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April 2021 Poco F3 elite review


The Pocophone brand is often associated with performance on the cheap, and that's probably the apt description for the latest phone we have for review - the Poco F3. It's more than that, though - it's like a flagship on the cheap, or as this other company would have called it - a flagship killer.

The Poco F3 is jam-packed with top-notch features starting with its beautiful glass body with a metal frame. The F3 has a 6.67" AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh, one of the fastest platforms available today - the Snapdragon 870 5G chip, loud stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, a versatile triple-camera setup, and a large battery with fast charging.

The rear camera is your typical budget arrangement, and that's probably the biggest cost-cutting decision to happen on the F3. There is a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide shooter, and a 5MP macro enhanced with autofocus. The punch-hole at the front contains a 20MP selfie shooter. Sure, it's no real flagship, but hey, it's not too shabby either.

The Poco F3 is among the first phones to employ the enhanced version of last year's Snapdragon 865. That's the new Snapdragon 870, which should be about 10% faster. Paired with that 1080p screen, the hardware should also be doing a fabulous job in graphics-intensive tasks, too.

The Poco F3 isn't a massive upgrade over the F2 Pro, though. It sure packs a better 120Hz AMOLED and stereo speakers than its predecessor, but we expect the processing performance to be similar. The F2 Pro even had higher-resolution main and ultra-wide cameras. But there is a big case to be made here - the Poco F3 price at launch is almost half the Poco F2's, and that's a big deal.Indeed, the Poco F3 seems to be packing a lot of unexpectedly good specs. Let's scroll through those now.

Xiaomi Poco F3 specs at a glance:

Body: 163.7x76.4x7.8mm, 196g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame.Display: 6.67" AMOLED, 120Hz refresh, 360Hz touch sampling, HDR10+, 1300 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (1x3.2 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.

Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1.OS/Software: Android 11, MIUI 12 for POCO.Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm, 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 15mm, 119˚; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4, 49mm, 1/5.0", 1.12µm, AF.Front camera: 20 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.4", 0.8µm.Video capture: Rear camera:4K@30fps,1080p@30/60/120/240/960fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps.

Battery: 4520mAh; Fast charging 33W, 100% in 52 min (advertised), Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 3+.Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); Stereo speakers; NFC; Infrared port.

We appreciate the stereo speakers and the fast charging, but we can't but miss the microSD slot and the 3.5mm jack. The writing has been on the wall for a couple of years now, sure, but still. Poco users usually expect these features to be present, and they are not on the F3. There is no FM radio on the Poco F3, if you were wondering.

The Poco F3 ships within a big black box with the usual yellow Poco insignia. The retail bundle is your typical Xiaomi treatment - there is a fast 33W power adapter, a 3A-rated USB-A-to-C cable, and a transparent silicone case. That case has a small protective cover for the USB port, which boosts the ingress protection, but gets annoying fast when you need to charge the phone or plug a wired headset.

And speaking about headsets, the Poco F3 doesn't offer a 3.5mm jack, and that's why the maker is also offering a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter as part of the bundle. Nice! Finally, if you are an avid Poco phone, you'll also be happy to find a bunch of Poco stickers, which you can put on your favorite gadgets, PCs, or maybe your car bumper?

The Poco F3 comes with this very thin screen protector that was applied in the factory, but it's was so cheap and hard to keep to clean from smudges that we got rid of it quickly.

m.gsmarena.com

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