Should you consider buying the Poco F3 GT over the OnePlus Nord 2 or any other phone under Rs 30,000 in India? Here is our Poco F3 GT review to help you decide.

July 26, 2021 / 11:11 AM IST

Poco F3 GT is the answer to the “When is Poco F2 launching?” question asked by many Poco F1 users and other tech enthusiasts. The 2021 Poco flagship in India has evolved into offering an all-around package while taking forward the pro-performance ethos of the Poco F1. It packs a Dimensity 1200 SoC, a 6.67-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, and a 5,065 mAh battery with 67W fast charging support. The smartphone under Rs 30,000 also offers a capable 64MP triple-camera setup and a premium build quality. While the likes of OnePlus Nord 2, Realme X7 Max offer value-for-money hardware, the Poco F3 GT one-ups them with gaming-specific hardware. So, should you consider buying the Poco F3 GT over the OnePlus Nord 2 or any other phone under Rs 30,000 in India? Here is our Poco F3 GT review to help you decide.

Poco F3 GT is the answer to the “When is Poco F2 launching?” question asked by many Poco F1 users and other tech enthusiasts. The 2021 Poco flagship in India has evolved into offering an all-around package while taking forward the pro-performance ethos of the Poco F1. It packs a Dimensity 1200 SoC, a 6.67-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, and a 5,065 mAh battery with 67W fast charging support. The smartphone under Rs 30,000 also offers a capable 64MP triple-camera setup and a premium build quality. While the likes of OnePlus Nord 2, Realme X7 Max offer value-for-money hardware, the Poco F3 GT one-ups them with gaming-specific hardware. So, should you consider buying the Poco F3 GT over the OnePlus Nord 2 or any other phone under Rs 30,000 in India? Here is our Poco F3 GT review to help you decide.

 Performance : Poco smartphones are known to offer a power-packed performance. The same is the case with the Poco F3 GT. It packs a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC under the hood that we have seen on the Realme X7 Max and OnePlus Nord 2. The phone also packs up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The MediaTek flagship 5G processor does not break a sweat while running resource-hungry games and apps.

Performance: Poco smartphones are known to offer a power-packed performance. The same is the case with the Poco F3 GT. It packs a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC under the hood that we have seen on the Realme X7 Max and OnePlus Nord 2. The phone also packs up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The MediaTek flagship 5G processor does not break a sweat while running resource-hungry games and apps.

 Performance : We played titles like Call of Duty and Battlegrounds Mobile India. Both games offered a smooth experience that lasted for hours. Battlegrounds Mobile India is limited to Ultra frame rate with Balanced, HD and HDR graphics. The device also supports Smooth + Extreme graphics. That being said, we would love to see Poco F3 GT get 90FPS support in Battlegrounds Mobile India, just like the Realme X7 Max.

Performance: We played titles like Call of Duty and Battlegrounds Mobile India. Both games offered a smooth experience that lasted for hours. Battlegrounds Mobile India is limited to Ultra frame rate with Balanced, HD and HDR graphics. The device also supports Smooth + Extreme graphics. That being said, we would love to see Poco F3 GT get 90FPS support in Battlegrounds Mobile India, just like the Realme X7 Max.

 Performance : What separates the Poco F3 GT from the competition are the ‘Maglev buttons’. The shoulder buttons can be mapped to the on-screen controls as per your preference. Users also get the option to make custom adjustments in the Game Space settings for an enhanced gameplay experience. Once you get the hang of it, you are likely to use these triggers all the time while playing games. For those concerned, the device gets slightly warm around the camera module after a few minutes of gameplay but should not be a matter of concern. The thermal cooling system inside ensures that the phone’s performance is not affected when it gets warm.

Performance: What separates the Poco F3 GT from the competition are the ‘Maglev buttons’. The shoulder buttons can be mapped to the on-screen controls as per your preference. Users also get the option to make custom adjustments in the Game Space settings for an enhanced gameplay experience. Once you get the hang of it, you are likely to use these triggers all the time while playing games. For those concerned, the device gets slightly warm around the camera module after a few minutes of gameplay but should not be a matter of concern. The thermal cooling system inside ensures that the phone’s performance is not affected when it gets warm.

Battery life and charging: The 5,065 mAh cell can survive and offer an all-day battery life, even when you play games for like a couple of hours. Expect a screen-on time of up to 6 hours on a single charge with 120Hz enabled. The device comes with a 67W fast charger in the box to refuel the battery from zero to hundred in about 50 minutes. It also comes with support for USB PD charging. We used Stuffcool’s 65W GaN charger for the same, and the device took about an hour and 15 mins to charge completely. Not bad, if you ask us. Oh, by the way. The camera module has a couple of RGB LEDs that light up when you put the phone on charge to give a gamer phone look.

Battery life and charging: The 5,065 mAh cell can survive and offer an all-day battery life, even when you play games for like a couple of hours. Expect a screen-on time of up to 6 hours on a single charge with 120Hz enabled. The device comes with a 67W fast charger in the box to refuel the battery from zero to hundred in about 45 minutes. It also comes with support for USB PD charging. We used Stuffcool’s 65W GaN charger for the same, and the device took about an hour and 15 mins to charge completely. Not bad, if you ask us. Oh, by the way. The camera module has a couple of RGB LEDs that light up when you put the phone on charge to give a gamer phone look.

 Audio and Connectivity : The F3 GT features three microphones and three Wi-Fi antennas at different locations to ensure that the audio and network are not hindered while playing games or watching content. We would have loved to see the Poco F3 GT feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, like most other premium phones in 2021, the F3 GT ditches the audio jack. To make up, the device comes with a stereo speaker setup, which is loud and crisp at full volume too. Alternatively, users can rely on the USB Type-C port on the bottom edge and use the in-box dongle for connecting a 3.5mm earphone. It would be been a bonus had Poco offered an additional USB Type-C port on the right edge in between the two Maglev trigger buttons. Maybe we are expecting too much from a phone under Rs 30,000. That being said, Poco’s always surprised consumers with the kind of hardware it offers for the price.

Audio and Connectivity: The F3 GT features three microphones and three Wi-Fi antennas at different locations to ensure that the audio and network are not hindered while playing games or watching content. We would have loved to see the Poco F3 GT feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, like most other premium phones in 2021, the F3 GT ditches the audio jack. To make up, the device comes with a stereo speaker setup, which is loud and crisp at full volume too. Alternatively, users can rely on the USB Type-C port on the bottom edge and use the in-box dongle for connecting a 3.5mm earphone. It would be been a bonus had Poco offered an additional USB Type-C port on the right edge in between the two Maglev trigger buttons. Maybe we are expecting too much from a phone under Rs 30,000. That being said, Poco’s always surprised consumers with the kind of hardware it offers for the price.

  Display : This might come as a surprise but the Poco F3 GT is the company’s first smartphone with an AMOLED 120Hz display. The company’s India top chief, Anuj Sharma, told us that Poco did not want to compromise on the display quality and they chose what’s best suitable for the price segment - be it AMOLED or an LCD 120Hz. The Full HD+ display offers punchy colours and is bright for outdoor conditions as well. It is also HDR10+ certified and comes with DC Dimming support to help reduce eye strain in lowlight conditions.

Display: This might come as a surprise but the Poco F3 GT is the company’s first smartphone with an AMOLED 120Hz display. The company’s India top chief, Anuj Sharma, told us that Poco did not want to compromise on the display quality and they chose what’s best suitable for the price segment – be it AMOLED or an LCD 120Hz. The Full HD+ display offers punchy colours and is bright for outdoor conditions as well. It is also HDR10+ certified and comes with DC Dimming support to help reduce eye strain in lowlight conditions.

 Display : The Poco F3 GT’s 6.67-inch display comes with very thin bezels and a hole-punch cutout for an immersive viewing experience. Couple that with the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate setting and you are up for a smooth scrolling experience. We did not notice any lag or jitters while scrolling through social media.

Display: The Poco F3 GT’s 6.67-inch display comes with very thin bezels and a hole-punch cutout for an immersive viewing experience. Couple that with the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate setting and you are up for a smooth scrolling experience. We did not notice any lag or jitters while scrolling through social media.

Poco F3 GT

Software: Poco F3 GT runs Android 11-based MIUI 12.5 out of the box. The Xiaomi custom Android skin brings many customisation features to the Poco F3 GT. You get popular features like Super Wallpapers, Floating Windows, animation options for various settings, etc. MIUI 12.5 is supposed to offer a smooth user experience. Our Poco F3 GT review unit ran on the latest update. While the overall experience was quite good, we did notice a few bugs here and there.

 Software : For instance, there were times when apps running in the background would show up on the screen when you swipe up to the home screen from an existing app. The multitasking window also, at times, would freeze. Another weird bug was when the app drawer refused to open and showed a white screen when swiped up. We hope the next update fixes minor glitches. Regarding spammy notifications, the device would recommend you trying some features like App Lock. It also suggested me updating apps from Xiaomi’s native GetApps store. You can choose to disable such spam from the notification panel itself.

Software: For instance, there were times when apps running in the background would show up on the screen when you swipe up to the home screen from an existing app. The multitasking window also, at times, would freeze. Another weird bug was when the app drawer refused to open and showed a white screen when swiped up. We hope the next update fixes minor glitches. Regarding spammy notifications, the device would recommend you trying some features like App Lock. It also suggested me updating apps from Xiaomi’s native GetApps store. You can choose to disable such spam from the notification panel itself.

Design: Poco has not skimmed out on offering a premium experience on the F3 GT. The device features a glass sandwich design with an aluminium frame. We tried bending the device to check if the Maglev triggers become the weak points, causing the phone to break into two parts. Safe to say, the aerospace-grade materials used in the device are sturdy enough to withstand the bend test. We do not recommend our readers performing any such bend test on their devices.

Design: Poco has not skimmed out on offering a premium experience on the F3 GT. The device features a glass sandwich design with an aluminium frame. We tried bending the device to check if the Maglev triggers become the weak points, causing the phone to break into two parts. Safe to say, the aerospace-grade materials used in the device are sturdy enough to withstand the bend test. We do not recommend our readers performing any such bend test on their devices.

 Design : It has also made some subtle adjustments along the edges and frame to ensure that the device is comfortable to hold when held horizontally. Our Poco F3 GT review unit comes in a Predator Black colour option in a matte finish. Users can also opt for the Silver colour option that has a frosted finish. The device weighs 205 grams but doesn’t feel as heavy.

Design: It has also made some subtle adjustments along the edges and frame to ensure that the device is comfortable to hold when held horizontally. Our Poco F3 GT review unit comes in a Predator Black colour option in a matte finish. Users can also opt for the Silver colour option that has a frosted finish. The device weighs 205 grams but doesn’t feel as heavy.

 Camera : The Poco F3 GT camera module packs three sensors. There is a 64MP primary camera sensor, coupled with an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro sensor. The main camera clicks detailed images and gets the colours right in most cases. If you are someone who likes vibrant/ saturated colours, this one’s your go-to camera phone. The device bumps up the greens and blues. It, however, struggles to expose the shadows well enough. Night mode helps remove the noise in the shadows while increasing the overall exposure. Although quite satisfactory, do not expect great details in those lowlight shots.  Click here to see some of the sample images we shot during our Poco F3 GT review.

Camera: The Poco F3 GT camera module packs three sensors. There is a 64MP primary camera sensor, coupled with an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro sensor. The main camera clicks detailed images and gets the colours right in most cases. If you are someone who likes vibrant/ saturated colours, this one’s your go-to camera phone. The device bumps up the greens and blues. It, however, struggles to expose the shadows well enough. Night mode helps remove the noise in the shadows while increasing the overall exposure. Although quite satisfactory, do not expect great details in those lowlight shots. Click here to see some of the sample images we shot during our Poco F3 GT review.

  Camera : The 8MP ultrawide image manages to get those ‘good-looking’ shots. However, it struggles to get details, especially near the edges. There’s also a 2MP macro camera that does quite an average job. Just use the primary camera’s 64MP mode and crop the image to get better results. For selfies, there is a 16MP front camera. Disable the beauty mode and you can get close to real-life selfies. There is some sharpening though and you are likely to notice a light red cast on the skin.  Click here to see some of the sample images we shot during our Poco F3 GT review .

Camera: The 8MP ultrawide image manages to get those ‘good-looking’ shots. However, it struggles to get details, especially near the edges. There’s also a 2MP macro camera that does quite an average job. Just use the primary camera’s 64MP mode and crop the image to get better results. For selfies, there is a 16MP front camera. Disable the beauty mode and you can get close to real-life selfies. There is some sharpening though and you are likely to notice a light red cast on the skin. Click here to see some of the sample images we shot during our Poco F3 GT review.

 Verdict : Should you buy the Poco F3 GT if your budget is under Rs 30,000? We would certainly recommend the Poco F3 GT for the ones looking for a gaming phone that ticks the boxes of an all-rounder smartphone. The device’s performance unit ensures you get a powerful, smooth experience when gaming or otherwise. It is the only phone in the price segment to get dedicated gaming triggers. The AMOLED 120Hz display, a decent camera unit, and a massive battery pack add up to the package that makes it a great value for money buy. The F3 GT is not just a gaming phone though. The phone also offers a not-so-thick design that’s not “in your face” like many gaming phones out there. That being said, Poco needs to fix some bugs and offer a more refined experience on the F3 GT.

Verdict: Should you buy the Poco F3 GT if your budget is under Rs 30,000? We would certainly recommend the Poco F3 GT for the ones looking for a gaming phone that ticks the boxes of an all-rounder smartphone. The device’s performance unit ensures you get a powerful, smooth experience when gaming or otherwise. It is the only phone in the price segment to get dedicated gaming triggers. The AMOLED 120Hz display, a decent camera unit, and a massive battery pack add up to the package that makes it a great value for money buy. The F3 GT is not just a gaming phone though. The phone also offers a not-so-thick design that’s not “in your face” like many gaming phones out there. That being said, Poco needs to fix some bugs and offer a more refined experience on the F3 GT.

 Alternatives: Realme X7 Max : The Poco F3 GT comes with the same MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC you get on the Realme X7 Max. This Realme phone is priced at Rs 26,999 in India and also features a 3.5mm headphone jack. That being said, the smartphone under Rs 30,000 does not offer a glass back. Might not be a deal-breaker as the phone is almost as slim at 8.4mm and weighs 180 grams. It is also a good option for those who want a slightly compact smartphone.  Click here to read our Realme X7 Max review .

Alternatives: Realme X7 Max: The Poco F3 GT comes with the same MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC you get on the Realme X7 Max. This Realme phone is priced at Rs 26,999 in India and also features a 3.5mm headphone jack. That being said, the smartphone under Rs 30,000 does not offer a glass back. Might not be a deal-breaker as the phone is almost as slim at 8.4mm and weighs 180 grams. It is also a good option for those who want a slightly compact smartphone. Click here to read our Realme X7 Max review.

 Alternatives: OnePlus Nord 2 : The OnePlus Nord 2 is likely the most popular smartphone in the price range and gets close to the Poco F3 GT in terms of hardware. The key differentiator between the two devices is the software. OnePlus Nord 2 features Oxygen OS 11.3 out of the box, which is cleaner compared to MIUI 12.5. The Nord 2 is also promised to get two years of software support and three years of security updates. There is no official word from Poco on the same. You can  click here to check our spec comparison of the Poco F3 GT vs OnePlus Nord 2 vs Realme X7 Max

Alternatives: OnePlus Nord 2: The OnePlus Nord 2 is likely the most popular smartphone in the price range and gets close to the Poco F3 GT in terms of hardware. The key differentiator between the two devices is the software. OnePlus Nord 2 features Oxygen OS 11.3 out of the box, which is cleaner compared to MIUI 12.5. The Nord 2 is also promised to get two years of software support and three years of security updates. There is no official word from Poco on the same. You can click here to check our spec comparison of the Poco F3 GT vs OnePlus Nord 2 vs Realme X7 Max

 Alternatives: Mi 11X : Xiaomi’s premium smartphone priced at Rs 29,999 offers a faster Snapdragon 870 SoC. The device also packs value-for-money hardware that makes it a great purchase option.  Click here to read our Xiaomi Mi 11X review .

Alternatives: Mi 11X: Xiaomi’s premium smartphone priced at Rs 29,999 offers a faster Snapdragon 870 SoC. The device also packs value-for-money hardware that makes it a great purchase option. Click here to read our Xiaomi Mi 11X review.

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