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Poco F3 GT Review, Design, Display, Performance, Battery, Display, Price

There is hardly a smartphone brand that has arrived in India like Poco did. The Poco F1, launched in 2018, gave the smartphone maker a unique identity -- one which has stayed with it for the past three years even though it has focused largely on affordable offerings since then and was yet to launch a second F series smartphone. Talking about the latter, the Poco F3 GT was finally launched in the country late last month. Yes, the brand skipped the Poco F2. But, has come up with a device that will make you forget the pain. If there was ever any!

The Poco F3 GT comes with some impressive features like a 120Hz AMOLED display, MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC, 64-megapixel main camera, a 5000 mAh battery, 67W fast charging and very capable maglev triggers for gaming. Yet, Poco has managed to price the Poco F3 GT quite aggressively, putting it in direct competition with the recently launched OnePlus Nord 2.

Poco F3 GT price in India has been set at Rs 26,999 for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, Rs 28,999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, while the 8GB RAM and 256GB storage variant of the phone will cost Rs 30,999. If you are reading this after buying the phone, chances are you got it for even lesser because of the new pricing scheme introduced by the company.

Poco F3 GT Design review

I said it in my first impression of the Poco F3 GT and will say it again this is the most premium and best-looking smartphone from Poco. The glass rear panel comes with a matte finish which gives the Poco F3 GT an advantage over its rivals. The Gunmetal Silver colour variant I got for review is an absolute stunner, looks gorgeous and gets a refreshing look because of the little elements used by Poco. At least this colour variant doesn’t get any fingerprint smudges which makes life a lot of easier. Poco has also launched a Predator Black colour variant of the phone.

While I may seem all impressed with the Poco F3 GT, I also have few reservations. Just like the Asus ROG line-up, this design might appeal more to gaming enthusiasts while others may look to settle with more conventional options in the market.

The other thing to consider is that the Poco F3 GT is 8.3mm thick and weighs around 205 grams. The thickness is still at par with most modern smartphones but, the weight makes it a little bulky. An annoying part is that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack despite that. You do get a 3.5mm to type-C USB adapter inside the retail box.

The smartphone features a side-mounted fingerprint sensor which can be a bit inconsistent at times. Again, that’s not really impressive given that Poco has used an AMOLED panel and could have easily gone for an in-display fingerprint sensor. But, if this what had to be compromised to ensure everything else, I will take it.

Coming to the most interesting design element and the one which impressed me the most, the Poco F3 GT features two maglev triggers for gaming. These come with magnetic lock and pop-up when you unlock them. Poco has used physical triggers on the phone which means you can actually press them and I kind of liked the feel while gaming. The shoulder triggers have good tactility and are very responsive.

While playing Call of Duty: Mobile. I mapped the right shoulder button for shooting and left one for reloading. I definitely benefited from the fact that you don’t need to press the button to fire each bullet. You can simply hold the button and get a pretty impressive fire rate which almost gives you an unfair advantage while gaming.

One trick that Poco probably missed is that these maglev triggers can only be used for gaming. It would have been a masterstroke had Poco had allowed users to map them for opening apps, accessing shortcuts etc. Here is to hoping it has been reserved for the successor.

That’s not the only unique design element from Poco. It has also used RGB LED inside the smartphone’s camera module which doesn’t do much, apart from making the phone look cool! You can even customise the LED to turn on when you’re playing games or for receiving notifications from an app.

Poco F3 GT Display review

The high refresh rate AMOLED panels are becoming increasingly popular among smartphone makers. Poco’s sister company Xiaomi started the trend by bringing a 120Hz AMOLED panel to under Rs 20,000 and now Poco has entered the game too with the Poco F3 GT. And, it has come to the war with some heavy artillery.

Is Poco F3 GT Corning Glass 5

The Poco F3 GT uses a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch response rate, 1300 nits peak brightness, HDR 10+ and WideVine L1 certifications. On top of it, Poco has used a 10-bit panel here which just makes everything look more pleasing on the screen. The phone is also protected by Corning Glass 5.

There is not much I found wrong with the panel. It gets really bright for normal usage, has good viewing angles and is plenty smooth. The tall and bright display is aided by equally good stereo speakers. The speakers on Poco F3 GT are genuinely loud and clear. It should excite gamers as well as users who stream content on their phones.

The smartphone also comes with Always on Display and just like Xiaomi or Redmi smartphones, Poco is also giving its users different clock styles to choose from.

If I have to point out two things that could have been better first is the brightness in outdoor conditions and second is the hole-punch cutout that has thick black ring around it which can be distracting while streaming content.

Poco F3 GT Camera review

The Poco F3 GT comes with a triple rear camera setup which includes a 64-megapixel main shooter, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. On the front, you get a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. The camera app has plenty of options like Photo, Portrait, Night Mode, Vlog, Long Exposure, Dual Video and Clone, among others. The rear camera can record 4K videos at 30fps while the front is restricted to 1080p at 30fps.

The main camera seems to do a fine job with close up shots. The images come out sharp and have ample amount of details. The colours on the Captain America figurine have come out sharp and the text is also clearly readable.

It does have a tendency to darken the shadows and oversaturate the colour at times which is clearly visible on the wide shots. The handling of skin tones is also poor as you can see in the image samples. My face has been over-sharpened to the point where it doesn’t look nice anymore.

These issues can be blamed on phone’s poor image processing more than anything else and might be fixed with a future software update.

The Poco F3 GT’s ultra-wide-angle sensor also makes the same mistake. Most images taken by the wide angle lens seem darker than the original landscape. The images do retain a lot of details even in the wide shots though. The portrait shots have good edge detection and the macro lens also does a good job.

The lowlight images came out well whenever there was an external light source around. Otherwise, there is a general lack of details even while using the Night Mode. The front camera is inconsistent too. The selfies can be pleasant or harsh depending on the light conditions. Still, most selfies in the daylight are passable.

Poco F3 GT Performance and Battery  review

At the end of the day, Poco F3 GT is a gaming smartphone, and it has to be good at it. On paper, you get a MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC which can be coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X memory. There are 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage options. The internal storage can be expanded using a microSD card.

This is the same chipset that has been used on other mid-premium smartphones like OPPO Reno 6 Pro 5G and the Realme X7 Max 5G. Even OnePlus has used MediaTek 1200 SoC on the OnePlus Nord 2 but, it customised the processor for a better output.

There is a reason why Dimensity 1200 has been the go-to option for most smartphone makers at this price point. It handles most tasks seamless, is good for everyday use, and you don’t feel any lags. But, it also has a few limitations.

The Poco F3 GT restricts the graphics pre-set to HDR in Battlegrounds Mobile India. Even then you can run the game at Ultra frame rate. The more affordable Poco X3 Pro allows you to run the game with extreme frame rate pre-set. The phone also stopped me from running Call of Duty: Mobile at highest graphic and frame at the same time.

We have done a thorough gaming test of the Poco F3 GT which you can watch below. The restrictions aside, the gaming performance was quite satisfactory. I didn’t notice any drops in frame rate. Yes, the phone did get slightly warm after about 40 minutes of gaming but, there was nothing alarming.

The Poco F3 GT is backed by a 5,065mAh battery which easily lasts for a day. In fact, I really liked the battery optimisation. The battery was drained by just 8 per cent after 40 minutes of gaming. This is when the phone was running at 120Hz refresh rate. Poco is also shipping the phone with a 67W fast charger which charges the phone from 0 to 100 per cent in less than an hour.

Poco F3 GT review: Conclusion

  •  Poco F3 GT has a premium design and in-hand feel.
  • The smartphone delivers a consistent performance.
  • The cameras could have been better though.

The Poco F3 GT is not just an ordinary phone. It’s probably the Poco F2 you deserve. The company has tried something different here by packing the best possible hardware at a very aggressive price of Rs 26,999. You get a slick design, good in-hand feel, a great battery life and one-of-their-kind maglev triggers for gaming.

Having said that, the life isn’t as easy for the Poco F3 GT as it probably was for the Poco F1. The mid-premium segment is witnessing more competition than before. OnePlus Nord 2 can easily lure few customers with its software experience and main camera, Realme X7 Max 5G is also an impressive option and if you can extend the budget by a bit, there are Mi 11X and iQOO 7 both of which make for excellent buys.

But, for anyone looking for a performance-driven phone, the Poco F3 GT has plenty to offer.

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