Review POCO F3: is this really a best buy?

poco f3

For some time now, Xiaomi has differentiated the wide offer in the smartphone field, giving life to different brands. Although the Chinese company very often tends to keep its distance, we know how much influence it has in these cases. Taking a look at the brand we will talk about in pocoIn fact, the presence within it of a system designed specifically for this device immediately catches the eye, but derived directly from Xiaomi's MIUI. So, after waiting in vain for the arrival of F2 for some time, the company has decided to launch on the market a more than valid alternative to the various top of the range out there, that is POCO F3. This smartphone, therefore, has long been talked about in Asia, and beyond, finally arriving in Italy with a very aggressive price. So much so that it can seriously put the entire mid-range of this market, dominated by different brands, in serious difficulty. But will a good SoC, a large battery and a well-known software be enough to defeat all the other competitors? You just have to discover it with us, inside this one Full review!

Review POCO F3

Unboxing

Let's go immediately to see what is inside the sales package, since surely many of you will be curious to understand if the charger has been implemented or not. Inside this box, therefore, we find:

  • POCO F3;
  • wall power supply, with European socket;
  • USB / USB Type-C cable for device charging and data transfer;
  • headphone adapter, with 3,5mm audio jack;
  • pin for removing the SIM slot;
  • transparent soft silicone cover;
  • short instruction manual, also in Italian;
  • warranty certificate.

Design & Materials

Taking a look at the device, even at first glance, a thought immediately comes to mind. With the advent of these increasingly shiny glass bodies, therefore, it has become increasingly difficult to keep your devices clean. This, therefore, is absolutely no exception, offering a back protected with glass Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which returns a mirror effect. Beyond this aspect, however, the phone also looks pretty good in terms of assembly and build quality. Over the years, in fact, Xiaomi has raised the bar in this regard, reaching an almost maniacal precision in the creation of its products. Even if in this case we are talking about a device that does not directly belong to this brand, absolutely nothing changes. Going beyond these considerations for a moment, therefore, in terms of dimensions, the smartphone measures 163,7 x 76,4 x 7,8 mm, with recording well 196 grams, therefore not exactly a featherweight. I do not deny you, therefore, that it is rather difficult to use it with one hand, although this weight is also well balanced in the end. Those looking for a compact smartphone, therefore, will have to turn their gaze to other products.

poco f3

In addition to the attention to detail, which we have already partially talked about, this phone shows a really well-made aluminum frame. On the right side, therefore, there is no lack of the volume balance wheel and the On / off button, which also integrates the fingerprint sensor. Taking a look further down, however, we find one speaker, the slot SIMs., main microphone and the entrance USB Type-C. Equipping itself with a double stereo speaker, however, cannot miss the second component that is part of this sector, positioned at the top. This, therefore, is located in another point with respect to the ear capsule. Also in this position, then, we also have the according to microphone for the suppression of environmental noise and the IR sensor, with which to manage television channels and much more.

We tested the Night Black version, but on the market there are also the Artic White and Deep Ocean Blue colors, perhaps the most beautiful of all. Beyond this aspect, in any case, let's not forget the presence on the rear frame of a photographic sector characterized by the presence of three different lenses. This is really very similar, in terms of concept, to that seen on Xiaomi Mi 11, although fortunately it does not protrude much from the profile of the device.

Unlocking Systems

Also on this smartphone we find a fingerprint sensor placed on the right frame. It is therefore a very convenient position for unlocking, even for left-handers. Beyond this, then, this component is fast and precise, always managing to recognize the footprint in an instant. I must say, therefore, that in this respect POCO has hit the mark, not making us regret at all the absence of a sensor placed under the display. Here it could have been implemented but, also for a matter of costs, the company has decided well not to adopt this strategy. I am therefore convinced that in the end this choice paid off.

Obviously there is a system of facial recognition in 2D, a solution poco precise and safe. During the day, with good light, the phone makes good use of the front camera, recognizing our face on the fly. When the brightness is not discreet, however, the first difficulties begin to be seen and the detection of the face becomes slow and cumbersome.

Display

We are not at the level of some much higher-end smartphones, such as Xiaomi's Mi 11 itself, but even in this case we find a AMOLED display da 6,67 " with resolution Full HD + (2.400 x 1.080 pixels), form factor in 20:9, maximum brightness of 1.300 thread, support HDR10 + and glass Coring Gorilla Glass 5. To complete this package, then, we find one 360Hz sampling rate of the touchscreen and a refresh rate equal to 120Hz. This last figure, perhaps, is one of those that will most capture the interest of enthusiasts, especially those who love a fluid, fast and snappy smartphone. I must say, in fact, that the difference compared to 60Hz devices is felt enough, benefiting in general the experience of using the smartphone.

poco f3

In addition to all the various features just mentioned, this display is qualitatively up to expectations. Here, therefore, the colors they are well calibrated and have a good contrast, with deep blacks and whites that do not tend to other shades. It is perhaps not the best panel in its class, but we are more or less in line with the various competitors on the market. The automatic brightness sensor is also good, which even in low light situations manages to calibrate this aspect well. You will not have any problem, therefore, in viewing all the contents on the screen in direct sunlight.

As mentioned, with the touch screen I have not registered any malfunctions. Indeed, thanks to a high sampling rate and a high refresh rate, you will almost feel like you're flying with this smartphone. Let's say that these are not exactly the characteristics that should favor its purchase, but they certainly do number. Finally, I would like to point out the presence of the 20 MP selfie camera that finds space at the top, along the central axis of the display.

Hardware & Performance

Xiaomi has thought about proposing on this POCO F3 a Qualcomm SoC Snapdragon 870, therefore a component made with a 7nm production process and which presents, on this unit, the following configuration: 1 x Cortex A77 3,2 GHz + 3 x Cortex A77 2,42 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1,8 GHz. All this, then, is accompanied by a highly respectable memories sector, with ben 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM (there is also the version with 6 GB) e 256 GB of internal memory, of type UFS 3.1 (there is also the 128GB version). We are, therefore, at the top in this context, mounting among the fastest and most performing memories among those currently on the market.

We must consider that the high refresh rate of this smartphone, combined with a processor of this type, can only make the happiness of all fans of the brand. In fact, during these days of testing, I never ran into errors or sudden app crashes due to system instability. By opening various third party applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and many others I have not registered any critical issues, even in navigating within them. It moves smoothly and quickly, almost like the current top of the range sold on the market. Obviously, however, all this is possible thanks also to a very conservative RAM management, which does not allow you to keep various apps in memory for too long. This, therefore, positively affects both performance and battery. I would like to point out, then, how this unit possesses the certification Widevine of type L1, so all streaming content is viewable at the highest possible quality. Green light, therefore, on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and many others.

I would not have expected lower quality in the gaming phase, and in fact my expectations have been met. Thanks to Adreno GPU 650 of Qualcomm you can play satisfactorily on Call of Duty Mobile, being able to easily support even classified matches without a hitch. Difficult to have problems, therefore, with games even less performing than this.

Benchmark

Software

At the time of writing this review, this device is based there MIUI 12.0.1, customized with the typical interface of POCO. And this is precisely one of the strengths of this phone, as well as of the others developed under the same name. It is, in fact, a complete software that, perhaps, also improves some more confusing aspects of Xiaomi's MIUI. It must also be said, however, that a novice might find this system more hostile which, from many points of view, offers a very high level of customization. In addition to all the various system apps, which are the same as those we can find on any Xiaomi-branded device, here we find a different layout of the various apps, a different graphics and some other small differences.

Now it is difficult to judge the updates made by this company on their devices. Let's say that Xiaomi has currently followed the products of POCO practically identical to those of their own group. We hope, therefore, that this smartphone will not be abandoned in the future.

Camera

As we have also seen previously, on the back there are three different photographic sensors. Here, therefore, we have a main focus from 48 MP with aperture f / 1.79, assisted by the presence of a secondary wide-angle sensor from 8 MP with aperture f / 2.2 e FOV of 119 °, and a last sensor for the macro from 5 MP with f / 2.4 aperture. Let's say that the latter in the end could not have even been implemented, since the returned quality is not all that great. In short, not such as to justify the presence of a dedicated lens.

Di day the photos are average, showing good detail rendering, vivid colors and good contrasts. I must say that in this case the company seems to have done a good job, given that even in the most difficult situations the phone always comes out well. When the lighting conditions do not allow you to take a clear image, automatic HDR comes into play and solves the situation. Obviously in such conditions do not use the wide-angle sensor, because in this case the shot could suffer from really poor details and washed-out colors. This is a very useful component that I really appreciated, but it should only be used when the lighting is good.

When the light goes down, the main camera only partially manages to return noteworthy shots. Although the management of artificial lights it is not so bad, there is a more pronounced photographic noise and less attention to detail. All quite normal characteristics for a product of this type which, in the end, is in a price range of less than 400 euros. As for the wide-angle sensor, then, the considerations made previously remain valid. Also in this case, therefore, make sure you take a photograph in good light conditions, thus avoiding generating an absolutely insufficient shot. With the Night Mode 2.0 you can get something more in your shots, since the software is able to manage the lights much better and balance the contrasts, illuminating the darker parts better.

Obviously, there is no lack of selfie camera da 20 MP with an aperture of f / 2.45 which, in many respects, is pretty good. This, in fact, shows rather detailed faces and a good contrast, even if sometimes it does not manage to optimally manage the scene that is behind the main subject. Then we have the bokeh mode which remains average.

Video

With this smartphone it is possible to shoot videos at the highest quality in 4K at 30fps or, alternatively, in 1080p to 60fps. I must say that the stabilization is not the best, even if in any case the images are more than enough. However, I recommend taking advantage of 1080p to get better stability and sharper images, managing to record with greater fluidity. Note of merit, then, for the presence of a dedicated microphone, placed on the back, which offers excellent audio quality.

Audio & Connectivity

Here we find theNFC, and this is perhaps already the first positive news. Besides that, we have a module Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and support for one 5G nano SIM, all components that performed very well during the test period. Specifically, the Wi-Fi connection was found to be quite stable even in the least covered areas of the house. Note of merit, moreover, also for the LTE network which with Fastweb's 4G has allowed me to surf the net throughout the city, without problems. I don't currently have a phone contract with 5G included, so I can't explain this to you. Under the connectivity sector, however, there is no shortage of GPS (L1 + L5) / Galileo (E1 + E5a) / GLONASS / Beidou (B1I + B2a) / Navic.

Currently Dolby Atmos is not yet available, given that as reported by the company itself this will arrive in the future with an OTA update. Beyond this aspect, however, I would like to point out the presence of two stereo speakers that make a good impression. Even if the bass is not so full-bodied, it makes the audio equally engaging. There is a certain predilection for mid and high tones, but despite this the quality is more than sufficient. With the ear capsule, then, you will be able to converse easily with anyone you want, being able to hear the voice on the other side of the phone well even in slightly noisier environments.

Autonomy

This smartphone integrates a battery da 4.520 mAh which, with a rather stressful use, is able to carry you until the evening without problems. During the trial period, in fact, I always kept Bluetooth active, with a mix of Wi-Fi and LTE connection, divided dozens of incoming messages, two continuously synchronized emails, some videos on YouTube, about thirty minutes of gaming on Call of Duty Mobile e poco other. This day of testing, therefore, ended with… screen on, on a basis of… continuous operation.

Thanks to the support for fast charging from 33W it is possible to switch from 10 to 100% in poco less than 2 hours.

Price & Conclusions

POCO F3 is officially sold in Italy to 349,90 €, in the version from 6 / 128 GB, while we settle on the 399,90 € for the model from 8 / 256 GB. The device will also be available for purchase on AliExpress starting April 6. Below you will find the link to purchase, also from Amazon. Also here you will find our in-depth analysis on where to buy the new top of POCO.

For offers and deals, already available, subscribe to our channel Telegram of reference not to miss all the discounts on this device!

POCO F3 - AliExpress

The new one arrives on AliExpress POCO F3. Buy it now with our exclusive coupon!

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359 €
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So what to say about this smartphone? In case you were to buy it for less than 300 euros you could be more than satisfied. It is one of the best phones ever produced by the brand, from many points of view. Although Qualcomm's latest high-end SoC is not on board, it still manages to guarantee top-of-the-range performance in almost every sector. Even from a photographic point of view, in fact, some steps forward have been made compared to the previous models, something that I have already had the opportunity to highlight on POCO X3 Pro. In conclusion, therefore, I really believe that the company is going in the right direction and this device is the confirmation.

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