Poco F3 was released back in march of 2021 while there have been quite a few phones announced. Since then I think that the F3 is still one of the best phones you can get for the current retail price of about NPR 47,000. Yet the device has some shortcomings to consider too that I’ll go through later in the Article. First, let’s start with the reasons why the F3 is a great phone for the price even in 2022.
First let’s talk about my overall usage when using the phone from a build quality or the hardware’s perspective. Critics will immediately tell you that the phone has a plastic frame well that’s true but i wouldn’t say it’s a big deal. Especially considering excellent build quality and gorilla glass 5 on the front and back.
The phone feels nice in the hand and it even looks quite premium. While the phone comes with other colors like their latest Moonlight Silver, Night Black, and Deep Ocean Blue. This Arctic White color is still one of my favorites compared to the others. Yes, I am a huge fan of white. Speaking of colors, there are some people mentioning about the sides of the device losing color due to pulling the phone in and out of pocket which I did not have any such issues. I’m not sure what their pocket is made of, but I did not have any such issues.
This white model does a good job camouflaging the fingerprints. The whole body is ip53 certified meaning that the F3 can survive accidental splashes. Obviously ip68 rating would have been nice but this feature is usually reserved for more expensive devices.
In terms the physical buttons, both the volume rockers and also the power button are also very nice and clicky feels the same since I unboxed the phone for the very first time.
The screen is one of the highlights and it has all of the features you could ask. I have seen some AMOLED screen looking quite horrible because not all AMOLED screens are created equal. The screen on the POCO F3 is nicely saturated and it’s really bright with a high peak brightness of 1300 nits. The screen was as vibrant as how it was.
Speaking of an AMOLED screen, there is an Always-On Display mode and there are plenty of themes and designs to choose from where you can get all your notifications.
It has a 120hz refresh rate and it is bright enough even for sunny weather. Overall it’s a beautiful panel with typical AMOLED properties. Well many phones these days look nice. They are well built and they have good displays. So yes, overall, I have to say that I really loved the screen quality especially when using it daily with the 120 Hertz refresh rate where I did not find any issues at all. from Day 1 of receiving the phone up until right now.
Processor And Software
For the amount you’re paying for the F3 it is still hard to find the phone with a powerful snapdragon 870 chipset that is paired up with at least 6 gigabytes of ram. The Arctic White model that i have has 6 gigabytes of ram and 128 gigabytes of storage. Which is however not expandable but with this amount i don’t really need an sd card. All of these specs translate into a near excellent day-to-day performance.
The phone runs on a well-known feature-packed MIUI 12.5 that is built on top of Android 11. the F3 is super fast and smooth and to be honest with you it feels that you’re using a flagship phone as there is zero lag and no stutter at all. Having a powerful chipset means that we can play pretty much any games you want on this device. Without the need to pay the flagship phone price.
All of the 3D games i played on this phone run absolutely fine. Haptic feedback is not an essential feature but the phone uses a high quality x-axis engine and you can definitely appreciate those subtle yet pleasant vibrations. Especially when you turn off the screen.
Poco F3 – Bad Wide Angle Camera
If i had to mention the key shortcoming of the Poco F3 that would be the wide angle camera. It’s simply bad even in good lighting conditions. Pretty much all of the photos are soft and they look like they are out of focus. I don’t even want to talk about low light performance which is terrible. However if you don’t use the wide-angle shooter that often you’ll be fine.
The main camera is capable of taking really nice photos with rich detail. And dedicated 48 megapixels mode gives you a ton of resolution for cropping the image in post. Even in low light the main shooter performs pretty well using a dedicated night mode. I also like portraits and selfies usually come out nice.
The 4k 30fps video looks sharp, stable and smooth even when shot handheld. Even if you simply record the video while walking the stabilization is quite good. A 1080p selfie video also looks pretty good. Overall the F3 has the highly capable main camera for daylight photos and videos.
Poco F3 – Battery
When it comes to the phone’s battery, with the latest update I had a way better battery life on this 4520 milliamps smartphone. The battery life is something that most xiaomi and pocophones are proud of and the F3 is no exception. I was initially getting about 5 hours plus of screen-on time but as of late, I have been getting a pretty consistent battery life close to 7 hours. So kudos to Xiaomi, or in this case POCO for doing such an excellent job on the overall battery life with the software updates.
This is a 2-day battery phone for most users. If you tend to watch a lot of videos you’ll get almost 15 hours of YouTube playback at around 50 screen brightness. It takes just 56 minutes to fully charge the phone and you get the fast charger in the retail box.
Poco F3 – Gaming
Now, since the first day of using the POCO F3 for gaming, there was nothing but just positive things to say about this phone. With the latest OS update, I have decided to revisit the whole gaming experience on Genshin Impact and also on PUBG Mobile as well.
As for settings on Genshin Impact, the best settings that I felt were the nicest experience were at Medium settings, 60 fps with motion blur turned off. I mean, if you want to push it more, you can. There were no micro lag or stutter issues, even with the medium graphics. Because of the great screen quality, I felt that the texture and the colours of the game were also really nice even in this medium graphic setting.
And there was a very rare occasional ghost touch issue which happened maybe about 2-5% of the time. The reason why I would mention it is because it has happened, but also I don’t think that that would be a huge issue, but it is worth mentioning as well. Similar to before, the phone does get a bit warmer about 20 minutes into the game. But never too hot to the touch, even when I was playing games on the phone consistently for about an hour or so.
Then as for PUBG Mobile, the settings were at Ultra HD for the graphics and Ultra for the Frame Rate. And yes, the gameplay was still amazing because of the phone’s screen the touch responsiveness was also really nice and the phone also became warm about 30 minutes into the gameplay. Once again not too hot to the touch and gaming on the phone. on PUBG Mobile, even up to 1.5 hours was great without any uncomfortable issues when using this phone.
I also love the excellent dual speaker system that produces balance sound and the volume output is good. Speaking of sound there is no 3.5 millimetres headphone jack and no Fm radio. The features that I can live without. But I know that they are important to some users. No phone is perfect. There is also a very fast and reliable fingerprint reader and some extras like NFC and an IR blaster.
Poco F3 – I Wish That The Phone Had
So before we go to the conclusion of this review, allow me to tell you what I did not like about the phone or what I wish that the phone had. This might be a little nitpicking but heck, there is no such thing as a perfect smartphone right?
Firstly, call me old school but considering the price and the smartphone tier range, it would have been nice if the phone had a headphones jack. Because if you want to enjoy that Hi-Res audio that the phone mentions. That would be the best way when it comes to listening to Hi-Res audio which is through a headphones jack instead of a wireless connection.
The second thing that I’d think would be extra sweet is to have an SD card slot expansion. Again sounds very old school, but since I take lots of videos on the phone and I have lots of offline video downloads. Currently, my workaround is to use an OTG and plug it in and transfer all the videos in the file and then delete it back from the phone. Yes, it is possible to live with that OTG thumb drive but it would be nice if there is an SD card that can be living within this smartphone instead.
Then finally, from a software perspective, it would have been nice if the 120Hz refresh rate is adaptive to save even better when it comes to battery life. Another software thing that I think that it is frustrating is how Xiaomi, or POCO for this matter, is tight-lipped about if there is going to be a future Android upgrade on the phone. That could be a deal-breaker if you want consistent future Android OS updates.
To sum up, the Poco F3 is not perfect and you may miss the micro-sd card slot and the headphone jack and the wide-angle camera is pretty bad. But for the amount of money you’re paying the F3 is still one of the best phones you can buy. It has a nice design with an ip53 splashproof rating, good build quality, an excellent AMOLED screen, a powerful chipset that assures great performance, good battery life with fast charging out of the box, good stereo speakers, flagship-grade haptic feedback and other features that I mentioned in the article.
So now, many of you are wondering if this phone is still worth buying right now in April 2022, I would say… a HUGE… …YES! I mean yeah, there is a possibility of the POCO F4 that might be coming out in a few months But, who knows for now? But with the current price of only Rs. 46,999, as of the writing of this post, for the 6 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage.
I still don’t think that you would get a better value smartphone-like what the POCO F3 offers. But who cares what I think, what is more, important is what YOU think! Despite a few shortcomings what do you think about the Poco F3? Would you buy this device or would you choose another option as always?