REVIEW: Poco X3 GT
Xiaomi's sub-brand presents a turbo-charged offering
In as much as the main-brand competition is hot in the smartphone world, the sub-brand race is also generating its fair share of heat. Sure, it could be a tangled web for the casual user, but hey, the more the merrier — no matter on which tier you are.
Poco, just like Redmi, is a sub-brand of Xiaomi — much like what iQoo is to Vivo, Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, and Realme and Honor when they were still under Oppo and Huawei, respectively — and it adds to their collective portfolio of reasonably-priced yet feature-packed devices.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Those are some interesting specs for a phone of this price — but not entirely surprising already; the law of demand, folks. Of note: This phone allows two 5G SIMs to work at the same time, but it doesn't support SD cards.
Well, there’s really nothing fancy in this phone’s setup — volume rocker and power key/fingerprint scanner on the right, card tray on the left, USB-C slot below and no 3.5mm audio port — except when you check out its rear, particularly on the Stargaze Black option: It has a fading glitter effect that is honestly nice on the eyes. The other colours — white and blue — have stripes finishes. It has a straightforward curved-edge design, and while indeed its rear is made of plastic, it doesn’t seem that way as it looks and feels like glass, and it doesn’t slip off your hands that easily.
Its 6.6-inch display is surrounded by thin-enough bezels and is protected by Corning’s Victus, which is said to be the toughest in the industry by far (the same one used on the new Samsung foldables). A single-lens punch-hole camera is at dead-centre so you get a bit of a maximised display.
The first thing we immediately noticed is something that has to do with the display: Even at maximum brightness, it seems to be lacking and could become a real problem when you’re walking under the bright summer sun. And while in settings you can toggle its refresh rate to either 60Hz or 120Hz — keep in mind the latter will eat up more battery — it also has what it calls DynamicSwitch, which adjusts the refresh rate anywhere from 30Hz to 120Hz to optimise content and battery consumption.
Poco is positioning the X3 GT as a speed-and-power package. The MediaTek Dimensity 1100 powers it — a chip that has ‘Super Cores’, which in turn ups the game in the photo/video, AI, gaming and multi-tasking — which is MediaTek’s latest flagship 6nm 5G processors and most often compared to Qualcomm’s latest ’Dragons. Sure enough, The X3 GT is doing a fine job on the performance category, albeit with some split-second lags when firing up or switching apps. By some fortitude, when we first powered up the device an update was readily available that would improve lag issues; the results were marginal. Even so, that’s really a minor thing.
However, when it comes to content — viewing, browsing, gaming, etc — we didn’t encounter any problems. The device doesn’t heat up, even when we went crazy with shooting stuff with the camera. You also get a number of Xiaomi’s special settings, including game turbo, a toolbox for videos, floating windows and second space, which essentially turns the X3 GT into a two-in-one device that stores certain content on either ‘storage’.
Neatly stacked at the back of the X3 GT is a triple-lens camera system. What can it do?
There's a natural tone to the results on this one, giving a great idea how the actual lighting is. At its max 10x zoom, there's bound to be some mushy tones.
You can, however, make an argument that it's a little underexposed. Obviously, the brightness of the results vary depending on the light, but that top shot over there is quite lacking. Up close, the pics are solid.
Meanwhile, in the dark, night mode does light things up a notch, but zooming in reveals more smudge. There's a good amount of time the phone needs to process dark shots, so keep your hands steady.
If you get closer, the shots are solid. Night mode does add more pomp and more realistic colour.
The X3 GT packs a huge 5000mAh battery, which Poco says can last all day. Cycling through the device like we’d normally do on our typical (work-and-play) day, we found out that the phone still had a quarter of juice left come evening, good spacing of which will allow you to use it until midday the following day. That’s good, but could make you grappling for a charger at a rather unholy hour, so to speak.
And, in our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness test, this smartphone can very well hold its own against the best out there, as it lost only nine per cent of its life.
Now for the interesting part: The device comes with a massive 67W charger, and Poco claims it goes from zero to 100 per cent in just 42 minutes. Let’s see how that worked out.
Holy molly. Fifty-eight per cent in a quarter of an hour is excellent; it's just like taking a coffee break then voila. At the 42-minute mark in our test, the phone shot up to 98 per cent. Well, round that off and it's good as 100, isn't it?
Xiaomi's Poco X3 GT is one of those typical value-for-money options, offering sound performance, a good camera that, in particular, holds up pretty well, but it can get iffy when the lights go down. Arguably its strongest suit is its battery, with its good long-ish life and turbo-charged, well, charging capabilities.
It does live up to its billing of power and speed, and combined with its fair-enough price, it's a device that indeed joins the ranks of those phones that serve their purpose without necessarily spending too much.
GOODIES: Value for money, good daytime camera, nice design
GOOFIES: Camera tends to get iffy in the dark, no expansion slot, split-second lags prevent smoothness
EDITOR RATING: It works, but works are also in the offing for some areas for improvement. 4.0/5
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