Xiaomi’s POCO F3 and POCO X3 Pro offer sub-flagship specs at an affordable price

Xiaomi’s POCO F3 and POCO X3 Pro offer sub-flagship specs at an affordable price

We’re all old enough to remember POCO’s very first device, the POCO F1, in 2018. The POCO F1 made a lot of headlines back in the day, featuring a flagship-grade SoC, the Snapdragon 845, at a price tag that challenged mid-range devices with much slower internals. That phone was considered a one-off until POCO’s brand relaunch in 2020, this time with a lot more phones with different specifications and pricing.

A true successor to the POCO F1 never arose in POCO’s 2020 lineup. There was a POCO F2 Pro with flagship specs, but it commanded a much higher price tag than the F1 ever did. On the other hand, the POCO X3 was actually fairly outstanding for its price, touting a 120Hz display and very decent mid-range specifications at an excellent price point. Today, Xiaomi has unveiled both a POCO X3 Pro, a higher-end version of the POCO X3, and an all-new device in the F series, the POCO F3.

POCO X3 Pro: Specifications

SpecificationPOCO X3 Pro
Build
  • Phantom Black, Frost Blue, Metal Bronze
  • 2.5D curved glass front, 3D curved back
  • Gorilla Glass 6 on front
Dimensions & Weight
  • 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
  • 215g
Display
  • 6.67-inch IPS LCD
  • Full HD+ resolution
  • Centered hole-punch cutout
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 240Hz touch sampling rate
  • 450 nits brightness
  • 1500:1 contrast ratio
  • HDR10
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 860

  • Octa-core Kryo 485 CPU @ 2.96GHz
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 7nm process node
RAM & Storage
  • 6GB LPDDR4X + 128GB UFS 3.1
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • Up to 1TB microSD
Battery & Charging
  • 5160mAh
  • 33W wired fast charging
  • 33W charger in the box
SecuritySide-mounted fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 48MP, f/1.79, 1/2″ sensor
  • Secondary: 8MP, Ultra Wide, f/2.2, 119°
  • Tertiary: 2MP, macro, f/2.4, 4cm fixed focus
  • Quarternary: 2MP, depth sensor, f/2.4
Front Camera(s)20MP
Port(s)
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio
  • Dual speakers
  • Hi-Res audio certified
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • NFC
  • IR Blaster
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Bands:
    • 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    • 3G WCDMA: B1, 2, 4, 5, 8
    • 4G LTE FDD: B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28
    • 4G TDD-LTE: B38, 40, 41
SoftwareMIUI 12 based on Android 11

Let’s begin with the POCO X3 Pro, which belongs to the upper tier of midrange smartphones. There’s nothing on its exterior design that would suggest that it’s any different than the regular X3, but under the hood, there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

The most notable immediate improvement is that the phone will be the first device to launch with the all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC. Much in the same fashion that the Snapdragon 870 is a revision of the Snapdragon 865/865+, the Snapdragon 860 is a revision of the Snapdragon 855/855+. This means you can expect the POCO X3 Pro to perform roughly the same, or just slightly better, than 2019 flagships — and way better than the Snapdragon 732G in the POCO X3.

Like its direct relative, this phone has a 6.67-inch 120Hz display with a 240Hz touch sampling rate and 1080p resolution. High refresh rate panels have started to become commonplace in mid-range smartphones, and this one is no different. This 120Hz panel paired with the Snapdragon 860 processor and the UFS 3.1 storage should make for a very snappy experience for the price.

Other features include a 48MP camera setup (the regular X3 has a 64MP camera setup) with an 8MP ultra-wide lens and both a macro camera and a depth sensor, a 20MP front camera, and a 5,160 mAh battery. The phone also supports 33W fast charging for quick top-ups, which should charge the phone in roughly under an hour. Last but not least, the phone is running MIUI 12 based on Android 11.

Pricing and Availability

The POCO X3 Pro is surprisingly even cheaper than what the POCO X3 NFC launched. Standard pricing for the device starts at €249 for the 6GB + 128GB variant and €299 for the 8GB + 256GB variant. Early bird pricing further slashes off €50 of those prices.

The device goes on sale globally from March 24 onwards, with early bird pricing available till April 1.

Further, POCO will also be offering 1 free screen replacement within 6 months from purchase.


POCO F3: Specifications

SpecificationPOCO F3
Build
  • Arctic White, Night Black, Deep Ocean Blue
  • 2.5D curved glass front, 3D curved back
  • Gorilla Glass 5 on front and back
Dimensions & Weight
  • 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8 mm
  • 196g
Display
  • 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay
  • Full HD+ resolution
  • Centered hole-punch cutout
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 360Hz touch sampling rate
  • 1300 nits peak brightness
  • 1500:1 contrast ratio
  • HDR10+
  • MEMC
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 870

  • Octa-core Kryo 585 CPU @ 3.20GHz
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 7nm process node
RAM & Storage
  • 6GB LPDDR5 + 128GB UFS 3.1
  • 8GB + 256GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4520mAh
  • 33W wired fast charging
  • 33W fast charger in box
SecuritySide-mounted fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 48MP, f/1.79, 1/2″ sensor
  • Secondary: 8MP, ultra-wide, f/2.2, 119°
  • Tertiary: 5MP, telemacro, f/2.4
Front Camera(s)20MP, f/2.45
Port(s)USB Type-C
Audio
  • Dual speakers, Dolby Atmos certified
  • Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Audio Wireless certified
  • Triple microphones with 360° surround sound pick-up capabilities
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • NFC
  • IR Blaster
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Bands:
    • 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    • 3G WCDMA: B1, 2, 4, 5, 8
    • 4G LTE FDD: B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 66
    • 4G LTE TDD: B38, 40, 41
    • 5G: N1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 41, 77, 78
SoftwareMIUI 12 based on Android 11

The POCO F3 is the higher-end model out of the two devices announced today. For the most part, it is pretty much a rebranded Xiaomi Redmi K40, mainly featuring the same physical design and internal specifications as its Redmi-branded twin. This is not a bad thing at all: the Redmi K40 is a fantastic device, and this one is, too.

The claim that the POCO F3 is the most potent POCO device at the moment rings true: the phone runs a Snapdragon 870 SoC, which is an ever-so-slightly better version of last year’s flagship chip, the Snapdragon 865, which also powered the previous title holder in this category, the POCO F2 Pro. It’s not quite a Snapdragon 888, but the Kryo 585 cores in the Snapdragon 870 gear up to 3.2 GHz, up from the 3.1 GHz in the 865+ and the 2.84 GHz in the 865. It also comes with 5G support thanks to the X55 modem in this device.

The phone’s physical design differs quite a bit from what we saw in the POCO X3 Pro, and most other specs do too. The 120Hz display is kept with both the same size (6.67 inches) and resolution (1080p), but the touch sampling rate goes up to 360Hz and the display goes AMOLED instead of LCD. The cameras are also slimmed down from a quad setup to a triple setup with a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP telemacro lens. And the battery is also slightly smaller, as the POCO F3 comes with a 4,520 mAh camera instead of the 5,160 mAh cell in the POCO X3 Pro.

Other specs remain familiar: the phone comes with dual speakers certified by Dolby Atmos, triple microphones with 360° surround sound pick-up capabilities, up to 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

Pricing and Availability

The POCO F3 is surprisingly as cheap as what the POCO F1 launched, as POCO claims. Standard pricing for the device starts at €349 for the 6GB + 128GB variant and €399 for the 8GB + 256GB variant. Early bird pricing further slashes off €50 of those prices.

The device goes on sale globally from March 27 onwards, with early bird pricing available till April 6.

Further, POCO will also be offering 1 free screen replacement within 6 months from purchase.


Are you planning to get the POCO F3 or the POCO X3 Pro?

About author

Arol Wright
Arol Wright

Diehard technology enthusiast, and an Android purist by nature. While I have a soft spot for smartphones, I'm deeply interested in everything techy, be it PCs, gaming consoles, gadgets, you name it. Please direct all inquiries/tips to [email protected]