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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Poco F3 GT Review: Is this the best gaming phone under Rs 30,000?

Poco F3 GT review: Here's what we think about the Poco F3 GT including whether you should buy this gaming phone.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 26,999 onwards
Written by Chetan Nayak | Mumbai |
August 4, 2021 3:01:19 pm
Poco F3 GT, Poco F3 GT ReviewThe Poco F3 GT is a mid-range gaming phone with retractable triggers built in. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

Poco has of late been creating new smartphones with razor-sharp focus. The Poco X2, X3 M3 and even the X3 Pro were devices that were aware of their segment and how to beat competition. The brand’s newest addition is the Poco F3 GT, and if you’re familiar with Redmi’s recent operations in China, the new Poco device feels familiar.

Clearly targeted at gamers looking to buy a good gaming phone that doesn’t cost a fortune, the F3 GT brings features like an edgy design, RGB lighting and retractable triggers to the modern mid-range mix of specifications like fast charging, a powerful 5G chipset and multiple camera sensors. But does that make the Poco F3 GT a better buy, especially with competitors like the OnePlus Nord 2 in the same segment. Here’s what we think.

Poco F3 GT Specs: 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch sampling | 8GB RAM + 256GB UFS 3.1 storage | 64MP triple camera setup | 5,065mAh battery with 67W fast charging | 205 grams | 

Poco F3 GT: What’s good?

Design: The Poco F3 GT features one of the best designs in this segment. The phone comes with good aesthetic appeal and some versatility, given that despite the gamer-like design the phone gives off, it also fits in the ‘sleek and premium’ phone bucket. Between the louder silver variant and the stealthy matte black version we have for review, we actually feel the difference the colours make to the overall feel of the phone.

Poco F3 GT, Poco F3 GT Review The Poco F3 GT features a large 6.67-inch screen with squared off corners. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

The yellow L-shaped cable also deserves a mention here, looking great while being more practical for a phone aimed at gamers, though we are not sure how good the yellow would look with the silver variant of the phone. The phone also comes with decent build quality. While the back and screen are built solid and an aluminium frame reinforces the whole chassis, we did find the volume rocker buttons a little too wobbly than usual.

Display: Another strong point of the Poco F3 GT is its display. It ticks all the boxes for a gaming device. It is an AMOLED panel that delivers punchy colours, there is 120Hz refresh rate, although it doesn’t dynamically switch between different rates, and there is 480Hz touch sampling to ensure quick responses to every tap, press and swipe. These culminate to make a great display experience whether you are gaming or consuming media.

Poco F3 GT, Poco F3 GT Review The Poco F3 GT features a display that is bright enough to be visible under direct sunlight. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

Software: The Poco F3 GT features MIUI 12.5 and while this phone is powerful enough to handle MIUI without any problems, there is still a little bit of bloatware that MIUI usually brings with itself. The plus side is that users will get a lot of MIUI’s useful features, including the Gaming Mode which lets you control everything from how notifications and other aspects affect you during gaming. The Gaming Mode is also where you can set the gaming triggers to any remappable controls of your choice.

Performance: The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is a capable chipset in day-to-day usage scenarios and it can handle heavy gaming as well. This helps the Poco F3 GT fly through daily tasks and play every Android game out there. However, while you can enjoy intensive titles like Battlegrounds Mobile India, Call of Duty or Genshin Impact, you would be limited to mid-tier settings.

For instance, Battlegrounds Mobile India can be played at extreme frame-rate only if you set the graphics to Smooth, the lowest setting. Even switching to Balanced brings the max frame-rate to Ultra down from Extreme. So, while the performance is great, don’t expect the Dimensity 1200 to compare to recent Snapdragon 800-series phones.

Poco F3 GT, Poco F3 GT Review The gaming triggers of the phone are really useful in shooting games like Battlegrounds Mobile India. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

Note that the phone also gets warm, and eventually hot pretty quickly around the camera module, when gaming. This, however, is to be expected in most phones in this segment with similar performance. The Poco F3 GT is no different in thermals here.

The gaming triggers help a lot with games. Unlike conventional, third-party triggers they can be mapped to any control across the screen and this allows them to be used even with games that do not allow custom key remapping. With shooting games like Battlegrounds Mobile India, the triggers let you game with four, instead of two fingers, enhancing the combat aspect significantly.

Other factors like the fingerprint sensor, and dual stereo speakers work great. While an optical fingerprint sensor is missing here, the side-mounted implementation is super quick and accurate. The speakers are loud enough and even carry a little more bass than most speakers in the output.

Battery Life, Charging speed: The 5,065mAh battery on the Poco F3 GT also gives over a day’s life in general usage, and with gaming, you can still get average battery life. Charging speed is great and the phone can fully charge in about an hour. With the 67W brick, you can even quickly charge the phone between shorter gaming stretches and keep gaming for longer.

Poco F3 GT: What’s not good?

Camera: The Poco F3 GT doesn’t come with a bad camera, but the overall performance isn’t satisfactory enough, making the camera performance one of the low points of this otherwise good phone. The 64MP main sensor here can take good shots with good details. The colours also look good with pictures and for scenarios where you want extra vivid punchy colours, there is the Pro Colour mode.

Poco F3 GT, Poco F3 GT Review There is a fresh camera module design on the back of the phone, complete with a redesigned flash module. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Chetan Nayak)

Pictures with the ultrawide sensor are also of the average, acceptable, kind. The dedicated macro camera is, as with most macro cameras, bad and you are better off using the main camera and zooming in. Coming to low light and night mode scenarios is where the Poco F3 GT’s camera setup really disappoints. Even with a slight drop in light, noise levels creep up quickly. The front camera offers pictures with good colours and decent detail, but also suffers in low light.

Check out our sample shots by clicking on the link below.

Poco F3 GT

Verdict: Should you buy the Poco F3 GT?

The Poco F3 GT is a great device for gamers looking to buy a good overall phone around the Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 bracket. The phone performs well in day-to-day scenarios and is above average in gaming, even though not quite comparable to flagship levels. There is no NFC, but you do get an IR blaster instead.

The camera is not great, but that’s not really why you would buy this phone. The design and the retractable triggers set the phone apart from every other device in the segment, making the phone a solid competitor against similar performing devices like the OnePlus Nord 2 and Realme X7 Max.

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