you’re running an application or game that support 120fps. If the picture is static it will drop to 60Hz to save battery.

I find that the minimum brightness is really low and still usable in the dark. The brightest we can set is 460 nits but if set to auto it could be much brighter under sunlight.

Poco offers 3 colour presets and so far I find the colour accuracy pretty decent comparing to iPhones and Samsung Galaxy series.

Battery

5160 mAh battery is more than enough to power this Poco X3 a whole day and some. With the 33W fast charging it can charge pretty quick with an advertise rate of 62% in 30 minutes.

I found that I could charge 80% in 60 minutes as I didn’t want to drain my battery pass 20%.

More tips on how to stretch the battery life in the last section.

Speaker

There is stereo speaker setup on the Poco X3 and it is really loud. There is small bass coming from the speakers and we can feel some vibrations when set to maximum volume.

An additional feature to clear speaker from dust.

Hardware and Performance

The Poco X3 NFC is powered by the Snapdragon 732G chip with  two Kryo 470 Gold (Cortex-A76) cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and six Kryo 470 Silver (Cortex-A55) built on an 8nm with Adreno 618 DSP. The 6GB LPDDR4X RAM. The G in 732G stands for gaming.

The unit I have has 64GB of storage with a usable space of about 40GB. Expect the same for the 128GB model with usable space of about 100GB. There’s no other difference between the model besides the storage space.

 

Let’s take a look at some screenshots and performance from this machine.

The model is M2007J20CG as it’s too new to some of the benchmark software.

3DMark results

AnTuTu results

It’s faster than Redmi Note 9Pro & 9S and even Mi Note 10 Pro which is running snapdragon 730G with 8GB RAM

Disk Results

 

GPS Test

Snapdragon 732G supports Satellite Systems Support: Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, QZSS, SBAS

PCMark results

Battery results

Camera

The Poco X3 NFC has 4 camera setup. The primary snapper is 64MP and a 13MP ultrawide paired with 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth sensor. The primary lens is actually a Sony IMX 682 with f/1.9 lens, 0.8µm pixels, and Phase-Detection Autofocus (PDAF). The ultrawide is 13mm f/2.2 lens and macro is f/2.4 lens.

The front camera is 20MP with f/2.2 lens for selfies or wefies.

The camera app is MIUI like and you can switch modes left and right. Photo mode is the default.

There are so many options in the camera app but there is none to customized the resolution but only 1 option to choose 64MP. Take a looks at the modes here.

All samples are straight from the default camera app and no editing.

Using portrait mode on Yoda

Macro mode on the ants and The cricket Cri-Kee

Some random shots in Suntec

Macro mode on this chicken burger

 

Normal and ultrawide shot of Suntec Mall

 

Spotted Asian Glossy Starling as shown in the video below

1X Shot

2X Shot

Zoom in shot of jack fruit

architecture shots

 

Video samples

Videos can be capture at [email protected] and 1080p at 30 or 60 fps. There is even macro video at [email protected] One cool function is slow motion video.

 

FullHD Test

4K Test

Slow Motion Test

Software

The Poco X3 NFC runs on MIUI 12 and within a week of the phone there is already an update to fix bugs and better improvement. Hopefully the software will support more than 3 years. On the front it uses the POCO launcher 2.0 which features dark mode and certain gestures found only in 3rd party launcher such as NOVA launcher.

Other software are included as defaults under MIUI and are ad-supported. This means ads are running inside and can be disabled. Easiest way is from settings to turn off  recommendations. There is also another way to turn off some apps that don’t have the options to disable the ads.

Gaming

This is touted as a gaming phone with 120Hz refresh rate. So let’s try some games.

Gameplay are decent and touch feels quick and sensitive to touch. I was able to test a few games and win some on freefire. BOOYAH !

Flight simulator on Ace combat

I was able to record 120fps on Rayman adventures and the frame rate didn’t drop much from 120fps

Tips & Tricks

How to disable ads and system apps from your new Poco X3. This will help reduce data usage and battery drain.

First install blokada to block ads. This also helps prevent tracking from certain sites.

Next go to this website to download the tools to remove system apps and disable some Google apps

https://github.com/Szaki/XiaomiADBFastbootTools

Follow the steps on the guide there and here’s my sample of apps I have disabled and uninstalled.

Hope this helps improve your experience of MIUI without the bloatware.

Final thoughts

Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC phone is an excellent budget phone for anyone looking for a large 6.67″ LCD with a long lasting battery life. This price range is currently unbeatable with the features found on the phone. I don’t believe any brands can compete on this level besides Xiaomi Redmi phones.

Most definitely would recommend this phone to anyone with a budget range of $300-400. We don’t need to spend big on the latest flagship model when mid range models can perform well for daily use.

Poco X3 NFC 64GB

$299
9

Quality

9.0/10

Value

10.0/10

Design

8.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Pros

  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 5160mAh battery
  • FHD+ HDR10
  • Stereo speakers

Cons

  • MIUI bloatware
  • Macro camera only 2MP

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