Regular readers know I’m a Pocophone fanatic – best mid-range phones around – I started with the Pocophone F1 and only moved it on when the Pocophone X3 came out – the latter is in daily use – I LOVE it. Now, no-one is suggesting that the newer M3 will displace the X3 but it is much less expensive and depending where you live, Banggood currently have the M3 on sale
If you’re not that up on Xiaomi (pronounced something like Show-me) they produce some fantastic kit and for the money I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the M3 phone.
So, where do we go from here? Having said its a lovely phone, I have to justify that. Mine arrived first thing this morning – that was the end of breakfast – priorities 🙂
First off, it looks great – I’d have preferred the yellow M3 but hey, it’s here. I’m not going to go through the exhaustive spec list – it’s in the link above, but I’ll give you some key features as I go through this. The M3 first and foremost WORKS without any iissue. I took it out of the box, set it up as you would any Android phone, initially on my Wifi and then put in a 4G micro-SIM I had handy from testing a solar 4G camera (which didn’t go so well). I checked the obvious things on the M3 – phone, data, GPS, sound quality, all ok. The 4GB+64GB model uses MIUI 12 for Poco, my favourite interface based around Android 10. You can simultaneously fit up to 2 (micro) SIMS and an SD card up to 512GB into the M3 phone.
Screen resolution is nice at 2340*1080px and as for cameras, the phone is able to create 48Mpx images – though along with other phones, that assumes 4*3 format, you lose a little at my preferred 16*9 format. The screen is bright, not quite as bright (not scientifically tested) as the X3 but bright – I can just see it in direct Spanish sunlight. It has a “sunlight” mode, but I’ve not check that yet.
The front is Corning Gorilla glass 3. Cameras are: 48MP+2MP+2MP AI triple rear cameras with the main sensor being 48Mpx. The 2MP – one is used for macro, the other for depth sensing.
There is a RAW image mode which is welcome, time lapse, slow motion video (120fps) and you can record normal video at 30fps for 1080p. The front camera is 8Mpx. The battery us 6000Ma/H, Bluetooth is version 5.0 and there’s an FM radio.
That’s it, I’m done with features, you can get the rest from the link at the top. And now to the things I sprecifically like about Pocophones. Here are photos taking on the first day with the M3, completely un-altered – I normally spruce images up successfully with Snapseed but at this price range I thought you’d be more interested in what the phone is capable of before retouching.
I’m impressed – see the photos in here. Below is taken from an (again unretouched) 48M original shot this morning on the Poco M3.
And just for the sake of it, some cactus.
Some folk like straight-from-the-camera shots – so there you go – I prefer post-Snapseed but that doesn’t exactly tell you what the camera can do and anyway I’ve not yet installed it on the M3.
Everything above including the title image were taken on the M3 -clearly I can’t do the shot on the M3 itself – so here it is – photo taken with my X3. Isn’t this cute.
And last but not least, the phone comes supplied with clear case so you can see the POCO logo in the back – and also with pre-fitted screen protector.
I was just about to wrap up tests and put together a short video when I noted “An update is available”. “Downloading update V188.8.131.52.JFEUXM” – 288M of updates. While fast-charging the phone, I let the updates come in. I was asked if I wanted to “update tonight” or “reboot now” – I chose the reboot. “Updating MIUI. Don’t turn off your phone”. I LOVE having fully up-to-date mobiles.
So – videos are a bit average but otherwise a good entry-level phone. Link is above. Not that we can compare as the M3 is so reasonably priced, but further up the scale I have reviewed and use the wonderful Poco X3. Observant viewers may have noticed that there is an X3 Pro out (March 2021) with an even faster SoC than the X3, bu that comes at the expense of camera resolution – the X3 Pro has a 48Mpx camera just like the M3 whereas the main camera on the X3 is 64Mpx. The X3 Pro comes with Android 11 whereas the M3 and X3 use Android 10 – however, as a beta 11 is already available for the X3 (complete with bugs) it won’t be long I suspect before the X3 and M3 get the upgrade.
Finally for those interested, Banggood’s current interest-free sale.