We previously reviewed the Poco X3 Pro and loved every bit of it. It featured excellent performance, and an insane battery life, simple navigation and a crisp display. It could’ve benefitted from a better camera and a lighter body but for just $300, it did more than enough. We were recently sent the Poco F3. Being a successor to the Pro X3 Pro, we expected it to perform considerably better. The phones also have a significant price difference with the F3 available at a price of $450. Safe to say, it impressed us. This isn’t to say it had no flaws, but you could tell the phone is an upgrade from the X3 Pro.
Generous with Accessories
Poco never fails to impress me with its accessories. The company is incredibly generous and sent their phone carefully ensconced in a sturdy box with a Type-C charging cable, a dock, a Type-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter, some standard paperwork and a clear plastic cover. In a time, where companies (read: Apple) are excluding basic accessories such as charging docks from their packages, Poco goes an extra mile to even provide a complimentary phone cover. The phone comes protected with a screen protector so you don’t have to spend anything there as well.
The F3 sports a premium-looking body that has Gorilla Glass coating on both its front and rear. Though that leads to your devices being magnets for fingerprints, it gives off an expensive vibe. The sides of the phone are all plastic, but that’s barely noticeable. Overall, the F3 exudes sophistication and seems worth its mid to high-end range price. Unlike the X3 Pro, the rear of the phone doesn’t have the company’s name taking up 25% of real estate. Instead, it’s subtly stamped on the bottom left with the 5G logo. On the top right, there’s a rounded rectangle housing three cameras. The underside of the F3 hosts a sim slot next to the charging port, and there’s a volume rocker on the phone’s side along with a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
Controls have been kept intuitive and simple with no part of the device feeling cluttered or unpleasant to look at. An area that Poco upgraded in from the X3 Pro is the device’s weight. Weighing 215g, the X3 Pro was a fairly heavy phone with a hefty body that made it uncomfortable to use. The F3 weighs only 196g sporting a thickness of 7.88mm. Both features are significant upgrades from its predecessor. It feels like a feather in your hand having negligible weight. It didn’t cause my fingers to cramp after extended use and was able to be stowed in my pocket without creating a big bulge.
Unbelievably Bright Display
The F3 has a display with a brightness of 900 nits. If you want an idea of how bright this is, know that the X3 Pro had a 450-nit display and we found that very bright. It is insane how bright the F3 can get. Throughout my time with it, I maxed out its brightness for a total of a few seconds, for testing purposes, since it was way too much for my eyes. It doesn’t end here. The F3 can reach a peak brightness of 1300 nits!
Its 6.67-inch AMOLED FHD+ DotDisplay has a 2400×1080 resolution with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a contrast ratio of 5000, 000. Sporting a refresh rate of 120Hz and a touch sampling rate of 360 Hz, the display is quite responsive, fast and sensitive to touch. If you need clarification on what these terms mean, please refer to the X3 Pro review linked above.
The camera on the F3 isn’t a feature I’d recommend. It was average, just like the one on the X3 Pro. However, it was flawed differently. While the X3 Pro gave everything beauty filters and eradicated too much detail, the F3’s camera popped up the colors way too much. It highlighted everything, making the picture look artificial. Punched-up colors aside, the shots weren’t as sharp as you’d want them to be. Upon zooming in, you’d realize how vague and blunt the camera is. And this is still pictures shot in natural daylight we’re talking about. Night shots were even worse with the images turning out blurry and out of focus. Overall, the F3’s camera isn’t a dealbreaker so big that you will have an unpleasant experience with the phone. However, if you’re planning on upgrading solely for the camera, then I suggest you look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for an Android phone to game on, this is the one. I played Fable Wars for hours on this and had an immensely enjoyable time. The phone performed brilliantly and facilitated smooth gaming without lag. I received the F3 in the 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM configuration. There’s also a 6GB RAM and 128 GB ROM version, so your experience could vary. However, I doubt it will since the low-latency gaming on the F3 also has to do with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 CPU. In the Kryo 585 configuration, the CPU is octa-core and has a clock speed of up to 3.2 GHz.
What makes the F3 even more ideal for gaming is its Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU. Even an action-packed game like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars didn’t suffer any hiccups. The visuals were vivid, sharp and clear.
The F3 performed efficiently in other areas as well. I multi-tasked between several apps seamlessly. Loading times were impressive and so was the time it took for the phone to switch from one app to another.
The F3 hosts dual speakers custom-tuned by Dolby Atmos. The sound was sufficiently loud with a good amount of detail. Its profile was tinnier and cooler rather than warm, so expect an emphasis on treble instead of bass. The F3 was a beast in terms of battery, just like the X3 Pro. Poco has managed to ace the battery game. Both their phones lasted me two whole days with light usage, and one entire day with intense usage. The F3 is an excellent choice for being a travel companion considering its 4520mAh battery will last you the entire day if you fully charge it in the morning. The battery supports 33W fast charging, and got to 100% in around an hour.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re looking to upgrade to a phone with fast speeds, great battery life and a brilliant display, go for it. If camera quality means a lot to you and you’re low on budget, look elsewhere. The F3 is too expensive of a phone to offer the kind of camera it does.
Is It Hardcore?
The Poco F3 is a brilliant phone to invest in. its camera could use a little improvement. But apart from that, it is fast, stunning and features an excellent display.