Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

If you have long wanted a real flagship smartphone with a budget price tag, then Xiaomi has introduced a new device called Poco F3.

I have always been interested in testing the Poco brand line of smartphones. I believe that this manufacturer wants to prove to its users that it is not worth paying big bucks for flagship devices, just for a logo or brand.

Of course, you can read my other reviews of various smartphone models from Poco at the link here. And today you can read a full and in-depth review with all benchmarks, camera, screen, communication tests, and even look at the results of sample photos.

I think the most interesting part is the cost of the device. So, the price tag for the Poco F3 was for the basic version with 6 and 128 GB of memory for only $299.99. The world premiere and official sale will begin on March 29, that is, today.


In addition, on this day, the Aliexpress online store celebrates its 11th birthday. Therefore, starting today, there will be very good discounts in the Aliexpress online store. So, don’t miss your chance to purchase the product you need at really low prices.

Okay, now I propose to go through the main technical specifications of the new smartphone model. The heart of the device is the new Snapdragon 870 processor with support for 5G networks. There are also two modifications for 6 and 128 GB of memory or 8 and 256 GB of memory.

The front has a nice 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with 128Hz refresh rate. But on the back, there are three camera sensors, where the main module received a 48-megapixel resolution. Inside the case is a 4520mAh battery with 33W fast charging support.

Okay, let’s get down to the review of the new flagship smartphone model and find out if everything is as smooth as the manufacturer advertises on its posts?

Poco F3: Specifications

Xiaomi Poco F3:Specs
Display:6.67 inches AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixels, 120 Hz
CPU:Snapdragon 870 5G Octa Core 3.2GHz
GPU: Adreno 650
RAM:6 and 8 GB
Inner memory:128 and 256 GB
Expanding memory:No
Cameras:48 MP + 8 MP + 5 MP main camera and 20 MP front camera
Communication:Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and GPS
Battery:4520mAh (33W)
OS:Android 11
Weight:196 gram
Dimensions:163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8 mm

Unboxing and packaging

The new smartphone from Poco is delivered in a standard package, which is made of black and has yellow inscriptions. On the front, I did not find any drawing, but only there was a designation of the name of the company and model.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

I found inside the box itself – this is the device itself. The package also includes a transparent protective case, various documentation with stickers, a 33W adapter, a Type-C charging cable and a Type-C to 3.5 mm audio jack adapter.

Among the features of the complete set, I can note the presence of an adapter for headphones and the presence of a protective silicone case. I am glad that even inexpensive smartphones pay attention to the packaging and appearance of the device. So, now I propose to take a closer look at the Poco F3.

Design, workmanship and build quality

If you look at the materials used, then the Poco F3 is quite high quality. For example, in its performance, the device received a protective glass Gorilla Glass 5, both on the front and on the back of the case.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

That said, you might think that the body frame is made of metal, but in reality it is not. The frame on the new model of the F3 smartphone is made of plastic, as strange as it may sound. Although the power button and volume control uses an alloy of metals in its performance.

I have no complaints about the build quality, each element is assembled perfectly well. But there is no protection against splashes and water, so the price tag is quite tempting, as for a flagship device.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

As for the dimensions, they were 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8 mm, and the weight of the device does not exceed 197 grams. It should be noted that the thickness, taking into account the camera, will be about 11 mm. Considering the rather large screen with a size of 6.67 inches, the smartphone lay quite comfortably in my hand. But I had to manage with only two hands.

The back of the Poco F3 smartphone has received a modern design of the main camera. This time, the manufacturer decided to use only three sensors, and not four, as is the case with previous models of the line.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

There are currently three color options available – black, white and blue. I have black on my test, but I cannot say that it is completely black. Most likely it looks more like gray than black. But, of course, it looks good under the rays of the bright sun or light.

Okay, now let’s go through the main controls and external connections. On the right side, there is a power button with an integrated fingerprint scanner. The volume rocker is located a little higher. It’s safe for me to say that the fingerprint scanner works well and recognizes the finger quickly and without any problems. There is nothing on the opposite side.

The bottom end of the smartphone has a main speaker, a hole for a microphone, a Type-C port and a slot for dual nano SIM cards. Unfortunately, the presence of a slot for a memory card was not provided. At the same time, both SIM cards support 5G network cards.

Meanwhile, an additional speaker for stereo sound, an infrared sensor and a noise canceling microphone were installed on the top edge of the device. As I said above, there is no separate headphone jack in the smartphone body. But the sound quality made me very happy. The sound is really loud and has good and spacious sounding with a decent amount of bass and low frequencies.

Screen and picture quality

As I said, a 6.67-inch screen is located on the front of the device of the new Poco F3 model. This screen size is standard as on most Redmi or Poco devices. I would also like to note that the bezels around the screen are rather small, but there is a small chin at the bottom.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

In terms of resolution, it was 1080 x 2400 pixels and the pixel density per inch was 395 ppi. Indeed, I did not observe individual pixels, the picture was not only clear, but also bright.

I really like the way the AMOLED colors are conveyed on the screen, they are quite realistic and at the same time vivid. Also the contrast value is high and therefore the blacks are very saturated. But when I was shooting the review, I noticed a small problem – it was the presence of glare when the value of the brightness level was less than 40%. This will affect your eyes quite significantly, so this fact is also worth paying attention to.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

Other features of the screen include support for 120 Hz refresh rate, HDR10 +, and a maximum brightness level of 1300 nits. Yes, it is a very bright screen, allowing you to comfortably read notifications even in bright sunlight.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

In the screen settings, you can find many useful functions. For example, this is a choice of a dark or white theme, a choice of a color shade, settings of 120 or 60 Hz refresh rate, and even there is an Alway-On Display function.

Performance, benchmarks, games and OS

Any flagship smartphone is famous for its high performance. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Poco F3 also uses a flagship processor called Snapdragon 870. This is almost identical to its predecessor Snapdragon 865, only Qualcomm has slightly increased the frequency of the processor and added support for 5G networks.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

For example, there are eight cores in its execution, where four energy-saving Kryo 585 with a frequency of 1.8 GHz, three cores working with a clock frequency of 2.42 GHz and one accelerator with a frequency of 3.2 GHz. Below I will leave an album with various benchmark tests, and for example, in the AnTuTu test, the Poco F3 smartphone scored about 630 thousand points. Believe me, this is a very good result for a $300 smartphone.

With the Adreno 650 GPU, you will be able to run absolutely any game, even at ultra high graphics settings. But I want to note that with prolonged play, the device heats up quite well. For example, after one hour of playing time, the smartphone warmed up to almost 50 degrees. Therefore, I would not pay attention to games, since this is still not a gaming device.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

In terms of memory level, I have a version with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. As I already said, there is no memory card slot on the new model of the device. Thus, I would advise purchasing a smartphone with version 8 and 256 GB of memory. If you look at the speed of the built-in memory, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The read speed was 1600 MBps, and the write speed was 600 MBps.

If you look at the wireless connection, then I did not find any problems with the operation of Wi-Fi 6, so the Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connection itself worked properly. I also want to talk about the high-quality GPS connection and even the presence of contactless payment for the NFC module.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

In terms of the operating system, the Poco F3 has Android 11 OS with MIUI 12 user interface on board. It’s almost a pure user interface. But there is one drawback here – it is a large number of third-party applications. I counted about 20 different applications with a total memory of over 2GB. It’s good that they can be easily removed, since if you have a 128 GB version, then there will obviously not be too much free memory.

In general, the user interface works quickly and without any complaints. All processes are executed instantly and without much delay. In addition, out of the box, the device is made with international firmware, so you shouldn’t have problems with language barriers.

Camera and sample photos

In terms of camera, the Poco F3 uses three main camera modules and one selfie camera, which is located in a circular notch on the front of the screen.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

Let’s start my story with the main sensor Sony IMX582 Exmor RS, it received a resolution of 48 megapixels with ƒ/1.79 aperture. You can see the quality of sample photos in the album below. But on my own behalf, I want to say that I liked the examples of photography, especially in the daytime. Although in low light, the photos weren’t the worst quality either.

The second Sony IMX355 sensor has an 8-megapixel resolution and is designed for ultra-wide shots. But I cannot call the photos very high quality. Since they have a fairly strong blur at the edges of the photos. The third sensor Samsung S5K5E9 received a 5-megapixel resolution and was created for macro photography.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

The front camera with 20-megapixel resolution also performed well in practice. Yes, the quality of the photos may not be the best at night. But with good lighting, the quality of the photo was very good.

The camera shoots video on the main module with a maximum resolution of 4K and 30 frames per second. And the selfie camera received a maximum video resolution of 1080p and also 30 frames per second. Both sensors have gyro-EIS image stabilization.

Battery and run time

The Work 2.0 Battery life test result showed a value of almost 14 hours of operation with the screen on. This is a pretty solid figure for a 120Hz refresh rate. For example, the similar model K40 Pro had a lower value in the same test.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

In real life, you can achieve up to 2 days of active use. Well, I did not find any problems with battery life. The same goes for fast charging, which is also available here. For example, through a 33W power adapter, you are able to charge a device with a 4520mAh battery from 0 to 100% in just 58-59 minutes.

Conclusion, reviews, pros and cons

If you have been looking for a modern and fast flagship smartphone for a long time, then the new Poco F3 will probably be the best choice for 2021.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

For its original cost, you get a device with a Snapdragon 870 5G processor, a very high quality and rich AMOLED screen. Which, in turn, has a 120 Hz screen refresh rate and many other features.

Also on board the smartphone, I found a pretty good main sensor Sony IMX582, which showed very vivid examples of photography at any time of the day. Also, I cannot pass by the good build quality and materials used.

Poco F3 Review: Worth Flagship Smartphone for Only $299

Of course, the availability of fast Wi-Fi 6 and other wireless connections will not leave a new user indifferent.

But there are also disadvantages, and the main one I can attribute to is not the best quality of the ultra wide mode. Also, the device overheats quite a lot after playing games for a long time. I can also highlight the lack of a memory card slot and 3.5 mm audio jack.

Price and where to buy cheaper?

Currently, it will be impossible to find a better smartphone model at such a low cost. Therefore, I can definitely recommend a new smartphone model in the Poco line for purchase.

Please note that the $299.99 price tag will not always be available, but only from March 29 to March 31. As my practice has shown, the price after this period will rise by $30-40. Also, I can recommend that you visit the Aliexpress website, where you can find many other products with a good discount thanks to the 11th birthday of the company.


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