Jan 6th, 2021

In my recent Poco M3 review, I noted that the budget-friendly smartphone is the only device worth considering if you’re planning to spend $150 (currently on sale for $140) on a new device. Not only does it offer three-day battery life with its 6,000 mAh battery (which can also be used as a power bank to charge your friend’s devices) but it also has the best display I’ve used in a very long time in a device this cheap.

The only real drawback with the Poco M3 is its cameras. The main 48MP camera on the back of the phone sounds like it should deliver some decent photos, but the results are far from ideal. The same goes for the 8MP front-facing camera. Fortunately, the issue has little to do with the hardware Poco is using. To see how the cameras on the Poco M3 are truly capable of, I installed the GCam camera app that Google uses on its Pixel smartphones.

Poco M3 review: the best $150 smartphone money can buy

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, so I was expecting to see a noticeable improvement in low light photography, white balance and dynamic range since GCam captured multiple images and uses computational photography to stitch together a better image, but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic improvement in details as well.

The differences between the stick camera app and GCam on the Poco M3 are truly astounding. It’s as if the images captured with the stock camera app were all slightly out of focus or the camera lens had a persistent smudge on it that the GCam camera app magically removed. It’s still not quite on the level as what the Pixel 4a delivers at the $350 mark, but GCam has changed my opinion about the Poco M3’s cameras.

Take a look at the video and photo gallery below and let me know what you think of the results.

Poco M3 GCam camera samples

Download the Poco M3 GCam camera app

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