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Dhaka Tribune

Poco C31: A wallet friendly phone in the midst of price hikes

The phone comes with a 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 chipset. Phones like Oppo A16, Xiaomi Redmi 9 Activ, Nokia G20 and Realme C20A also have the same chipset

Update : 30 Nov 2022, 05:47 PM

All smartphones have seen a sharp price hike lately in Bangladesh. 

However, there are still some phones released before this price hike that are still available in the market. These phones often offer good value for money, like the Poco's C31, released in October last year. 

Xiaomi is currently selling the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version of Poco C31 at Tk12,469 and the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version at Tk13,429 in Daraz. 

Aesthetics

The 9 mm thin Poco C31 comes in two colours — Royal Blue and Matte Black. My obvious choice is the Matte Black version. 

Even though the phone is a cheaper one, Xiaomi somehow managed to keep the weight at 193 grams with a decent weight distribution. The body of the phone is made using polycarbonate, like other budget-friendly phones. 

The combination of glossy and matte finish looks pretty nice in Poco C31, considering that this is considered an entry-level smartphone. 

The phone does come with a fingerprint sensor, which is located on the back along with a triple camera setup. We will talk about the camera performance later. 

Display

Poco C31 has a 6.53 inches IPS LCD panel with a screen resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels. 

The display is pretty decent, and I fully support Xiaomi's decision of providing a 720p display instead of a 1080p display. In budget smartphones, this makes very little visual difference while making a huge difference in terms of the performance and battery life of the device. 

The colours produced by the display were decent enough. Nothing extraordinary, but something you will expect from a device in such a price range. 

The phone comes with MIUI 12. So, you will get loads of customization features including dark mode and different colour modes. The phone has thinner bezels compared to other phones in a similar price spectrum. 

However, you will not be getting any Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Xiaomi says that they offered Panda Glass screen protection on this phone. 

Performance

Xiaomi went with a popular choice for the chipset in Poco C31. The phone comes with a 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 chipset. Phones like Oppo A16, Xiaomi Redmi 9 Activ, Nokia G20 and Realme C20A also have the same chipset.

One phone, which surprisingly comes with a better chipset (Unisoc Tiger T610) in terms of CPU and gaming performance is Samsung's A03, which we reviewed earlier. 

However, the recent smartphone price hike also hit that model and the price went up compared to what it was when it was first released. 

MediaTek Helio G35 scores 112,922 in the AnTuTu benchmark, which is far better than Xiaomi's recently released budget smartphone Redmi A1 Plus's MediaTek Helio A22 chipset. A1 Plus is priced at Tk11,999. 

As a matter of fact, this can well be a good comparison between the latest budget-friendly phone compared to the one released a year ago. 

Compared to Helio G35's 112,922 AnTuTu score, A22 scores only 87,422. There are also sacrifices made in the camera segment. However, the current price difference turns out to be only T500. 

According to Geekbench, the single-core performance of G35 is 8% better than A22 while multi-core performance is 26% better. 

When it comes to gaming, while we don't recommend it, Poco C31's MediaTek Helio G35 will be able to run PUBG Mobile at 23fps with low graphics settings, Call of Duty Mobile at 29fps with medium graphics settings and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at 29fps with lower settings, according to Nanoreview. 

Camera

Poco C31 comes with a triple camera setup consisting of a 13MP primary shooter, a 2MP depth sensor and another 2MP macro lens. 

The 2MP depth and 2MP macro cameras never came to any good use. But it's better to have them compared to not having them. 

The main camera in the discussion — the 13MP primary camera — can capture decent shots as long as there are enough lights around. Daylight shots turn out to be nice. 

However, during night or in a low-light situation, you can't really expect much from it. The camera will struggle to find the subject and the photos will turn out to be grainy and softer. 

The phone does have MIUI's default camera app, which offers lots of features and filters. And if you need more, you can definitely get a GCam port for this phone. 

On the front, the phone has a 5MP wide selfie camera, which also performs well during the day. The edge detection in portrait selfies seemed right and they turned out to be decent. 

In the video section, both the front and rear camera supports video recording of up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. 

Battery

The phone has a massive 5,000 mAh battery inside, which is definitely a nice touch. However, the charging speed is as bad as Xiaomi's recently released Redmi A1 Plus. It charges at only 10 watts. 

However, unlike A1 Plus, you will not be getting the GO edition of Android. So, the battery life might not be the same as that phone. My best bet will be 6 to 7 hours of battery backup.

The phone will take a long time to fully charge. If you think about getting one, you should definitely keep it in mind. 

Verdict

Poco C31 can easily be considered as a budget friendly phone during a time when smartphone prices are on the rise. But I will only recommend this if your day-to-day tasks don't involve heavy gaming or other tasks that put excessive pressure on your phone. 

C31 is definitely a decent “basic phone,” and it will be able to do basic tasks quite easily. Considering the current scenario, if you want more from your smartphone, you have to consider doubling your budget. 


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