What happens when you get a phone that delivers more than you expect from it? You become loyal to the brand. Being one of those “niche” brands with very little marketing overhead to worry about, POCO has been enjoying its moment under the sun (literally, if you get the yellow variant). The latest, POCO M3, has ‘winner’ written all over it because of its pricing as well as battery power. Let’s dive in.
Full marks on design
All the big brands have stopped worrying about design when it comes to phones that are down the pricing ladder. Slap the ol’ rear panel, put that camera bump, slide it into a samey-samey box and sell it... that’s what big brands end up doing. Agreed that the scope for innovations narrows when pricing is the focus, but POCO has not cringed in the innovation department.
Look at the rear panel. Nobody will ask you twice about the brand. It is a completely different design philosophy here. I don’t like the huge logo that’s printed on the back but I love the finish and the design of the rear camera panel.
It’s standard to have a plastic rear panel in the 11K segment but POCO didn’t go with a shiny, bling-y finish. The textured, lether-y surface offers a good grip as well as keeps fingerprints away. We suggest you get the blue or yellow colour, especially the latter... it’s unlike anything in the market. If the rear panel is a sturdy chap, the front has a bouncer in the form of Gorilla Glass 3. It’s 10 on 10 for design.
In the screen department, there is a large 6.53-inch FHD+ display (2,340x1,080) while the bezels are as thin as we can get in this category. The display section is the phone’s second big strength, which also pinpoints the target audience for the phone — people who consume a lot of video content. Look, it’s not the best screen you will get but at slightly under 11K, this is top-notch. The colours are good and the blacks are deep enough.
What is equally interesting is the addition of dedicated stereo speakers, which does a world of a difference while streaming films. It sounds well-balanced with solid bass. At 11K, this is a great offering. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The third biggie on the phone is the beefy 6,000mAh battery. That’s a monster of a battery which should last you two full days. At least, I got around two days even after streaming videos and playing some games. Unlike some of the expensive phones of our times, there is a charging brick in the box. With 18W charging power, you can juice up in no time.
Keeping the battery ticking over is a okey-dokey processor — Snapdragon 662, which doesn’t sap the battery too much. It’s a good processor at 11K, allowing you to take care of all the games you care about at modest graphics settings. There are no lags switching between apps and doesn’t stop it from being a good entertainment device.
Where lies the problem? More than a problem, it’s a calculated move from POCO — the camera department.
The three-camera panel on the back can shoot at 48MP, which is accompanied by a macro and depth sensor. There is no ultra-wide lens here, which is a bummer. The shots come out fairly good with good colour saturation, ideal for Instagram. The dynamic range is not too shabby. There is a macro sensor but to get a shot in focus it takes a bit of moving around. Also, when you hit the shutter button, it takes a few milliseconds extra, which makes some difference to moments that are not static. If it’s the landscape you are shooting, it’s all good but if it’s your cat at play, then a few tries will do the trick. There is night mode, which, once again, is decent. As for videos, nothing much to report except that it’s fair enough for social media.
Is it for you?
POCO still retains support for microSD, which many of us need, especially if we don’t plan to upgrade for two years. There’s a bit of pre-installed bloatware but it’s not a hassle. And yes, some ads do pop up from time to time but that’s the price one pays for getting a phone with quite a few good features at 11K. In case you are looking for a phone you will primarily use for a lot of streaming, some gaming and demand excellent battery life, this is it. Bonus point? Good design. It’s a value-driven device. The POCO M3 (Rs 10,999 for 6GB+64GB and Rs 11,999 for 6GB+128GB) jabs and hooks to stand out in the ring.
he large screen is accompanied by stereo speakers The Telegraph Picture
- Good design and colours options
- Excellent battery life (6,000mAh) with 18W fast-charging
- Decent display
- There is a pair of stereo speakers
- An ultra-wide camera would have been great