Xiaomi is here with a sub-brand, the Pocophone. The name signifies high performance. With the F1 starting at an effective price of Rs.21,000, Xiaomi is here to make a difference. Beware all the mid-tier high end phones (OnePlus, Honor and Asus Zenfone), we have a new competitor in town. Sporting the Snapdragon 845, it is the cheapest phone on the market to do so. Let’s dive into what the phone is and what it is capable of;
First of all, the device does not feel premium at all, it feels all ‘plasticky’. The cheaper and costlier alternatives do a better job at the body of the device. Xiaomi really did cut-off a lot on the build quality of the phone. This is mainly due to the polycarbonate back of the phone, though it will survive a few drops and scratches, it feels cheap. The top of the line (8GB/256GB) model comes with Kevlar fabric which is only available in black. All the buttons are placed on the right side of the phone. The fingerprint sensor stays at the back of the phone and reachability is not a problem.
The Pocophone F1 features a 5.99-inches IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 1080x2246 pixels (416dpi). Not being an OLED, it doesn’t have true colors and good viewing angles. Also, it doesn’t have an Always On Display, though you have an option to Double Tap to Wake. The notch seems dispositioned due to thick top and bottom bezels. Putting a notch on a smartphone has become a trend in the smartphone industry, so some companies do that nonetheless of it’s necessity.
The Pocophone F1 comes in three variations; 6GB/64GB, 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB. All of these models will be featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with Adreno 630 GPU. It is a competition to the likes of Note 9 and Pixel 2, but numbers do not tell the whole story. It comes with liquid cooling which kicks in when required.
F1 comes with Quick Charge 3.0 via a Type-C port coupled with a massive battery; 4,000 mAh which will get you going for more than a day. NFC is missing (probably cost cutting) from the phone which is a letdown as wireless payments were on the rise. The phone also comes equipped with IR based face unlock which comes in handy.
On paper, the camera sounds good; 12MP main sensor coupled with 5MP secondary sensor for depth information. But in reality, results are inconsistent with near perfect portraits sometimes. Xiaomi has really done a good job with edge detection in the mid-range series. The front camera is a 20MP sensor which captures some decent pictures. Though overall a good camera for the price bracket, it falls short of the promises Xiaomi made for it’s camera.
The F1 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 on top of MIUI 9.6 which in turn has a separate Poco Launcher on top of it. Because of different branding, we get a new revamped launcher to give users a more stock-like experience which companies like OnePlus have to offer. The UI feels solids and there are a lot of things you can explore in it. Android Pie is promised to come before the end of this year.ss