The Roman culinary tradition has taught us that few ingredients are enough, but of quality, to obtain an amazing dish as in the case of Pasta Cacio e Pepe. Even in the tech field, this winning formula has been revived by POCO which recently amazed the market with the launch of its POCO X3 NFC, which was immediately appreciated with a truly unbeatable price. So will these ingredients be enough to satiate our technological hunger? Let's find out in our full review.
One thing the company has accustomed us to since its inception is to propose the essential and not give so much weight to sequins that often only serve to confuse. This is why the unboxing experience is not based on form but on substance, proposing a standard hardcover, in double color, yellow and black, inside which we find:
- POCO X3 NFC;
- Plastic film (already pre-applied on the display) to protect the front glass;
- Soft transparent TPU cover with antibacterial treatment;
- Pin for removing the SIM tray;
- USB Type-C charging and data transfer cable;
- Wall power supply with European socket, USB-A port and max output at 33W;
- Instruction manual.
Our recipe for the technological Cacio e Pepe starts from the first ingredient, that is the pasta represented in this version by the design and materials used in POCO X3 NFC. In fact, if the smartphone on the one hand does not astonish for its uniqueness, it is really appreciated for the goodies that the engineers have destined for the general construction. It starts from the rear, with a shell made of polycarbonate but so well crafted that it looks like glass. Along the central part runs a strip with texture reminiscent of carbon fiber in which the large POCO writing is inserted, which returns flashes of light based on the inclination of the smartphone.
A touch of style that does not go unnoticed, just as the photographic module, enclosed in a rectangle in turn wrapped in a circular seat, fascinates. Here we find a quad-camera assisted by the presence of the LED flash.
POCO X3 NFC is certainly not a featherweight and as the best Roman trattoria teaches, it is the size of the course that contributes to the dish itself. In fact, the phone has dimensions of 165,3 x 76,8 x 9.4 mm and a weight of 215 grams, which on the whole certainly does not offer handling for one-handed use, but this is the small compromise that we must accept to deal with a high performance set of specs.
It should be noted the thickness of the photographic module, which can be leveled with the use of the protective cover, which will also preserve the cleaning of the smartphone, which does not enjoy a good oleophobic treatment on the back, dirtying fingerprints with grease. quite evident way. In any case, the ergonomics without the use of the TPU cover is guaranteed by a 3D curvature of the body that guarantees a firmer grip of the smartphone.
The company claims the use of aluminum for the frame but to be honest the touch sensation is closer to the plastic material. In any case, the profiles are glossy in contrast with the opaque of the body, on which we can find in the upper part the indispensable IR transmitter, the second microphone and a hole that serves to better convey the sound coming from the ear capsule as this POCO X3 NFC enjoys stereo sound, thus combining the speaker positioned in the lower profile where we can also find the presence of the mini jack input for wired headphones, USB Type-C input with OTG support but no video output and the main microphone.
While we are talking directly about the audio quality obtained from the dual speaker of POCO X3 NFC, which is the best that I have been able to appreciate on the smartphones I tested. Every nuance of the sound spectrum is reproduced faithfully without distorting even at the maximum listening volume, which however has a very generous level. From the double speaker, or the lower speaker and ear capsule combo, multimedia content is particularly appreciated with a certain emphasis of bass and / or in any case for action scenes in which the background sound plays a certain protagonist role, as in gaming. Also good quality via earphones, as well as in the ear capsule during voice calls.
On the left profile we find the hybrid SIM tray, able to accommodate 2 SIM in nano format or 1 SIM in nano format and a micro SD card up to 256 GB, however renouncing the Dual SIM function. On the right the protagonists are the volume rocker and the on / off button which in turn also integrates the fingerprint reader. This proved to be a real lightning bolt in recognizing the registered finger, both with the right and left hand and can also be enabled to block access to certain apps. The only discordant note is the thin plastic strip that divides the aluminum body from the display, a forgivable compromise by virtue of the presence of the IP53 certification.
Once the pasta has been boiled, for our Cacio e Pepe it is necessary to stir the cheese, the pecorino romano which in our case is represented by the display enjoyed by this POCO X3 NFC, which, net of the IPS technology, was worthy of note and one of the strengths of this smartphone.
We have a 6,67-inch IPS LCD panel in Full HD + resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels) in 20: 9 format protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 glass as well as a plastic film already pre-applied by the company. The design is interrupted only by a central hole in the upper part of the display, where the selfie camera is inserted which will also allow us to unlock the device via face recognition, a very quick function in good lighting conditions but whose reliability is less. in dark conditions.
Net of this, we have an excellent display that is appreciated by definition, with its 395ppi and brightness, with a peak of 450 nits, allowing readability even in direct sunlight. But the goodness of this ingredient lies in the panel refresh rate, equal to 120 Hz with a sampling rate of the touchscreen that is equal to 240 Hz.
There is also support for HDR10 and TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and DRM Widevine L1 certification, recognized on streaming platforms such as Netflix but unfortunately nothing on Amazon Prime Video. What is surprising is the color rendering even if a lack of depth for blacks and whites must be reported while the fluidity of 120 Hz is appreciated in many conditions both for what concerns the contents displayed on the display and in the actual touch. It should be specified that 120 Hz are not always usable, as the company has enabled the DynamicSwitch function to reduce consumption, which automatically adjusts the frequency to 50, 60, 90 or 120 Hz, based on the type of content displayed . However, it is not possible to decide whether or not to take advantage of this function, but only to decide whether to enable 60 Hz or the hypothetical 120 Hz. Furthermore, in certain circumstances, on applications such as YouTube, the phone goes into slight confusion, returning a sort of flickering on wallpapers whites.
The display can also be activated via a double tap or with the gesture of lifting the smartphone, while in the upper part it is possible to appreciate a large ear capsule, which also acts as a second speaker even in hands-free mode. This is accompanied by proximity and brightness sensors that work very well, as well as a small notification LED, a presence that is more than appreciated considering that we do not have Always On Display features.
Finally, the possibility of on-screen navigation through comfortable gestures and the possibility of adjusting the color temperature and contrast completes the picture. The bezels that surround the display are well optimized for the price range, returning a more premium look to the phone.
Our recipe is coming to perfection and the time has come to insert the third important ingredient, namely the pepper which in our case is represented by what is hidden under the body of POCO X3 NFC. The performance of the device is guaranteed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor, octa-core solution with maximum clock at 2.3 GHz which is flanked by the Adreno 618 GPU with Elite Gaming technology and LiquidCool 1.0 Plus cooling.
Further panache is given by the presence of 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 64/128 GB of internal memory of the UFS 2.1 type. All this good luck, allows us to obtain performance far superior to other competing products, even in conditions of high stress, always resulting in jerky and very reliable. And the best of itself, this configuration, gives it in the gaming field, also assisting at the software level of the new Game Turbo 3.0 mode. Even the most demanding games, such as Call of Duty Mobile, run smoothly while keeping the frame rate always stable. POCO X3 NFC is a real missile in terms of speed in opening the application and reaction to the required actions, although the temperatures in reality in the most agitated phases, are not so low as declared by the company.
On the other hand, the haptic system that reproduces up to 150 different vibrations based on the scenario of use is good. In terms of connectivity, POCO X3 does not miss anything, providing a dual-band WiFi module, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, FM radio, IR transmitter, 3,5 mm jack and just as the name suggests also NFC module for also make mobile payments certified by Google.
POCO X3 NFC relies on a 4G LTE connection with also 4G + signal hooking, navigating at the maximum power offered by its operator, as well as relying on signal stability for all the movements made during my test period.
In this period in which the Chinese smartphones of the competition seem to be banned, it is right to underline that POCO X3 NFC boasts the presence of an Android 10 operating system with security patches updated to August 2020 and customization via MIUI 12 interface. Present and functional Google services and all Big G.
Unlike Xiaomi smartphones, on this POCO we have a further customization through the POCO Launcher, but apart from that the whole system is identical to what has already been seen on other smartphones of the Asian brand, always resulting fluid and all the various options present, which are so many, they work excellently. However, I do not hide the fact that in some areas there are small bugs, such as that relating to the camera software, where in the transition from standard to ultra wide optics, the system seems to freeze for a second and then restart immediately. Nothing that one or two software updates can solve anyway.
For our succulent Cacio e Pepe technological, we have two other ingredients available, such as mussels and prawns, because real Chefs are not limited to traditional recipes. One of these is the battery. POCO X3 NFC in fact has a 5160 mAh unit that will take you to the evening without any problem, perhaps even that of the day after. In fact, I managed to total 10 hours of active screen in a rather intense day, a real record, never achieved even with the old and beloved Mi Max series, without ever using WiFi connection.
And if you really drain the charge of your terminal, you will not have to fear anything, because the 33W fast charging support will allow you to get full energy in just 65 minutes, while only 30 will be enough to have over 60% charge. . The good thing is that everything is guaranteed by the food present in the package.
The last ingredient to make up our recipe sees the photographic sector as the protagonist, which basically amazes both in terms of yield and software. POCO X3 NFC uses 4 different sensors on the rear, the main one being a 682 MP Sony IMX64 with f / 1.89 aperture, flanked by a 13 MP (f / 2.2) wide angle lens, with 119 ° FOV , as well as 2 2 MP (f / 2.4) sensors that perform the task of shooting in macro mode and calculating the depth of field.
The shots obtained enjoy a decidedly good color fidelity but what amazes most is the definition of the details in general, even in wide-angle mode, generally the weak point of devices that boast this lens. Even in evening conditions, the amount of light captured by the sensor allows us to obtain shots with a good quality level, even in these conditions it is not recommended to use the wide-angle camera, because the photographic noise becomes too pronounced and a lot is lost in terms of image definition. Excellent natural bokeh effect, giving a professional look to the photos, as well as the portrait mode was also good, with an excellent contouring of the framed subject.
On the front we can make use of a 20 MP selfie camera with f / 2.2 aperture, which overall behaves very well, being better than many other views on other devices, like the same POCO F2 Pro, managing better the most difficult situations, such as backlight. For night shots it is possible to rely on a virtual flash that will use the lighting of the screen as a point of light for our face.
We have the ability to record videos in 4K at 30 fps, but it is advisable to take advantage of the resolution of 1080p at 60 fps for better performance, obtaining more stable and fluid images. Unfortunately, however, with this option the autofocus fails, which in other situations was rather fast and above all not at all jerky. We also find the presence of a digital stabilizer that gives greater emphasis to the quality of the captured video.
But as announced before, the software is also surprising, which compared to higher-end Xiaomi / Redmi models offers spectacular functions, starting from the various filters such as the new CyberPunk and GoldVibes but also to the Front and Back function that allows us to capture a video using both selfie and rear optics. We find the Vlog mode and the one dedicated to prolonged exposure, a sort of night mode designed ad hoc to immortalize the night stars, or the reflections of the lights etc .. Superb Clone function, both for videos and photos, which allows you to having the same subject (physical person and not objects) in several points of the video photo, with very particular results. Then there is the PRO mode with which to set the various shooting parameters manually, but also HDR, AI, integrated Google Lens, Time Lapse and Slow Motion.
POCO X3 NFC was made official in sales in Italy starting from 10 September, at a launch price of 199 euros for the 6/64 GB version while the promotion is still active, which until 30 September allows access to the 6 variant. / 128 GB at a discounted price of € 249,90 directly on Amazon Italy.
On the net there are many other price proposals, such as on AliExpress but also Banggood and Gearbest, all valid but if I had to give an opinion net of the official list price, or a maximum of 269,90 euros, I would confirm that POCO X3 NFC can be definitely defined an absolute BEST BUY. This smartphone really has everything you can ask for from a device, perhaps even more in consideration of its price and the market range in which it is placed. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it too much, because the first lots have already sold out. In every aspect analyzed he came out brilliant, earning full marks from the first taste and I don't think you will find a better smartphone than this on such a limited budget.
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With this smartphone all stereotypes about low-cost smartphones fall away. In fact, POCO X3 NFC net of a price list within the reach of anyone offers everything a user could wish for on a smartphone, integrating functions and features that often not even the top of the range are able to offer, without having to make particular compromises. Undoubtedly POCO X3 NFC is a real best buy, perhaps the only absolute one for this 2020.
- CAMERA FUNCTIONS
- STEREO AUDIO
- COMPLETE CONNECTIVITY
- PRICE / PERFORMANCE / QUALITY REPORT
- REAR COVER HOLDS TOO MUCH DIRT
- STEP BETWEEN DISPLAY AND FRAME