Poco C3 is another smartphone in Poco’s list of entry-level smartphones. It won’t attract mid-range takers though due to its entry-level specs but with the price starting at Rs 7,999/-, the phone does have some chops up its sleeves. Be it a triple rear camera to a large display and a gaming-focused chipset, Poco C3 shares its specifications with quite a lot of phones out there be it Realme C12 and Redmi 9A among others.
Poco C3 specs sheet aside, it is crucial to know how the phone performs in real life. Thus, I have penned a hands-on review that would help you gauge the performance, pros, and cons exhibited by Poco C3.
When it comes to pricing, Poco C3 arrives at Rs 7,999/- for its entry-level 3GB+32GB trim while the higher 4GB+64GB variant is up for sale at Rs 8,999/-. You can check out Flipkart among other avenues to purchase it. Flipkart is offering up to Rs 8,450/- off on eligible phones under its exchange program among other discounts.
Before we talk in detail about the Poco C3 let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 16.59 cm (6.53 inch) HD+ Display
- Processor: Mediatek Helio G35
- Storage: 3GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB
- Software: MIUI 12 based on Android 10
- Rear cameras: 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
- Front camera: 5MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 194g
- Dimensions: 164.9 x 77.1 x 9 mm
Xiaomi Poco C3 picks up the same design as that of Redmi 9A with the majority of similarities between the two. The phone has 194 grams of curb weight and a thickness of 9mm making the phone pretty heavy to handle at first. However, once you get used to it, the weight seems manageable.
The phone has a plastic unibody with a plastic frame that curves between the front and back panels. The front has a giant display with a waterdrop-shaped notch with decent-sized bezels around the edges. The phone has a Panda Glass on top.
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The plastic back panel is plastic that is practically bifurcated in two sections. The topmost section which counts for 1/3rd of the panel is plain while the other two sections are textured that escalates grip which is good for handling such a humongous smartphone. You get a square camera bump with a triple camera setup and a LED flash that sits on the top-left corner albeit it looks tiny against the height of the back panel.
We have a P2i coating on the device which protects the phone from splashes although I wouldn’t dare remove the phone out in rain or letting it dip in water for any reason as the protection is restricted. You get three colour options to try with Poco C3.
There’s a micro USB port, a bottom-firing loudspeaker, and a primary mic at the bottom. You get a power button and a volume rocker on the right and a triple card slot on the left. Finally, you get a secondary mic and a headphone jack on top. The peripherals and overall design appear similar to Redmi 9A.
Poco C3 packs a 6.43-inch IPS LCD HD+ panel with a water drop-shaped notch with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 270 PPI density. The display has a Panda Glass on top.
Aesthetically, the display mounted on Poco C3 is similar to Redmi 9A in many ways. The bezels are thick on all four sides while the chin is sufficiently large but it is what I assume to get with an entry-level budget smartphone. The display is okayish for the LCD technology, however, colours aren’t that vibrant. Plus, the brightness is optimum indoors but as soon as you go outside, you will find it difficult to use the phone in broad daylight. However, it is something new on smartphones as even the OnePlus 6 (flagship smartphone in 2018) offers a pretty faded viewing experience when you are under harsh sunlight.
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Anyways, the display is capped at HD+ i.e. 720×1600 pixels so it will not have the best of picture clarity and resolution out there. Even if you download a movie in FHD+ resolution, you will end up watching it at HD+ resolution anyways.
In any case, the display is okay for the price you are paying with little to no surprising element to it.
Poco C3 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 chipset fabricated using a 12nm node. The chipset has a dual-cluster arrangement clocked at a max 2.3GHz frequency. It is flanked with a PowerVR GE8320 graphics processing. You get 32GB/64GB of internal storage and 3GB/4GB RAM.
With Helio G35 SoC under the hood, Poco C3 is not a beast in any way. You will have to tame your expectations when it comes to performance as the phone is overall sluggish in every aspect right from UI animations to launching and switching between apps to absolutely anything that you can think about.
MIUI 12 is not lightweight and thus, this pushes down the performance even further. I was able to play a hoard of games from Alto’s Odyssey to CarX Drift Racing 2 to even COD Mobile although the latter is with widely reduced graphics and sluggish in many ways. Overall, the phone irrespective of the RAM variant you pick up and turns out all the phones powered by G35 SoC have almost the same performance paradigm.
Poco C3 runs on Android 11-powered MIUI 12 out-of-the-box but with a Poco launcher on top. Apparently, it is free from ads and promotional content that MIUI 12 is heavily inclined towards or at least that’s what Poco has to say about it. The MIUI 12 brings some clogging apps like GetApps and other pre-installed apps that you can uninstall although there are a few that can’t be uninstalled but only disabled.
There’s a single front and a triple rear camera setup. Poco C3 packs in a 5MP selfie shooter with f/2.2. There’s a 13MP primary snapper with an aperture of f/2.2, 1.0micron pixel size, PDAF, and a 28mm focal length; a 2MP depth and a 2MP macro sensor with f/2.4 aperture.
If you ask me about a one-liner review on the camera rig on Poco C3, I would say it is fairly average and as per the price segment. To summarize, the daylight shots are amazing on Poco C3. When I say amazing, I am not saying the shots are excellent but they are fairly decent as per the price tag. You get a decent amount of details, sharpness, and dynamic range on shots. However, autofocus takes some time so you will have to manually set the focus at times.
The depth sensor works with the primary snapper to capture portrait shots. To detect edges with the depth sensor, you need abundant light that would help the sensor work harmoniously to isolate the subject and apply a blur effect on the background. The ability to detect edges in portrait mode goes off the rails when the external light dims. But you can always use the flash to take good-quality shots at night.
The lack of dedicated night mode had me wonder why but that’s the case with Poco C3 so you will have to deal with it.
Finally, the macro sensor mounted on the phone is average at 2MP. It does capture objects from a close distance but you need to be very close to the object and perfectly still to take a shot. Even then, the shutter lag will introduce a lot of focusing issues so be still. Again, low light compounds the issue in capturing shots using the macro sensor as well.
The selfie shooter mounted on Poco C3 churns out considerable images at daytime and when there’s abundant light around. Lowlight photography isn’t a point here as the sensor is too small in size to capture enough light for decent shots but that depends on the intensity of light available.
Poco C3 is rigged with a 5,000 mAh battery capable of providing backup of more than a day with ease. The battery can do everything from day-to-day tasks to keeping the battery backup at optimum and, with moderate usage, you can extend the battery backup to more than a day. Its usual 10W charging tech is ordinary as it takes almost 2:30 hours to charge to its full extent. Again, this is almost the same battery rig and charging speed as evident by its price tag.
There’s just one bottom-firing loudspeaker on-board Poco C3. It is loud although it lacks depth and bass. It should be able to provide you with enough loudness for a wholesome multimedia experience. There isn’t anything out-of-the-box here but you get a decent setup.
This entry-level smartphone has all the connectivity features as per its price segment. This includes GPS (BDS, Glonass, and A-GPS), Bluetooth v5.0 with LE And A2DP codecs support, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n along with a micro USB 2.0 port and there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on-board as well.
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Poco C3 supports dual-4G VoLTE. I have used a lot of entry-level devices and with Poco C3, the story is the same. I didn’t have any problem connecting to calls and text and browse although the processor adds a lot of delays when going to the dialer app or practically any app or settings on the device. Connectivity isn’t an issue with Poco C3.
There’s no fingerprint scanner here as evident by the price segment Poco C3 falls in. But you do get a 2D facial recognition system which is speedy although it takes some time to unlock the phone depending upon the lighting conditions. Also, PIN and Pattern unlocking mechanisms are far secure options to check out.
- Large screen
- Massive battery capacity
- Dedicated slot for microSD cards
- No USB Type-C port
- Mediocre camera performance
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the user’s preference. Xiaomi isn’t targeting users with mid-range or flagship phones but rather, Poco C3 is targeted towards those with a tight budget or to someone who is either new to smartphones or upgrading from a feature phone. Paying Rs 7,999/- for a phone which shares most of its specifications with Redmi 9A isn’t fair since the latter is available for almost Rs 1,000/- less. However, if you still want to try it without getting annoyed by ads, Poco C3 is the right choice. It is competing against the likes of Redmi 9, Realme Narzo 20A, and Realme C12 to name a few options.