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Poco M3 Pro 5G first impressions: All about flamboyance

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The Poco M3 Pro is keen on offering 5G at an affordable price but it hides its well-established side of being an all-rounder. We take a quick look.

High-end specifications, aggressively low prices, and eye-popping designs have become the hallmark of a Poco smartphone in 2021. The company is determined to displace Realme and undertake Xiaomi's role in the affordable smartphone space. The Poco M3 Pro 5G is part of that relentless pursuit of the market leader, flaunting the big "G-word" to lure the masses. Also Read - Best phone Under 15000 in India in 2021

This is a no-brainer: At Rs 13,999, the Poco M3 Pro 5G is currently the most affordable smartphone that supports 5G networks. However, what's surprising is that the boys at Poco haven't compromised in other key areas, i.e., this is still a solid affordable phone on paper minus the 5G bits. If you have got Rs 14,000 to spend, Poco just made your smartphone buying process a lot harder. Also Read - Best Camera Phone under 20000 In 2021

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But, are numbers and boastful names enough for an affordable smartphone to grab attention in today's highly competitive market? To find out, we just got our hands on a Power Black Poco M3 Pro 5G and are here to share initial impressions. Also Read - Poco X3 GT released globally but will not launch in India, company confirms

Poco M3 Pro 5G: All about flamboyance

As critics, we often wonder what smartphone brands can do differently while designing a budget smartphone. In the crowd of Realmes and Redmis doing the same thing on repeat, Poco is the kid that comes up with a unique homework. Despite relying on Xiaomi's R&D, the boys at Poco have possibly hired good designers to distinguish their products with scoops of flamboyance. The Poco M3 Pro is currently the king of flamboyance in its segment.

The M3 Pro's basic architecture is no different from the Redmi Note 10 5G but a bold paint job makes it look unlike anything in the market. The eyepatch-esque patch surrounding the rear cameras and screaming Poco logo appeals to the 8-year-old inside me even on the black color variant. The same in the Poco Yellow variant would be eye candy.

I am a sucker for glossy phones and Poco has somehow managed to keep the charm intact with a minor gradient finish. From the rear, this phone looks more expensive than it actually is. Turn it around and it doesn't change much, with the edge-to-edge display and a small camera cutout.

All of this glossy flamboyance weighs 190 grams, which is surprising as this has a plastic unibody construction. Of course, geeks may cry foul with Poco's use of plastic as the sole material of construction (Gorilla Glass 3 covering the display) but be assured that this is a well-made phone. The fit and finish is top-notch, certainly leagues above the Moto G40 Fusion.

As part of the package, Poco provides a plastic case inside the box along with a 22.5W fast charger and USB-C cable. The phone also has a screen protector pre-applied. These may sound obvious but in 2021, in-box accessories are a luxury that Apple and Samsung don't provide anymore (for their high-end phones).

Features at a glance

The Poco M3 Pro is all about 5G connectivity and the best part is that it's not there just for the namesake. Unlike the more expensive OnePlus Nord CE, the Poco M3 Pro supports the n1, n3, n40, n77, and n78 (SA and NSA) bands. With 5G testing commencing in India, having support for more bands is always a relief if you are willing to future-proof your phone for 2-3 years.

A MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip has taken on the processing duties and based on benchmark scores, we expect it to perform well. A few hours of basic usage and Shadow Legends 4: Arena gameplay shows that it performs on par with the Snapdragon 720G chip-equipped Redmi Note 9 Pro. For mobile gamers on a budget, this could be more than enough to run Battlegrounds Mobile India and Call of Duty: Mobile in Medium graphics with decent frame rates.

Then there's Poco's version of MIUI 12 that brings along a colouful user experience. The interface has slick animations and is eager to open apps. MIUI 12's flamboyance only adds to the charm of the phone. Sadly, Poco isn't shipping the phone with MIUI 12.5: the one that has improved animations and performance in Redmi smartphones.

Adding to the slick user experience is the 90Hz display that is eager to respond. It uses an IPS LCD panel that looks pale compared to a Redmi Note 10S' AMOLED display, but it seems good enough for daily use. The single loudspeaker is average with its output. The rear cameras have proven just fine so far, as evident from the few quick snaps around the house.

Battery life is something I will have to test out over the week but the 18W charger takes its own sweet time to fill up the 5000mAh battery.

Poco M3 Pro 5G first impressions

Starting at Rs 13,999, the Poco M3 Pro 5G still seems unreal for a sub-Rs 15,000 smartphone. It has got all the specifications that tech enthusiasts love and the design that appeals to the youth. However, the actual future-proof version costs Rs 16,000 (6GB RAM, 128GB storage) and that goes into the Redmi Note 10 Pro territory.

Has Poco done enough to keep the M3 Pro 5G in considerations for an affordable smartphone buyer? Keep an eye for our review in the next few days to learn the answer.

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Published:Mon, June 21, 2021 9:27pm

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