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Introduction

When we talk about the best bang-for-the-buck products, POCO is a name that is sure to come out on top. The Pocophone F1 was a device that started a trend, and every release after, were phones that had impressive specifications and features for such unbelievable pricing.

Now, we have the POCO X3 GT, which carries that characteristic. For a starting price of PhP15,990, you get flagship level specs like a 120Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass Victus, and a processor that’s second to MediaTek’s current flagship, so much more than what you’ll get from a lot of other devices at this price point.

So that begs the question – is there a catch? well, thankfully, we got our hands on one, and here are our thoughts.

Specifications

Display6.6″ FHD+ DotDisplay, FHD+, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 1100
RAM8GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB, 256GB UFS 3.1
Rear Cameras64MP Main, 8MP Ultra-Wide, 2MP Macro
Front Camera16MP
OSMIUI 12.5 for POCO
Battery5,000mAh, 67W Turbo Charging
PricingPhP15,990 (8GB+128GB)
PhP17,990 (8GB+256GB)

Design and Build Quality

If I have to sum up my thoughts about the POCO X3 GT’s design in a sentence, it will be that this phone looks more expensive than it actually is. The size is just right for one-handed use, but just be sure to put on the case for extra grip.

The device looks and feels premium – the middle punch hole, the slim bezels on the side (well, the bottom is a bit thicker, but it will pass), and the way the camera module looks. The rear panel is glossy, with a bit of glittering effect. Not a fan, but it adds up to that elegant aesthetic.

The power button, which also acts as a fingerprint scanner, is on the right side, along with the volume rocker, while a SIM Tray is housed on the other side. There’s a USB-C port at the bottom alongside a speaker grille and microphone. The headphone jack is nowhere to be found, but you do get a dongle in the box.

It has a 6.6-inch display only has 1080p+ resolution, which is standard for something in this price range. As mentioned earlier, you also get a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes going through homepages and menus look much smoother. This feature can also benefit your gaming experience visually, depending on what title you are playing. Then there’s the 240Hz touch sampling rate, for improved responsiveness.

Performance

POCO X3 GT packs a Dimensity 1100 SoC, which is one step under the brand’s flagship Dimensity 1200. This basically means you can expect more or less flagship performance in both daily tasks, and in gaming.

You get 8GB of RAM, which should be enough for some multi-tasking. But just in case, the phone can also tap its storage for up to 2GB of extended RAM. It is a feature that is becoming more and more common with phones today. As for storage, it’s either 128GB or 256GB with no microSD card slot, which can be a deal breaker for those with a large library of files.

POCO X3 GT - Gaming

Considering its price, the gaming performance is astonishing. It was able to run Genshin Impact better than most devices at this price point that I’ve tested. Of course, that means less demanding games will also run well. The phone did get warm, but not as hot as what I experienced with another device running a competitor’s chip.

Camera

The POCO X3 GT is also impressive in terms of its imaging capabilities. The sample images we captured came out with great detail and good dynamic range. It is also able to produce a very convincing and clean bokeh effect with good separation and edge-detection.

Selfies, on the other hand, offer good texture and detail, while also showcasing a refined depth of field effect.

Software

POCO X3 GT runs MIUI 12.5.2 on top of Android 11. Performance-wise, it is smooth and snappy, apps open quickly, and the overall theme is well.. colorful but minimal.

Features-wise, it has what most other phones at this price range have but with its own flavor. For example, not only can you select from a number of display presets, but you can precisely set the color temperature to your liking.

There is Game Turbo, which lets you adjust performance-related settings, disable auto-brightness and screenshot gestures, and also adjust settings for each game such as touch sensitivity, or enable enhanced visuals.

poco x3 gt - system (12)

Game Turbo options can also be accessed in-game and offers some nifty and fun tools such as a voice changer. You can also apply the visual enhancements to make the game look more colorful and lively. You can also open select apps in a floating window, though it seems like it is limited to one app at a time.

poco x3 gt - system (13)

You can resize the floating window, put it in a corner resized, and close it using gestures. I just wished they just placed an X button on the upper right, just like how some other brands do it.

Battery

Using PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, the POCO X3 GT scored 16 hours and 21 minutes when at 120Hz refresh rate, and an even more impressive 19 hours and 6 minutes when at 60Hz. Nothing more to say here.. only impressive. Using the in-box charger, you’ll need around an hour to fully charge its 5,000mAh battery.

Verdict

POCO has outdone themselves with the POCO X3 GT. It is a phone that is impressive on most aspects, from the sleek and elegant design, to stellar performance, adaptive cameras, and great battery life.

It is not perfect, of course, as some choices on the software side, like how to close floating windows, and the absence of an always-on display, are quite odd. The headphone jack? well, let’s just say POCO is moving with the times. Some people are okay with a dongle, some are not. Oh, and there’s no microSD card slot as well.

For its price, the POCO X3 GT delivers so much more than what is expected. It could very well be a new standard as far as getting the most (or even more) value for your money is concerned.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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