Poco F3 GT Review: The Poco F1 was one of my favourite phones at the time. Since then, a lot has changed. Almost three years later, the company launched the most awaited F1 successor in India dubbed the Poco F3 GT and not Poco F2 as we all expected. Also Read - Best gaming phones under Rs 25,000 to buy in India in October 2021
The reason why the Poco F1 got so popular was that the device was a powerhouse for mobile gaming. While the Poco F3 GT does not come with the “best” processor available in the market right now, it still targets gamers with some gaming-centric features such as a 120Hz AMOLED display, Maglev triggers, among many others. Also Read - Redmi Note 11 series to cost cheaper than Redmi Note 10 Pro Max?
I have been using the Poco F3 GT for quite some time now, and in this review, I will share my experience with the latest Poco gaming smartphone. I will cover several aspects such as gaming, battery life, performance, cameras, and of course suggest whether or who should buy the Poco F3 GT smartphone. Also Read - Are Chinese brands making the Indian government jittery?
Poco F3 GT design
The Poco F3 GT looks unique and way too different when compared to the competition available in the market. The smartphone primarily targets gamers and probably that’s exactly what the brand had in mind at the time of designing the device. By the looks of it, the Poco F3 GT appears to be a phone for the gamers out there. So, if you like your phone to look generic, the Poco F3 GT is not for you. Gamers like me would definitely like the design a lot.
The metal frame and the matte finish glass back offer a premium look and feel. The smartphone is very comfortable to hold and use, thanks to the flattened corners and curved edges. The matte textured back looks good but registers scratches easily. I once left the smartphone in my pocket with my car keys and when I took it out there were silver scratches all over the back of the Predator Black colour variant. I believe the silver colour option might be less prone to scratches. If you aren’t a very responsible mobile user, try that clear case that comes bundled with the retail box.
The right edge of the frame consists of “maglev” trigger buttons, which come out with just a slight push to two sliders inwards. The maglev triggers are quite responsive and enhance the overall gaming experience.
The power button is also located on the right edge, which doubles as a capacitive fingerprint sensor. The sensor is pretty responsive and accurate. The left edge consists of the volume rockers. The top edge sports a secondary speaker coupled with an IR blaster, while the bottom edge sports the primary speaker, a USB Type-C port, and the SIM card tray.
The rear panel includes a triple camera setup with a bolt-shaped LED flash. The camera module is also surrounded on two edges by RGB lighting, which provides a cool gaming aesthetic.
The device is slightly on the heavier side with it weighing 205 grams. Apart from that, it comes with IP53 dust and water resistance rating.
Poco F3 GT display
This is the first Poco smartphone to come with an AMOLED display, and that too a gorgeous one. Poco F3 GT sports a 6.67-inch full HD+ AMOLED display with a peak brightness of 1,300 nits, a variable refresh rate of 120Hz, and a touch response rate of 480Hz. The display also supports HDR 10+ content and comes with Gorilla Glass 5 protection on top.
The 120Hz adaptive refresh rate offered users a smooth and seamless viewing experience. The adaptive refresh rate option ensured the battery life was not affected as much.
I found the display of the Poco F3 GT to be pretty vivid, bright, and offers a lot of clarity. Playing games or watching content on the device was a pleasure, especially while watching HDR10+ content.
Under direct sunlight, the Poco smartphone offered a good viewing experience. It got bright enough to stay legible without the need for me to cover the display. In dark environments too, the display offered a good experience.
Poco F3 GT software
Poco F3 GT runs Google’s Android 11 operating system with MIUI 12.5 skin on top. The user experience remains quite similar to most other Xiaomi smartphones available in the market. Using MIUI 12.5 can get quite tricky at the beginning but once you get a hold of it, using the device gets pretty easy.
The device received quite a few updates during my usage, which clearly shows the company’s commitment to offering an updated user experience. Unfortunately, unlike the predecessor, the Poco F3 GT comes packed with a slew of bloatware apps such as GetApps, Amazon, Facebook, Linked In, Netflix, Prime Video, among others.
Poco F3 GT performance
While the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC is not the best processor available in the market, it surely gets the work done. The Dimensity 1200 SoC processor paired with 8GB of RAM ensures a much powerful performance. At no time did the Poco F3 GT disappoint in terms of the overall performance.
The device could easily manage the multi-browser test. I opened five different browsers with 35 tabs each, and the phone was able to handle all of it very well. In our multitasking test too, the Poco F3 GT showed great results. I opened 30 more apps and continuously shifted from one to another and found 3 apps removed from the background and around 15 tabs closed.
In daily usage, the device was pretty smooth and fluid to use. I used the phone to make calls, watch Netflix, chat with friends, browse Instagram, play a few games, listen to music and more. The Poco F3 GT could handle it all really well.
While playing games on the device for long durations, the phone managed to offer good performance and also maintained its cool. The phone did warm up, but never hot enough for me to leave it aside to cool down. I played multiplied games like BGMI, Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, NFS No Limits, and more, and all of it ran smoothly with lags at any point in time.
The maglev triggers helped a lot during gaming sessions as these helped reload or fire without my fingers blocking the display. In fact, I found them better than the capacitive triggers on phones these days. They are easily identifiable and ensure they do not miss a shot.
The Poco phone offers turbo mode, which allows users to mute notifications, tweak network bandwidth and touch latency, clear out RAM, and more. These features come in handy in most situations.
Poco F3 GT cameras
The Poco F3 GT sports a triple camera setup on the back consisting of a 64-megapixel primary sensor paired with an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens.
While the camera specifications might look good on paper, in real-life usage, it appears this isn’t the focus area for the brand. Shots taken in ample light turned out with a decent detail but looked oversharpened most of the time. These photos often looked artificial, which is surely something I do not prefer personally. The dynamic range was just borderline acceptable, not great.
The ultra-wide-angle sensor manages to capture a much wider field of view, but the images are not as crisp or detailed as the primary camera. Moreover, the Poco F3 GT’s cameras tend to skew the image towards warmer tones, which made the images appear in yellower shades.
Low light images captured using the Poco F3 GT also didn’t look all that great. These photos appeared grainy and consisted of digital noise most of the time. Unfortunately, even the night mode didn’t help click better pictures in low-light situations. But shots clicked in Night Mode looked a bit brighter in comparison.
The situation remains the same with the macro lens. Shots clicked with the lens missed details and sharpness and also missed on colours in most situations. There was also a bit of pixelation in macro images. I would personally recommend using the primary 64-megapixel sensor and then crop to get better results.
Similar to rear camera performance, shots clicked with the front shooter also looked disappointing. Selfies captured with the Poco F3 GT showed a good amount of details but looked too sharpened and brightened, which made the images appear highly edited. Some of you may like that, I personally didn’t.
Poco F3 GT battery
The Poco F3 GT is backed by a 5,065mAh battery with a lot of optimisations that make the device last for over a full day of heavy usage, which includes over three hours of intense gaming at a 120Hz refresh rate and full volume. With less aggressive usage I was able to use the device for over two days on a single charge. Lastly, using it sporadically, to make calls, browse Instagram, watch a few YouTube videos and click a few images, I managed to get the phone to last me for three days, but I was constantly scared about the battery, so I would not recommend that you do the same.
Even if the phone runs out of charge middle of the day, there’s nothing to worry about as the device comes with support for 67W fast charging. The fast charger was able to charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent within 50 minutes and from 0 to 50 percent in under 20 minutes.
Should you buy Poco F3 GT
To get it right off the bat, the Poco F1 was one of my favourite phones in 2018, and hence, my expectations were really high with the successor device. Unfortunately, the Poco F3 GT failed to wow me but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good phone. I surely get the work done.
The Poco F3 GT is a good overall package with pretty good performance, great battery life, a really good display, and gaming UI, fast charging support in the box, and much more. While most of it looks pretty good, there are a few missteps like the camera performance. I do wish Poco takes the camera bit little more seriously and fix the issues with future OTA updates.
All-in-all, if you are ready to compromise a bit on the camera bit, the Poco F3 GT makes for a pretty good deal. Now, if good camera performance is what you are looking at, I would recommend that you look at other options from brands such as Samsung, Realme, Redmi, and even OnePlus.