POCO M3 overview: The battery life champion of 2021

POCO M3 reviewSupply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

POCO burst onto the scene again in 2018 with the POCO F1, however the model didn’t construct on the momentum of that system. It was successfully dormant for 18 months till the POCO X2 made its debut final February, which is when POCO was spun out as its personal sub-brand, à la Redmi.

Like its Redmi counterpart, POCO noticed essentially the most quantity of success within the finances phase. The POCO M2 turned out to be the best-selling cellphone in India within the on-line phase in November, racking up over 1,000,000 items. POCO is now the third-biggest model in India by way of on-line gross sales, and with the sub-$200 class contributing to over 80% of all cellphone gross sales in India in 2020, there’s quite a lot of potential for POCO to develop.

It’s seeking to do exactly that with the POCO M3; the cellphone was unveiled again in November and is now making its strategy to India. There is not any scarcity of finances telephones in India, and with the M3, POCO is providing a viable various to what Redmi and Realme ship on this phase.

Actually, the POCO M3 is an identical to the Redmi 9 Energy by way of {hardware}, and as we have seen with the M2 Pro, this is not a brand new phenomenon. However the cellphone has a definite design that stands out from the gang, and also you get 6GB of RAM as customary and the identical 6000mAh battery, and it prices lower than the Redmi 9 Energy. So in the event you’re seeking to choose up a brand new finances cellphone and have your eye on the POCO M3, here is what the cellphone has to supply.


Backside line: The POCO M3 combines two-day battery life with a beautiful design that makes it stand out within the finances phase. The {hardware} is dependable for many day-to-day duties, you get 6GB of RAM as customary, and the 48MP digicam takes nice images. In case you can look previous the bloatware, there’s a lot to love with the M3.

The Good

  • Class-leading battery life
  • Dependable in day-to-day use
  • Standout design
  • Respectable cameras
  • Vibrant 1080p panel
  • Stereo audio system

The Unhealthy

  • Nonetheless on Android 10
  • Lot of bloatware out of the field
  • No NFC
  • No wide-angle lens

POCO M3 Worth and availability

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The POCO M3 goes up on the market in India beginning February 9 for ₹10,999 ($150) for the model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s additionally a 6GB/128GB variant that retails at ₹11,999 ($165). It’s also possible to choose up the POCO M3 unlocked on Amazon within the UK and US for below $175, making it an honest various to Motorola and Nokia’s finances telephones.

POCO M3 Design and display screen

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

I exploit quite a lot of finances telephones over the course of a 12 months, and the POCO M3 has the most effective design I’ve seen on this class in a very long time. Most POCO telephones in 2020 had been rebranded Redmi gadgets, however that’s positively not the case right here; this design is exclusive to POCO, and the M3 has a definite look that makes it stand out from each different cellphone within the finances phase.

The POCO M3 is the best-looking finances cellphone I’ve seen in a very long time.

The design aptitude comes from the big glass pane on the again that covers the digicam housing. The housing itself is fairly customary fare that features three sensors, however the addition of the glass window elevates the design of the cellphone. The glass panel takes up simply excessive third portion on the again, and contains the POCO moniker.

The black panel supplies a pleasant distinction — significantly in the event you choose up the yellow shade choice. The POCO M3 is out there in three shade choices: Cool Blue, Energy Black, and POCO Yellow. The yellow choice is essentially the most distinctive, and the colourful hue instantly grabs consideration.

Though the cellphone itself is made out of plastic, POCO added a textured end on the again that mimics the texture of leather-based. The feel supplies quite a lot of grip and you aren’t getting any fingerprint smudges both. The again itself curves barely alongside the perimeters because it meets the mid-frame, and this permits the M3 to nestle in your palm with ease.

Up entrance, the M3 has skinny bezels and a waterdrop cutout for the entrance digicam module, and POCO has achieved an awesome job right here making certain the cellphone is simple to carry and use. Although it’s pretty heavy at 208g, it by no means felt that approach within the week I used the cellphone. The M3 is in reality 1g lighter than its 5000mAh battery-toting predecessor, the M2.

The M3 has all of the fundamentals coated: you will discover a 3.5mm jack on the prime together with an IR blaster, the SIM card tray enables you to slot in two SIM playing cards in addition to a microSD card, and the fingerprint sensor is baked into the facility button. POCO has nailed the design transient with the M3, and if you need a finances cellphone with a placing design, that is the apparent alternative in 2021.

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

In terms of the show itself, not a lot has modified over the M2. The POCO M3 additionally has a 6.53-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) LCD show, and also you get vibrant colours. The panel is restricted to 60Hz, however that is not an enormous omission contemplating how a lot the M3 prices. Oh, and the display screen has a layer of Gorilla Glass 3.

The POCO M3 delivers a vibrant 1080p panel with stereo audio system.

Xiaomi has been rolling out finances telephones with vibrant LCD panels for half a decade now, and the POCO M3 isn’t any totally different. The panel will get vibrant sufficient for outside use, has glorious distinction ranges, and holds up simply positive for enjoying video games or streaming movies. On that topic, the cellphone has Widevine L1 out of the field, so it is possible for you to to play 1080p content material out of your favourite streaming companies with none points.

An thrilling addition with the M3 is stereo audio system; the first speaker is positioned on the backside, and you will find the secondary speaker up prime, subsequent to the three.5mm jack. It is all the time nice to see stereo audio system on a cellphone, significantly one within the finances phase.

The stereo audio system make it that rather more satisfying to play video games or stream movies on the cellphone. The large battery on provide together with the colourful 1080p panel and stereo sound make the M3 a multimedia powerhouse — you may binge quite a lot of content material earlier than you will have to fret in regards to the battery operating out.

POCO M3 Efficiency

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Xiaomi makes a few of the best cheap Android phones round; and its gadgets have stood out over time due to the worth. That is the case with the POCO M3 as properly — the cellphone shares the identical innards because the Redmi 9 Energy.

Specs POCO M3
Software program MIUI 12 primarily based on Android 10
Show 6.53-inch (2400×1080) 60Hz IPS LCD
Chipset 2.30GHz Snapdragon 662
Storage 64GB/128GB
Rear Digital camera 1 48MP ƒ/1.8 (main)
Rear Digital camera 2 2MP ƒ/2.4 (macro)
Rear Digital camera 3 2MP ƒ/2.2 (portrait)
Entrance Digital camera 1 8MP ƒ/2.5
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, BT5.0, NFC
Battery 6000mAh | 18W
Safety Facet-mounted fingerprint
Colours Blue, Black, Yellow
Dimensions 165.8 x 76.7 x 8.8mm
Weight 208g

Which means you get a Snapdragon 662 below the hood. The chipset has 4 Cortex A73 cores that go as much as 2.20GHz, and 4 Cortex A53 cores at 1.80GHz. Most mid-range chipsets you will discover at present function the newer A76 cores and A55 cores, and the Snapdragon 662 is displaying its age in 2021.

Whereas it is not Qualcomm’s newest chipset, the Snapdragon 662 holds up positive in day-to-day use. Most mundane duties like searching or scrolling via social media is comparatively lag-free, and you may play demanding video games with the settings turned down. This isn’t the quickest cellphone you will discover within the finances phase, however it’s dependable in each day use and can be utilized for gaming as properly.

The POCO M2 had eMMC storage, and with the M3, POCO is bringing UFS storage to this sequence for the primary time. The mannequin with 64GB of storage has a UFS 2.1 module, and the 128GB model picks up a UFS 2.2 storage module. Each variants include 6GB of RAM as customary, and there is a microSD card to increase storage.

When it comes to connectivity, you will discover Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, the aforementioned IR blaster, FM radio, and a 3.5mm jack. There is not any NFC right here, with POCO selecting to avoid wasting just a few {dollars} for a function that does not see a lot utilization in India. There’s nothing actually lacking on the POCO M3 if you take a look at the place it’s positioned within the finances phase, and the {hardware} on provide makes it an awesome worth.

The battery life you are getting right here is ridiculously good.

After all, the standout function with the cellphone is the 6000mAh battery. You simply get two days of utilization from the cellphone with a full cost, with screen-on-time exceeding 10 hours. The M3 is the apparent alternative if you need a cellphone with multi-day battery life in 2021, and the truth that it does not really feel unwieldy to make use of is an added bonus.

When you must cost the cellphone, the POCO M3 has 18W quick charging, and POCO bundles an 18W charger within the field. It takes over 2.5 hours to completely cost the cellphone, so that you’re higher off charging it in a single day. And like most telephones which have a large battery, you need to use the M3 as an exterior energy financial institution and cost different gadgets through the USB-C port.

POCO M3 Cameras

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The POCO M3 has three cameras on the again: a 48MP f/1.8 main lens with a quad-bayer sensor and a 2MP macro together with a 2MP portrait lens. The Redmi 9 Energy that the cellphone relies on has an 8MP wide-angle lens, however POCO selected to not embody it on the M3. Up entrance, you will discover an 8MP lens.

The digicam interface must be instantly acquainted in the event you’ve used a Redmi cellphone up to now. All of the capturing modes are simply accessible, and also you get toggles for flash, timer, HDR, AI-assisted scene recognition, and wonder filters. Like different finances telephones on this phase, the M3 doesn’t have 4K video recording — you will must pony up for the M2 Professional or the Redmi Word 9 sequence to entry it.

Pictures taken with the POCO M3 in daylight situations come out with loads of element, nice dynamic vary, and first rate distinction ranges. The resultant images aren’t too saturated and have little or no noise, and total the M3 does an awesome job on this class.

However as is commonly the case for finances telephones, issues begin to collapse in low-light situations: the photographs are noisy, colours are washed out, and also you lose out on finer particulars. That mentioned, the devoted night time mode fixes quite a lot of these issues (the second photograph is with night time mode), and also you’re higher off simply utilizing this mode for taking low-light photographs.

The 8MP entrance digicam is not something to jot down residence about both, and it takes first rate photographs at greatest. The 2MP macro lens has a set focus and isn’t definitely worth the problem, however the 2MP portrait lens does an honest job for portrait photographs. Total, the POCO M3 holds up fairly properly on this class; it delivers vibrant photographs in daylight situations, and the night time mode does an awesome job in low-light conditions.

POCO M3 Software program

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The principle speaking level with MIUI over the past two years has been the bloatware. Xiaomi has turned to spam notifications, adverts inside its first-party apps, and a mountain of pre-installed apps as a strategy to monetize its gadgets, and saying that it has led to a sub-par consumer expertise can be an understatement.

For its half, POCO says that its gadgets aren’t laden down with adverts, and that is largely true. You will not discover incessant spam notifications or intrusive adverts, but it surely has all of the bloatware that you’ve got come to hate from Redmi telephones. Then there are “utilities” like GetApps that ship notifications as soon as a day asking you to put in crud you’ve got by no means heard of, and the worst half is that you just can’t uninstall the app.

The POCO M3 does not spam you with adverts, however there’s nonetheless quite a lot of bloatware right here.

So sure, MIUI 12 is barely extra palatable on the POCO M3 than it’s on the Redmi 9 Energy or different finances Redmi telephones. However that does not imply it is not with out its shortcomings. My predominant difficulty with the cellphone is that it nonetheless runs MIUI 12 primarily based on Android 10; Android 11 has been accessible for 5 months now, and for POCO to not provide it out of the field is inexcusable.

MIUI 12 is a step in the correct path; Xiaomi made quite a lot of welcome adjustments to the interface to make it extra trendy and accessible. The brand new privateness dashboard is a superb addition, and also you get quite a lot of customizability with the pores and skin. However utilizing MIUI 12 on a Redmi or POCO cellphone may be very totally different to Xiaomi’s flagships, and the model must sort out the bloatware difficulty on its finances gadgets.

POCO M3 The competitors

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

You may discover loads of finances telephones that ship the identical worth because the POCO M3. Realme’s Narzo 20 is a superb various that additionally has a 6000mAh battery with 18W quick charging, dependable {hardware} within the type of a MediaTek Helio G85, and an 8MP wide-angle lens. Coming in at simply ₹10,499, it’s extra inexpensive than the POCO M3, though the bottom model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Then there’s the POCO M2 sequence. The usual M2 continues to be an awesome choice in 2021, significantly if you need a wide-angle lens on the again. And the M2 Professional delivers even higher worth for ₹12,999, providing an awesome digicam with the flexibility to file 4K video. Each telephones function a 5000mAh battery and final two days between prices.

POCO M3 Do you have to purchase?

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

You can purchase this if …

You need two-day battery life

With a 6000mA battery below the hood and intelligent reminiscence optimization, the POCO M3 delivers two-day battery life with out breaking a sweat. And if you do have to cost the cellphone, it has 18W quick charging.

You need a finances cellphone with a placing design

If you’d like a finances cellphone that stands out, you need to choose up the yellow variant of the M3. The colourful yellow shade mixed with the big digicam housing on the again offers the M3 a particular look.

You want dependable {hardware} and first rate cameras

The POCO M3 nails the fundamentals; the {hardware} on provide is nice for many day-to-day duties, and also you get 6GB of RAM as customary. The 48MP digicam additionally takes usable images more often than not, and holds its personal on this class.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

In case you want NFC or a wide-angle digicam

The POCO M3 misses out on just a few options to hit that low value level. A type of is NFC, however the extra egregious omission is a wide-angle lens on the again and 4K video recording. In case you want a wide-angle lens, the POCO M2 continues to be a dependable alternative. And in the event you want 4K video, the POCO M2 Professional is the perfect choice.

You need a clear UI and the most recent model of Android

MIUI 12 is not as irritating to make use of on the POCO M3 as it’s on Redmi telephones, however you will nonetheless discover an unbelievable quantity of bloatware. Then there’s the truth that the cellphone continues to be operating Android 10, with no point out of when Android 11 will likely be accessible.

POCO M3 review

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

With the POCO M3, you are principally getting a Redmi 9 Energy with 6GB of RAM and a lot better design at a extra inexpensive value. The battery life is the standout function right here, and the cellphone will ship at the very least two days price of use with none points.

The {hardware} is first rate for many day-to-day duties, the 6.53-inch 1080p panel is holds up astonishingly properly, and you will get nice photographs with the 48MP digicam on the again. You may additionally discover a devoted microSD slot along with two SIM card slots, a 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, and stereo sound.

out of 5

The trade-off for that unbelievable battery life at simply ₹10,999 ($150) is that the POCO M3 misses out in just a few areas: there is not any NFC, no wide-angle lens on the again, and the software program state of affairs is much from supreme. The cellphone is operating an older model of Android and loaded with bloatware, and a few of it can’t be uninstalled.

That mentioned, there aren’t any finances telephones in India that ship a clear UI and quick updates, so in the event you’re okay with making these trade-offs, the POCO M3 is a strong choice in 2021. And if you issue within the worth you are getting right here, the POCO M3 is without doubt one of the greatest finances telephones you should buy at present.


Backside line: The POCO M3 has stellar battery life together with a beautiful design that makes it stand out from the pack. The {hardware} is nice for many day-to-day duties, the 48MP digicam on the again takes first rate images, and also you’re getting an awesome total worth.

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