Techno Powa 3On paper, it looks solid with a big screen, big battery, attractive design and triple camera setup. But what raises eyebrows is its starting price of just Rs 11,499. Generally, we see brands cutting costs across the segment by providing slow charging, weak processors and mediocre cameras. But, to make it an all-rounder, Tecno has packed the Powa 3 with strong specifications. So, does it raise the bar for devices in the under Rs 12,000 segment? Here is our review.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Design and Build Quality
Tecno Pova 3 has a unique design as compared to other devices in the same price segment. The phone comes in three color variants; Blue, silver and black. The blue color has been dubbed ‘electric’ by the company as it is the only color that has a vertical stripe on the rear center, with LED lights that flash whenever you charge the phone or receive a notification. Is.
We got the Silver variant which has a vertical line stripe with a glossy finish, and we found it attractive. The shiny silver color gives a premium look but also catches fingerprints easily. The glossy finish around the side frame makes it look like a proper gaming phone. The back is made of plastic, but it feels durable. There is no camera module that sticks out at the back, so you don’t see any bumps on the back.
Despite squeezing the big battery, Tecno has managed to keep the phone at 9.4mm thick. But because of its sheer size, it’s uncomfortable to use with one hand, and you might have to struggle to fit it in your pocket.
There’s a speaker grille, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Type-C charging port on the bottom. The volume rocker and power button are placed on the right side. The power button also acts as a fingerprint sensor. There is a secondary speaker on the top of the phone, while there is a full-sized SIM tray on the left.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Display and Audio
The Tecno Pova 3 has one of the biggest displays in the under Rs 12,000 segment. It sports a 6.9-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD+ resolution of 2460 x 1080. It supports 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate. The bezels around the display are thin and offer 91% screen-to-body ratio which is good for enjoying content on such a large screen.
The addition of 90Hz refresh rate makes the scrolling experience smoother. The display is sharp and responsive, which is a delight for gamers. It becomes bright enough to see the material under direct sunlight.
In addition, the display reproduces scenes with good sharpness and well-balanced colors. We threw a wide variety of content, including movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos, at its display, and the overall experience was good, and the dual speakers made it even better.
This is because it has dual stereo speakers with DTS sound effect. It basically helps to make the audio crisp and give a surround effect. These are loud enough to watch content, with the bottom-firing speaker being the loudest. Tecno has put some serious thought into speaker placement too – the top and bottom speakers are placed in such a way that both aren’t simultaneously muffled by your palm or fingers when holding the phone in landscape while gaming or watching videos.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Battery
One of the major selling points of the Tecno Pova 3 is its massive 7,000mAh battery, which is also the biggest in this price segment. The battery backup is huge, we were able to deliver 13-14 hours of screen time. It easily lasted for two to three days in our use.
You can charge this massive battery with the bundled 33W charger. This is refreshing to see, as other brands are still stuck with 18W chargers in this segment, and even worse, barring chargers. Despite being ahead of the competition, when you put that big battery capacity into perspective, the wattage seems insufficient. During our testing, the phone took 50 minutes to charge from 0 to 50% and it took two hours and 30 minutes to reach 100%, which is a long time.
The device can double as a power bank with 10W reverse charging support. All you have to do is connect another phone to the Powa 3 with a compatible cable – so there are no menus or any other extra steps to navigate.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Performance, Gaming and Software
Tecno Pova 3 is powered by Mediatek Helio G88 processor which runs on Mali-52 GPU. Note that this is not a 5G-capable processor. It is available in two variants; 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and 6GB RAM and 128GB storage; We got the latter. The internal storage can be expanded via an external microSD card. The device features Virtual RAM technology, which can reserve up to 5GB of the phone’s internal storage and use it as RAM to improve app loading times.
The device boots HiOS 12 based on Android 8.6 out of the box. The phone comes pre-installed with a lot of bloatware, and it is disappointing that only three of them can be uninstalled. In addition, you have to deal with annoying spam notifications. The control panel resembles MIUI 12, and the app drawer is nowhere near the stock version.
Despite packing a ton of bloatware, HiOS is not lacking in features. It has a MOL feature which is useful for on-screen translation. There’s a Lightning Multi-Window that’s essentially a floating window, Peek Proof darkens the area you don’t want others to see, and Smart Sidebar, which houses some app shortcuts and tools. We tried all of these features, and they work well. Unfortunately, it misses out on the Material U customization, however, which is a key feature of Android 12.
The overall performance of the Tecno Pova 3 is good, and the SoC is able to handle the device just fine. The device can easily handle light or moderate usage, but it slowed down as soon as we started using YouTube and some Google apps together. We also noticed that the app did not launch immediately and took a few seconds to show the home screen.
Biometrics were fast, and the phone was quick to recognize our fingerprints and faces.
Powa 3 managed to achieve a benchmark score of 250197 on AnTuTu. On Geekbench, it posted a single-core score of 333 and a multi-core score of 1297, which is satisfactory in this price segment.
The Tecno Pova 3 is designed to be a budget gaming phone, and it does that job well. It can play offline games like Dr Driving, Bus Coach Simulator etc smoothly. Playing Call of Duty: Mobile on the device was fun, and it maxed out on medium and high settings.
Battlegrounds Mobile India can be played at maximum HDR graphics settings at high frame rate settings, but for a smoother gameplay experience, we recommend you to set it to Balance on Ultra frame rate mode.
The device comes with the company’s own Panther Engine 2.0 and Gaming Space 2.0, which makes the gaming experience smoother.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Camera Quality
For its price, the Tecno Pova 3 packs a typical camera configuration. So, you get a 50-megapixel primary camera paired with a 2-megapixel depth and AI sensor.
We think an ultrawide lens could have been a better option by combining these two sensors. The 8MP front shooter handles selfies and video calls.
The camera app is quite simple and is packed with different modes including Portrait, Beauty, AI Cam, Panorama, AR Shot, Ultra HD, Documents, Slow Motion, Pro, Time-lapse and a Short Video mode. This is the first time in the segment that we get to see the short video mode which comes pre-loaded with audio tracks and filters. However, this is not surprising as short videos have been the most popular social media content since the pandemic.
With all that said, our photography experience on the Tecno Pova 3 was disappointing. Here are the detailed results.
- Selfies are good on the device. It has ample amount of details with the skin tone being natural. While it has kept a good focus on the ground subject, the sky is flying. The edge detection isn’t that impressive on the final output using Portrait mode. As you can see in the image below, it has blurred some part of my left cheek. Selfies look soft and lack details in poor light conditions.
- The primary 50MP sensor is good at focusing on subjects through its AI algorithm. Photos came out well in daylight with rich detail, but it struggles to keep colors consistent. In the picture below you can see that the sky and the building have natural colors while the contrast on the tree has increased due to which it goes from green to almost black.
- In low light conditions, we noticed a yellowish tint to the photos. In such situations, it completely loses details and has a lot of noise.
- Videos up to 2K resolution at 30fps. They contain a lot of grain and lack detail. On the other hand, the mic quality is good and produces good audio recordings
- The front camera can also record 2K videos with fine details and makes the skin tone artificially white. They are so good that they can be uploaded directly to Instagram Stories without filters.
Tecno Pova 3 Review: Verdict
Tecno Pova 3 delivers exactly what it promises – a solid and unique design, a big display for a better viewing experience, good dual speakers, long battery life, average performance and good gaming. But it does have some drawbacks like packing bloatware and mediocre cameras. 33W charging also seems insufficient for a 7,000mAh battery, and the large form factor feels uncomfortable for one-handed use.
Its starting price is Rs. 11,499, this is a great deal for those looking for a budget gaming phone. There’s something for everyone, and if you’re into shiny products, the Blue version might be of interest to you, but we suspect it might take up a bit of battery life.
If you are a binge watcher, you might want to take a look at infinix note 12 And Poco M4 Pro, both of which sport an AMOLED display. If you want to be future-proof and buy a 5G-enabled smartphone, you can go for redmi note 11t 5g And this Poco M4 5G.
If you are looking for a budget gaming phone under Rs 12,000, then this would be a good option to pick. The blue variant with the mini LED light looks attractive, but it will also drain the battery, so you may choose to go with the silver or black variant.
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