The market for affordable smartphones has exploded in the last few years, especially thanks to brands like Xiaomi. More precisely thanks to its “sub-brands” that are Redmi and POCO. Today we compare the very popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro vs POCO F3. Two phones that we find today under the symbolic bar of 300 euros.
Xiaomi is now positioned as a premium brand, leaving the field of mid-range and entry-level phones to Redmi and POCO. The number of (good) models marketed each year by the manufacturer is so vast that we tend to get lost. Today we’ll focus on two models: the Redmi Note 10 Pro vs POCO F3. The latter is sold a few dozen euros more. Is it worth the extra money? Which of these models is for you? Is the earth flat (we’ll put that aside for now)? Let’s go to the duel!
- Design : le jeu des 7 différences
- Interface : on prend les mêmes et on recommence
- Performances : un match joué d’avance
- Photo : des capteurs polyvalents
- Autonomie solide et recharge rapide
Design: the game of 7 differences
At first glance, it’s hard to ignore the similarity between the two smartphones. They both have a Gorilla Glass 5 back, a plastic frame, a fingerprint reader located on the power button, and a similarly positioned camera module. On the other hand, only the Redmi has a jack and a microSD port. The POCO F3 “makes up for it” with a 5G compatibility that its competitor of the day lacks.
It’s not on weight, size or screen borders that you’ll be able to tell the difference between the two phones, which were clearly made in the same mold. Depending on the color you choose, both phones will be more or less sensitive to fingerprints. If you want to avoid this inconvenience, we do not recommend the black models we tested.
A word about the screens which are, again, identical. We find an AMOLED panel of 6.7 inches with a Full HD+ definition of 1080 x 2400 pixels. Both mobiles also benefit from a refresh rate of 120 Hz and HDR10 compatibility. In both cases, it’s a real pleasure to view multimedia content on such high-quality screens.
Still, we found a distinguishing point in the vibration engine. Indeed, the haptic feedback of the POCO F3 is much more precise than that of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. This is especially noticeable when typing text on the virtual keyboard.
Both phones have clearly gone through the same production lines. You have to pay attention to the datasheets to see the small elements that separate the two smartphones and that could tip the balance to one side or the other.
With their almost identical design and level of finish, the two phones are almost twin brothers. If you value memory expansion and a headphone jack, the Redmi Note 10 will have your favor. If you want a 5G-capable phone, the POCO F3 is the way to go.
Interface: we take the same and we start again
Not surprisingly, both phones run Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 interface. POCO has a slightly different version of MIUI, but the differences aren’t significant enough to change the user experience. Navigation is a little smoother on POCO, but that has mostly to do with the performance of the phone, which we’ll get to in the next chapter.
By default, MIUI offers a control panel that requires a little time to adapt. Indeed, notifications and shortcuts are separated. The shape of the icons and menus is also reminiscent of iOS. The comparison stops there. For the rest, we find everything we have the right to expect from a modern interface. The level of customization is important. It goes from the full dark mode to the gesture navigation and the choice of icons.
The criticism we have of MIUI is always the same: the number of pre-installed applications (bloatware). In addition to Google and Xiaomi applications, there are more than a dozen partner applications such as Facebook, eBay, TikTok, Netflix, Amazon and other more or less obscure mobile games. Yes, fortunately it is possible to uninstall them.
Depending on the phone model and the version of MIUI, you may also be confronted with a few ads that appear during the default “antivirus scan” when you install an application. This can be disabled, but we could have done without it by default.
Sharing the same interface, it could not be otherwise. POCO’s few adjustments to the MIUI interface are anecdotal. If you like light and uncluttered interfaces, Xiaomi’s may not be the best one for you. There is always the possibility to install an alternative application launcher.
Performance: a match made in heaven
Finally, a point on which our two competitors of the day stand out. In the left corner, we find a Redmi Note 10 Pro equipped with a Snapdragon 732G processor, accompanied by 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and a storage capacity of 64 or 128 GB in UFS 2.2. In the right corner, the POCO F3 is equipped with a Snapdragon 870 SoC with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and a storage capacity of 128 or 256 GB in UFS 3.1.
Just by mentioning these specs, you’ll have guessed that there’s a class of difference between the two mobiles. The Redmi is equipped with a mid-range chipset and the POCO a high-end processor (from 2020). The performance gap is huge in benchmarks, important in games and noticeable in a more “classic” use of the phone.
Concretely, the POCO F3 is able to run the game Genshin Impact (very greedy in resources) at 30 fps with high graphics or at 60 fps with average graphics. All this without any slowdown. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 10 Pro runs the same game with average graphics at 30 fps, experiencing some framerate drops.
In everyday use, we also notice that all applications open a little faster on the POCO F3. We are not talking about a huge difference, but still noticeable. If you play games or use resource-intensive applications, the more muscular configuration of the POCO phone will make the difference. Also note that its cooling system is more efficient on the Redmi.
Winner: POCO F3
The POCO F3 outperforms its competitor of the day in terms of raw performance. This does not disqualify the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which is still a responsive and pleasant phone to use every day. Keep in mind that a more powerful phone will better withstand the weight of time.
Photo: versatile sensors
The photo modules of both smartphones are equipped with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 5-megapixel macro sensor. The difference is to be found on the side of the main sensor. Indeed, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is equipped with a 108-megapixel wide-angle sensor and the POCO F3 with a 48-megapixel sensor.
During the day, the Redmi Note 10 Pro takes perfectly exposed photos with a good level of detail. The image slightly lacked sharpness in the center, but nothing prohibitive. Xiaomi’s software processing displays high contrast and saturated colors. A “style” that everyone will appreciate.
By default, the Redmi Note 10 Pro takes 12-megapixel photos. It is of course possible to switch to 108-megapixel mode. This allows you to zoom in and crop the image easily. On the other hand, we lose a little inaccuracy of exposure.
On the main sensor of the POCO F3, the principle is the same with a 48 megapixels sensor that takes 12 megapixels shots by default. Again, the overall result is quite convincing, but the high contrast tends to crush the image. The 48 megapixel mode of the POCO F3 is more natural on this point.
A word about the 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensors of both phones. Not surprisingly, they offer a lower level of detail. The exposure is far from perfect and the color continuity is not always assured compared to the main sensor.
But perhaps the biggest difference between the two camera modules is their ability to take quality night shots. The Redmi Note 10 Pro is the clear winner in this regard. Comparing the “Night” modes of the two phones, we can see that the Redmi manages to improve the exposure while controlling the level of digital noise. An exercise in which the POCO F3 is much less comfortable.
Both phones are able to shoot up to 4K at 30 frames per second. Exposure is better on the Redmi Note 10 Pro. On the other hand, digital stabilization is more convincing on the POCO F3. In both cases, the lack of optical stabilization does not make our competitors of the day good phones for amateur videographers.
Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
While both phones benefit from versatile camera modules, the Redmi Note 10 Pro comes out on top with better-exposed shots and convincing digital noise management on night shots. Photography is probably the Achilles heel of the POCO F3.
Solid battery life and fast charging
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is equipped with a 5020 mAh battery, against a 4520 mAh battery on the POCO F3. A significant difference on paper that is however far from being obvious in everyday life.
Indeed, both phones are able to last for a day of intensive use and up to two days if you use them sparingly. The Redmi Note 10 Pro is very slightly ahead thanks to its more aggressive RAM management, but that’s not enough to open up a significant gap with its competitor.
Both phones take advantage of 33W fast charging. Specifically, this allows the Redmi Note 10 Pro’s battery to recharge in an hour and fifteen minutes. The POCO F3’s battery being smaller, it logically charges faster. In fact, count only 50 minutes to recover 100% of the battery.
A more powerful smartphone will not necessarily consume more battery than a slower model. Indeed, high-end processors are nowadays sufficiently well optimized not to use all their power in simpler tasks. Other parameters obviously come into play, such as the screen refresh rate and software optimization.
The very slight advantage of the Redmi Note 10 Pro in terms of autonomy is compensated by the fact that the POCO F3 charges faster. In both cases, the manufacturers have done an excellent job of optimizing their smartphones to offer an endurance of between one and two days. As always, you can check out our full tests of the Redmi Note 10 Pro and POCO F3 for more details on their photographic capabilities.
Redmi Note 10 Pro vs POCO F3: Conclusion
It did not escape you that the two phones have a lot in common. And for good reason, Redmi and POCO have Xiaomi as their parent company. Thus, they share a similar design, an interface based on MIUI, as well as a comparable autonomy. However, there are two important points to separate them.
The first is the raw power of the phones. On this point, the POCO F3 is several steps ahead of its competitor. The POCO phone is therefore particularly suitable if you want to play mobile games, or simply enjoy a device with “future-proof” performance. This doesn’t stop the Redmi Note 10 Pro from offering a responsive user experience on a daily basis.
The other point concerns the camera modules of both devices. Although their configuration is close, it’s the Redmi Note 10 Pro that offers a more convincing overall quality, including on night shots. So if you place a lot of importance on photography, Redmi’s phone is to be preferred over POCO’s.
The presence of a jack and a microSD port on one counterbalances the compatibility of the other. Now you have something to make an informed choice, depending on what you expect from a smartphone.
What we think at TechMarkup
We wanted to draw your attention to the different configurations offered on the two phones. On Xiaomi’s website, the Redmi Note 10 Pro is offered at 279 euros in its basic version with 6 GB of RAM + 64 GB of storage. A capacity that is a bit tight today, especially if you have a lot of apps and games installed, or take videos often. Even if you use cloud storage, we advise you to add 20 euros to double the storage capacity by opting for the version with 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage. The starting price of the POCO F3 is 299 euros in its 6 + 128 GB version, still on the Xiaomi website. This puts them on the same footing in terms of price.
What do you think about Redmi Note 10 Pro vs POCO F3 comparison? Let us know in the comments.