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POCO X3 GT Review Philippines: Mid-range Monster

by John Nieves  July 28, 2021

Review verdict: The POCO X3 GT is a great choice for anyone looking to maximize their budget in the Philippines this 2021. It has great battery longevity, solid processor performance, and takes great photos too – all for a price that’s hard to pass up.

Pros

  • Powerful Dimensity 1100 processor
  • Good battery endurance
  • Excellent price

Cons

  • Plastic back
  • The screen is good but not stellar

POCO is adding yet another smartphone to their growing stable of devices in the Philippines today with the official launch of the POCO X3 GT. The phone, first seen in China as the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G, slots in at the top end of the Php 20K premium mid-range category, giving POCO even more ammunition to rule at in the segment.

Is it any good though? Let’s find out:

Design

POCO has a knack for making bang-for-the-buck devices look and feel more premium than they actually are, and that’s still the case with the POCO X3 GT. The phone will be available in three colorways, with the Wave Blue and Cloud White color variants getting a unique, Rimowa-like texture on the rear. The Stargaze Black variant meanwhile gets a smooth, glossy finish.

We actually prefer the two other colorways since a) they look visually more interesting and b) their textured finish probably keeps fingerprints and smudges at bay, unlike the gloss finish on our device. It’s super-duper glossy and picks up fingerprints like there’s no tomorrow, so you’ll probably want to slap on the included silicone case ASAP.

As for the actual design, it’s in line with what you’d expect from most smartphones nowadays. The rectangular triple camera module is tucked neatly on the upper left side of the phone. POCO’s logo is on the lower left side on the rear, less prominent than some of the same devices in its class.

The right side of the device holds the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner and the volume rocker. There are speakers on the bottom and the top of the phone, which means you’re getting stereo sound. Like with most devices made by Xiaomi, the POCO X3 GT gets an IR blaster on the top, though it lacks a 3.5mm jack. Charging and data transfer is done via a USB Type-C port on the bottom.

The phone feels good in the hands thanks to the curved sides, though take note that the back and frame are made from plastic. Despite that though the phone doesn’t look chintzy and actually feels like a premium phone.

Display and sound

Moving onto the display, the POCO X3 GT has a 6.6-inch full HD+ dot display with a 120Hz refresh rate that POCO claims have dynamic switching tech (that switches the refresh rate from 30Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re doing) but we did not find the toggle on our device while we were doing this review.

In any case, the screen is good enough for what it’s intended for, which is content consumption. The screen is an IPS panel but for you discerning Netflix binge-watchers on your phone it only has Widevine L3 certification but you will have access to HDR content at least.

We had no problems with sunlight legibility, and the display was plenty bright even outdoors. That being said, we wouldn’t have minded if POCO switched out the 120Hz IPS panel for an AMOLED one, even if it was just running at 60Hz.

The POCO X3 GT also has Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, which means the phone’s screen has the same level of protection as flagship phones in the market that cost double, even triple, the price.

As for the speakers, they were very good. Volume-wise they’re very capable, and their sound quality makes up a little bit for the disappearance of the 3.5mm jack.

Cameras

The POCO X3 GT joins phones like the OPPO Reno6 Z in shedding the number of cameras that grace their camera modules, as it only has three cameras compared to the usual four. We’re glad to see it – more cameras don’t always mean better photos, and we’d rather brands use fewer, better quality optics in their devices VS putting more mediocre snappers to fill out spec sheets.

With that mini-rant over, let’s take a look at the camera setup for the POCO X3 GT: you get a 64-megapixel snapper with an f/1.79 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The selfie camera is a 16-megapixel unit with an f/2.45 aperture lens.

Photos taken with the main shooter are pretty decent, and shots taken outside showing excellent sharpness and detail. The camera does lose a bit of detail when you start shooting indoors, but as far as cameras go, the one on the POCO X3 GT performs well enough for what you’re paying for it.

Performance, software, and battery life

The POCO X3 GT is powered by MediaTek’s new Dimensity 1100 5G-capable processor and will come in two flavors when it comes to RAM and storage: a basic 8GB/128GB variant and a roomier 8GB/256GB variant.

MediaTek’s new Dimensity 1100 chipset works incredibly well with the POCO X3 GT. In our synthetic benchmarks, it trades blows with the Snapdragon 870 and surpasses it by a large margin in Geekbench’s Compute test which primarily leverages the GPU of the device.

While we couldn’t get GameBench to run on the POCO X3 GT to give you solid FPS numbers, it managed to run NBA 2K20, Call Of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact, and all the other games we play on the highest graphical settings just fine, without any issues.

As for thermals, the phone did get warm but not uncomfortably so, putting it at the same level as the other phones we’ve included in our comparo slide above. The phone’s thermal performance can be attributed to POCO’s LiquidCool Technology 2.0 to efficiently keep the chipset (and attached components) cool under heavy loads.

The phone comes with Android 11 with MIUI 12.5 for POCO laid on top. Xiaomi’s new software overlay is much less intrusive than before, though it still comes with its own set of pre-installed bloatware.

The phone packs a 5000mAh battery, and more importantly, flagship-level fast charging speeds of 67W. POCO includes a 67W fast charger in the retail box as well.

As for actual battery endurance, we got around 16 hours of usable juice on our battery run-down test from 100% to 20%. That’s excellent battery life, and would be more than enough to keep the phone running for a whole workday with plenty of juice left at the end of the day.

Wrap-up and conclusions

The POCO X3 GT did pretty well in our review, and it’s sure to be yet another great addition to the brand’s already burgeoning lineup in the Philippines. There’s plenty to like here: the performance, the design, the tough display and solid battery numbers make the POCO X3 GT a great choice for anyone looking to make the most out of their buck.

POCO X3 GT Review Price Philippines

Speaking of bang-for-your-buck, thanks to POCO’s aggressive pricing (and sweet first offer promo), the POCO X3 GT starts at Php 15,990 for the 8GB/128GB variant, while the 8GB/256GB variant is priced at Php 17,990, exclusively via Lazada. What’s even better is that both will be available for purchase at an early bird price of PHP 14,990 and PHP 15,990 respectively on August 3 for the Global Open Sale and August 10 for the Local Sale.

 

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