Near the end of July, POCO introduced one of its more powerful handsets. The POCO X3 GT is poised to be a capable handset with a smooth, speedy display and performance paired with capable cameras and a big battery. On paper, it has what it takes to be a great smartphone priced in a more budget-friendly package. But does that hold up? That’s what I wanted to find out with my time with it. And so far, it has been a great daily driver.
However, different phones have different users. And that’s what we explore with our reviews. I’ve listed the top 5 reasons to get the POCO X3 GT. And if that ticks all your boxes, then this smartphone is for you.
I was expecting the POCO X3 GT to deliver in the performance department. And it hasn’t disappointed me for the two or three weeks I’ve been testing it. It runs on one of the new MediaTek 5G chipsets: Dimensity 1100. POCO paired that with MIUI 12 for POCO, 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, and up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. It is missing storage expansion via microSD, which is a bummer.
This handset is also the first X series handset to come with a flagship-level X-axis linear motor, improving haptic feedback. It also gets LiquidCool Technology 2.0, which helps keep it cool even after heavy use. The times I’ve felt it heat up are understandable, so it isn’t something you have to worry about too much.
You get access to handy tech we’ve come to expect from smartphones, including NFC, 5G connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 6. POCO still keeps around an IR blaster, which is handy if you want to turn this phone into a remote.
MIUI is a relatively clean UI, but it does come with a ton of pre-installed apps. You probably know at this point that I’m not a big fan of that. But at least you can uninstall most of them.
Day-to-day use is excellent on this phone. There haven’t really been any times when it slowed down or stopped working while I browsed, did some work, took photos and videos, and played many hours of Cooking Battle and a bit of Alto’s Odyssey and Ragnarok X. For many people, the POCO X3 GT’s will be enough for daily use.
LiTT Tip #1: Do you want better haptic feedback from the POCO X3 GT? You have the option to adjust this tactile response to your gestures and taping. Head to Settings > Sound & vibration. Scroll down then you’ll see the Haptic feedback option there. You can even turn it off if you’d prefer to go without it.
Gets you through your entire day
One of the upsides of working from home is that I’m never too far away from an electrical outlet. It’s easy to charge devices when the need arises. But when we can all freely move around, it’s crucial to have a smartphone that can get you through your busy days without needing a recharge. The POCO X3 GT is in that category.
With a sizeable 5,000mAh battery, you’re assured a full day’s use. I’ve typically got a total of 24 hours of use out of this device. That entailed hours of social media browsing, some light gaming, and a bit of work and watching content. I’ve been satisfied with how long it takes me to drain the battery.
And when I do need to top it up, the 67W charger takes between 40 to 50 minutes to top up the device. And while it’s slowly becoming common for smartphone makers to take out the charger from its new products, at least POCO is keeping it in with this mid-range device.
Maybe I’m nitpicking or asking for more than the POCO X3 GT can at its price point, but I did wish there was wireless charging or reversed wired charging on offer here.
LiTT Tip #2: If you are looking for more ways to improve your battery life, MIUI offers battery usage fixes in the Settings. Scroll down to Battery, and you’ll see a section under the Battery saver option where it says something like: Fix 2 battery usage issues. Tap on that, and you’ll see different suggestions on how you can improve your smartphone’s battery life.
Decent display tech for its price
The POCO X3 GT gets some advanced display tech usually seen in pricier handsets. It’s a definite plus for this mid-range device. This handset comes equipped with a 6.6″ FHD+ DotDisplay with DCI-P3 support for a wide color gamut.
It has a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. POCO equips the X3 GT with DynamicSwitch tech, which automatically switches between 30Hz and 120Hz depending on what you’re doing. This feature helps optimize the phone’s power consumption. Unfortunately, you can’t manually select what refresh rate you’d want. It’s either 60Hz or 120Hz.
This handset is the first POCO device to have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection, which is the most advanced offering from Corning. It adds that extra layer of protection for the screen.
I like how dim the screen gets, but even with 450 nits brightness, I feel that it lacks a bit when I use it outdoors on a sunny day. Take advantage of MIUI’s Sunlight mode to help brighten up the display more.
What’s missing here is a higher resolution streaming option on Netflix. With support for Widevine L3 only, Netflix only streams in SD here. It’s a missed opportunity, really.
LiTT Tip #3: Want to switch your refresh rate but don’t know where to find it? Open Settings > Display > Refresh rate. From there, you can choose between the standard 60Hz and high 120Hz refresh rate.
Shareable content from its reliable cameras
The POCO X3 GT gets a reliable set of cameras, including a 64-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens with a 120-degree field of view, and 2-megapixel macro camera. There are also AF sensors and dual-LED flash at the back. Those are paired with a 16-megapixel front-facing shooter.
Even if you keep it in Auto, you can get a lot of mileage out of the POCO X3 GT’s cameras. There’s a good amount of detail, and it doesn’t oversaturate photos as much. Of course, in other situations, it can blow out the highlights and crush the dark parts. But that’s inevitable with smartphones. But if you tinker around with the camera app and try out the different settings, you can get the shots you want.
Of course, the quality dips when it gets darker. But you have software features at your disposal to help you out. And the POCO X3 GT has many camera modes that we find pretty useful and fun to play around with.
A particular favorite is the VLOG mode, Short Video, Dual Video, and the Clone feature. Haven’t really gotten to play around much with the last one, though. But if you’re hoping this MIUI feature makes its way here, then you’re in for a treat. AI Skyscaping 3.0 is also available here, which is a fun feature to play around with if you want to change the color of the sky.
VLOG mode has been so handy for making quick and easy montages. You get a set number of templates to play around with here. But I was hoping POCO offered more options or at least lets you create your template. That isn’t available, though.
There is no telephoto lens here, but you can digitally zoom up to 10X. The sweet spot is somewhere between 2X and 4X. I usually use 2X for close-up shots instead of relying on the spotty quality of the macro lens. And that’s no different here.
Portrait mode works the best in well-lit environments. There is a decent separation between your subject and the background, with a few misses here and there.
Night mode comes in handy when you want to shoot in low light. It works best when there’s still a bit of light source somewhere in your shot. It’ll help boost brightness a bit, but don’t expect images to be as sharp as they would be when you shoot in brighter areas. I do like that Night mode works with the ultrawide sensor, too. One solution for better night shots is tinkering with the Pro settings and the Shutter Speed to achieve a better photo.
The POCO X3 GT also gets Long Exposure, where you can create effects like star trails, light painting, neo trails, and more. I appreciate the many easy modes that make it easy for most users to shoot like pros.
Video recording goes up to 4K at 30 frames per second. Video quality looks similar to photo quality, and EIS tries to smoothen out shaky videos.
Simple design and a nice build
POCO goes for a bit more understated look with the POCO X3 GT. Its logo isn’t as pronounced as other models, but it still comes in three pleasing shades: Stargaze Black, Wave Blue, and Cloud White. We were lent the Stargaze Black option, which comes with this silver gradient, mirror-like finish. The bottom is darker with silver-like speckles that shimmer, reminding us of a starry night sky. It becomes lighter as you move up the phone, and the smudges are more visible, too, as expected from a phone with a mirror-like finish.
Its finish might be shiny, but the phone does offer a good grip in hand, even without using the included jelly case. Despite having a plastic back, the phone still feels premium and durable in hand. It offers a bit of protection from splashes and dust with its IP53 rating. The ingress protection might not make the phone waterproof, but at least there’s still some form of protection.
Even if I get a good grip on the phone without the silicone case, I still prefer to use it, especially since the camera bump on this phone protrudes a lot. The case helps to flatten the back of this unit so it won’t be wobbly on one side.
The POCO X3 GT’s fingerprint scanner/power button is in the middle of the phone’s right side, which is the best placement for it. It’ll be easier to reach for most people, and it’s pretty responsive. On top of that button, there’s the volume rocker.
On the left side, there’s the card tray for two nano-sized SIM cards. At the bottom, there’s the main microphone, USB-C port, and a loudspeaker. POCO goes for a stereo speaker setup here, so there’s another one at the top, where you’ll find the second mic, IR blaster, and a thin strip for the earpiece. If you’re looking for the 3.5mm audio jack, the POCO X3 GT doesn’t have one.
Audio isn’t as loud as I’d hoped it would be, given you have speakers certified by Dolby Atmos with Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Wireless Audio. It’s fine when you’re holding the phone and watching or playing on it. You don’t have to worry about blocking the audio. But when I place it on a desk or counter, and I want to listen to podcasts or watch videos while I do chores, that’s when I notice that it isn’t as loud as other phones I’ve used with stereo speakers. Of course, the solution would just be to use earbuds. But I just wished it was a bit louder.
What’s lit and what’s not?
What’s lit about it:
- Excellent performance using one of MediaTek’s newer 5G chipsets
- All-day use with super-fast Turbo Charging, with the 67W charger included in the box
- Flagship-grade display tech
- Versatile cameras
- Good quality build
What needs the extra spark:
- No reverse wired charging or wireless charging
- Only supports SD streaming on Netflix
- A fingerprint-magnet body with a thicker camera bump
- No microSD slot and 3.5mm audio jack
- The speaker volume on the softer side
The POCO X3 GT lives up to the company’s mission to offer powerful handsets at a price that won’t cost you too much. It’s armed with one of MediaTek’s newest 5G chipsets, offers speedy charging for its sizeable battery, gives you versatile cameras for capturing memories and creating content, and features display tech we’re used to seeing in flagship devices. The compromises made don’t make it feel like you’re sacrificing too much. If you’re willing to live with its shortcomings, you should be plenty satisfied with this phone.
The POCO X3 GT is available in two configurations at these prices:
- 8GB + 128GB – PHP 15,990 (around USD 315 converted)
- 8GB + 256GB – PHP 17,990 (USD 355)
You might be able to get these at discounted prices, too, so check out POCO’s official online stores on Lazada and Shopee.
* If you buy something from these links, LiTT may earn a commission, but it won’t cost you extra. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.