Xiaomi POCO F3, analysis: this is the successor of the POCOPHONE F1 that we were waiting for
Creating a successor to the POCOPHONE F1 is not easy: offer high-end specifications and adjust the price to that of a mid-range. With the POCO F2 Pro, Xiaomi approached 500 euros, but the new POCO F3 comes with the original philosophy: the best possible hardware at the lowest price.
We have thoroughly analyzed the Xiaomi POCO F3 to know if it is that bargain mobile that we are waiting for, the weak points that make it have that price and learn in-depth about the device’s behavior.
A careful design in every corner
It is not easy to stand out in design in 2021 with so many practically clone terminals in this section, but the POCO F3 achieves it, at least in the white unit that we have analyzed. The back of this terminal is glass.
The glass in the white model has a matte finish that repels all fingerprints and dirt.
Said glass, curved on its sides, has a pearly finish and is completely matte, so fingerprints are not marked. In the same way, it is a terminal that does not slip, although we will talk about ergonomics later.
Regarding the camera module, it protrudes quite a bit from the body of the terminal, so the POCO F3 will sway if we put it face up on a flat surface. The module is entirely aesthetic, and although significant, it is pretty consistent with the design line of the terminal. The primary camera has a small ring painted in a metallic color, very much in conjunction with the white color of the device.
It’s plastic, but it looks and feels like aluminum around every corner of the device.
Regarding the bezels that surround the device, they perfectly imitate aluminum. Making plastic sides painted to look like aluminum is common practice, but in the case of the POCO F3, it ultimately cheats. We have to pay close attention to the fact that there are no bands for the antennas and see the official disassembly of the device to clear up any doubts since they look and feel like metal frames. The top and bottom have also been taken care of to be flat.
If we turn the device around, we find what we usually see in terminals of this range: a massive screen with a small hole in the front. At the level of frontal use, it is somewhat above the average in its price range, with 85.9% of the surface area occupied by the panel, according to GSMarena. Although it is not too prominent, it does not get rid of the lower chin.
Despite being a tall mobile, the reduction in battery allows the POCO F3 to be less thick and obtain good figures in terms of volume.
At the level of dimensions, we observe that, compared to mobiles with a higher screen diagonal, it is a reasonably compact mobile. Xiaomi has given up a gigantic battery to make its POCO F3 even slimmer than a Samsung Galaxy S21. Despite being a tall terminal, it is very comfortable in hand, with a weight of 196 grams, which is quite tight although it is not negligible.
A good panel that needs a little more brightness
The POCO F3 has an AMOLED panel with Full HD+ resolution, a fixed refresh rate of 120Hz, and compatibility with HDR10+ content. As soon as we turn it on, we notice that it is a good AMOLED panel, a small step ahead of what is expected in colorimetry, contrast, and general calibration. It has a bit of a rainbow effect when tilted, although except on white backgrounds, it won’t be noticeable.
POCO indicates that the maximum brightness peak is 1,300 nits, but this figure is not what we will have when we take the mobile to the street
Where it limps slightly at maximum brightness, POCO indicates that the maximum brightness peak is 1,300 nits, although this figure is somewhat misleading. The ultimate peak of 1,300 nits is only for HDR content, not for manual and automatic brightness in everyday situations. When we are on the street, the maximum brightness is around 700 nits, according to GSMarena, enough to see the panel in the sun, but nothing remarkable. We want to see the POCO F3 shine with about 800 nits in the sun since the screen would be completely round.
The hole on the screen is tiny, although we have leftover the small silver circle that covers it.
The refresh rate is 120Hz, without adaptive technology. This means that every time we touch the panel, it goes to 120Hz, although, as in other Xiaomi, we have noticed some problems in its use. Sometimes it goes down to 60hz in applications where it can run at 120hz. Without going any further, in the Google Discover panel itself, sometimes we scroll at 120Hz and others at 60Hz. In general, the performance is good, but Xiaomi still needs to polish its refresh rate to work as often as it should.
We can calibrate the screen with different color profiles at the software level, activate the reading mode, always-on display mode, or start the daytime mode, which allows you to adjust the screen’s brightness in bright light conditions, even if we have the maximum brightness off.
A good battery to last the day.
Xiaomi has sacrificed its recurring 5,000mAh to make this POCO F3 slimmer and more striking at the design level. Instead, it has included a 4,520mAh battery, more than enough to last a day of use. With 60Hz active, consumption has been just over 7 hours of screen time. If we activate 120Hz, the figure drops, standing at about 5 hours of screen time.
If we want to last a day and a half, we will have to sacrifice 120Hz, although the day of intensive use is possible with both refresh rates. The charging power is 33W, taking over 20 minutes to charge up to 50%. Going up to 100% will take about an hour, good numbers for a 4,500mAh battery.