A capable device that’s easy on the pocket.
For a little over 700 AED, the POCO M3 delivers a decent performance made even better by the long battery life. Despite the lack of NFC that should have been useful for contactless payments, its performance is still good enough to make it one of the decent affordable options.
Despite the POCO brand still being owned by Xiaomi, it is still operating as a separate brand that offers a cheaper alternative to flagship devices that at times cost an arm and a leg. The POCO X3 released a few months ago may have been a flagship, but the new POCO M3 comes as an inexpensive alternative that actually performs better than expected.
Taking it out of the box, the POCO M3 is one huge device, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you like big phones. The exterior is made of plastic with a rubberized finish that makes it easier to grip and hold despite its big size. The back houses the triple camera set up in a large rectangle that covers the top half of the backside. On the right of the camera is large POCO branding, which should make it stand out amidst a plethora of similar-looking devices. I’m personally not a fan of the large POCO branding at the back, and I feel it would look much better without the branding.
There’s a speaker grille located on the top and bottom of the POCO M3 that enables stereo listening. Smartphones in this price range don’t usually have stereo support, so it’s great that it was included here. It also retains the headphone jack, along with an IR blaster so you can still use it as a remote control. There’s no NFC though, which is a bummer considering it would be useful for contactless payments especially during these times.
The POCO M3 also offers dual SIM support and expanded storage. There are buttons on both sides for the volume rockers and a power button that also houses the fingerprint sensor. On the front is a large 6.53-inch Full HD+ display that looks great and displays brilliant colors considering its price though we would have liked 90Hz support on the display similar to what other mid-range smartphones offer.
Hardware-wise, the POCO M3 comes with a Snapdragon 662 processor and is paired with 4GB of RAM and your choice of 64GB/128GB of storage. It managed to give a decent performance on daily tasks like checking emails and browsing websites. The hardware is more than capable of playing the games I’ve installed it on – Call of Duty Mobile and Monument Valley all performed without hiccups.
The POCO M3 runs on MIUI 12 based on Android 10 and comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from an Android device. While MIUI is decent, I’m still not a fan of its overall design, and I ended up using a custom launcher just to make it look like stock Android. There are also random bugs, and some settings are nested inside other submenus that can be annoying to look for. Also expect some ads to pop up now and then, which somehow makes this UI less than desirable.
The triple camera setup on the POCO M3 consists of the 48-megapixel main camera along with a 2-megapixel depth sensor and 2-megapixel macro camera and lastly, there’s also an 8-megapixel front camera. Daytime shots with the main camera are actually pretty good – detail is present and colors are spot on. I was also surprised at how well it performed with low light shots, making it ideal for taking pictures at night. It would have been great to include an ultrawide camera as part of the setup since most mid-range devices already have them.
The 6,000 mAh battery on the POCO M3 may be one of its top features and gave me around two days of continuous usage before it asked to plug it into a charger. What’s more, the USB-C port supports reverse charging, you can use it to top up your other devices like a portable power bank. And in case you need to charge, the package also includes a fast charger that can completely top up the battery in a little over an hour.
The POCO M3 isn’t perfect, but for its price and performance, it is one of the decent choices when looking for a mid-range smartphone.
+ Great build quality
+ Excellent battery life
+ Affordable price
– An ultrawide camera would have been better
– Ads on the UI
– No NFC
Final Rating: 3.5/5