Hello everyone! In my new comparison, we are going to talk about the mid-range flagships Xiaomi POCO X3 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro. Let’s find out all their secrets!
Poco has finally done it! The company has stopped releasing simply perfomed Redmi. The Poco X3 has its own unique design that underlines the brand’s long-awaited maturation stage.
Its cover is made of multi-layer polycarbonate. In the center there is a wide text strip with a large POCO logo, and the glossy sides coolly reflect the surrounding light in different shades. It is available in Dusk Gray and Cobalt Blue colors. The peculiar design of the main camera block gives the smartphone a recognizable style.
The upper earpiece is used to create a stereo effect. It’s like a part of the aluminum frame, without looking at the glass of the screen. There is a white Notification LED hidden behind the speaker grill.
The Poco X3 has a lot on its bezel: there is the volume rocker and the power button on the right combined with the fingerprint scanner; the hybrid dual tray for SIM cards and a flash drive is pulled out on the left; there is infrared transmitter and additional microphone on the top; and there is an audio output, USB-C connector, spoken microphone and main speaker on the bottom.
The Poco X3 is IP53 rated, but it is purely symbolic. Any other smartphone also does not allow dust to pass through. However, no other device really cares about the certification of such innate protection.
In terms of its dimensions, the Poco X3 is clearly not suitable for everyone. It is a real sumo wrestler – its weight is 215 g and it is 9.4 millimeter thick! The case will be even more massive.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is slightly thinner and lighter, but still very big. It has a crystal-shiny Corning Gorilla 5 glass back that collects touch marks quickly and easily. The Iceberg White and Stardust color options are uniformly colored, and the Tropics Greens are half shaded. The block has the main rectangular shape and protrudes noticeably. There are no other special differences: side fingerprint scanner, LED, infrared transmitter, audio output, and USB-C are in place. There is only a tray for SIM cards and a triple flash drive which are quite nice.
At the front, the Note 9 Pro has a large 6.67-inch display. Traditionally, an IPS matrix with Full HD + resolution. There is a protective Corning Gorilla 5 glass with a good oleophobic coating. During the day outside the image on the Redmi screen is easy to see if the brightness is at the maximum. The picture is saturated, with the correct color rendition.
But there is one upsetting nuance. As a mid-range flagship, the Redmi Note 9 Pro somehow doesn’t support high screen refresh rates. Users are offered the standard 60Hz. At the same time you can purchase the Realme 6 Pro with a 90 Hz display and 8 GB RAM for ten to twenty dollars cheaper, or the Poco X3 with a 120 Hz display for fourty dollars cheaper (if you are satisfied with a 64 GB drive , of course).
The Poco X3 also features a very tiny dot notch for the front camera (it is visually smaller than in the RN9 Pro). There are many different settings like the reading mode, dark, day and night modes, flexible adjustment of the color scheme, and “hiding” the front camera using a virtual “droplet” or notification bar.
The Poco X3 is the second smartphone to run MIUI 12 right out of the box. The interface is based on 10th Android. However, the functionality of the Poco shell slightly does not coincide with what we see in other Xiaomi smartphones on MIUI 12. The design has been refreshed in the interface, new privacy and security options have appeared, a floating window, optimized for high hertz animation and other functions, but, for example, there isn’t “Super wallpapers” or constant backlighting.
The desktop has a built-in news feed from Google, which can be removed, but in the current version of MIUI 12 for the Poco, you cannot disable the “drawer” of applications. All shortcuts are automatically sorted by category and you can only change or delete categories.
The next new feature is a notification curtain combined with a control center. This looks and works just like the one on the iPhone: notifications are pulled out on the left side of the screen, all sorts of switches are on the right. If desired, the control center can also be hidden, then the curtain will be in the style of MIUI 11.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro smartphones are sold with pre-installed MIUI 11. It allows you to customize gestures and all that, but it suffers from an excess of unnecessary applications that spam in notifications. Since September Xiaomi has been updating the old Redmi models to MIUI 12. As for the Note 9 Pro, the deadline for receiving a new firmware is November.
The smartphone is armed with four main cameras. The main module impresses with an ultra-high resolution of 64 megapixels. This, in my humble opinion, is an upscale of the old 16 megapixel matrix because this is the resolution that the new Superpixel technology supposedly unobtrusively pushes, combining 4 neighboring pixels into one. Of course, I could be wrong, but I still remember that the first “Soviet” smartphone’s pixels were large, 2 micrometers each, and now they are small, 0.8 each. But the rest of the cameras of the Redmi Note 9 Pro can be safely called practical, since the ultra-wide angle one has a resolution of 8 megapixels, the macro camera has 5 megapixels and only the 2 megapixel camera has a portrait lens. Although, it essentially does not photograph anything.
The standard camera app is well organized and intuitive. There are visual cues to help keep the smartphone upright, and a variety of modes like the night shooting, professional, panoramic, and the one with artificial intelligence. But the footage is better if you do not connect any automatic “enhancers” such as AI or HDR. The manual adjustments in professional mode are much more effective at unlocking the potential of the 64MP sensor.
I almost forgot to mention that the front camera of the Note 9 Pro is 16 megapixels. The Poco X3 is a few megapixels ahead in terms of the front and ultra wide-angle cameras. The main module is also 64 Mp, but there are two cameras just for the number – the macro and the 2 Mp portrait cameras. The camera application is typical for MIUI. It supports a lot of useful modes, allows you to adjust the light sensitivity and shutter speed.
The smartphones are excellent for their class. Details, contrast, color rendition – everything is quite natural. In the daytime, noise cancellation works smoothly. The maximum video recording quality is 4K / 30 fps, and the slowest slow-mo is up to 960 fps in HD format.
The Snapdragon 732G chipset is responsible for the performance in the Poco X3. Poco likes to call it “the most powerful Snapdragon 700 series 4G processor.” Well, technically it is true, but there is nothing to be proud of because the 732G is a close relative of the vanilla S730 and S730G found in the Poco X2. So you understand, the Poco X3 processor is 100 MHz faster than the previous generation – it was 2.2 GHz, and now it is 2.3 GHz. But the graphics chip Adreno 618 has noticeably accelerated. In Poco X3, it operates at up to 800 MHz (in the X2 it is only 575 MHz).
In terms of the amount of internal memory, the smartphone is available in 64 and 128 GB versions, but the RAM is 6 GB everywhere.
In synthetic benchmarks, the Poco X3 outperforms all mid-range rivals except the smartphones with the more powerful 5G Snapdragon 765 chipset. Overall, the Poco X3’s performance won’t disappoint if you weren’t hoping to see FPS above 60 in complex 3D games. After all, this processor is not from the flagship series. But the high hertz is really worked out in the interface and other compatible applications.
Another big hardware advantage of the Poco X3 is the dual cooling system. Under the screen and under the back cover there is a sandwich made of a copper heat pipe and several layers of graphite. It should be enough so that the smartphone does not warm up even under a specific load.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 720G chipset with a similar processor frequency of 2.3 GHz. It provides satisfactory performance in many programs and heavy games. MIUI interface works smoothly without stuttering. In terms of memory, Xiaomi offers only one Note 9 Pro version in Russia -the 6/128 GB.
The Redmi smartphone also supports high-speed Wi-Fi data in the 5GHz band, and long-range Bluetooth 5.0. It also has an NFC chip for convenient contactless payment via Google Pay. You can use 4G / 3G cellular networks and popular satellite navigation systems like Glonass, GPS, etc.
The Poco smartphone has absolutely identical network capabilities.
The same is true for the battery. There is almost no difference. The Poco X3 has a 5160mAh battery. Its full charge is enough for 17 hours of Internet or 14 hours of movies. That is, the smartphone will last at least 2 days, if not playing for too long. It supports fast charging up to 33W. Xiaomi claims that in half an hour the battery will reach 62% charge and 100% in 65 minutes. But it was measured in laboratory conditions, you know.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is equipped with a 5020mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging. Moreover, the kit includes a 33 W adapter, like the Poco X3. Xiaomi promises 13 hours of gaming and 16 hours of navigator mode. I have no reason to doubt these figures. The battery reaches 50% in just 20 minutes which is very convenient.
Now let’s look at a few reviews from regular buyers. What do they like and dislike about these smartphones?
The Xiaomi POCO X3
- Everything is good except for the display, which cannot show real black color. it’s best to choose a smartphone with AMOLED for movies and TV shows.
- The lack of a telephoto lens with optical zoom is a definite disadvantage. The other cameras are set simply for quantity.
- It’s a pity that half of the RAM is always busy. I tried to unload the system by disabling unnecessary applications and services, but it was useless.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
- There isn’t a built-in automatic call recording.
- This smartphone is too overrated. Otherwise, why is Poco X3 more powerful but cheaper?
- It’s as heavy as a brick.
The Xiaomi POCO X3
- There are stereo speakers, and a powerful battery with a very fast charging!
- The performance is really cool. I would rate it 8.5 out of 10. But you’ll need some optimization.
- This smartphone is the best in 2020 in terms of value for money.
- The Poco X3 has a liquid cooling system, so don’t worry about overheating issues.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
- It doesn’t get warm even in heavy games with high graphics settings.
- It has a good battery life, great camera, and tons of storage.
- The camera is surprisingly good. An excellent smartphone for the money.
- I have been using it for a long time. My rating is 10 out of 10.
Here’s the “Techno Dog” verdict. The Poco X3 and the Redmi Note 9 Pro are both outstanding smartphones with cool features and a great price. The Poco is slightly better technically, just a little bit, while the Redmi wins in design. It is thinner and has a glass body. I did not notice any fundamental difference between them.