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POCO. It’s a brand that came out of nowhere and their focus is to bring the best specs at an unbelievably low price. They shook the world with the POCOPHONE F1 with its specs and an unbelievably low price tag, then shook the world once again with the recently-announced POCO F2 Pro. Now, they shook the world again with the new POCO X3 NFC.

So, I spent nearly a week with the POCO X3 NFC and this is what we have to share about it.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

Performance

The world’s first smartphone with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G chipset. Here is the full specs of the POCO X3 NFC that we have with us:

  • 6.67-inch IPS LCD
    • 2400×1080 pixels in resolution
    • 120Hz refresh rate
    • 240Hz sampling rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
    • Kyro 470 octa-core
    • Adreno 618 graphics
  • 6GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage
    • Expandable via microSD
  • 5,160mAh battery
    • Supports 33W charging

The overall performance of the POCO X3 NFC is actually as expected. It’s better than the Snapdragon 720G (as shown in the Redmi Note 9S) while having a noticeable difference in benchmarks. Then again, I doubt you’ll feel any difference if you’re comparing both Redmi Note 9S with the POCO X3 NFC when it comes to gaming.

POCO X3 NFC 3DMark benchmark POCO X3 NFC VRMark benchmark POCO X3 NFC Geekbench 5 benchmark POCO X3 NFC Antutu 8 benchmark

Speaking of gaming, we also tested the POCO X3 NFC’s gaming capabilities. Needless to say, it’s performing really well. Funny enough – I’m not sure if it’s because the POCO X3 NFC is the first to use the Snapdragon 732G or just the developers not doing their due diligence – not all games can run at 120fps even when we set it to 120Hz.

Either way, we tested a few different games and they run, and yes – it can run at 120fps if the developers of the games allow it. We have clarified with POCO and we were informed that POCO did not blacklist any games from running games at 120fps, it’s the developers that are imposing the blacklist.

Screen

And since we’re already talking about the refresh rate and FPS, the screen. Ah yes, the POCO X3 NFC is using a 6.67-inch IPS LCD screen with 2400×1080 pixels in resolution that has a center punch hole at the center top of the display.

POCO X3 NFC

At first, I realized that the color temperature of the screen is slightly colder – but I then found out that the POCO X3 NFC has a feature that automatically adapts the screen’s colors based on the environment. Once I changed it back to “standard”, the colors returned back to how it should be.

POCO X3 NFC

Overall, this is a pretty nice display with good colors. The screen lamination is done well as there is no black glow around the punch hole selfie camera, but there is a tiny amount of it at the bottom. It’s hardly noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for – and it’s not something that we should be focused on.

Battery life

Now, what about battery life? Well, when we run at 60Hz, the 5,160mAh battery in the POCO X3 NFC can last for more than 18 hours in our battery life test. And that translates to 2 days worth of usage with just a single charge.

POCO X3 NFC battery life test

As for the charging speed, I am impressed. The POCO X3 NFC comes with a 33W charger bundled with the phone, and the charging time from about 15% to 100% in about 60 minutes. That’s pretty good!

POCO X3 NFC fast charging benchmark

Cameras

And now comes the cameras of the POCO X3 NFC. It comes with this list of cameras at the back:

  • Main: 64MP f/1.89
  • Ultra-wide angle: 13MP f/2.2; fixed focus
  • Macro: 2MP f/2.4
  • Depth sensor

POCO X3 NFC

And yes, the camera cutout does look a little weird. I mean, the unused portions of the camera bump are chopped off – and yes, it’s a camera bump because I didn’t expect it to be this thick.

POCO X3 NFC

Anyway, the cameras on the POCO X3 NFC can take some beautiful pictures and videos too. Check all of them out in the video at the top of this review.

Software – Android 10 with MIUI 12 for POCO

Alright, we’ve talked about MIUI 12 multiple times before. Check out our POCO F2 Pro review where we talk about it more. The usual complaints are still the same – the settings menu is still a mess but the updated camera app is really good.

POCO X3 NFC

Design

Okay, so now let’s talk a little about design. The POCO X3 NFC comes in two different colors – Shadow Gray and Cobalt Blue – the one we have here is the latter. Both of the colors come with this fancy design at the back – the shaded area with the POCO branding written with an iridescent material. Yes, the POCO name shines and changes color when looking at different colors.

POCO X3 NFC

It’s eye-catching for sure, and I have to say, I started to like the design after spending some time with the device. The phone also comes bundled with a transparent TPU case but the camera cutout is circular instead of the chopped off circle.

POCO X3 NFC

And before I forget – the POCO X3 NFC also comes with a few more different things – IR blaster which we have been accustomed to, which we actually use it to control our air conditioner, camera, TV, fans, and many other things.

The most surprising thing to me was the inclusion of stereo speakers on the POCO X3 NFC! That’s a rare feature to have on phones in general – let alone mid-range smartphones! Yeah sure – I know it’s not a real stereo speaker since it’s pointed at different directions – but it’s still stereo at the end of the day.

POCO X3 NFC

It also comes with a power+fingerprint button which is much better than an under-display fingerprint scanner but I still miss the physical fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone.

Should you buy the POCO X3 NFC?

Absolutely. POCO once again shattered the definition of a mid-range smartphone by including great specs, magnificent battery life alongside fast charging, and also some quality of life changes that are nice to have.

POCO X3 NFC

Now I know that I have mentioned that high refresh rate screens are not a necessity in smartphones, but hey – it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate screen and you can also run games at 120Hz despite some weird developer whitelist/blacklist situation going on now. That will definitely change as time goes on.

I mean, for the starting price of RM899 and the higher storage configuration at only RM1,099? The POCO X3 NFC is unbelievably low-priced.

Nasi Lemak Tech Gold Award

Where to buy?


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