Download Poco M3 Pro 5G Review: A Decent Starter 5G Smartphone for free
The Poco M3 Pro 5G has received a lot of press since it was announced earlier this month, and now that we’ve spent enough time on it, let’s see if it’s really worth the hype. Judging by the name, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that this is a more powerful version of the Poco M3, which in some ways it is. To be able to offer these upgrades while keeping the price in check, Poco has also made some compromises, such as removing stereo speakers and using a lower capacity battery.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is currently the company’s cheapest 5G offering, and as I mentioned in my first impression article, it competes directly with the Realme 8 5G and Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G – two other affordable 5G models . Smartphones in India right now. The main attractions of the M3 Pro 5G are the design, the high refresh rate and the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC. Is this phone worth the money? Let’s find out.
Poco M3 Pro 5G price and variants
The basic variant of the Poco M3 Pro with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage is aimed directly at the Realme 8 5G and costs both Rs. 13,999. The second variant I have for this test has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage and costs Rs. 15,999. This is cheaper than the top version of the Realme 8 5G and even the basic version of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G, but the latter offers significantly better features and performance.
Poco M3 Pro 5G design
The back of the Poco M3 Pro 5G looks refreshingly new. The “Switchblade” design, as Poco calls it, has a darkened area on the top left of the case that resembles the camera module design of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, while the rest has a gradient finish. The back and frame are made of plastic but are glossy and easily fingerprinted. I noticed some minor scratches the week I use this phone so it would be advisable to use the case that came with it.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is not too thick at 8.92 mm and does not feel very heavy at 190 g. The ergonomics are good and the volume and power buttons have good tactile feedback. There is a headphone jack and also an IR transmitter for controlling infrared gadgets and devices. The capacitive fingerprint sensor is integrated into the recessed power button on the right side of the frame.
The 6.5-inch Full HD + display is sharp and offers good color reproduction. However, the maximum brightness could be better. There’s an ambient light sensor, but this phone felt a bit sluggish adjusting the screen brightness to my surroundings, and I often had to manually increase or decrease it. The screen is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.
I really like the overall design of the Poco M3 Pro. It’s less bulky than the Poco M3, which is a good thing.
Poco M3 Pro 5G specifications and software
The Poco M3 Pro 5G uses the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, which is very similar to the Dimensity 800U, apart from the lower clocked CPU cores and a slightly slower GPU. LPDDR4X or UFS 2.2 are used as main memory and storage. The M3 Pro 5G also has dual-band WiFi, FM radio, Bluetooth 5.1 and a hybrid dual SIM slot. The phone has a 5,000 mAh battery with support for 18 W fast charging.
The phone runs on MIUI 12.0.2 (at the time of this review), based on Android 11. When I first used the phone, none of the default apps were behaving, but after a few days I started spamming a lot in the form of Notifications from apps like GetApps, Music, Mi Credit, etc. Some of these apps can be uninstalled, but little is to be done for the others.
Poco M3 Pro 5G performance and battery life
The Poco M3 Pro 5G was snappy and problem-free in daily use. The 6 GB RAM version I tested coped with multitasking very well and the refresh rate of the 90 Hz display ensured smooth, fluid scrolling in apps and the user interface. The Dimensity 700 SoC also scores well in benchmarks, with the M3 Pro 5G achieving 3.27.355 points in AnTuTu and 557 and 1753 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests.
Game performance was also good. Heavy titles like Call of Duty: Mobile did well, although graphics quality was limited to medium and advanced options were disabled. The back of the Poco M3 Pro 5G did warm up after around 20 minutes of play, but that wasn’t too worrisome. Video playback was also good, but the low brightness and reflective nature of the screen didn’t make the viewing experience great outdoors or in bright light.
Despite the lower battery capacity compared to the Poco M3, the M3 Pro 5G still managed 16 hours and 42 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is good. The phone usually lasted a day and a half with regular use. Charging this phone wasn’t the fastest. The M3 Pro 5G could only be charged up to 18W and it took almost two hours to fully charge.
Poco M3 Pro 5G cameras
The Poco M3 doesn’t have an ultra-wide camera, and I was hoping to see one on the more expensive Poco M3 Pro 5G. Unfortunately this is not the case. In fact, the camera setup is very similar to that of the M3. You get an 8-megapixel front camera, a 48-megapixel main camera, and two 2-megapixel rear cameras for macros and depth of field. The camera app offers the standard recording modes like Night, Pro etc. and can record videos up to 1080p.
Landscapes captured in daylight looked fine on the phone’s screen, but on closer inspection, the textures and edges of objects lacked good definition and sharpness. Close-ups performed significantly better in this regard. Macro shots were fine, but I didn’t use this camera often. Portraits looked fine, especially those of humans or animals.
The image quality deteriorates in low light. The main camera struggled to reproduce detail and texture quality, and there was noticeable grain as well. Surprisingly, the night mode didn’t help much when it came to tweaking details.
1080p videos are severely cropped with stabilization on, but the video quality was absolutely average even in good light. Low light videos were grainy and not very usable. The front camera took usable selfies during the day, but struggled with backlit and low-light shots.
Overall, I think Poco could have used better sensors on this “Pro” model, or at least provided buyers with an ultra-wide camera to distinguish this phone from its siblings.
The base variant of the Poco M3 Pro 5G isn’t bad if you’re looking for a phone that’s ready to take over 5G networks when they arrive. The 6GB variant isn’t the best value for money, however, especially when you can get a more powerful 5G phone like the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G for roughly the same price or less when you factor in ongoing discounts.
As I said in my first impression, phones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S and Redmi Note 10 Pro offer much better value for money with comparable performance if you don’t make too much of a fuss about 5G (and you shouldn’t now be) much better. Properties.