Poco X3 Pro Review: Best Gaming Phone under INR 20,000?

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The Poco X3 Pro is a spiritual successor to the Poco F1 and an upgrade to the Poco X3. It’s a hardcore performance-oriented phone and most decisions Poco has taken were keeping gamers in mind. 

How good is the Poco X3 Pro as an overall phone? Is it a better buy as compared to the Realme 8 Pro or the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max? We have been putting the phone through the wringer and will try and answer all related questions in our Poco X3 Pro review, just to help you decide if it’s worthy of being your next phone.


Poco X3 Pro Price and Specifications

Specs Poco X3 Pro
Display 6.67-inch, IPS LCD, FHD+ (1,080×2,340 pixels) display, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Software Android 10, MIUI 
Chipset 2.96GHz (7nm) Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 octa-core; Adreno 649
Memory 6GB/ 8GB LPDDR4x
Storage Up to 128GB UFS 3.1; Hybrid card slot
Main camera 48MP Primary + 13MP wide-angle + 2MP macro + 2MP depth
Selfie camera 20MP, f/2.2
Fingerprint sensor   Side, Capacitive
FM Radio Yes
Battery 5160mAh, 33W fast charging
Colors Steel Blue, Graphite Black, Golden Bronze
Price 6 + 128GB – ₹18,990
6 + 128GB – ₹20,999

Poco X3 Pro Review: Unboxing

The box has all the expected contents. Here’s what Poco bundles with the phone:

  • Protective case and pre-applied screen protector
  • 33W Flash charge adaptor
  • USB cable for data transfer and charging
  • SIM ejector pin and documentation

Poco X3 Pro Review: Design and Build 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Poco X3 Pro is similar to the Poco X3 NFC (the global variant) in terms of design and dimensions, which makes it a hair slimmer and a significant few grams lighter than the Poco X3 that we are familiar with in India. It’s still thicker and heavier than competing options like the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Realme 8 Pro, but maybe not prohibitively so. 

A part of the heft and thickness can also be attributed to added layers underneath the display for extra durability and for cooling – again to improve things for gamers. 

There are a few other minor changes. For instance, the Poco branding is now more subtle and the side edges have a matte finish that makes them more resistant to smudges. 

The camera module and the back panel are quite distinctive. The bundled case cover can even out the camera hump, no worries. As for the materials used, there’s Gorilla Glass 6 on the front, a polycarbonate frame on the sides, and polycarbonate back panel. 

Power buttons, ports, and fingerprint readers are easily accessible. The X3 Pro further has a hybrid card slot and an IR blaster. There’s also a LED notification light, surely a rarity these days. 

Overall, this Poco X3 Pro feels like a solid phone that’s not particularly striking but one that we could get used to over a few days of usage. 

Also Read: Realme 8 Pro review

Poco X3 Pro Review: Display

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The X3 Pro rehashes the smooth 120Hz IPS LCD display panel from the X3. Poco wanted to restrict the starting price to under 20k and to compromises on a high refresh rate would be an injustice to Snapdragon 860 and to the primary target audience of gamers. Besides, as Poco points out, better dimming solutions for IPS LCD panels as compared to PWM dimming on OLEDs should help reduce eye strain while gaming in a dark ambiance. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

On the downside, you’d be missing AMOLED contrasts while watching multimedia content. Yes, you can easily get a decent AMOLED screen for under 20K, and that’s the trade-off you make for the excellent performance hardware. Besides, I think most users who aren’t as fastidious about their display requirements shouldn’t mind the panel on the Poco X3 pro. 

The visibility under direct sunlight wasn’t a problem. There are three color profiles to choose from. The Standard mode targets sRGB and the Saturated mode targets DCI-P3. The native Auto profile adjusts colors based on ambient lighting. If you ask us, the Standard (sRGB) mode works best. It felt a tad too warm but we could easily fix it by choosing a cooler white point using the color temperature wheel. 

The phone has DRM L1 certification and HD streaming is supported on all relevant apps out of the box. The display is HDR compliant, but as is usually the case on affordable and mid-range phones, there isn’t enough contrast or dynamic range for HDR content to make a notable difference. 

Also check: Phones with AMOLED display under INR 20,000

Poco X3 Pro Review: Performance and Software 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Let’s be frank, if you are considering buying Poco X3 Pro it’s probably for the performance. 7nm process-based Snapdragon 860 is almost the same as Snapdragon 855+ from 2019, but for an under 20K price it is a superb deal and should leave the competition play catchup for a significant time. 

The powerful chipset is further paired with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage. If you are looking for an affordable phone for gaming, the Poco X3 Pro should be your best bet. 

Benchmark scores and gaming performance show a significant boost over Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700-series chipsets. Call of duty Mobile defaulted to Very High graphics and High frame rate. We dialed graphics down to ‘High’ for smoother performance.

Here’s how the Poco X3 Pro performed on benchmarks:

  • Geekbench 5.1 Single core – 758
  • Geekbench 5.1 Multi-core – 2599
  • PCMark Work 2.0 – 9118
  • PCMark Work 2.0 Writing – 9636
  • 3D Mark Wild Life – 3406
  • Androbench Random Read – 196.73 MB/s
  • Androbench Random Write – 185.49 MB/s

Day-to-day usage was mostly smooth and the phone can handle 120Hz smoothness well for the most part. We didn’t face any issues with calling or connectivity either. The phone supports dual 4G VoLTE, VoWi-Fi, and carrier aggregation.

The software on the phone is Android 11-based MIUI 12 which is quite feature-rich and very familiar. The UI is not the strong point of the  Poco X3 Pro, but most of the annoying tidbits – like third-party apps hogging notification shades or update pop-ups while watching videos – can be fixed.

The interface isn’t our personal favorite, but we could still get used to it with time. This is of course a subjective opinion and your preferences and choices may understandably differ. In fact, MIUI enjoys a huge fan following in India.

Also Read: Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G Review

Poco X3 Pro Camera Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The primary sensor has a 48MP resolution and it is paired with an 8MP wide-angle sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. On the front, there’s a 20MP camera for selfies.

The 48MP camera churns out decent images in proper daylight. 108MP sensors are now available in the same budget, and for reference, we compared the output to that of the 108MP sensor on Xiaomi’s Mi10i. Overall the image texture and dynamic range were better on the Mi 10i in most samples we took.

Poco X3 Pro camera sampleXiaomi Mi 10i camera sample
Poco X3 Pro shot on the left, Mi 10i shot on the right

The camera triggers HDR only when it detected Sun in the image frame. So, we had to toggle HDR manually.

In well-lit indoor situations, the Poco X3 Pro holds its ground rather well. In lowlight, however, gaps begin to show up.

In dark scenes, the night mode manages to efficiently fix metering and embellish images. The night mode also works for the wide-angle camera. Take a look at the signage in the images below:

The wide-angle camera does a fine job in proper daylight, but you need to balance your expectations.

The portrait camera is good with edge detection, but nothing extraordinary. The selfie camera does a great job of balancing exposure and skin tones. Colors and contrast are also impressive.

4K videos are supported up to 30fps. The videos we shot had great contrast and showed intelligent metering. Colors are close to accurate and dynamic range is pretty wide.

No phone under INR 20k is truly impressive when it comes to photography. The Poco X3 Pro might not be the best in the category and falls a tad behind Redmi Note 10 Pro and Realme 8 Pro. Having said that, it doesn’t lag behind by a margin. In practical terms, the experience you’d get is pretty decent.

Poco X3 Pro Review: Battery and Audio

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The 5160mAh battery on the Poco X3 Pro can comfortably last for more than a day with moderate to heavy usage and with the display set to 120Hz. We are consistently getting around 6 hours of screen-on-time.

The 33W fast charger bundled in the box can top up around 60 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes. A full charge takes less than an hour.

The stereo speakers on the phone can get pretty loud. The audio quality is above average and Poco has laid some emphasis on low frequencies. We didn’t face any issues with wireless audio streaming in our time with the phone. The Poco X3 Pro supports LDAC, SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptxHD Bluetooth codecs.

Verdict: Should you buy Poco X3 Pro?

Poco X3 Pro has got its priorities straight. It aims to provide the best possible experience for gamers on a budget and to that end, it succeeds with aplomb. Not to say that other aspects have been neglected – the 120Hz smoothness, decent camera performance, long-lasting battery, and sturdy build are a few other highlights to look forward to.

On the downside, the heft takes some getting used to, the UI needs some refinements, and there are more contrasty AMOLED display options available in the same budget.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max and Realme 8 Pro have a slimmer design and AMOLED displays, and slightly better camera performance. In comparison, the Poco X3 Pro is faster and smoother.

Poco X3 Pro review rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.


  • Excellent gaming performance
  • 120Hz HRR display
  • Great battery mileage with fast charging convenience
  • Audio jack and Stereo speakers
  • SD card slot (hybrid) and IR remote
  • Decent daylight camera performance


  • UI needs some refinement
  • Mediocre display quality
  • Thick and heavy
Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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1 year ago

Hi, I just bought an Moto g60 and i found very poor angle and quite warm in calls. Worst view angle than any old phone i have. On the other hand i returned yesterday an oppo 7 pro because of the PWM flickering i do not support. Eye pain… i choose the IPS panel of moto. Another IPS alternative same price is oppo a96 with way better angles than moto g60 BUT missing NFF ( a must for me) so i skipped a96 My question: between moto g60 and poco x3 pro wich has better pannel and better angles? I know that poco x3 pro have also IPS pannel and no pwm problem so …maibe it is an option. Thank you Dan

2 years ago

This helped a lot because I am not a hardcore gamer but now knowing the poco x3 pro has a good camera and overall performance and its affordable, this helped me finalize my decision of which phone to buy. Thanks a lot

Vedant Nagar
3 years ago

So is the display decent or mediocre? Because you said display was quite decent in it’s sub section and then go on to say it’s mediocre in the conclusion.

Deepak Singh
3 years ago

Hi Vedant, I found it to be a mediocre display and that’s one trade-off you make for the price and for a 120Hz high refresh rate. But again if you are not very particular about colors and contrast and are particularly interested in gaming, you wouldn’t mind it.

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