The Poco X3 NFC has been widely regarded as the best smartphone to buy under RM1,000 and that’s for good reason. On paper, it looks like a great deal.
But, let me just tell you that it’s not the perfect smartphone. And, even some of the things that look good on paper, they don’t always translate to being quite as good in day-to-day use. So, before you plonk down RM1,000 on one of these phones, I think you should watch this video first.
First, I’ll start with the speakers. So the Poco X3 NFC comes with a pair of stereo speakers and I was honestly stoked because if I had it my way, I’d like every phone to have stereo speakers. But, I have to say that I was a little underwhelmed when it came to volume.
Sure, for stuff like games, this isn’t really an issue. But, when you start watching videos or movies, that’s when the lack of volume and weak mids become noticeable. Vocals often sound more muffled than they should and that has a big impact on this smartphone’s ability to be a good content consumption machine. I think in general the audio quality is pretty good, but when I’m on the can at 9.30 am, or when im taking a shower, all i really want is lots and lots of volume so I can hear what the people in the video are saying.
Also hampering the content consumption angle of this smartphone is the screen. Yes, at 6.67 inches with a 120Hz refresh rate, that sounds amazing for a phone at this price point. But I’d trade this panel for something like an AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate instead.
That’s because for starters, this screen doesn’t have the nice contrast and vibrance of an OLED panel. And yes, although it has sunlight mode so i dont really have issues viewing it outdoors, it doesn’t really help videos or shows that have a lot of dark scenes.
Then, there’s the 120Hz refresh rate. Not many apps are able to take advantage of this faster refresh rate right now. And if all youre looking for is a smooth scrolling experience like I am, then 90Hz is more than enough to give that to you. Like the jump between 60Hz to 90Hz is way bigger than 90Hz to 120Hz.
Finally, we’ve got MIUI. Now, aesthetic preferences aside, there are a couple of issues I have with MIUI that I’d really like to see addressed in the future. The ads, for example, is it just me or are they getting worse? Like I feel like I’m getting way more ads than I used to on older versions of MIUI and that’s really annoying.
I’ve been told that there’s a way to turn it off but apparently it’s also really troublesome. Maybe we’ll do a how to what is episode on that to help all of us out.
Then, there’s the persistent Bluetooth audio volume issue that I’m faced with whenever I use a MIUI device. On Bluetooth headphones, the volume is just uncharacteristically low. It’s probably not the Poco X3 NFC’s problem, but I still have not found a workaround for this. If you know a fix, please leave them in the comments below. The good news is that it does have a headphone jack so that’s a nice workaround I guess.
I would like to add one thing that I do like about the new MIUI, and that’s the camera app. It used to be super sluggish on MIUI devices, but the one in here is way faster. It works like it should now, so props to Xiaomi for fixing this.
Image quality from the cameras though is nothing to shout about. It’s good enough for my smartphone camera needs, but if your handset is your only camera and you like taking stuff for the gram, you might want to invest into a more expensive smartphone.
The final two things I want to touch on, is the build quality and the fingerprint scanner. For a thousand ringgit, the Poco X3 NFC’s build is decent. But I feel like I haven’t seen an advancement in this aspect in this price point for a long time and I really feel like we should be moving forward here. There’s still way too much plastic, but at least it doesn’t feel like cheap Myvi plastic.
The fingerprint scanner, is more of a preference thing. I don’t like side mounted scanners because it’s often more inconvenient for me to unlock than a front one, but as far as accuracy goes, it’s good. It also isn’t as affected by smudges as some of Sony’s solutions are so that’s a plus.
Besides that, everything about this smartphone is as advertised. Performance is plenty good enough for me. It’s zippy for daily tasks and unless you’re a big gamer, this Snapdragon 732G should be good enough for you. I mean, it will still run games pretty well, stuff like Asphalt gave me no issues even at max settings, but if you wanna run something more demanding like Genshin Impact, you’re going to have to turn the graphics down because at max quality it’s really choppy.
The 5,160 mAh battery also gives me excellent battery life. It can last all day no problem with over 5 hours of screen-on time. With light use it’ll even go almost two days on a single charge so I’ll give it a solid A+.
In fact, I think for the price of RM899 for the base model and RM1099 for the top spec, this phone gets As across the board. Even the issues I had with it, I don’t think are deal-breaking, and I think they stand out mostly because of how good everything else was.
But, depending on your needs, you might want to pivot and invest a little more to get say a nicer screen or better speakers if you watch a lot of content, or more stock Android if you don’t like a heavily skinned UI with difficult to remove ads.
If you are interested in picking one up, you can do so at Lazada and Shopee.