POCO M3 Pro 5G Review: Affordable 5G Smartphone

Only three years ever since they came out with the Pocophone F1, POCO became one of the most-preferred smartphone brands when it comes to performance and affordability. We never reviewed a POCO phone before, so we were stoked when they approached us and offered the POCO M3 Pro 5G for review. As always, we accepted the offer to review with a lot of excitement!

The POCO M3 Pro 5G is positioned as an entry-level 5G smartphone. With the Philippine networks’ 5G rollout in full swing, brands like POCO are taking advantage of this opportunity to release affordable 5G smartphones. Let me share my POCO M3 Pro 5G review and see if this would make you jump in to the 5G bandwagon.

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POCO M3 PRO 5G REVIEW SPECS:

OS:Android 11 with MIUI 12
Processor:2.2 GHz MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 5G Octa-Core Processor | Mali-G57 MC2
Display: 6.5" IPS LCD Display 1080 x 2400 FHD+, 90Hz refresh rate with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Wireless Connections:5G, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory:64GB/128GB Internal Storage expandable with a microSD Card; 4GB/6GB RAM
Connectors:Type-C USB 2.0, OTG Support
3.5mm audio jack
Cameras:Rear: 48MP f/1.8 wide + 2MP f/2.4 depth + 2MP f/2.4 macro; Front: 8MP f/2.0
Security:fingerprint sensor;
Face unlock
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards (hybrid)
Battery:5,000 mAh
SRP:4GB/64GB = P8,990
6GB/128GB = P11,990

THE UNBOXING

Don’t let the yellow box fool you! At first, I thought the phone was from realme but it turned out to be from POCO. I am wondering why POCO didn’t bother using another color for their packaging. I reckon it’s part of their marketing strategy.

Inside the package are the POCO M3 Pro 5G review unit, silicon case, Type-C USB cable, 18W USB Fast Charger, POCO Stickers, SIM Card Tray ejector and User Manuals. It’s interesting to see POCO decals included in the box. They probably got the idea from Apple.

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THE LOOKS AND FEEL

The size of the POCO M3 Pro 5G seems to be the same size as other popular entry-level phones. Its dimensions are measured at 161.8 x 75.3 x 8.9 mm with a weight of 190g.

The volume control and power buttons are found on the right side of the phone. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner.

The SIM Card slots are located on the left side of the M3 Pro 5G. A 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on top of the phone.

At the bottom are the Type-C USB port and speaker grille.

I like the design of the M3 Pro 5G. Adding the POCO logo beside the camera module with a black background makes the module larger and unique compared to other phones in its class. Back cover is made of plastic but its shiny surface can fool anyone into thinking it is a premium phone. However, this plastic back panel can easily attract fingerprints and it needs to be wiped regularly with a micro fiber cloth.

The phone is comfortable to hold but it tends to get slippery sometimes. I suggest using the silicon case that came with the package.

THE SOUND AND DISPLAY

The screen display of the POCO M3 Pro 5G is a 6.5″ IPS LCD with Full HD+ resolution and 20:9 ratio. On top of the display is a punch-hole where the 8 Megapixel selfie camera is located. These display specs may already sound common for entry-level phone priced above P7,000, but the advantage of the M3 Pro 5G is its 90Hz refresh rate usually found in high-end smartphones. I didn’t encounter any problems with the IPS display and the 90Hz refresh rate isn’t that bad. I mean it works, but I really prefer to have this refresh rate on an OLED display. Also, the screen is layered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for added protection.

Speakers produced loud and clear sounds. Throughout my review period I didn’t have to place the speakers beside my ear. Whenever I forget to bring my bluetooth headphones, the M3 Pro 5G’s speakers would already suffice for me to use.

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THE PERFORMANCE

I’ve been waiting for a chance to review a smartphone with a MediaTek 5G chipset and I finally got the chance with the POCO M3 Pro 5G. It comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 700, an entry-level 5G processor for entry-level phones. As always, we did some benchmark tests and we would like to share these results:

Benchmark scores are impressive for this phone’s price range. It may be higher than the Helio G95T though I haven’t had a chance to test a phone with that chipset yet.

I used the POCO M3 Pro 5G for a couple of weeks and it performed like a high-end smartphone. Navigation through apps and menus were flawless and 6GB of memory was good enough for me to juggle all my open apps. The M3 Pro 5G comes in two variants: 64GB/4GB and 128GB/6GB. Its second SIM Card slot can be used for a MicroSD card for additional storage.

Playing the latest mobile games is possible on the M3 Pro 5G. We maxed the graphics to Ultra in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and it played flawlessly even for a couple of hours. In Call of Duty, Graphic Quality was maxed to Medium and Frame Rate to High. We were also able to play Genshin Impact but only up to Medium.

I used my 5G SIM Card from SMART and I was able to enjoy fast download and upload speeds with the M3 Pro 5G. It was an absolute advantage whenever I play online games with my 5G data turned on. I am so glad that phone brands like POCO were able to produce affordable 5G smartphones to the market even though we aren’t entirely covered by 5G yet.

The M3 Pro 5G runs on Android 11 with MIUI 12. While I appreciate the latest version of MIUI during my review of the Mi 11, I am annoyed by the additional apps that I don’t really need in the first place.

THE CAMERAS

Nowadays, entry-level smartphones are equipped with at least a triple-camera system. The POCO M3 Pro 5G is one of them, which is composed of a 48 Megapixel main camera and two 2 Megapixels for depth and macro. The cameras are not set to 48 Meagpixels by default – you will need to access the camera’s menu, slide to More then select 48 Megapixels. If you forget to do this, don’t fret. The cameras can do a good job taking neat photos as long as there is good amount of light. If you need a higher resolution for your pictures, then just make sure to set it to 48 Megapixels. I was pleased with the pictures taken during the night and sometimes night mode could also help in making them brighter. I enjoyed using the portrait mode for my selfies as they turned out almost perfect.

Here are some sample photos taken by the POCO M3 Pro 5G:

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THE BATTERY LIFE

The M3 Pro 5G comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, a standard nowadays even for entry-level smartphones. My PCMark Battery Test showed 19 hours and 34 minutes, while my usage usually averages 15 hours per day with around 30% left in my battery meter. Once I reached 21 hours and 37 minutes with a 6-hour call on Telegram and I was left with 17%.

DR’S CONCLUSION

I am impressed with the POCO M3 Pro 5G and I would certainly recommend it for those who want to have a 5G Smartphone that doesn’t break the bank. The 64GB/4GB variant is priced at P8,990 while the 128GB/6GB variant is priced at P11,990.

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PROS:

  • Shiny premium look
  • 90Hz refresh rate
  • Decent performance
  • 5G connectivity
  • Long battery life

CONS:

  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Bloatware
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