Poco X3 Pro: Hand of the king


IN the HBO series Game of Thrones, the Hand of the King (or Queen), is the most powerful appointed position in the Six Kingdoms, second only to the King in authority and responsibility. The Hand is the King’s closest advisor, appointed and authorized to make decisions in the King’s name. If you’ve watched the series, you know how crucial that character is.

During the reign of strong and able Kings, the Hand is the chief agent for coordinating and carrying out the King’s plans but during the rule of ineffectual kings, the Hand is often the real power behind the throne, and the man chiefly responsible for holding the realm together. Such is the role of the Poco X series: it may not be the King but regardless of how good (or not so good) their current flagship is, you can always rely on the X series’ strengths: performance, speed, and value for money.

The Poco X3 Pro is essentially an updated version of the Poco X3 NFC. It looks the same with NFC version but with Poco doing some slight rebalancing of its specs, giving it an even more powerful processor and better screen protection, but with a slight compromise on the cameras.

Does it live up to its tagline “Exactly what you need, and more”? And with the imminent launch of its successor the Poco X3 GT, does it still deserve your attention?


AS I mentioned, design is one of the areas where essentially nothing has changed from the original X3 NFC aside from a new set of color options. Which also means it wouldn’t change your perception of how the X3 NFC looked.

Inside the box you’ll get the phone unit, a welcome card, a bunch of Poco stickers, a jelly case, paper documentation, SIM ejector tool, a 33w wall charger, and USB-C cable.

You still have the frosted finish edges on the back, which thankfully doesn’t attract too much smudges this time, and you also get the strip pattern and the large Poco branding. It’s not as distracting as realme slapping their “Dare to Leap” quote, and I don’t mind the superfluous branding, but I’m just not a fan of the Poco font. Good thing it does disappear depending on the angle.

Your get three color options—Metal Bronze, Phantom Black, and Frost Blue, which is bluer than blue but won’t make you sadder than sad. You know I’ve grown tired of black phones, but this Phantom Black color actually gives off a dark purple and bluish hue, while the Metal Bronze almost borders on pink at times.  I don’t know why, but I really like the round camera module design of the Poco X3 Pro. It just makes it stand out from all the squarish/rectangular top corner-mounted cameras of other phones.

The button layout is standard as well: you’ll find the SIM/microSD slot on the left, the volume rocker and power button which doubles as the fingerprint sensor on the right, an IR blaster and microphone on top and at the bottom is a loudspeaker, the primary microphone, USB-C, and the beloved 3.5mm audio jack. As for the display, the Poco X3 Pro gets better protection via Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6. It also retains the IP53 rating giving the phone pretty respectable dust- and water-resistance which is rare at this price point.  The only thing I didn’t like about the build of the X3 Pro is its weight. It’s a chunky phone that measures 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm and even heavier weighing almost 215 grams. So, you better have big hands, or big pockets.


POCO touts the display tailor-made for mobile gaming and it delivers with the X3 Pro’s huge 6.67-inch IPS display with a FHD+ resolution of 2400×1080. It also features flagship 120Hz refresh rate allowing you to enjoy seamlessly fluid movements in action-packed games while the high 240Hz touch sampling rate decreases the touch latency.

Having a 120Hz screen at this price point is excellent; even better, the refresh rate can dynamically switch between five speeds, from 30Hz up to 120Hz, meaning that the screen can run a little slower to save the battery.

The Poco X3 Pro’s display looks sharp, the colors are bold and vibrant, and the huge screen size instantly gives you the sense it’s made for games and for watching videos. It’s not the brightest in its class but it certainly won’t give you a less-than-satisfactory experience. It’s the phone I have been using to watch Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon and even VivaMax.


LET just say it: the cameras are a downgrade from the Poco X3 NFC. The rear setup is similar, but differs in the details of the lens. You still get four lenses. However, instead of the 64MP main shooter of the X3 NFC, it only gets a 48MP main sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide instead of a 13MP. The two remaining are still a 2MP macro lens and depth sensor.

To be fair, the main camera isn’t bad, but it’s also not something to cheer about. Daylight results are still great with good color and detail but in low light, expect washed-out colors, less detail and reduced sharpness. The wide-angle photos also suffer a bit because of the downgrade. Photos are still usable, but you might need a bit more effort in editing.

As for selfies, you get the same 20MP lens that can produce detailed shots. But with an f/2.2 aperture it struggles in less than optimal lighting conditions.

Again, it’s not bad, but if there’s a chink in this knight’s armor, it would be the cameras.


NOW, the main selling point of the Poco X3 Pro is its powerful performance. The Poco X3 Pro packs a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor that allows you to enjoy mobile games with high speed, even when playing graphically demanding games on high settings. Along with enhanced UFS 3.1, the device offers snappy read and write speeds, so you don’t have to wait long to load files, games and apps.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 is a souped-up version of the Snapdragon 855, the same chipset that powered most of the biggest flagship phones in 2019. And before you even think about its age, know that it is still faster than this year’s mid-range chips. So even if it lacks 5G connectivity, it would be very hard to find a phone with this power at its price range.

Poco pairs the Snapdragon 860 with the choice between 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of storage, and you even get a microSD slot to expand that further. I suggest you go for the extra RAM though, instead of buying a microSD card for storage.

As for battery, the X3 Pro has a 5160mAh battery. It lasted me two days with light use before it needed to be plugged in again. Poco has bundled a 33w charger that can charge the phone from zero to 100 percent in just a little over an hour.

Final word: the Poco X3 Pro is a phone designed for gamers and power users that are on a budget. If you are not much of a photographer and don’t mind the lack of 5G connectivity, it’s still a great buy, especially now that its price is expected to drop further with the release of the Poco X3 GT.

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