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Poco M3 first impressions: Bold design, competitive specs

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Poco M3 back panel

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The entry-level smartphone market in India is perhaps the most hotly contested segment in the country. Last year, the Poco M2 duked it out against alternatives from Redmi and Realme to offer one of the most value for money options. Now, the brand is back with its successor, the Poco M3. Here’s our first impressions of Poco’s latest.

Poco M3: Design and hardware

In a sea of gradients and glass-metal sandwiches, Poco has crafted an eye-catching and unique visual identity for the Poco M3. It channels a bit of the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk edition, but also classic phones like the Lumia 1020 with its bright yellow color and distinctive camera layout. If you prefer a more subdued look, black and dark blue variants are on offer as well.

Poco M3 in hand

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The overall hand feel of the phone is excellent. In my early impressions, I found the textured layout at the back to be particularly nice to hold. The phone delivers really good tactile feedback, and Poco somehow has somehow managed to keep the weight under 200g despite the large battery.

The Poco M3 is exceptionally well built and looks refreshingly unique.

The switch from the rear-mounted fingerprint reader to a side-mounted location is well appreciated too. Put simply, there’s little if anything to complain about the hardware design here.

Poco M3 front display in hand

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Instead of reinventing the M2, Poco has focussed on enhancing key aspects of the phone and as such, the display remains unchanged at 6.53-inches with a Full HD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

What is new, however, is the Snapdragon 662 processor. Compared to the MediaTek Helio G80 in the M2, this is more of a sidegrade than a big leap ahead but should offer nominal performance enhancements.

Poco M3 side buttons

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Elsewhere, depending on your shooting preferences, you might find the camera system here to be a downgrade. While the M2 offered up an 8MP ultrawide sensor and 5MP macro sensor in addition to the primary camera, the Poco M3 opts for a 48MP main shooter paired up with 2MP macro and depth cameras. Over at the front, the 8MP front camera remains unchanged.

The battery gets a big upgrade to 6000mAh.

A major enhancement is the 6,000mAh battery that now supports reverse charging as well. Poco’s entry-level hardware has generally done well with battery longevity, and the enhanced battery life should deliver stellar results.

Specs

 Poco M2 Pro
Display6.67-inch IPS LCD, 20:9 aspect ratio,
camera cut-out,
Full HD+ (1,080 x 2,400) resolution,
84.5% screen-to-body ratio
ChipsetSnapdragon 662

4 x 2.0GHz Kryo 260 Gold
4 x 1.8GHz Kryo 260 Silver

Adreno 610

RAM/Storage4GB/64GB
4GB/128GB

microSD expansion

CameraRear:
48MP main f/1.8, 0.8-micron pixel size, PDAF
2MP, f/2.4 macro
2MP, f/2.4 depth

Front:
8MP, f/2.1, 1.0-micron pixel size, Full HD video at 30fps

Battery6000mAh
18W charging
USB-C

Reverse charging

Dimensions162.3 x 77.3 x 9.6 mm
Weight198g
ColorsCool Blue, Poco Yellow, Power Black
BiometricsSide-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
SensorsProximity sensor, In-screen ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compass, Vibration motor, IR blaster
Headphone jackYes
ConnectivityLTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28
LTE TDD: B38/B40
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz): 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Direct/Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, NavIC

Poco M3 early verdict: Should you buy it?

Poco M3 top down view

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Poco M3 is priced starting at Rs. 10,999 for the base 64GB variant which makes it one of the most enticing options in the segment. While the spec sheet doesn’t particularly wow, it is definitely competitive.

Poco M3

The Poco M3 stands out with a unique design and competitive specs amongst a sea of derivative alternatives.

Moreover, it is the fresh design and bold color options that should help the Poco M3 stand out amidst ample competition. The Poco M3 goes on sale starting February 19. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review very soon.


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