Once upon a time, Xiaomi spun off a new brand that tried to one-up OnePlus at its own game. To some extent, it succeeded in offering premium or mid-tier specs at a cheaper price but that came at the cost of less premium materials. POCO, previously also known as Pocophone, seems to have taken a backseat recently, especially after it started launching what were basically rebranded Xiaomi and Redmi models. On Tuesday, however, it will try to return to the stage, at least in Europe, with a POCO M3 that will try to again steal the spotlight from OnePlus’ new line of affordable mid-range phones.
As far as the specs that POCO itself teased, the POCO M3 won’t be anything to write home about if you’re looking for a high-end phone. With a Snapdragon 662, it is a few steps behind the OnePlus Nord N10 and its 5G-toting Snapdragon 690. It is, however, a level up from the OnePlus Nord N100 which only comes with a Snapdragon 4-series chipset.
The comparison with the OnePlus Nord N100 will be unavoidable as the two aim for the same market segment. Both have nearly the same screen size, though only a bit larger for the 6.53-inch POCO M3, and both have the same 4GB RAM and 64GB storage configuration. Where the POCO M3 beats both Nords, however, is in the battery department with its large 6,000 mAh pack.
Actually, the POCO M3 will shine the most with its price tag, which has been leaked to start at only 149 to 159 EUR. That’s still considerably lower than the OnePlus Nord N100’s starting price in the region and there’s even word that a variant with 128GB of storage will be available at only 20 EUR more.
The design, however, could be a bit divisive, with a large camera bump that takes up more room than it should. Then again, OnePlus also has a similar-looking design with its OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Edition and the POCO M3 might be a cheaper way to make it look like you got your game on as well.