POCO M3 Pro 5G Review
POCO has been consistent in maintaining its bang-for-your-buck reputation since 2018. And now they’re bringing us one of the most affordable 5G smartphones with this POCO M3 Pro 5G.
Looking at its key specs, we get a MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, a 90Hz refresh rate display, a 48MP main camera, and a large 5,000mAh battery; it’s looking perfect for a starting price of PHP 8,990. So in this review, we’ll share our overall thoughts on the POCO M3 Pro 5G and if it’s worth getting.
Design and Construction
The POCO M3 Pro 5G has a familiar 2020 glasstic design with a triple camera module on the upper left corner. The black bar surrounding the camera bump has a bold POCO branding, which I’m still unsure if I’m a fan of. But being a highly smudge-magnet device, you’ll most likely put a case on this for an easy fix.
Upfront is a 6.5-inch FHD+ IPS LCD with fairly slim bezels and a slightly thicker chin.
The bezels don’t really bother us, but we do prefer having the small punch hole notch on the side instead of being in the middle, which is the case for the POCO M3 Pro. But that’s just us, of course, we have our own preferences. For protection, it’s covered with Gorilla Glass 3 and a pre-installed screen protector.
Located on the right side is the volume rocker and the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. They’re all tactile and easy to reach.
Meanwhile, the left side houses the hybrid card slot for either two nano-SIM cards or one nano-SIM plus a microSD card.
Up top is an IR blaster beside the secondary microphone, and we also get a headphone port here—which is always nice to have even if we prefer it placed at the bottom part.
More on the bottom, you can find its down-firing loudspeaker, main microphone, and USB Type-C port.
Overall, just like its predecessor, despite being a budget smartphone, it feels and looks more like a mid-range device—and that’s good. By the way, the unit we have is in the Power Black color, and it’s also available in Cool Blue and the brand’s signature POCO Yellow.
Display and Multimedia
Focusing on display, it’s pretty much the same one used in the global version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G. That’s a 6.5-inch LCD screen with a 2400 x 1080px resolution and a pixel density of 405ppi. It has a DynamicSwitch 90Hz refresh rate option that automatically adjusts between 90Hz, 60Hz, 50Hz, and 30Hz, whichever is recommended. And because of this, we get a smooth scrolling experience.
The display quality is decent and is around what you’d expect an IPS panel to be like. It has a good amount of sharpness thanks to its 1080p resolution, colors are nice and vibrant, and viewing angles are great. Its 6.5-inch size is also a good middle ground of big enough to enjoy watching content, and just right that it’s easy to hold.
As for audio, sounds are produced by the loudspeaker and low-key through the earpiece. It can get loud enough for a small room, but I wouldn’t use it at a max volume much, as it can sound distorted. The highs and mids are present, but not so much for bass, which is common for its price range.
When it comes to cameras, the POCO M3 Pro packs a total of four lenses that’s similar to its non-pro version and to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G. That’s a triple setup at the back consisting of a 48MP main sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. For selfies, we get a single 8MP shooter.
General rear camera quality looks sharp and clear when focused correctly. However, it can get over-exposed or look washed out, so make sure to tap on your subject or take multiple shots. You can zoom in up to 3x, 5x, and 10x, but we don’t get the quick zoom toggle buttons, unlike most phones today. Clearly, this category isn’t what this phone is specifically designed for, but it delivers.
If you want to take high-res photos, head over to the More category and use the 48MP lens, or simply use the Pro mode. This will give you almost the same picture quality but with more details and sharpness. Portrait mode with the rear camera is surprisingly good, plus you can adjust the bokeh effect in post.
As for night photography, we don’t really get a huge improvement with its night mode, but it did get a little brighter with lesser muddy parts.
For selfies, shots often look pale compared to the subject’s natural skin tone, but it’s good enough for casual social media posts. Using the portrait mode for selfies is also adjustable in post.
For videos, the POCO M3 Pro 5G can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps, which is probably more than good enough for most users who are just looking to record a quick clip for social media. However, do note that it doesn’t have any stabilization as expected.
OS, UI, and Apps
Checking out software, the POCO M3 Pro 5G runs MIUI 12 on top of Android 11. Whether you’ve used it before or not, MIUI is always nice to use, thanks to its clean look and user-friendly interface. Some of the cooler features include an updated control center, navigation gestures, awesome animations, a sortable app drawer, and some of the best built-in wallpapers out there.
The only issue we have is the scattered ads across the interface. You can remove them, but somehow they can still manage to pop up one or two ads from time to time. There are also several pre-installed apps that you can uninstall if you don’t plan on using them.
The POCO M3 Pro 5G is available in either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. The unit we have has the latter, and out of the 128GB, we get a usable 108GB out of the box. You can expand it through the hybrid card slot if you still need more space.
Biometric security options available here are the side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face unlock. Both are reliable enough, but of course, expect the fingerprint scanner to work faster.
Performance and Benchmarks
Performance-wise, powering the POCO M3 Pro 5G is the fairly new MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G chipset, a Mali-G57 MC2 GPU, and paired with 4/6GB of RAM. Our unit is the 6GB + 128GB configuration.
Most of the time, the device runs smoothly for daily tasks such as basic navigation and media consumption. But make sure to keep the phone optimized to avoid some occasional lags.
It can surely handle graphic intensive games well, with rarely noticeable stutters. For a further idea of where the POCO M3 Pro 5G stands in terms of performance, check out the benchmark scores we got:
- AnTuTu v8 – 263,520
- Geekbench 5 – 562 (Single-core), 1,744 (Multi-core)
- PCMark – 8,986 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark – unable to connect to UL servers
- AndroBench – 972.58 MB/s (Read), 491.31 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
The POCO M3 Pro 5G comes with Dual-SIM, 4G LTE, 5G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, FM radio, various Satcom options, an IR blaster, and USB Type-C.
Keeping the device running is a large 5,000mAh cell with support for 18W fast charging. That’s a huge capacity despite being somewhat the standard with mid-range phones nowadays. However, if managed correctly, the battery life can be stretched to up to two days of usage.
Our standard video loop test, wherein we kept a 1080p video on loop at 50% brightness, 50% volume, earphones plugged in, and airplane mode turned on, yielded an excellent 20 hours and 50 minutes. Meanwhile, in the PCMark’s battery test, it got a complete 10 hours and 9 minutes.
Charging, on the other hand, takes around 2 hours with its 18W fast charging tech. Of course, 18W isn’t that fast, but it’s still a bonus to have since most budget smartphones don’t support fast charging.
Now before we wrap up this review, let’s talk about price first. The 4GB + 64GB variant has an SRP of PHP 8,990, while the higher 6GB + 128GB has a price of PHP 11,990.
The most upgrade from its predecessor is its 5G capable MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, 90Hz refresh rate display, and a higher configuration option, so it didn’t really go too far. Nonetheless, on its own, the POCO M3 Pro 5G sure is one of the most “sulit” 5G smartphones that you can get with mid-range qualifications. So it’s a perfect choice if you’re on a strict budget but still want a phone that’s reliable enough for your day-to-day casual use.
And that’s it! Do share with us what you think about the POCO M3 Pro 5G in the comments.
POCO M3 Pro 5G specs:
6.5-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) Dot Display
90Hz refresh rate w/ DynamicSwitch
MediaTek Dimensity 700
ARM Mali-G57 MC2 GPU
4GB, 6GB LPDDR4X RAM
64GB, 128GB UFS 2.2 storage
Triple rear cameras:
• 48MP F1.79 (main)
• 2MP F2.4 (macro)
• 2MP F2.4 (depth)
8MP front camera
5G, 4G LTE
GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, Beidou
Fingerprint scanner (side)
Hi-Res Audio certification
3.5mm headphone jack
MIUI 12 (Android 11)
5,000mAh battery w/ 18W fast charging
161.81 x 75.34 x 8.92 mm
POCO Yellow, Power Black, Cool Blue