Poco X3 NFC review

GSMArena team, 15 September 2020.

Android 10 and MIUI 12

The Poco X3 NFC is the second smartphone we meet that boots MIUI 12 out of the box. The new launcher is based on Android 10 and introduces a refined interface with new animations, new privacy options, floating windows, dedicated Control Center, Super Wallpapers, and a brand-new app drawer, among other features.

Poco X3 NFC review

The version on the Poco X3 NFC seems to be lacking the cool Super Wallpapers we saw on other Xiaomi phones with MIUI12. Always-on display is not supported, too, but that's to be expected as the X3 packs an LCD screen.

Overall, MIUI 12 is not a massive overhaul over MIUI 11, but more of a refresh with new looks here and there, new cooler animations optimized for high-refresh-rate screens, and a couple of new features though it's up to you whether you'll use them or not.

You unlock the screen via the blazing-fast side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The reader is easy to set up, fast, and superbly accurate - it is on par with the best in business. 2D Face Unlock is available, too, but it is far less secure than the fingerprint option.

Security options - Poco X3 NFC review Security options - Poco X3 NFC review Security options - Poco X3 NFC review Security options - Poco X3 NFC review
Security options

The homescreens are business as usual - they are populated with shortcuts, folders, and widgets. The leftmost pane, if enabled, is called Google Feed.

Homescreens - Poco X3 NFC review Homescreens - Poco X3 NFC review Homescreens - Poco X3 NFC review Homescreens - Poco X3 NFC review
Homescreens

MIUI 12 offers an app drawer by default, and it automatically organizes your apps into categories. The first is All, meaning it contains all apps. Then follow Communication, Entertainment, Photography, Tools, New, and Business. You can edit these categories or even disable them altogether. You can't disable the App Drawer, at least not in this MIUI 12 for Poco iteration.

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App drawer

Another new feature is the Notification shade split into Notification Center and Control Center. Indeed, this is precisely what the iPhones do, and you even summon them in the same fashion - pull down from the left part of the screen for the Notification Center, pull down from the right for the Control Center.

Poco X3 NFC review

If you are not fond of this new split - you can disable the Control Center, and the shade will revert to its MIUI 11 looks and operation.

Notification Center - Poco X3 NFC review Control Center - Poco X3 NFC review Control Center - Poco X3 NFC review The old Notification Shade - Poco X3 NFC review
Notification Center • Control Center • Control Center • The old Notification Shade

The task switcher has not changed much. It shows all of your recent apps in two columns. Tap and hold on a card for the split-screen/floating shortcut, or just swipe it left or right to close it. There is a new Floating Windows button next to the Split Screen, which is a new option offered by MIUI 12. You can put some apps in a floating state above everything else. You can only have one floating window at a time, though.

Task Switcher - Poco X3 NFC review Floating Windows - Poco X3 NFC review Floating app - Poco X3 NFC review Split screen - Poco X3 NFC review
Task Switcher • Floating Windows • Floating app • Split screen

Themes are a huge part of MIUI, and they are available on MIUI 12, too. You can download new ones from the Themes store, and they can change wallpapers, ringtones, system icons, system fonts, and even the always-on display style.

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Themes

Xiaomi enhanced MIUI 12 with a couple of additional privacy options. Now when sharing stuff, like photos and videos, you can opt to remove location and/or other metadata (incl. device info) and thus protect your privacy fully. Neat.

Gallery - Poco X3 NFC review Privacy Settings - Poco X3 NFC review
Gallery • Privacy Settings

MIUI also offers a Security app. It can scan your phone for malware, manage your blacklist, manage or restrict your data usage, configure battery behavior, and free up some RAM. It can also manage the permissions of your installed apps and allows you to define the battery behavior of selected apps and applies restrictions only to the apps you choose.

MIUI 12 packs proprietary apps for Gallery, Music, and Video player. In some regions, the music and video apps include paid streaming options. Mi Remote for the IR blaster is available, too. In China, a new Mi AI assistant is part of MIUI 12, replacing the Google Assistant.

MIUI 12 also enhances the Notes app with even more Task checklists and subtask options.

FM radio app is available, too.

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Security • Security • Music • Video • Mi Remote • FM radio

MIUI 12 supports Dark Mode, too, and you can even force it on wallpapers or restrict its application on incompatible individual apps.

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Dark Mode

MIUI 12 is fully optimized to work on HRR displays. Everything is smooth and fast; animations are unobtrusive yet impressive, the attention to the detail is simply excellent.

We've heard reports of ads baked into the user interface, which is usually done to lower the cost of the phone. But we didn't run into any ads whatsoever on our unit, which is quite peculiar. It may depend on the region you buy this Poco X3 in and the one you choose for MIUI 12.

Performance and benchmarks

The Poco X3 NFC is powered by the Snapdragon 732G chip, or as Poco likes to call it - "the most powerful Snapdragon 700 series 4G processor to date". Well, it's not wrong even if it isn't something we would brag about.

Hardware-wise, the Snapdragon 732G is a cloe relative to the vanilla S730 and the S730G we saw on the Poco X2.

The octa-core processor is the same, but the clocks of the two powerful cores have been increased with 100MHz. So, the octa-core processor now has two Kryo 470 Gold (Cortex-A76) cores clocked at 2.3 GHz, and six Kryo 470 Silver (Cortex-A55) ones, working at 1.8 GHz. They are all built on an 8nm LPP node.

All three S73x chips have the same Adreno 618 DSP. The one on the 730G is clocked 75 MHz higher than S730 and sits at 575 MHz. And now, the one inside the Poco X3 can go as high as 800MHz.

Finally, no matter whether you get the 64GB or the 128GM model, the Poco X3 NFC will always ship with 6GB RAM.

Poco X3 NFC review

The benchmarks we ran clearly show the Poco X3 is among the most powerful smartphones in the mid-range segment right now. Its processor is only bested by the slightly more powerful Snapdragon 765's.

GeekBench 5.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    1927
  • Poco X3 NFC
    1777
  • Realme 6
    1726
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    1703
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    1694
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30 (Poco X2)
    1692
  • Realme 6 Pro
    1666
  • Realme 7
    1651

GeekBench 5.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    616
  • Poco X3 NFC
    568
  • Realme 6 Pro
    565
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30 (Poco X2)
    548
  • Realme 6
    548
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    542
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    521
  • Realme 7
    516

Same goes for the overlocked Adreno 618 GPU. While it is not a groundbreaking difference, it does well enough to go on top of most of the mid-range phones we've tested so far.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    32
  • Realme 7
    28
  • Poco X3 NFC
    27
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30 (Poco X2)
    27
  • Realme 6 Pro
    27
  • Realme 6
    27
  • Realme 6S
    27
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    26
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    24

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    17
  • Realme 7
    17
  • Poco X3 NFC
    16
  • Realme 6 Pro
    16
  • Realme 6
    16
  • Realme 6S
    16
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30 (Poco X2)
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    13

Finally, AnTuTu 8 test shows the phone is on par with its competitors and will not disappoint anyone.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    318117
  • Realme 7
    292828
  • Realme 6
    288931
  • Poco X3 NFC
    283750
  • Realme 6S
    278982
  • Xiaomi Redmi K30 (Poco X2)
    272229
  • Realme 6 Pro
    268785
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    257146
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    253271

It's obvious the Poco X3 NFC is an excellent performer in its class. It will easily manage whatever you throw at it. Only few games are currently optimized for HRR displays and even fewer will be able to run at 60fps on higher on the Poco X3 as it is no flagship. But the support is there, and the smooth OS and apps are quite enough to justify putting an HRR screen in the first place.

The Poco X3 NFC uses dual-cooling system with heatpipe and multi-layer graphite sandwich - below the screen and below the rear panel. It is quite efficient and keeps the phone cool even after long benchmarking sessions.

Long story short - the Poco X3 NFC is a powerful smartphone, among the best in its price bracket.

Reader comments

If restart doesn't work. You might be want to try factory reset or update its MIUI. If all you do don't work too, go nearest Xiaomi Center.

  • Ali syed

I am facing the proximity sensor Problem in poco x3 when i turned away the phone from ear after call then screen remain off

I don't have problem on my Poco X3 NFC. Screen time sometimes can reach up to 7 hours. It is MIUI 12.0.7.0. now. Here is my notes on charging time: 24 Mei 2021 charge 18:48 (24%) full 20:16 25 Mei 2021 charge 01:42 (37%) full 03:45 ...