Will the new Poco F3 confirm the title of a gaming smartphone? Perhaps, because a high-performance Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor with an Adreno 650 video subsystem is installed inside. The Poco F3 model is a balanced smartphone that has an excellent price / quality / functionality ratio. In fact, the presented model is the best choice available on the market in the budget up to $300. Samsung’s bright Super AMOLED FHD+ display (type E4) with fast touch handling (360Hz) and high refresh rate (120Hz) is a godsend for gaming. In fact, it turns out that the smartphone is more tailored for gamers than other similar Xiaomi / POCO models.



As a matter of fact, the idea of ​​preparing a review with testing a smartphone as a gaming model was born in the comments to a large review with a camera test of the Poco F3 smartphone. They also issued specific requests for testing. I tried to do all this, additionally added an assessment of the heating using a thermal imager, as well as a screenshot under a microscope, a small video recording of the screen during games. You will be able to evaluate all the results yourself.

Model POCO F3 5G
vendor code M2012K11AG
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core processor, Adreno 650 video subsystem
Display 6.67 inches, Super AMOLED FHD+ screen (E4), resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels, Gorilla Glass 5
Screen refresh rate 60 or 120 Hz
Touchpad sampling rate 360 Hz
Memory 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM or 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM
rear camera Quad camera: 48MP main sensor, 8MP wide-angle camera, 5MP macro + 2MP depth sensor.
Front-camera 20 MP
Battery 4520 mAh, 33 W fast charger in the box
Interfaces USB-C, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, OTG, dual SIM, fingerprint scanner in the button, NFC, infrared port
Network frequencies 5G: N1, N3, N5, N7, N8, N20, N28, N38, N41, N77, N78
4G: LTE FDD B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28
4G: LTE TDD B38/40/41(2535-2655MHz)
3G: WCDMA B1/2/4/5/8
2G: GSM 850 900 1800 1900 MHz
Peculiarities stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio certified
OS MIUI 12 (for POCO), Android 11, Global Version, OTA Update Support
Dimensions 76.4 x 163.7 x 7.8mm
Weight 196 g

The POCO F3 5G smartphone logically continues the “flagship” POCO line. Before that, previous models were extremely popular: POCO F1 and F2. The latest model includes all the new technology and design elements from Xiaomi, while remaining affordable.

Detailed review, test of the rear and front cameras, systems, etc. can be found in a separate article. Let me remind you that the smartphone has the MIUI 12 for POCO system, based on Android 11.

For starters — the same screenshot of a smartphone under a microscope. The smartphone uses one of the best displays on the market — Samsung’s E4 AMOLED. The smartphone supports screen refresh rate switching from 60 Hz to 120 Hz, which provides smooth switching and image change, as well as a comfortable user experience.

Details of the comparison with other smartphones can be found in the previous article. I will dwell on specific differences from the gaming models Black Shark 3, Nubia Red Magic 5G, Asus ROG. Based on the results of a cursory comparison of a number of modern gaming smartphones, I can say that the “stuffing” of POCO F3 is not far behind, and in some places even better than the listed models.

Name POCO F3 Black Shark 3 Nubia Red Magic 5G Asus ROG Phone 3
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
video chip Adreno 650 Adreno 650 Adreno 650 Adreno 650
RAM 6/8 8/12 8/12 12
Cooling type Liquid Cool Technology 1.0 Plus Sandwich Liquid Cooling System Active cooling (Cooler) Cooler AeroActive 3
Screen refresh rate 120 Hz 90 Hz 144 Hz 144 Hz
Touch frequency 360 Hz 270 Hz 240 Hz 300 Hz
Screen diagonal 6.67″ 6.67″ 6.65″ 6.59″
Battery capacity 4520 mAh 4720 mAh 4500 mAh 6000 mAh
Price $299/349 $450/550 about $700 about $950

Naturally, the listed models are clearly distinguished by their «game» design — aggressive, with additional (imposed?) accessories and a number of not very necessary functions. I will highlight the main thing: POCO F3 is equipped with a really productive processor, there is a liquid cooling system. Screen refresh rates and touchpad sampling rates are high. For example, only the listed ZTE and ASUS have 144Hz. But the touch processing is higher for POCO F3. With similar parameters, the POCO F3 model is almost two to three times cheaper than its counterparts. So draw your own conclusions.

As for the gaming process itself, the POCO F3 smartphone does an excellent job with various gaming peripherals: with joysticks and gamepads (wired and Bluetooth), you can connect an active USB hub for peripherals.

If you are fond of games, then it makes sense to purchase a convenient joystick for your favorite games. In the photo, one of the most convenient is iPEGA PG-9083S. In fact, some of the games were tested with him.

I’ll start with the dynamic WoT Blitz. Settings at maximum, HD textures loaded, visual effects enabled (footprints, fog, etc.). It is very pleasant to play, especially after my personal smartphone. The interface responds to clicks quickly, smoothly, the number of misses is reduced!)))

Several races brought several victories and many positive emotions. On other smartphones, you have to reduce graphics / effects, as nuances were noticeable when aiming. But POCO F3 works to the maximum. Fine!

Heavy modern games on the POCO F3 smartphone are played remarkably, the Adreno 650 video processor draws graphics at maximum settings. Screenshot of Genshin Impact.

This is one of the heaviest games in terms of graphics. It is very demanding both in terms of the amount of RAM and the placement in ROM. What can I say. There are no comments. Fine.

For Genshin Impact, the display settings are set to the maximum, with maximum detail and effects, and the 30 and 60 Hz modes were also tested (60 Hz — in the video).

Another popular game is Asphalt 9. High quality settings, played with a joystick.

There are no complaints about this game. By the way, even without a joystick, just with a touchscreen, the game is controlled very comfortably.

Another variation of racing arcade games is Asphalt Extreme.

In general, this game is much easier, and the graphics in Asphalt Extreme are simpler. Let’s move on.

Call of duty mobile game. We put everything to the maximum.

Not all smartphone models «digest» the maximum graphics settings, high detail and additional effects. The POCO F3 Smartphone handles it all.

Black desert mobile game.

There are no comments, at maximum settings it goes without lags. Management is comfortable.

Cover Fire game. Graphics settings are high, frequency is 60 FPS.

Interesting enough, you can not reduce the requirements for graphics.

Next up is Injustice 2.

Quite well controlled, especially with spectacular animation of throws and special attacks.

Shadowgun legends game.

Also set to 60 Hz. Effects animation is smooth (costs 120Hz per screen refresh).

Another popular game is Mobile legends.

Very good, very good.

Raid game.

We set ultra-settings for graphics and 60 FPS.

Lineage 2 game.

It copes well in dynamic scenes, taking into account the high-quality graphics settings set.

World of Kings game. I haven’t been out like this in a long time.

Everything to the maximum, including shadows and effects!

Warfare game.

Raziel game.

The maximum (High/Super High) graphics and effects settings are also set. Very interesting.

While the smartphone is resting from the gaming «race», I’ll add a few words about heating. In a number of demanding games, especially when playing for a long time (half an hour or more), heating becomes noticeable in the camera area (the back of the smartphone, closer to the top panel). The processor dissipates a decent amount of heat, LiquidCool Technology 1.0 Plus (liquid cooling) removes excess energy without overheating the processor. I am adding a picture of the heated area taken with a Flir thermal imager. The temperature in the bright region is about 45-50 °C.

The performance test of the POCO F3 smartphone has already been in a separate article, I will not dwell in detail, but I will remind you of the amazing result that this model shows in synthetic tests and benchmarks. Antutu’s score 718988 units.

Comparison table of smartphone performance results from my reviews:

results Antutu 3DMark SSE Geekbench PCMark
Smartphone POCO F3 5G 718988 1035/3443 9715
Smartphone Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 223211 1477 535/1510 7054
Smartphone Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T 5G 282691 3497 599/1781 8741
Smartphone POCO X3 NFC 278665 2700 563/1769 8084
OnePlus Nord N10 5G Smartphone 316006 2170 608/1883 8390
Smartphone POCO M3 180575 1152 315/1383 5910
Smartphone Xiaomi Mi 9T 210289 2113 540/1566 7541
Smartphone Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S 280529 2511 571/1780 7854
Smartphone Oppo Reno 4 Lite 214512 1297 401/1622 8058
Smartphone Oppo Reno 4 Pro 325000 3266 604/1797 7795
Smartphone Infinix ZERO 8 290582 2441 531/1692 9037
Smartphone Xiaomi Mi Note 10 264493 2403 543/1711 7401

The battery is moderately powerful. Of course, we could install more, but the declared value is enough for 1.5-2 days of battery life. The specific duration is highly dependent on the load and type of use of the smartphone.

But I did the throttling test again. In the CPU Throttling Test application, there were specific settings that were asked about in the comments to the review, namely: 30 minutes of the test. The results are almost stable, the overall performance is at the level of 266 GIPS, the performance loss is within 7%. This is an excellent result. Some heating is present, I have already mentioned this above.

You can visually compare the possibility of this model in the video. I will say right away that the POCO F3 smartphone turned out to be one of the most productive, judging by the models that I had for testing.

Is it really a gaming smartphone? As can be seen from the comparison table with other models, the POCO F3 smartphone is equipped with everything the same as the top gaming models, but, as they say, if there is no difference, then why pay more. So we can safely say that POCO F3 is the best smartphone in the “under $300” category, with an excellent price-performance ratio. Otherwise, the smartphone is equipped with a rather average by «flagship» standards, but a very high-quality camera with an honest 48 megapixels (sensors from Sony IMX).
I remind you that on April 6 at 10:00 Moscow time, the second stage of sales of the Poco F3 smartphone begins. The model is available for order and is in the warehouses of sellers on Aliexpress. Phase one sold over 30,000 units in the first hour, so don’t miss out. Links for ordering POCO F3 5G: official store on Aliexpress. Attention, there is a promo code for a $50 discount: POCO50.
The price with the indicated coupon for the 6/128 GB model will be $299, for the 8/256 GB model it will be $349. In my opinion, it is the 8/256 GB model that is more interesting as a gaming smartphone.

You can find other reviews and tests of smartphones, tools and gadgets in my profile and on the links below.
Thank you for your attention!


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