Xiaomi Poco X3 test: 120 Hz mode or autonomy, why choose?

The Xiaomi Poco X3 has attracted a lot of attention with its aggressive price for a smartphone whose screen benefits from a 120 Hz refresh. What is it worth on a daily basis? Here is our full test to find out.

The Xiaomi Poco X3 in use

We are going to take a look at the Xiaomi Poco X3. After a long time without news of this range, it made a strong comeback in 2020 with two models unveiled just a few months apart. This new smartphone offers an offer that is fairly quick to identify: enjoy a 120 Hz screen at an attractive price. We tested it to see if it deserved your preference.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Data Sheet :

Model Xiaomi Poco X3
OS Version Android 10 Q
Manufacturer interface MIUI
Screen size 6.67 inch
Definition 2400 x 1080 pixels
Pixel density 395 ppp
Technology LCD
SoC Snapdragon 732G
Graphics Chip (GPU) Qualcomm Adreno 618
Random access Memory (RAM) 6 GB
Internal memory (flash) 128 GB, 64 GB
Camera (back) Sensor 1: 64 Mp
Sensor 2: 13 Mp
Sensor 3: 2 Mp
Sensor 4: 2 Mp
Camera (Front) 20 Mp
Video Recording 4K@30 IPS
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 (ac)
Bluetooth 5.0
Supports Bands 2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Ports (Inputs/Outputs) USB Type-C
Battery 5160 mAh
Dimensions 76.8 x 163.3 x 9.4mm
Weight 215 grams
Colors Bleu, Gray
Price 270$

Classic Design But Ugly Photo Module :

Xiaomi clearly did not attempt to revolutionize its world with the Poco X3. We have here a flat screen and drilled at the top center to house the front photo sensor. All around, the borders are quite thick, especially at the chin. For handling, we are dealing with a fairly heavy smartphone with its 215 grams. This weight does not, however, shock in use, the device being rather well balanced. I was more impressed by the width of the product: 76.8 mm, a little more than on the big Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The back of the Xiaomi Poco X3 The front of the Xiaomi Poco X3

The Poco X3 has a plastic back that mimics the effect of glass more or less convincingly. We especially notice that it hangs a lot in fingerprints. By the way, when talking about the back of the phone, we come across the element that bothered me the most: the photo module, because it is quite ugly. Xiaomi has integrated four sensors and an LED flash that protrude in relief – which is already a bit annoying -, but here we have a rather rectangular photo module with rounded edges which overhangs a round pattern. It really isn’t very pretty.

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Beyond this detail, we will also notice the vertical striped stripe in the middle and the Poco logo printed above. Said wordmark is also very large, impossible to miss. You will understand, this phone does not have finesse.

The big Poco logo on the Xiaomi Poco X3 The Xiaomi Poco X3 has a protruding photo module Xiaomi Poco X3 photo module

The fingerprint reader is located on the right, in a kind of small recess and also serves as a release button. The volume keys are positioned just above and perhaps a little too high: increasing the sound may require an uncomfortable movement with the thumb.

The Xiaomi Poco X3 side fingerprint reader The jack and the USB-C port of the Xiaomi Poco X3 The Xiaomi Poco X3 seen from the side

The drawer housing nano SIM and microSD is on the left while the USB-C port and jack are installed at the bottom.

120 Hz For Cheap :

The 120 Hz mode is one of the main arguments of this Poco X3, which here tries to make people forget the fact that the Poco F2 Pro, although positioned in a higher price segment, does not benefit from such an option. In fact, the fluidity that emerges is felt perfectly, which is a real plus for ease of use. Let us just point out that Xiaomi is inspired by Samsung on this feature: the 120 Hz is not constant, the number of images per second decreases depending on the content displayed.

However, good fluidity is not enough to make a beautiful screen and we must push our analysis further. Here, the panel offers an LCD display, a diagonal of 6.67 inches with a 20:9 ratio and a definition of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The rectangle in front of us doesn’t offer a jaw-dropping viewing experience, but it is still able to ensure good quality, at least satisfactory for a device at this price point.

The 120 Hz screen of the Xiaomi Poco X3

For example, the screen of the Poco X3 does not shine brightly, but with a maximum brightness of 448 cd/m², it can provide very good readability in a number of cases. If the sun or a strong lamp comes to dart its rays on the slab, you may however encounter some difficulties at this level.

We obviously subjected the phone to our colorimetric probe associated with CalMan software from Portrait Displays. The opportunity to measure a contrast of 1331:1 very satisfactory for the LCD (a contrast of 1000:1 being considered a little too tight, too soft). Then be aware that the Poco X3 offers some settings to adjust the quality of the display to your liking. Basically, the smartphone is in an automatic mode which adapts the tones according to the ambient light. However, there are also two other options.

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First of all, we have a saturated mode, the name of which leaves little room for doubt. This one aims to sublimate the colors even if they are very far from reality. Unsurprisingly, the average temperature soars to almost 8000 K which betrays a large dominant of blue – the ideal is rather at 6500 K. In this configuration, the Poco X3 manages to offer a fairly wide range of colors while covering 123% of the RGB space (easy to manage) and 83% of the DCI-P3 (larger and therefore more complex).

These are not extraordinary results, but let’s say that it is still very suitable. As we said, color fidelity is not the priority in saturated mode. Thus, the average Delta E observed on the DCI-P3 is 5.88 when we prefer to see this index approaching 3. With this profile, the Poco X3 has a hard time especially on cyan blue (100%) and on shades of gray.

In saturated mode, the Poco X3 offers colors very far from reality, especially on cyan and grays

Standard mode tends a lot towards true-to-life tones, but the phone then loses a lot of color plurality. The RGB space is barely covered in its entirety when the DCI-P3 is rather poorly managed.

Finally, we recommend that you instead turn to the adaptive default setting or choose the saturated mode while incorporating a little more red via the cursor on the on-screen palette.

Software :

Xiaomi’s home interface is found on this smartphone: MIUI 12 running Android 10. On the one hand, it is adored for its abundant customizations allowing to refine almost every aspect of the user experience. However, it is also widely criticized for its somewhat cluttered appearance and its philosophy far removed from Android as imagined by Google.

Dark mode and gesture navigation are part of the game as is the app drawer which, on the Poco Launcher, cannot be disabled. However, you can get rid of the tabbed app sorting that is offered by default.

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However, let us dwell on the fact that the Poco X3 benefits from version 12 of MIUI which is relatively recent. One of the big new features of this interface is the Control Center very inspired by what we find on iOS. By default, this is not activated and you will therefore access your notifications and your shortcuts in the classic way for an Android smartphone. However, take a look at the display settings.

There you will find a section “Control Center & Notification Panel”. Inside, the “Use the new Control Center” option therefore allows you to take advantage of the experience recently offered by Xiaomi. With a slide of your thumb down on the home screen, you will only see your notifications. However, if you start this gesture from the right of the punch – really at the very top – then you will see the Control Center appear, the design of which really has nothing to do with what Android usually offers.

Here you will have access to all the quick settings with very big icons. Four pieces of information are highlighted more than the others via large tiles at the top: mobile data, Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth and flashlight. The experience is interesting and stands out a bit from the competition … but not much from iPhones. Small frustration: the interface never explains the method to lower the control center, it’s up to you how. Also, it’s quite a shame that you can only lower said Control Center from such a specific part of the screen, but I’m not sure how to get around this restriction.

MIUI 12 also brings the possibility of taking advantage of floating windows. On the Poco X3, the option does exist, but I was unable to activate it at all by the method indicated by the phone. In my case, I had to show all the open apps, hold down one of them and hope that the button dedicated to the feature was available. By doing this, I could then display the gallery or Google Chrome as a floating window … The option is aptly named here.

Other than that, it’s no longer a surprise that Xiaomi, despite an MIUI interface that deviates from the vision of the Mountain View giant, is putting Google in the spotlight by adopting many of its applications out of the factory. The default Phone and Messages applications are in particular those of the colossus with four colors and we find on the box of the Poco X3 the mention “with easy access to the Google apps you use the most”. “With easy access to the Google apps you use the most,” Moliere would have said without anachronism, none.

There are also some usual confusions unfortunately. To open the camera from the locked screen, the phone indicates to “carry” the icon instead of dragging it. Also, in the settings, it is easy to confuse the options “Full Screen Mode” and “Full Screen Display”. Counterintuitively, the first allows applications to be extended while the second activates gesture navigation. Reading an “App Drawer” option rather than an “App Drawer” option also makes me cringe a little.

The verb to slide or move would probably have been better than to transport

However, MIUI remains annoying mainly on two points. On the one hand, the antivirus displaying advertising and triggering every application download, even from the Play Store. We don’t want it anymore! Fortunately, this option can be disabled. On the other hand, a few third-party services are pre-installed that are not necessarily very relevant to the user like eBay or LinkedIn.














As the full name of the device, “Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC” very explicitly indicates, this smartphone takes advantage of near-field communication (NFC), which is practical for your mobile payments or for validating transport tickets in urban networks. that allow it. On SVoD services like Netflix, HD quality for your videos is normally there since the smartphone benefits from the Widevine L1 DRM (this is the maximum level of security).

Powerful But Perfectible Sound :

The Xiaomi Poco X3 offers good stereo audio quality with its speakers. Enough to enjoy good spatialization of the sound, but it’s also nice to see that the listening experience isn’t really disrupted if you accidentally block one of the grilles.

On the other hand, be careful, by pushing the volume up, you are almost guaranteed to suffer from some saturation on the treble sounds. Beyond that, the restitution remains rather complete and balanced, even if one never reaches an incredible quality. Concretely, the Poco X3 can be used as an extra loudspeaker as long as it is not too audiophile.

Two Satisfactory Photo Sensors, Two More Unnecessary:

On many of its smartphones, Xiaomi persists and signs with a quadruple rear photo module and the Poco X3 is entitled to the same care. The manufacturer is fully participating in the race to increase the number of sensors. Here is the configuration that awaits us here:

  • 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main sensor (f/1.89).
  • 13-megapixel ultra wide-angle, 119 degrees (f/2.2).
  • 2 megapixel depth sensor (f/2.4).
  • sensor with 2 megapixel macro lens (f/2.4).

Remember that the Poco X3’s camera resumes the annoying habit of Xiaomi smartphones of inserting a watermark at the bottom left of images by default. Remember to deactivate this option.

You know the song: when the right light conditions are there, you can enjoy beautiful, well-detailed photos with a fairly well-managed dynamic. It must be said that today’s smartphones, even at relatively low prices, no longer have many problems producing beautiful images in broad daylight. It should be noted however that the Poco X3 shows a certain tendency to incorporate red on the pictures, making them a little warmer.

At night, the Poco X3 isn’t great, but it delivers decent enough quality to satisfy in this price range. The images are rendered well enough not to betray the atmosphere that emanated from the immortalized scene. However, we obviously lose a lot of sharpness, especially on distant elements, but we must admit that the device does an honorable job, but nothing more. Strong light sources can cause lens flare effects, but again, you can be a little forgiving because it doesn’t really bother you too much.

A night mode is available to you and allows you to light up the scene a little. However, it will not do a miracle unlike what can be seen on some high-end smartphones, sometimes nyctalopic.

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The main sensor of the Poco X3 also enables a 64-megapixel mode to be activated to enjoy larger and more defined images. As long as you have good light, this feature produces shots that are much richer in detail. Be careful of the space these photos take on your storage space.
The Xiaomi Poco X3’s ultra-wide angle isn’t bad in the middle of the day, but it lacks a bit of color consistency with normal shooting and often results in somewhat paler images in comparison. It fart less to the eye and in some situations it creates a kind of pastel veil. At night, this shooting mode is very limited in terms of sharpness and brightness.

The portrait mode of the Xiaomi Poco X3 is not always very convincing in the sense that the depth sensor does not add much value. Despite its presence, the demarcation between the person in the foreground and the background remains quite random and strands of hair are found almost systematically blurred by mistake. It can also happen that a large area around the subject you are photographing remains in focus when it should be out of focus. It should be noted above all that outdoor photos are much better managed by this mode, under natural light.

A portrait mode a little capricious in short, and whose photos weigh strangely very heavy, around 38 MB.

Macro mode is not very relevant. Even if it actually makes it possible to take pictures of objects very closely, the definition of the images remains too low to be really usable. This gadget can also quite easily be replaced by a photo with the classic sensor in which you will zoom a little.

Mode Macro Mode Macro

For selfies, the Poco X3 relies on a 20-megapixel (f/2.2) front-facing photo sensor that produces good, fairly detailed photos, but lacks a bit of energy to handle the strong contrasts in a scene.

A Good Smartphone For Playing :

The Xiaomi Poco X3 is powered by a Snapdragon 732G, a Qualcomm chip intended for smartphones at the crossroads of entry and mid-range. No particular concerns to note in terms of performance, the SoC does not offer more than what is expected of it, but certainly not less either. No disappointment and no surprise.

Xiaomi Poco X

On Fortnite, the graphics are set by default to a medium level and you won’t be able to go beyond that. Not surprisingly, the game is also limited to 30 fps on this smartphone. At least that’s what the settings say, because during a game you are rather capped at 25 fps. Only a particularly seasoned eye will be able to truly appreciate that said. What even first-timers will notice, however, is that on very busy stages the Poco X3 occasionally falters a bit, dropping to 18 or 20 fps. This happens mostly at the beginning, when you have to jump off the flying bus, but it’s still quite rare.

In Call of Duty Mobile, a game better optimized for smartphones, you will be able to activate the graphics at their maximum configuration as well as the displayed frame rate per second. Under these conditions, the Poco X3 is doing really well although, it’s true, a few very small slowdowns can be felt. Nothing bad enough to justify a loss unless you are really playing at a very professional level. With settings a little more modest, the phone has absolutely no problem.

Model Xiaomi Poco X3 Realme 6 Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Samsung Galaxy A51
AnTuTu 8 274096 289301 257684 177359
AnTuTu CPU 94042 N/C N/C N/C
AnTuTu GPU 76691 N/C N/C N/C
AnTuTu MEM 52113 N/C N/C N/C
AnTuTu UX 51250 N/C N/C N/C
PC Mark 2.0 8894 10766 7329 5183
3DMark Slingshot Extreme 2695 2552 2401 1608
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics 2546 2389 2236 1496
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics 3391 3354 3238 2180
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan high (onscreen / offscreen) 11 / 8 FPS 10 / 7 FPS 10 / 7 FPS 7 / 4 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 17 / 19 FPS 16 / 18 FPS 15 / 17 FPS 9 / 11 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen) 34 / 44 FPS 45 / 50 FPS 38 / 42 FPS 23 / 23 FPS
Sequential read / write 507 / 269 Mo/s 518 / 204 Mo/s 498 / 244 Mo/s 480 / 178 Mo/s
Random read / write 38942 / 35071 IOPS 42600 / 43000 IOPS 26000 / 30200 IOPS 30100 / 31700 IOPS


Be careful though, the Xiaomi Poco X3 can heat up quite quickly when you use it very actively. So watch out for sweaty hands – I wasn’t burned though. In addition, note the presence of 8 GB of LPPDR4X RAM and an expandable internal storage space that varies from 64 to 128 GB.

A Enduring Smartphone :

The Poco X3 is equipped with a large 5160 mAh battery. The objective of this massive accumulator is clearly to be able to withstand the pangs of the necessarily very energy-intensive 120 Hz mode. In fact, the mission is quite successful. Granted, with all its software optimizations and fairly aggressive RAM management, Xiaomi has already gotten us used to smartphones with endurance monsters, but these did not have the same screen fluidity.

In fact, here we have a smartphone that manages to keep up with the rhythm of a full and active day with ease, the impact of 120 Hz is not that big. If you’ve been really keen on gaming and watching Netflix series on it for several hours, then yes maybe you’ll fall to levels a little too low to be serene until bedtime. But extreme cases aside, even with extensive use in which you chain several diverse and varied applications, you won’t have to worry and you can even start with confidence the next day.

Xiaomi Poco X3 seen from the back

Unfortunately, the Poco X3 was unable to lend itself to our custom ViSer test protocol due to a software issue. However, to give a few indications: part of Fortnite – so with 120 Hz active throughout – a 15-minute game consumes between 7 and 8% of battery. It’s not stunning proof of endurance, but it’s quite honorable. On YouTube, an hour-long video typically consumes 8%.

A 33W fast charger comes with the phone.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Network And Communication :

The Poco X3 loaned by Xiaomi for this test encountered major network problems. The connection did not want to be done despite the fact that the bar was indicated “4G +“. Fortunately, another template in writing made me realize that this was only a concern with our copy. Thus, with a model operating normally, no particular concern to report on the Orange network, except perhaps in certain metro corridors.

Geolocation also works well, smoothly. For calls, we can greet the good frustration of the noise around you if you are on a large Parisian boulevard. However, on the other end of the phone, the other person will perceive your voice in a very compressed way, to the point that it becomes almost unpleasant at times.

Xiaomi Poco X3 Price And Availability :

Two versions of the Poco X3 are available for sale. The model with 64 GB of internal storage sells for 270 dollars when the one with 128 GB sees its official price rise to 318 dollars.

If you are interested in the Xiaomi Poco X3, you will have to choose between two colors: blue and gray.

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