POCO F3 Review: Flagship smartphone at an affordable price

Poco F3 Review 1
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The POCO brand, which is relatively young and unfamiliar, seems to be gaining popularity. Each model becomes a potential hit: the X3 NFC has become almost the main premiere of autumn 2020, now all eyes are turned on the X3 Pro and F3. At the same time, POCO F3 can be called the flagship of the brand: in fact, it is. But even the flagship is here in its own way. POCO did not collect top-end hardware and offer it for “a lot of money”, but tried to find such a balance of price and characteristics that would suit a demanding buyer. But let’s get down to business.

Design

POCO F3 looks more premium against the background of the simpler X3 NFC. But the main difference is that it is noticeably thinner and lighter. True, the F3 has a slightly smaller battery capacity (4520 mAh versus 5160), but this is hardly the decisive factor.

Surprisingly, there are no fashionable curves on the front surface. A simple flat screen that can be easily glued to glass or film. By the way, there is already a film on it. There is also a miniature hole with a front camera.

 

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As befits a top model, the back panel of the smartphone is also glass, protected by Gorilla Glass 5 (by the way, the screen has the same protection). But the fingerprint scanner is located on the side, and not under the display. Perhaps the manufacturers have already played enough with an expensive impractical solution and decided to return to a more reliable one.

 

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Next to the power button is a traditional volume rocker. The left side is free of any additional elements, there is a slot for installing SIM cards at the bottom. Memory cards are not supported here, but given the 256 GB version, this is quite forgivable. By the way, if you look closely at the SIM card holder, you can see a red rubber pad. This is one of the elements of protection against water and dust: IP53 is officially declared here.

 

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But there is no 3.5 mm jack – perhaps it has no place in a smartphone with such protection. Connector for recharging and connection – of course, USB-C.

The block of cameras on the F3 is similar in shape to that on the Xiaomi Mi 11. It looks stylish, and does not particularly protrude beyond the plane of the rear panel. We received our test device before the start of sales, so the silicone case was not included in the package. But on real F3s it will probably be, so the camera protrusion will safely sink into the slot of the case.

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Screen

  • E4 Super AMOLED Matrix
  • Diagonal: 6.67 inches
  • Resolution: 2400×1080 pixels (Full HD +)
  • Maximum refresh rate: 120Hz

The 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display (the same size as the X3 NFC) and 120Hz refresh rate is definitely the pride of the new model. It is good in all its forms: bright, with rich colors and deep blacks, with excellent viewing angles. The refresh rate can be manually selected: it is 60 or 120 Hz. In the latter case, it is worth turning on the MEMC function, which draws frames for smoother video playback.

Cameras

  • Primary: 48 MP, f / 1.79, autofocus
  • Wide-angle: 8MP
  • Macro: 5MP
  • Front: 20 MP

The main surprise was the use of a 48 MP main sensor – this despite the fact that the POCO X3 NFC  camera has a resolution of 64 MP. This downsizing can be justified by the fact that the difference is really not that great. In fact, it manifests itself in difficult shooting conditions – in daylight, the pictures will be little distinguishable. What pleases me is that these are not “nominal” other cameras at all. The wide-angle has a pretty decent resolution of 8 megapixels, the macro camera is 5 megapixels (and not 2, as in many mid-range smartphones). The front camera is absolutely luxurious: 20 megapixels.

Performance and communications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
  • Memory: 6/128 or 8/256 GB

POCO F3 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 870. Not to say that this is a new processor – rather an overclocked version of Snapdragon 865+. Nevertheless, at the time of publication of the article there is not a single smartphone on version 870 – F3 may become the first. Fast memory in sufficient amounts is another guarantee of high performance. LPDDR5 RAM can be 6 or 8 GB, UFS 3.1 drive – 128 or 256 GB.

This combination will definitely delight gamers. You can run almost any games at high settings, while the FPS is unlikely to drop below 50. Even after half an hour of active gaming, the body of the smartphone remains only warm, does not heat up to critical values. And, of course, the 120 Hz frequency combined with the bright contrast display allows you to get new sensations from the games you already know.

In terms of communication capabilities, POCO F3 is ready to offer the most “fresh”. This is the 5G standard, which is still irrelevant for our country, and the more tangible Wi-Fi 6, there is also an infrared transmitter and an NFC module.
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Autonomy

The battery capacity, as we have already indicated, is not gigantic, but sufficient in order not to look flawed against the background of competitors: 4520 mAh. Like most of the latest Xiaomi / Redmi / POCO models, the F3 has 33W fast charging support. During the test, I had two models in my pockets: a personal POCO X3 NFC and a test F3. I used the latter even more actively, but from the point of view of autonomy, I did not notice much difference. Both with moderate use easily “survive” 2 days on a single charge. You can charge the battery with a standard adapter in about 50 minutes.

Conclusion

With the POCO F3 you get excellent hardware, good cameras, and a gorgeous screen – and as always, the price tag is quite attractive.

For those who really need powerful hardware, this is a great option. For example, the cheaper Samsung Galaxy A71 with about the same screen, battery and 6/128 GB memory capacity offers Qualcomm Snapdragon 730.

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