Poco’s new phones have new-ish Snapdragon processors

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Xiaomi-owned Poco has returned with two new phones that have some notable processor choices at low prices. Both the X3 Pro and the F3 use new Qualcomm chips that are essentially updated and repurposed flagship-class processors from the past couple of years, which make them an interesting price-performance proposition.

First up is the Poco X3 Pro (pictured above and below), which is essentially identical to last year’s Poco X3 NFC but with a new processor. That means there’s still a 6.67-inch 120Hz 1080p LCD, a 5,160mAh battery with 33W fast charging, and a quad-camera setup headlined by a 48-megapixel primary sensor.

What’s new is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC, which hasn’t previously been announced. The processor appears to be a new version of the Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm’s flagship part from two years ago found in phones like the Galaxy S10 and the Pixel 4. It uses the same Kryo 485 core based on ARM’s Cortex-A76 CPU, but the clock speed has been slightly bumped to up to 2.96GHz.

Poco describes the 860 as “the leading 4G flagship processor in 2021,” which doesn’t strike me as a field with a whole lot of competition. Still, it will likely outperform newer mid-range 5G chips like the 765.

The Poco F3, meanwhile, is a higher-end device that’s one of the first phones to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870, which was announced a couple of months ago. The 870 is a similar idea to the 860 but based on the one-year-newer 865, which was Qualcomm’s highest-end chip in 2020. The CPU clock speed has again received a slight bump to a max of 3.2GHz. The 870 won’t be as fast as the 888, but another way to think of it is that it would’ve been the fastest Android phone chip in the world a couple of months ago.

The F3 itself is a rebranded version of Xiaomi’s Redmi K40, which was recently released in China. It has a 6.67-inch 120Hz 1080p OLED display, a 4,520mAh battery with 33W fast charging, and a triple-camera setup including a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and what seems to be the same 5-megapixel “telemacro” found on the Xiaomi Mi 11.

Poco hasn’t announced full global release details yet, but the X3 Pro costs €199 for a model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (or €249 for 8GB/256GB), while the F3 is €299 for 6GB/128GB and €349 for 8GB/256GB. Those are early-bird prices — all models will be bumped up by €50 after April 1st for the X3 Pro and April 6th for the F3. Even after that, though, they look like very good value for their segment. Both phones will go on sale later this week.

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