Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro review: a budget gaming monster phone
By Yvonne

The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro puts power first and offers a great screen too, but this isn't one for photography fans.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro review

At the time of this review, the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro gaming phone is the most expensive. It has impressive performance and a smooth, sharp screen. However, the camera quality suffers.

The pros

  • +

    Amazing gaming performances

  • +

    Battery life is long

  • +

    Impressive 120Hz screen


  • -

    Camera is relatively weak

  • -

    There is no 5G

  • -

    Heavy and large

Related Reading: Google Pixel 5a review: a solid mid-range camera phone

Review in two minutes

You might think that the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is an upgraded version of the affordable Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC.

It has a faster processor than the Poco X3 NFC. It is one of the most expensive Fortnite/CoD/Insert Game here phones.

The Poco X3 NFC may be better in certain aspects. The camera of the Poco X3 NFC is better than its counterpart, with 64MP compared to 48MP for the Poco X3 Pro. It tends to blur fine details and has poorer mid-tone contrasts than other cameras in its class.

It is not a bad camera. You can do better.

This means that you won't receive the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro Snapdragon 860 chipset free of charge. There are also compromises.

They are mostly found within the camera. We'll be going into detail in our Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro Review. The 120Hz display is fantastic, the battery life is amazing, and Android has no fundamental performance issues.

Yes, 5G would be great. But it doesn't. The Moto G 5G Plus can be purchased for the same price as its predecessor and has 5G. Will it matter to more people to be able to play the same frame rate as top-end smartphones last year? It will.

Poco X3 NFC has a much better balance than the X3 Pro and is therefore ranked among the top cheap phones. This is another example of how much you can get from a Poco series Android.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro specs

Weight: 215g
Dimensions : 165.3x76.8x9.4mm
Display Size 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Chipset - Snapdragon 860
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP+ 2MP +2MP +2MP = 2MP
Front camera:20MP
Software pre-installed:Android 11.
Battery: 5,160mAh
Charging: 33W wired

The Poco X3 Pro was announced by Xiaomi in March 2021. It's out now and starts at £199 in the UK, and around $250 in the US - though in the UK that's as a result of reductions from its £229 RRP, while in the US it's only available through third-party channels, so the price varies more. It's currently not available in Australia, although the price is approximately AU$320.

This is for 6GB RAM. However, you can buy an 8GB version for a bit more.

These prices indicate that this phone is slightly less expensive than the Poco X3 NFC. Xiaomi didn't use the "Pro" title or the new chipset on the phone to make more money. Thanks, Xiaomi.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro in someone's hand, with the screen on

Related Reading: iPhone 13 Review

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: design

  • ABS plastic construction (barring the display glass).
  • Large 165.3x76.8x9.4mm
  • Very heavy at 215g

It looks very much like the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro NFC. Some of you will hate it.

The back cover has a large, bold 'Poco’ logo. You can advertise the brand whenever you place the phone on the table.

It's still not as terrible as Realme's 'Dare to Leap’ slogan. One thing is a brand name, but what about a Facebook-grade inspiring quote? You're not welcome.

The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro's back is designed to look like two-finish matte or glossy strips. However, it is made entirely of plastic.

Xiaomi utilized rear glass for 2020's Poco X2 but the Poco X3 NFC and this phone are largely made of plastic. The screen protector and the topmost protective layer of the camera lens are all made from glass.

It is quite common on cheaper phones. It was once quite common to use glass. It isn't anymore.

Others are typical for a value-first smartphone. It's amazing that the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro features a fingerprint scanner. To our best knowledge, it has not failed to recognize one time during testing. It feels quite quick.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro in someone's hand, from the back

The device comes with a headphone socket and stereo speakers that have good volume but not too much. The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has been used to listen to endless podcasts. The job was done well.

You might find the speaker on top of the screen is less loud than the one at the bottom when you are watching movies or playing games. However, it's still far more powerful than mono speakers.

Also, the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has an IR blaster. This is the small black dot at the top. The Xi Remote app uses this to act as a universal remote. Although the library does not have all of our equipment commands, it is still a useful feature that we don't mind having. We also have some techy things at home.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro has a large display. It's 76.8mm wide. It's larger than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or even the closer-in-price 21.9 aspect Moto G 5G Plus.

Although we didn't mind, it was a choice to be rebellious and use no silicone cases. The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro with a case may prove difficult for some.

It does have basic IP53 water resistance which gives it some protection against splashes.

Related Reading: iPhone 13 Pro Review

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: display

  • Smooth 120Hz scrolling
  • Large 6.67-inch 20.9 display area
  • Sharp enough 1080x2400 resolution

The larger screen of the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro can be attributed to its screen. It's well worth the effort.

It is a 6.67 inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080x2400 and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The first, second, and third impressions of this screen are excellent.

Poco X3 Pro has a sharp screen, bold color, and a large size that instantly conveys the feeling it was made to be used for video and games. People who want to have a wide range of technology for their money seem to like Poco phones.

It's great to have a 120Hz display at such a low price. You can also switch between 60Hz or 120Hz to increase the speed of your Android menu scrolling.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro from the front, with the screen on

It is an LCD display. Although it doesn't have the perfect contrast, we found raised blacks not too obvious even in very dark rooms. An OLED is a better choice if your budget allows. Its fast-responding pixels will make more of the 120Hz refresh speed. This price? There are no major issues.

This one quirk will not bother many. The Poco X3 Pro has two modes of color intensity: Standard and Saturated. They are both 'hotter than' the traditional sRGB standard color, so it's not a true relaxed mode. This is likely more an indication that we spend too much time on our phones than any other reason.

The brightest of the colors isn't class-leading. On bright sunny days it seems to receive a small 'turbo boost' outdoors, but not nearly as much as flagship-level power.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: camera

  • 48MP is worse than key competitors
  • Soft-but-useful 8MP ultra-wide camera
  • Unstable 2MP macro, depth cameras

Xiaomi cut corners to make a processor with a high price but still be affordable is most evident in the Poco X3 Pro camera.

It appears to have the typical hardware of this category. It has a primary 48MP camera and an 8MP basic ultra-wide. There are also two horrible 2MP macro depth and macro cameras. The numbers are fine by us. It's not difficult to fill in cams on affordable phones.

The Poco X3 Pro's main cam performs significantly worse than other alternatives like Redmi Note 10 Pro and Xiaomi's Poco X3 NFC.

The X3 Pro can obscure the details that family members might draw with astonishing clarity. The contrast between mid-tones is much worse and the X3 Pro seems to use more detail-eradicating noise suppression.

The images are soft and soften as expected for a 8MP budget sensor.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro from the back

This main camera performance matches what we saw in smartphones with Samsung sensors a few years ago. The Poco X3 Pro uses a Sony IMX582 camera.

It is used by Xiaomi in its even more affordable Redmi Note 10 which suggests that cost is a major issue.

It's time to give some context. The camera does not cause embarrassment. The Poco X3 Pro can take nice photos, better ones than the Microsoft Surface Duo (original cost $1400 / about £1,075), which we tried recently. It also has an excellent night mode, which makes all the difference in terms of brightness and dynamic range.

It is however outperformed only by Redmi Note 10 Pro, Realme 8 Pro and Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC. If you are looking for gaming performance more than camera performance, this is an issue.

However, the selfie camera is quite good. The 20MP sensor is the same as that of the more camera-focused, X3 NFC.

The video is at 4K 30 frames per seconds, with proper stabilization to allow for smoother clips.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro: Performance and specifications

  • Snapdragon 860 offers amazing gaming performance
  • RAM 6GB, 8GB
  • Android 11 runs with MIUI 12

Although the Poco X3 Pro fell short in this section, it still makes up a lot with its chipet. This is the Snapdragon 860 processor, which should be of interest to many.

This chipset is mid-range and has power comparable to the Snapdragon 855 Plus. It is used in smartphones like the Asus ROG Phone 2 or OnePlus 7T.

They are outdated, 2019, phones. The older Snapdragon 8-series chipsets still have more power than the 7-series.

At the time this review was done, the Poco X3 Pro Fortnite phone is the most affordable. This phone is able to stick glue-like up to 30fps, with the exception of a few drops while loading new textures. Epic Games offers a 60fps mode that can be used with high-end smartphones.

The Poco X3 Pro offers serious gaming power at a fraction of the cost. While other phones might have the Snapdragon 860 at some point, they do not currently offer it.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro in someone's hand, displaying a game

Geekbench 5 scores the phone 2,530 more points than Snapdragon 765G smartphones like the OnePlus Nord, which averages 1,800. This is roughly comparable to phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 7T.

Android works flawlessly on the Poco X3 Pro, as you would expect. The real performance difference over phones with less power, like the Poco X3 NFC, is found in higher-end games like Fortnite or ARK: Survival Evolved.

You can pair the Snapdragon 860 with either 128GB, 256GB or 8GB storage. The 6GB RAM in our review Poco X3 Pro means that your experience will be as great as ours.

The phone is running Android 11 and Xiaomi's MIUI 12 software. Although it is not very noticeable, the icons are far too large fresh from the box.

We opened up the "home" settings and reduced the icons to fit more pages. The result can be seen in these images. This display deserves five columns and not just four icons.

Battery life for Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro

  • Excellent battery life, even when using 120Hz mode
  • Moderately quick charging
  • 5160mAh

Just like the Poco X3 NFC, it has a 5160mAh lithium battery. Even with a more powerful processor, its stamina remains impressive.

During testing, we left the 120Hz display on and left 40% to the end.

One day, we were more attentive to the level. We still had 48% of the remaining capacity after starting our day at 7 am. It was 11:30 pm. After a long day, we still had 48% left. This was even after some browsing and audio streaming.

The bottom edge of a Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro

The battery lost several percent more overnight, and it needed to be recharged by noon on the second day. The Poco X3 Pro will last for two days if it's used less frequently.

Gamers will see obvious advantages to the Poco X3 Pro. However, gamers shouldn't buy it if gaming is not their primary concern. It's possible to play up to an hour per day without worrying about how long it will last. It is amazing how much stamina you have.

The charging speed is also good. A 33W charger is included with the Poco X3 Pro. It charges your phone in just 30 minutes and takes it from flat to 59%. In 59 minutes, it can charge to 100%.

Although it isn't as fast as the OnePlus 9, this battery still has a lot of power. There is no wireless charging available at this price.

A Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro from the front, displaying the apps drawer

It's a good deal if...

Playing games is what you like
Poco X3 Pro may be the most affordable new smartphone for gamers. The Poco X3 Pro's gaming power rivals that of top-end smartphones. It can handle titles comparable to those on high-end models. It doesn't matter if you swipe up the graphics sliders.

Two-day battery life is ideal
Xiaomi budget phones are known for being durable. For many, the Poco X3 Pro can last for almost 2 days. This is a great phone for gamers. It's possible to play the game for hours without worrying about whether it will ruin your ability to get to sleep.

Want a stunning screen
Poco X3 Pro stands out among affordable smartphones with its large FHD+ display and 120Hz refresh rate. This phone is sharper and more smooth than others at the same price.

It's not worth the risk if...

High quality camera is our top priority
To accommodate the faster processor, Poco X3 Pro has had its camera hardware reduced. The images produced by the Poco X3 Pro are much more softened, and have less texture detail than those of the Poco X3 NFC. Although it isn't a catastrophe, it's still not very good.

A small phone is what you want
The phone is quite large. The phone is quite thick. It also has a screen with a large inch count, but it's not too tall. This makes the width of this phone comparable to some of the largest phones. This is a common size, but it's important to be aware of.

You need 5G
The point is that 5G has become available on a variety of phones at an affordable price. However, the Poco X3 Pro doesn't have it. So if you are looking for this feature, you will need to find something else.

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