Xiaomi is undoubtedly a household name when it comes affordable smartphones. And yet the company has managed to raise the bar yet again in terms of pricing and performance with its new device — the Pocophone F1.
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: made by Xiaomi?
The Xiaomi Pocophone F1’s unusual name may be rising some eyebrows — and rightfully so, because the device is actually a collaboration between two companies: Xiaomi and its new and lesser known sub-brand, Pocophone. Pocophone follow their own design and promotional techniques while enjoying the benefits of Xiaomi’s manufacturing facilities and software development experience. The phone was first released in India on August 22nd and is expected to soon be be available in all of Xiaomi reseller locations in the country.
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: specs
Before the detailed review, let’s take a quick look at the main specs of Xiaomi POCO F1.
|Product name||Xiaomi Pocophone F1|
|Display||6.18-inch 2246 x 1080 FHD+ 18.7:9 screen|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 up to 2.8GHz, LiquidCool Technology|
|GPU||Adreno 630 GPU, up to 710MHz|
|OS||MIUI 9.6 (based on the Android 8.1)|
|Memory||8GB+256GB / 6GB+128GB / 6GB+64GB|
|Camera||12MP + 5MP AI dual rear cameras; 20MP front camera|
|Unlock||IR face unlock, rear fingerprint sensor unlock|
|Battery||4000mAh (typ) / 3900mAh (min); Support quick charge 3.0;|
|Ports||USB type-C charging port; 3.5mm audio port|
|Optional Colors||Graphite black, steel blue, rosso red, armoured edition|
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: simple but durable design
The phone comes with a polycarbonate body — a low cost yet durable and hard-wearing option that will make sure the POCO F1 serves you long and well. You get the blue, black and red color variations — plus, there is the special edition coming with the Kevlar cover.
On the back, you have two vertically stacked cameras located just above a fingerprint sensor. You will also see red flashes around the sensor, which are there for aesthetics only.
On the front, there is the infamous notch that seems to be a trendy way to upset the otherwise well thought through design. In the case of the Pocophone F1, the presence of the notch can hardly be justified by the “bigger screen” argument — the notch is not only wide but also quite thick. On the functional side, it houses the phone’s impressive selfie camera, the specific of which we will get into in the next section of the post.
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: speed, cameras and AI
Here’s where the phone works the Xiaomi magic. You get the high-end Snapdragon 845 CPU (offering more power than any processor in the Redmi line) paired with the generous 6GB of RAM.
There is a nice 6.18 inch display sporting a 2,246 x 1,080 resolution and an 18.7:9 aspect ratio for all your media needs and comfy web browsing. Plus, the Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU will have the back of all the mobile gamers out there.
You may not be expecting a phone aiming to conquer the budget smartphone market to come with a set of good cameras — but the Pocophone F1 is all about surprises. The phone comes with a 20MP front cam (very impressive for a budget smartphone considering even the iPhone X comes with a 7MP selfie shooter) featuring 2μm large pixel technology and AI Beautify 4.0 for studio-quality portraits. On the back, you get a more standard setup of 12MP + 5MP dual cameras with AI scene detection and other smart photo optimizations.
The Pocophone F1 runs on Android 8.1 with a MIUI 9.6 skin — but an upgrade to MIUI 10 is to be expected over the course of the next month. There is a USB Type-C charging port, the support of USB 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0 for efficient wireless connectivity and the classic headphone jack, which is often missed on modern flagships.
For security, you have the choice of the PIN, a fingerprint sensor or face unlock and there is a 4,000 mAh battery to make sure the device lasts through a day of prolific use.
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: price
Here’s where things get really interesting. The 6.18 inch phone with the high-end Snapdragon 845, a 20MP selfie cam, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is on sale in India for just (drumroll) $300 — making it, quite probably, the best smartphone bargain out there, even by Xiaomi’s standards.
There are, of course, the more expensive versions as well with 128GB or 256GB of storage. The priciest Pocophone coming with 8GB of RAM and 256G of storage under the proud “Armored Edition” title will be available for $429.Xiaomi Pocophone F1: the verdict
There is really not much to be said here. Mostly, because when you are looking at a $300 price tag for a smartphone with these specs, all the cynicism goes out the window. It’s simply a great phone for a great price. That name, though…
You may interest: