The sentiment of value being offered will be repeated several times in this piece. The truth of the matter is that Xiaomi Pocophone X3 NFC is the value king for the year 2020, no contest. Our aim with writing about technology is to offer clarity to our readers with their purchase decision; even though something like the Pocophone has unbeatable prowess, it still has issues that need some attention. Recently we brought the iPhone SE 2020 under the spotlight to show why looks don’t matter and one should go for longevity; this time around our focus will be to define the pure value that the Pocophone X3 offers. Is it exactly what you need?
The Pocophone brand was released 2 years ago and its main focus was to cause disruption in the budget range of smartphones. While the F series focuses on higher performance, the X series was meant to play a role in the lower end of things. Pocophone X3 offers raw value and is easily the best on paper and in hand smartphone of 2020 around the 250USD price point.
So let’s go over, why the Pocophone X3 dominates.
From looks alone, one cannot judge the price point of the Pocophone X3. It features a 6.67-inch display with a punch-hole notch at the top. The display is also FHD+ in terms of resolution which is very rare to see in budget end phones. Even though the back of the phone is of plastic with fabulous POCO branding, the phone still features a strong aluminium frame which gives it a good feel in the hand. Having an aluminium chassis also means wonders for longevity.
Though this smartphone is not quite as premium feeling as the flagships, it easily dusts the floor with any mid-range device out there. One would think that maybe they have bad buttons, or a weak vibration motor; maybe poor speakers? That is not the case at all. The fact is that Pocophone has a better build quality than many phones and several ex-flagship devices. A+ for the hardware. Oh it even ships a fast charger in the box….meme of 2020.
Value of Performance
Although the Pochophone X3 is missing top of the line silicon, it still is up to par with what is the industry standard these days. The Snapdragon 732G is a respectable chipset pushing out more power than most users would require. Companies like Google are putting their focus on the software experience and pricing; following the same strategy with getting rid of 800 series chipset. Clearly, the industry has shifted towards offering more value at lower prices especially since most brands are focusing towards the service model of revenue (more on that later).
The highlighting factor for Pocophone X3 though is the 120Hz display with 240Hz touch sampling rate, something not even the latest Apple iPhone 12 series has. One might argue that not many apps support this feature yet and is not considered valuable enough from brands like Apple. But the fact is that for a feature to be viable, you need to push it to hands of consumers. Higher refresh rate does improve your day to day usability of the device, optimized apps can take advantage of the hardware to offer a smoother than ever before experience, and it is again something that is missing in a lot of competition.
Optics for the Money
So, this is where the road ends for most budget devices, ‘It has a mediocre camera’. Honestly, the camera on Pocophone X3 is also a respectable one, again taking the 250USD price point into account. The Pocophone X3 features a Sony IMX682 unit that basically performs great with the phone’s software optimization. The phone also features three other cameras, but if you read our articles you know how we feel about filler cameras and big marketing numbers. The front/selfie camera features a 20MP camera which is pretty standard on Asian smartphones these days. What makes the cameras great on Pocophone X3 though is that they actually perform quite well, they seem to be optimized well with the software and they offer great versatility in terms of modes available to the user.
So Is It Exactly What I Need?
Well the short answer is, YES!.
Pocophone X3 offers unbelievable value in every aspect of a smartphone, it might not compete with true flagships but easily walks over any mid-range device out there.
So how is this possible one may ask?
Well, it is not a secret anymore that Asian brand smartphones are filled with bloatware. The industry has shifted towards promoting its services as a whole, even Samsung is guilty of this behaviour to some extent. But in Pocophone X3 you will constantly see ads throughout your usage and even notice that ads have been placed intentionally between transitions to make the experience feel even more ‘cheap’.
Install an app? See an ad.
Uninstall an app? See an ad.
Casually browsing notifications? Appears an ad.
Or maybe you opened your app menu? Full of bloatware apps.
Android does give you the customization to get rid of most of the fat, but sadly most people won’t do the effort to clean out their software. This leads to the second issue with the Pocophone, even though the standard stuff is well optimized in the phone, it still is a very laggy experience despite having the perfect specs for a good one. The reality is that due to so much bloatware, background processing of ads and weaker software skin; you will face issues with the end-user experience. Lastly, even though the Pocophone boasts a 120Hz display, which is great and all; it does choke it down to 1Hz time to time preserving the excellent endurance the phone has. This again is something which you won’t notice all the time but will be hard to ignore once you do.
We still recommend the Pocophone X3 in good conscious and believe that it is a good device for its value. We will go as far as putting the spec sheet below just to show how much numbers this device offers at 250USD. If you can live with the key issues that the phone has in return for a great build, good performance and decent cameras; it is exactly the phone you need.
Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 732G
Storage: 64GB / 128GB
Display: 6.67″ DotDisplay, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Resolution: 2400 x 1080 FHD+
Charging: Supports 33W fast charge (33W fast charger in-box)
Rear Camera: 64MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide angle camera, 2MP macro camera, 2MP depth sensor
Front Camera: 20MP AI selfie camera
Dual stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Supports IP53 splash-proof protection
MIUI 12 for POCO, based on Android 10
POCO Launcher 2.0
POCO X3 NFC | Power adapter | USB Type-C cable | Anti-bacterial case and screen protection | SIM eject tool | User guide | Warranty card
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