Xiaomi has been one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturers in India over the past 18 months, becoming the biggest smartphone brand in the process. It managed to capture a large chunk of the market with its Redmi series by offering powerful hardware at affordable prices. While the lower end of the market welcomed Xiaomi smartphones, the higher end still preferred established brands such as Samsung and OnePlus. Xiaomi says that the new Poco sub-brand lets it start with a clean slate, without being burdened by the expectations that people have based on its other products. #Xiaomi Poco F1
With Asus and OnePlus making waves in the sub-Rs.40,000 market, Xiaomi doesn’t want to be left far behind. The F1 is the first product from Poco, and sports powerful specifications. But the most interesting bit about the Poco F1 is the pricing. With prices starting at Rs. 20,999, the F1 is by far the most affordable smartphone running the flagship Qualcomm processor.
Poco F1 SPECIFICATION and SOFTWARE
The Poco F1 sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It has 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection of the Poco F1 has a notch at the top of the display, but it’s bigger than the ones on the OnePlus 6. It houses an infrared camera, infrared emitter, 20-megapixel selfie camera, and the earpiece. Also, the borders around the display are slightly thicker than on those phones. The Poco F1 does not have an IR emitter, commonly seen on Xiaomi smartphones. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port and two grilles on either side, of which only the right one houses a loudspeaker and xiaomi has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack.
This is mainly down to the 4000mAh battery. Xiaomi ships a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 certified charger in the box to top it up quickly.
The Poco F1 sports a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with four cores clocked at 2.8GHz and the other four clocked at 1.8GHz.There are three RAM and storage variants: 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM with 256GB of storage, with the Armoured Edition we reviewed only available in the latter configuration. The Poco F1 has a hybrid dual-SIM tray that lets you expand storage if you wish to. In terms of connectivity, the Poco F1 has Bluetooth 5 and dual-band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac. The Poco F1 is a hybrid dual-SIM device. It has support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs, which lets both SIMs be on a 4G network. Xiaomi has said that the Poco F1 also supports 4G+ that will lets it latch onto the 800MHz and 2300 MHz bands simultaneously.
In terms of software, The phone currently runs MIUI 9.6 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo . The Poco F1 supports themes, which lets you change the way the phone looks, right down to the icon pack. The Settings app is unchanged from what we’ve seen with MIUI before, and just like with other Xiaomi phones, we sometimes had to use the search function to get to the setting we were looking for. You also get other MIUI features including Dual Apps which lets you run two instances of supported apps such as WhatsApp, and Second Space which lets you create a separate user profile.
The Poco F1 has a Face Unlock feature that uses the infrared camera and emitter to scan your face. We found this feature to be very handy as it was quick to unlock the phone. The fingerprint scanner is also quick, something you can fall back on if face recognition fails.
Poco F1 CAMERA and BATTERY LIFE
The camera app on the Poco F1 is similar to what we have seen on most other Xiaomi devices. Apart from the regular Photo and Video modes, it has Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and Manual modes. The Manual mode gives you control over white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO. AI mode is enabled by default and helps the camera in scene detection. It is fairly quick to determine what the camera is pointed towards. There is a toggle for HDR and an option to select filters before you take a shot.
The dual camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel primary camera with a f/1.9 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, and dual-pixel autofocus. The secondary camera is a 5-megapixel depth sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixels. At the front, this phone has a 20-megapixel selfie shooter.
The battery is another area where the POCO F1 has the competition beat for the most part. Rocking a 4,000 mAh battery, the phone lasted close to a day and a half and this is while binging on Netflix, watching live matches on Hotstar and playing games like PUBG at hours on end. Even when it comes to benchmarking the battery performance, our standard PC Mark Work 2.0 Battery test returned with a whopping 12 hours and 14 minutes. As per our records, this close to the best score.
Even if you do happen to run out of juice, the supplied 12V 2A charger juices the POCO F1 up from under 20 percent to 83 percent in a little less than an hour.
Poco F1 PRICING
Starting at Rs 20,999 for the base variant, the POCO F1 does not only kill all phones in the segment regardless of what they have to offer but also kills Xiaomi’s own mid-rangers like the Mi A2. However, the POCO F1 is also a landmark device when it comes to pricing as brands make it seem almost impossible for phones with top-of-the-line chips to be priced lower than what the industry sets as a threshold.
The POCO F1 is not short of its own set of flaws. These include an average camera and a pretty basic design. But barring these, its difficult to argue why should anyone willing to spend Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for a phone settle for anything else.