‘Where is Poco F2? When is Poco F2 launching?’ were questions that inundated social media ever since Jai Mani unveiled the Poco F1 in 2018. But as the company later revealed, there will only be another addition to the F-series, when the market is ready for disruption. Seems like the time is now here, and Poco India has skipped the Poco F2 altogether and launched the Poco F3 GT. It’s a rebranded version of the Redmi K40 Gaming Edition, but that doesn’t take away any bit of the thrill the smartphone promises. It’s a gaming phone under Rs 30,000, featuring all the bells and whistles including gaming triggers and RGB lights. We got our hands on the newly launched smartphone, and here are our initial thoughts on the device –
Poco F3 GT Price in India
Before moving on to the impressions, let’s talk about the pricing of the Poco F3 GT in India. The Poco F3 GT is weirdly priced, and it looks like Poco India adopted this strategy just to look better against the OnePlus Nord 2 for the initial few rounds of sales.
The Poco F3 GT comes in three storage options. The base 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 26,999. while the 8GB + 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs 28,999. Poco has also launched an 8GB + 256GB variant, which is priced at Rs 30,999. The device is available for purchase in two colours – Predator Black and Gunmetal Silver.
However, where most OEMs offer discounts in the later half of the product life cycle, Poco is offering the F3 GT at a discount right at launch. Till August 2, the 6GB + 128GB variant, 8GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB will be available for Rs 25,999, Rs 27,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively. That’s a Rs 1,000 discount on all three variants.
Now let’s get into what this smartphone have to offer. We got the Gunmetal Silver variant for review. (Editor’s note: It looks stunning).
Build Quality, Design and Display
The rear panel design of the POCO F3 GT has quite different from other smartphones and it looks kinda cool. The panel sports a matte finish with a triple camera setup and a thunder-shaped LED flash. Comparing it to the other gaming phones, it just weighs only 205 grams and is just 8.3mm thick. The frame is metal which provides a premium in-hand feel but the phone is big enough for games to look immersive. A minor difference that I noticed was tht the speaker on top doesn’t have the JBL branding, that’s there on the Redmi K40 Gaming Edition.
The smartphone has a dual SIM slot, Type C charging port, dual speakers, IR blaster and a secondary mic. Despite being a gaming phone, it doesn’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the sides, you get a third mic, a power button with integrated fingerprint sensor and two gaming triggers that rises up with a flick of a button, and stays flushed to the body when not required. However, there is no option to customise these triggers to launch apps or execute shortcuts.
The POCO F3 GT features a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a hole-punch cutout. Poco claims it’s a 10-bit panel with 120Hz refresh rate. The display also comes with HDR10+ certification. It has Widevine L1 certification, so you stream HD content on streaming apps. There’s HDR support on Netflix already.
The display quality on POCO F3 GT is quite impressive, the colours are punchy, viewing angles are good and the brightness levels are good enough for outdoor use. You also get stereo speakers and three mics for better noise isolation. And while there’s no headphone jack, you get the type C to 3.5mm connector inside the box.
Performance and Software
Under the hood, the phone draws power from a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. It is paired with up to 8GB LPDDR4X of RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 of internal storage, and boots up to MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11, which lets you uninstall most of the bloatware directly. The phones feels smooth as it comes with 120Hz refresh rate. There are also a bunch of gaming features including a physical GT button to enable Game Turbo mode. We were able to run BGMI on HDR+Ultra configuration and on Smooth you get the Extreme mode i.e. 60FPS mode.
One of the key gaming features of the device are the physical ‘Maglev’ triggers that enhances the gaming experience, much like Asus ROG Phone 5 (review). You just need to configure the controls of these triggers by mapping them to the on-screen controls. Remember that you can only use these triggers for just one thing, gaming, and that should be fine.
The F3 GT has its own Game Turbo feature from where you can tune your games for the best performance. The settings option let’s you configure the RGB LED light on the camera module and make it flash during gaming. But that’s really the extent of the tuning you can do on this one.
Battery and Connectivity
The POCO F3 GT has support for 5G and dual-band Wifi. There are two 5G bands available in the device: N77 and N78. It packs a 5,065 mAh battery with 67W fast charging support that Poco claims can juice up the phone in just 40-45 minutes. It has an unique L-shaped charging cable that won’t come in the way of gaming. (Editor’s note: We’d have loved to see a second USB-C charging port the side though, like the ROG Phone 5).
POCO F3 GT has a 64MP primary camera sensor, coupled with an 8MP ultrawide lens and a 2MP macro sensor. On the front is a 16MP camera inside the punch-hole display cutout. You can shot videos up to 4K 30fps on the rear camera and 1080p 30fps on the front. We have uploaded some camera samples in the our unboxing video that you can watch here.
Should POCO F3 GT be Your Next Gaming Phone?
While our full detailed review is coming soon, we can tell you that POCO F3 GT ticks off a lot many features in the sub-30K segment, especially for mobile gamers. The triggers give you a handheld-console like experience while gaming, and it’s heartening to see the technology trickle down to the mid-range segment. You also get a gorgeous display with super-fast charging, making this a wholesome package.
The 67W fast charging sets up another good opportunity for us to test the battery life in of popular phones in this segment. With the iQOO 7 and OnePlus Nord 2 also offering 65W fast charging out of the box, it’d be interesting to see which is the fastest. Stay tuned for our Epic Battery Test dropping soon.
What do you think about the POCO F3 GT? Let us know in the comment section.
With inputs from Rushil Agarwal
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