The budget smartphone market is a very busy place. There are tons of phones frequently released from the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, RealMe, and more. This makes it extremely difficult to choose the right phone for yourself.
|Xiaomi Poco M3||Umidigi A9 Pro|
|Display||6.53-inch FHD+ LCD||6.3-inch FHD+ LCD|
|ProcessorGPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 662Adreno 610||Mediatek Helio P60Mali-G72 MP3|
|RAM||4GB/6GB LPDDR4X||4GB/6GB LPDDR4X|
|Battery||6,000 mAh battery 18W fast wired charging||4,150 mAh battery10W wired charging|
|Camera||Rear:48MP Main 2MP Ultra-wide2MP Macro |
|Rear:48MP Main 16MP Ultra-wide5MP Macro5MP DepthFront: 24MP|
|Sound||Dual speakers3.5mm headphone jack||Single speaker3.5mm headphone jack|
|Connectivity||USB-CDual-SIMWi-Fi 5Bluetooth 5.0IR blaster||USB-CDual-SIMWi-FiBluetooth 4.2IR Thermometer|
|Security||Side-mounted fingerprint sensorFace unlock (insecure)||Rear-mounted fingerprint sensorFace unlock (insecure)|
|Software||Android 11 MIUI 12 for POCO||Android 10|
With so many brands and so many products fighting to come out on top, I have chosen a fairly smaller brand to go against a giant like Xiaomi. And this brand is Umidigi, they almost exclusively make budget phones only but these phones are excellent for their price.
I am choosing two of the most popular phones from Xiaomi and Umidigi, and we will see which one comes out on top. This is a head-to-head between the Xiaomi Poco M3 and the Umidigi A9 Pro.
Poco M3 vs Umidigi A9 Pro
Design and Build
The Poco X3 Pro and Poco F3 are phones that fall in the same price category and yet they look and feel widely different.
Both phones from the front share a similar design language, they have a small notch for the selfie camera. Xiaomi markets this as a Dot Drop Display on the Poco M3 while Umidigi markets this as a Waterdrop Display. I do like Umidigi’s implementation as it is a smaller notch compared to the Poco M3.
Both phones also come with a slightly thick chin but it isn’t all that bad, as this chin size is comparable to costlier mid-range phones while these are budget devices. Both Xiaomi and Umidigi have done a great job in maximizing the screen area on the front with both phones sporting over 90% screen to body ratio.
When you flip the phones, you will find that the phones are much different in design. One is made totally from plastic while the other is made from 2.5D curved glass, making it look and feel more premium. The Xiaomi Poco M3 is all plastic on the back and sides, while the Umidigi A9 Pro is glass on the front and back sandwiched between a layer of metal in the middle.
Apart from the feel and material, there are more differences on the back too, like the Xiaomi Poco M3 going with a huge camera module that is almost edge-to-edge. On the other, the Umidigi A9 Pro comes with a much more elegant camera module solution.
The Umidigi A9 Pro also comes with a circular fingerprint sensor, while the Poco M3 has its fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button.
Overall the Umidigi A9 Pro looks and feels much better in my opinion. The textured plastic of Xiaomi Poco M3 does make it sit well in the hand and isn’t a fingerprint magnet, but it still falls short of the A9 Pro. The Umidigi A9 Pro just looks much better from the elegant camera design, the gradient glass back, and metal sides. It feels like a flagship from a couple of years back which is awesome.
The Umidigi A9 Pro offers much better color options than the Poco M3.
Both the Umidigi A9 Pro and Xiaomi Poco M3 have displays of the same resolution but not the size. Both are Full HD LCD panels that have an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 making them narrow and good for one-handed use.
The Xiaomi Poco M3 comes with a 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD panel with a 90.34% screen-to-body ratio. This display is bigger than the one on the Umidigi A9 Pro. In comparison, the Umidigi A9 Pro comes with a 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD panel with a 90+% of screen-to-body ratio.
I feel that both displays look good and are bright even for use under direct sunlight. There is not much setting them apart, both are vivid, colorful, sharp, and offer a good dynamic range for the price. I would go with the Xiaomi Poco M3 if you want a slightly bigger screen, or the Umidigi A9 Pro if you want a better notch implementation.
Since both phones fall in the same price category but they come with different internals. There are many budget chips from both Snapdragon and Mediatek, but what Umidigi has done here is quite interesting.
The Umidigi A9 Pro comes with an old midrange chip from Mediatek rather than a new budget chip from Snapdragon or Mediatek. The Umidigi features a Mediatek Helio P60 which is over 3 years old now since it launched in 2018. The reason for this is probably to save costs and the Helio P60 is still a very capable chip for almost any use case.
Xiaomi has a straightforward approach for the Poco M3 as it just slapped in a current-gen budget Snapdragon chip in it. The Poco M3 comes with Snapdragon 662 which is a very good chip found in many budget devices.
When you compare the A9 Pro’s Helio P60 to the Poco M3’s Snapdragon 662, they perform closer than I expected. The Snapdragon 662 is overall the better performer eeking out wins in every benchmark in my tests. But the difference in performance between the two phones is still marginal.
In the Antutu benchmark, the Poco M3 has a lead of less than 3% over the A9 Pro. The scores are 1,74,359 for the Snapdragon 662 vs 1,70,160 for the Helio P60.
In Geekbench 5.3, Umidigi A9 Pro scores 294 in the single-core test and 1430 in the multicore test. In comparison, the Xiaomi Poco M3 scores 314 in the single-core test and 1397 in the multicore test. This makes them almost evenly matched with the Snapdragon 662 having better single-core performance while the Helio P60 is better at multicore performance.
When it comes to graphics, the Poco M3 comes with Adreno 610 graphics which again is slightly better than the Mali-G72 MP3 found on the A9 Pro. Both phones also come with 4 or 6 GBs of LPDDR4X RAM and 64 or 128 GBs of fast UFS 2.1 storage.
I would choose the Xiaomi Poco M3 if performance is very important for you, but if the A9 Pro comes in a bit cheap then I would go with the cheaper option.
The camera setup for these phones is different, with the Umidigi A9 Pro sporting a quad-camera setup while the Xiaomi Poco M3 houses a triple camera setup. The Umidigi A9 Pro comes with much better camera specs on paper.
The Xiaomi Poco M3 comes with a primary 48 MP sensor, an 2 MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2 MP macro lens. It also comes with an 8 MP selfie camera too. The rear cameras do very well when shooting with a lot of natural light. The colors are a little muted still much better than I expected. The camera setup struggles in low light and indoors, which is expected at this price range. The selfie camera is decent and gets the job done, it is crisp and detailed with a lot of heavy processing similar to other Xiaomi phones.
The Umidigi A9 Pro is equipped with a 48 MP primary sensor, a 16 MP ultrawide sensor, a 5 MP depth sensor, and a 5 MP macro lens. The A9 Pro sports a 24 MP selfie camera. On paper, this is a much better camera setup than the Poco M3 and this translates to real-life performance too.
The photos and videos are much more detailed and sharp on the A9 Pro. The colors are also very vivid and look beautiful. The secondary lens is especially much better than the ones on the Poco M3. The ultrawide and macro shots from the A9 Pro are much more detailed than from the Poco M3. Even the selfie camera is better, it is more detailed and doesn’t soften the face as aggressively as the Xiaomi Poco M3.
If you take a lot of photos on your phone, you should go with the Umidigi A9 Pro. It is better in every aspect of the camera performance.
Xiaomi phones have almost always been amazing when it comes to battery life. And I think the Poco M3 will easily beat the Umidigi A9 Pro when it comes to battery life.
The Xiaomi Poco M3 features a 6,000 mAh battery which is enormous when compared to the measly 4,150 mAh battery on the A9 Pro. This coupled with the power-efficient Snapdragon 662, the Poco M3 provides over 16 hours of video playback in our tests. The A9 Pro only lasted 11 hours on the same test. The Poco M3 also comes with 18W fast charging while the A9 Pro can only do 10W max.
So it is a no-brainer when it comes to the battery life of these phones, the Poco M3 trumps the A9 Pro easily.
It’s a fairly easy conclusion this time out, choose based on your needs.
If you want a good-looking, well-rounded phone with an excellent camera system for the price, then choose the Umidigi A9 Pro. But if you don’t care about looks or the camera performance then get the Xiaomi Poco M3 for its superior performance and stellar battery life.
Both phones are similar when it comes to screen, RAM, storage, and connectivity. So I would recommend you to invest in the Umidigi A9 Pro for the overall package but if performance and battery life are very important, then the Poco M3 is the better choice. It is great to see such good phones in this price range.
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