Does it sound crazy comparing POCO X3 NFC, a mid-range device that costs under Php15,000, and iPhone 12, a very expensive yet very capable phone that can even record HDR videos for a current starting price of Php59,990? Of course! Judging by the title, the tech enthusiasts and even the know-it-all can tell POCO has no chance against the likes of Apple. But, there’s always more to it than meets the eye.
At the end of this comparison, we identify what separates the iPhone 12 from the X3 NFC and what POCO’s best mid-range phone offers better in value, if there is, versus Apple’s best iPhone yet.
What POCO X3 NFC Does Better vs iPhone 12
If there’s one thing POCO fanatics can boast to Apple users, that’s the refresh rate of the X3 NFC. In favor of battery life and 5G, Tim Cook made the final decision to opt-out of 120Hz Pro Motion that debuted on the iPad Pro. Though 60Hz is just fine for most users, the doubled refresh rate shows perceivable speed and fluidity difference in animations, transitions, and even scrolling.
With 120Hz, games that support it also show improved touch response and player motion, thus making games like PUBG a bit easier to score a kill.
If we’re to compare the spec sheet or even the design, the X3 NFC is technically more capable than the iPhone 12.
The back features four cameras for the POCO device, with a huge 64MP as the main shooter, 13MP for ultrawide, and a couple of 2MP for macro and depth. iPhone 12 can’t shoot macro photography, but it does tie itself with X3 NFC when it comes to 2x digital zoom as both devices lack a dedicated telephoto lens. But when it comes to quality, that’s a different story (more on that later).
The same applies to the 20MP on the X3 NFC and the 12MP on the iPhone 12. However, we can’t deny that the X3 NFC’s pinhole cutout is less obtrusive than iPhone 12, which has been around since iPhone X. Though Face ID is one of the most secure ways of unlocking a phone, a side-fingerprint scanner has proven to be more valuable in this pandemic age.
Battery-wise, the 5160mAh capacity in the X3 NFC is twice as large as the 2815mAh in the iPhone 12. With no 5G to play around with, getting a solid 2-day worth of usage is an easy feat. On top of that, 33W fast charging gets the massive battery from 0-100% in just 80 minutes.
As for Apple, getting to 50% takes 30 minutes via a 20W charging brick that’s bought separately. Though there’s 15W MagSafe charging, you also have to spend for it as an added accessory. Oh, and did we mention that iPhone 12 is still using a Lightning port?
Some of the few bonuses you get from the X3 NFC is the larger display at 6.67″ alongside Gorilla Glass 5 that’s more resistant to scratches than the new Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12. Lastly, you can expand the storage with the hybrid microSD card slot and there’s an audio jack waiting for you.
So, that’s for POCO X3 NFC. Let’s switch our attention to the iPhone 12.
What iPhone 12 Does Better vs POCO X3 NFC
There’s a lot to talk about here, so buckle up.
Starting with the design, for a feature-packed phone, Apple did a great job of keeping the iPhone 12 light and slim. It’s only 7.4mm, despite the boxy look, and nearly weighs like a plastic phone at 164g, despite the metal and back-to-back glass build. Additionally, you get to enjoy the benefits of an IP68-rated device as well as using first-party cases without adding too much heft. Apple has been touting the Ceramic Front Shield as six times more durable than the iPhone 11s, but only a real-life test can tell.
Though Apple Pay is a huge convenience as a digital wallet, Philippine support remains to be limited.
Switching gears to the display, X3 NFC can’t touch the iPhone 12 in terms of color quality and peak brightness. With the POCO device capped between 450-500nits, Apple’s latest iPhone can go up to 625nits typical and up to a blinding 1200nits in HDR. Pair it with the company’s incredible color calibration and support for wide color gamut, and you have one of the best mobile displays on the planet.
Sure, there’s no high refresh rate but, iOS is so optimized everything is just buttery smooth.
As for the performance and cameras of the iPhone 12, Apple leads POCO by several generations. A14 Bionic chip features next-gen Neural Engine, allowing to handle all games and apps on the App Store without a hitch, including real-time AI effects from apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Messenger. With that kind of chipset, you can rest assured the iPhone 12 won’t feel slow for the next 3-5 years.
Camera-wise, there may be two 12MP sensors on the back, but they are two great 12MP sensors on a smartphone. Apple does more than offer a user the capability to shoot in wide, ultrawide, and zoomed. Instead, they let you capture great photos whether in the day or night. In fact, iPhone 12 now lets you capture Night Mode for both wide and ultrawide lenses along with Deep Fusion machine learning to optimize the quality, color, consistency, and everything in a photo or video.
Another thing Apple does best is video. Recording up to 4K@60fps with the iPhone 12 is brighter, smoother, and more stable than ever. The cameras are practically the best video cameras in a smartphone in 2020. What’s more, the company has added Dolby Vision HDR video recording AND editing on the iPhone 12. With HDR, videos are brighter, more detailed, more immersive, and just plain better.
The catch, however, is that there’s no native support yet from nearly all app developers, and you can watch Dolby Vision videos on a Dolby Vision-supported TV or device such as the iPhone 12. That, and everything we just said also applies to the 12MP selfie camera.
MagSafe is Apple’s first step towards a wireless iPhone future. But for now, you have to buy a 15W MagSafe wireless charger to experience the magnetic prowess and convenience of Apple’s latest accessory. If you want the best speed, however, you need to purchase a 20W power brick as well.
Of course, we can’t forget about 5G. It’s the best way to drain the battery while experiencing the fastest mobile data connection in a country that hardly supports 5G nor gigabit speed.
Apple probably has the best ecosystem of accessories for a phone – not because they are trying to be carbon‑neutral by 2030. The company is bound to make millions as it now makes an official iPhone leather wallet and a wide selection of iPhone cases.
What exactly are you paying for?
If you are to buy an iPhone 12 for Php59,990 for the 128GB and Php64,990 for the 256GB, you get nearly the best iPhone yet. Take note: nearly. Not the best, because that’s the iPhone 12 Pro Max. But what makes Apple a good buy to some, apart from its incredible hardware, is the ecosystem.
Apple Pay is a convenient digital wallet that’s not fully supported in the country. You’re most likely to pay using a different online wallet service from a network provider.
iMessage? We all know Facebook Messenger is the national online messaging app since its debut, and your friends are using it as well. FaceTime? Facebook Messenger. Chats? Facebook Messenger.
Need 5G speed? Good luck waiting for your ISP to cover your area with 5G.
That said, you just can’t take advantage of the entire offering of the iPhone 12. You do get all the features for the asked price, but do you use all the features enough to justify the asked price?
If that would be your case, you’re better off purchasing older iPhone models. Even the iPhone SE 2nd-gen might even make this comparison a bit more challenging.
Make no mistake — iPhone 12 is a great phone. We just think it’s not a great purchase yet.
Now if you are to buy a POCO X3 NFC for either Php10,990 for the 64GB and Php12,990 for the 128GB, you basically get everything you need — a big and fast display, good performance that can also handle games, versatile cameras, even better battery with faster charging, and, say, the flexibility to upgrade to a different phone next year.
Can POCO X3 NFC last as long as the iPhone 12? Probably not. But, you don’t have to spend half the price of the iPhone 12 if you break the screen. You also don’t have to spend more on a charging brick nor a case.
For a fraction of the price of the iPhone 12, POCO X3 NFC answers to all your phone needs and sometimes, even provide you more. From a value standpoint, it’s unfair for Apple’s device to be compared against POCO, a company that’s been thriving for bang-for-the-buck devices. But I guess, what we’re trying to say is that affordable phones are so good today, it almost makes no sense to spend on an expensive one.
In our minds, we have the idea that we need the best when all we need is just what’s best (for us).
|Specs||POCO X3 NFC||iPhone 12|
|Display||6.67-inch FHD+ IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10+, 120Hz, pinhole cutout||6.1-inch FHD+ OLED, HDR10, 625nits, 1200 nits HDR|
|Design||aluminum frame, polycarbonate back, IP53 water and dust resistance||metal frame, Gorilla Glass back, IP68, Ceramic Shield front|
|Dimensions and Weight||165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm, 215g||146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm, 164 g|
|CPU/Chipset||Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)
/ Qualcomm SM7150-AC Snapdragon 732G (8 nm)
|Hexa-core (2×3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4×1.8 GHz Icestorm) / Apple A14 Bionic (5 nm)|
|GPU||Adreno 618||Apple GPU (4-core graphics)|
|Storage||64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 with microSD slot of up to 256GB||64GB/128GB/256GB NVMe non-expandable|
|Connectivity & Ports||LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi ac, GPS, audio jack, USB-C, NFC, IR blaster||5G, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Lightning 2.0, NFC|
|Security||face unlock, side-mounted fingerprint scanner||Face ID|
|Battery||5160mAh(33W in-box charger)||2815mAh (20W Wired, 15W MagSafe Wireless), charger not included in the box|
|Audio||dual-stereo speakers, 24-bit Hi-res||stereo speakers, 24-bit|
|OS||Android 10, MIUI 12||iOS 14.1|
|Colors||Shadow Gray, Cobalt Blue||Black, White, Red, Green, Blue|
|Price||SRP Php10,990 and Php12,990||128GB – Php59,990
256GB – Php64,990
|Release Date||September 9, 2020 (Global, Philippines)||June 4, 2020 (Philippines)|