Poco has announced a global launch for its first two phones for 2021: the mid-range Poco F3 and the budget gaming powerhouse Poco X3 Pro, which also introduces a new chipset in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860.
The Poco F3 is the first true successor to Poco’s very first handset, 2018’s Pocophone F1 – while last year saw the arrival of the F2 Pro, there was technically never any standard Poco F2.
The F3, dubbed ‘The Real Beast’ by the brand, should offer enough to make it worth the wait.
Powered by the Snapdragon 870 – essentially an over-clocked version of the year-old Snapdragon 865 flagship – it should offer near-flagship performance at half the price, including support for 5G.
The 6.67in AMOLED display supports up to 120Hz refresh rates at FHD+ resolution, with a 360Hz touch sampling rate that should make it an excellent gaming option. It also boasts one of the smallest punch-hole cameras around, at just 2.76mm across.
Design has clearly been a priority for the F3. The whole phone is pretty slender, at less than 8mm across, and the minimalist design language of the white and black models is most reminiscent of Xiaomi’s recent Mi 11 flagship. If you want a little more pizazz, there’s always the slightly busier blue model.
The 4520mAh battery and 33W charging are pretty much par for the course now, and the camera spec looks solid if also unremarkable: a 48Mp, f/1.8 main camera supported by an ultrawide and telemacro.
The F3 is joined by the Poco X3 Pro, a rather late follow-up to last September’s Poco X3 NFC – our pick for the best budget phone of 2020, and still our top recommendation for affordable devices.
The highlight of the X3 Pro is undoubtedly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860. Making its debut in the X3 Pro, the 860 is also an over-clocked take on an older Qualcomm flagship chip – in this case the 855.
While that tech may be over two years old now, and does leave the X3 Pro limited to 4G rather than 5G, it means it should be comfortably the most powerful 4G chip on the market. Expect gaming performance to comfortably out-pace the original Poco X3, and even beat flagship phones using the popular Snapdragon 765G – a 5G chipset that offers superior networking but less pure processing power.
Otherwise, the X3 Pro doesn’t mix things up too much. You’ll find the same 120Hz LCD display as the previous model, and a similar design, albeit with some new colour options. That means that at 215g and 9.4mm thick, it will be just as hefty as the original X3 and comfortably chunkier than the svelte F3.
The camera spec is almost identical to the F3, but swaps the telemacro for a regular macro and depth sensor. The 33W charging and 5160mAh battery return unchanged from the original X3 – and yes, NFC is here too.
Both the Poco F3 and X3 Pro are set to launch globally this month, and in the UK in April, and each will be available on Amazon and Poco’s website. The F3 costs £329/€349 for 6GB+128GB and £349/€399 for 8GB+256GB, while the X3 Pro is just £199/€249 for 6GB+128GB and £249/€299 for 8GB+256GB. Both will be even cheaper if you act fast, with early bird offers slashing prices by as much as €50.