POCO M3 Pro NFC 5G: New budget-smartphone for 159$

POCO is expanding. After recently introducing the POCO X3 Pro and POCO F3, the Xiaomi subsidiary is now back in the budget segment. The POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC not only plays name bingo, but also looks somewhat familiar.

Technical data

POCO M3 Pro NFC 5G
Display6.5-inch FullHD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) 90 Hz LC display
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 700 @ 2.2 GHz
Graphics chipARM Mali G57
RAM4/6 GB LPDDR4X
Internal memory64/128 GB UFS 2.2
Camera48 megapixel + 2 MP depth sensor + 2 MP macro
Front camera8 megapixel with ƒ/2.0
Battery5,000 mAh with 18W charging
ConnectivityWLAN, Bluetooth 5.0,USB Type-C, GPS/GLONASS/BDS, Dual-SIM, NFC, 5G
Featuresside fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm jack
Operating systemMIUI 12 based on Android 11
Dimensions / weight161.81 x 75.34 x 8.92 mm / 190 g

Design

As befits a Pro version, the POCO M3 Pro (5G) NFC is slightly larger than the normal M3 with a screen diagonal of 6.5 inches. It relies on an IPS LC display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and 400 nits brightness. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 also made AMOLED displays presentable in this price range, but we cannot expect this technology here. However, we get a 90 Hz refresh rate, which is 30 Hz higher than normal. This ensures a smoother and faster display of content. Thanks to the DynamicSwitch technology, it can even be adjusted to up to 30 Hz, which MIUI regulates automatically.

POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC Smartphone back

The design stands out a bit from the old-fashioned waterdrop notch of the M3. Finally, the currently popular punch hole is implemented in the center, just like in the Redmi Note 10 5G. Despite its budget position, the manufacturer even gives the POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC Gorilla Glass 3 for protection on the front. The back is made of plastic and differs visually from the not so discreet POCO M3.

The POCO lettering now lands vertically on the left side and visually extends the camera module. This is especially eye-catching in the POCO Yellow colorway, while it is a bit more discreet in Power Black and Cool Blue. With a weight of 190 g and dimensions of 161.8 x 75.34 x 8.92 mm, it is still below the “magic” 200 g limit.

With a strong chip

How does the new POCO smartphone enable 5G? In this price range? That is because of the processor. The MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor is installed, which is also used in the Redmi Note 10 5G and the Realme 8 5G. The chip has already proven itself there and can compete with the performance of a Snapdragon 720G. In addition, there is a choice of 4 GB or 6 GB LPDDR4X working memory and 64 or 128 GB of mass storage! However, we do not yet know whether it can be expanded via microSD card. MIUI 12 for POCO is preinstalled. This is the POCO launcher in combination with the MIUI operating system, which is based on Android 11.

POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC Design Smartphone edit

Xiaomi and POCO in particular are known for their good runtimes. Thus, the new M3 Pro 5G NFC is also equipped with a large 5,000 mAh battery that should provide a runtime of at least one and a half days. Interestingly, it can only be charged with 18 W, which is also the case for the Redmi Note 10 5G and the Realme 8 5G. A corresponding charger with even 22.5 W is included. Charging is done via the USB-C port, which joins the 3.5 mm jack, IR blaster and dual-5G SIM slot. NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band Wi-Fi and GPS are also available.

POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC Kamera

For a Pro version, it is surprising that they do not seem to change anything about the camera setup compared to the M3. Again, there is a triple camera on the back that consists of a 48 MP main sensor, a 2 MP macro camera, and a 2 MP portrait camera. On the front sits an 8 MP selfie camera. As our review of the M3 shows, the camera is more suitable for occasional snapshots and not necessarily as a replacement for a DSLR.

Assessment

We are happy that POCO continues to expand its range, because the brand stands for a strong price-performance ratio like no other. However, the POCO M3 Pro 5G NFC is more or less a 1:1 copy of the Redmi Note 10 5G. Same display, same processor, same camera, same battery and overall the same phone. Only the back looks a bit different. However, that is it already. Of course, POCO has the price on its side. After all, the Early Bird price is already $159.90 for the 4/64 GB version and $179.90 for the 6/128 GB version.

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Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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