While we have yet to see a true flagship killer in 2021, at least not one that’s available for purchase in the Philippines, there’s one phone that offers a similar package and is readily up for purchase already — the POCO F3. It’s not replacing the POCO F2 Pro of last year nor the Mi 10T, but instead, it’s a follow-up to the mid-range Mi 9T from two years ago. And if you’re to compare their spec sheet, you’re looking at a substantial upgrade.
While POCO F3 originally went on sale for ₱15,990 and ₱18,990 for the 6/128GB and 8/256GB, respectively, the actual suggested retail prices are ₱17,990 and ₱20,990. At those price points, the phone is actually expensive. With that in mind, here are the reasons why you should and shouldn’t buy a POCO F3.
Fast and Fluid Performance
If you’ve grown tired with stuttery and slow phones, POCO F3 probably is the upgrade you’ve been waiting for. Thanks to the combo of Snapdragon 870 and 120Hz display, everything you do on the F3 will feel smooth, fast, and fluid. Whether you have tons of apps in the background while replying to an email, the F3 has all the chops to keep its software running consistently.
If a phone can run Genshin Impact comfortably at 60fps mode, then that phone certainly can handle everything you throw at it. It just so happens that POCO F3 is one of those phones.
Thin and Light Design
There’s no denying that manufacturers have solved the short battery life of smartphones in general. Instead of putting in a small, removable battery, why not just increase the capacity? However, that also means making the devices thicker and heavier. While most of us are willing to make that trade, at times, it can get tiring to use a bulky phone every single day.
With POCO F3, it’s a refreshing experience to once again use a thin and light yet powerful device. It’s the type of phone you can use a case on and adds just a bit of heftiness to the weight. And thanks to the F3 being light, it feels like you actually own a top-of-the-line smartphone.
Not the Best Cameras
POCO had to cut corners to hit the incredible price points of the POCO F3. One of them is the decision to stick with a 48MP triple camera setup. While we’re not really mad about the lack of another sensor for a quad-camera setup, given that most quad-cameras are virtually dual-cameras, we feel like 48MP isn’t really a nice pairing with the flagship-like specs of the phone.
Instead of getting a 64MP or 108MP sensor, the main is using a 48MP Sony sensor from years ago, and the 13MP ultrawide camera on the Mi 9T has been downgraded to 8MP. As a result, you get softer-looking ultrawide shots. Fortunately, the 20MP is still here.
In all fairness, you can still get good-looking shots with the POCO F3 — just don’t expect them to be great at all times.
Don’t Buy a POCO F3 at its Regular Price
It’s vital to be patient when getting a POCO F3 since it’s a bit hard to justify its regular price on the market. For at least ₱18,000, you can get a POCO F2 Pro with better cameras and battery life, albeit with no fast refresh rate. Although the performance is slightly better on the POCO F3 because of the Snapdragon 870, the F2 Pro has been available for quite a while it supports high refresh rate on most games.
Not for the Heaviest Users
In the case of POCO F3 — great power comes with above-average battery life. While the 4520mAh battery seems to be plenty for a thin and light smartphone like the F3, it’s actually not enough for the heaviest users out there. Aside from the powerful Snapdragon 870, the F3 is also powering an already power-hungry 120Hz display, even though the screen downclocks to 60Hz in certain scenarios.
Certainly, the 33W fast charging in the box could mitigate your battery life woes, but if you’re the type of person who needs a solid one-day battery life from morning till evening or someone who plays games for hours, POCO F3 may not be for you.
POCO F3 specs, price, availability in the Philippines
- Display: 6.67″ 120Hz AMOLED HDR10+ 1300nits peak, MEMC, DCI-P3, 360Hz touch rate
- Design: Gorilla Glass 5 (front and back), aluminum frame
- Dimension and Weight: 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8 mm, 196g
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 585)
- GPU: Adreno 650
- RAM: 6GB/8GB
- Storage: 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 non-expandable
- Main Camera: 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide)
5 MP, 50mm (macro), 1/5.0″, 1.12µm| video up to [email protected] EIS
- Selfie Camera: 20 MP | video up to [email protected]
- Connectivity & Ports: 5G, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, USB-C, NFC, Infrared port
- Security: face unlock, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Battery: 4520mAh(33W – 100% in 52 minutes)
- Audio: loudspeaker, 24-bit, aptX HD
- OS: Android 11, MIUI 12
- Colors: Black, White, Aurora
- Price: P17,990 and P20,990 – early bird price of Php15,990 and P18,990
- Release Date: February 2021 (China), March 2021 (Philippines)