Pocophone F1 review: Can’t argue with Snapdragon 845 for $300

Editor’s be aware: Xiaomi’s new sub-brand is known as “Pocophone” the world over and easily “Poco” in India. In case you notice the identify Poco F1 floating round, it’s the similar instrument as Pocophone F1. Throughout this Pocophone F1 assessment, we’ll use the world branding.

High-end specifications are now not tied to high-end telephones. It’s loopy whilst you take into accounts it: you’ll be able to spend below $500 and get the similar core specifications you’d get if you happen to paid $1000. Sure, you’ll must make some compromises, however they’re tiny in comparison to the price you get from telephones like OnePlus 6, Asus ZenFone 5Z, or Honor 10.

It’s without equal purchaser’s marketplace, and it’s about to get even higher, because the Pocophone F1 is right here to take at the OnePlus 6 and its competitors.

It’s without equal purchaser’s marketplace, and it’s about to get even higher.

Available ranging from simply 21,000 rupees (~$300), the primary telephone in Xiaomi’s new Pocophone sub-brand outprices each different Snapdragon 845 telephone in the marketplace. But is it in fact higher price for cash? Found out in our Pocophone F1 assessment.

About our Pocophone F1 assessment

Bogdan Petrovan and Abhishek Baxi wrote this Pocophone F1 assessment after the use of the telephone widely over a couple of days. Bogdan used the entry-level 64GB type and taken with design, functionality, and common impressions. Abhishek, who used the probably the greatest type with Kevlar housing and 256GB of garage, centered at the digital camera and instrument.

Design and construct high quality

The Pocophone F1 seems to be and really feel relatively generic. We have been clearly now not anticipating Note 9-like ranges of design refinement, however the F1 falls quick in comparison to competition in its payment vary, or even some inexpensive choices.

The feeling of cheapness in large part comes from the polycarbonate again of the instrument. It’s now not that it’s shoddy or flimsy, a ways from it. The end of the darkish gray (Graphite Black) model mimics steel somewhat neatly, however the F1 undoubtedly feels much less top class than the OnePlus 6 or Honor 10. On the turn aspect, the plastic again must fare higher when dropped, although it’s going to scratch and put on quicker than glass.

The F1 undoubtedly feels much less top class than the OnePlus 6 or Honor 10.

The polycarbonate type is to be had in Graphite Black, Steel Blue, and Rosso Red.

If you’d like one thing a bit of fancier, you must glance into the highest Pocophone F1 model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of garage. Called “Armored Edition”, this type comes with a again manufactured from Kevlar cloth that resembles the Motorola Droid Razr from a couple of years in the past. It’s the one model we’d really feel assured the use of with no case, because it feels somewhat strong and the additional grip is comforting. The Kevlar type is most effective to be had in black.

All fashions come with a skinny aluminum body, with the facility and quantity buttons positioned at the proper aspect. The buttons are a bit of skinny for convenience, however they’re crisp, responsive, and simple to succeed in. The spherical fingerprint sensor at the again could also be simply reachable.

In line with maximum telephones of 2018, the Pocophone F1 has a large notch at the entrance. Unlike different gadgets regardless that, the F1’s notch feels misplaced because of the thick bezels on the best and backside. It seems like Xiaomi slapped a notch on an older telephone design it had mendacity round, simply to check out and glance cool (and fail at it). The closely rounded corners make the bezels much more visual.

The F1’s notch feels misplaced because of the thick bezels on the best and backside.

If you prefer compact designs, the Pocophone F1 might not be for you. It’s about the similar measurement and weight because the OnePlus 6 (see under), in spite of its display screen being 0.3 inches smaller. It’s now not tremendous simple to deal with in one hand, however fortunately it’s now not slippery, because of the plastic again.

The show

The Pocophone F1 includes a 5.99-inch IPS LCD show, that includes a answer of 1080 x 2246 pixels (18:9). At 416dpi, the pixel density is excessive sufficient to make pixels unnoticeable. Colors are great and punchy, regardless that OLED would’ve clearly were given you higher distinction charges and viewing angles. The most effective minor factor price noting is outdoor legibility – at complete brightness, textual content generally is a little smudgy.

While the display screen itself is excellent, its oleophobic coating isn’t. The glass was once lined in smudges once we took the telephone out of the field.

The Pocophone F1 does now not have always-on show capability. You can, then again, double faucet the display screen to wake it up, which is consistently welcome.

Pocophone F1 specifications and options

The Pocophone F1 might be to be had in three memory-storage mixtures: 6GB/64GB, 8GB/128GB, and 8GB/256GB. All three variations characteristic the Snapdragon 845 processor (10nm octa-core with Adreno 630 GPU). That’s somewhat spectacular for a telephone that sells for below $500.

Read: Full Pocophone F1 specifications: It has flagship energy, however is that it?

Raw specifications don’t inform the overall tale, however the F1 undoubtedly will get all of the fundamentals proper. Not most effective does the Pocophone fit OnePlus 6 or Honor 10, it beats telephones just like the Galaxy S9 or Pixel 2 (and really most probably the Pixel 3). On best of this, Xiaomi added a liquid cooling device to lend a hand the CPU hum alongside with out overheating. It’s known as LiquidCool, and it really works by way of shifting warmth from the processor to the opposite portions of the telephone, a little like an AC unit.

Using the Pocophone F1 is a pride. It’s speedy and really clean.

The battery is superb too. A 4,000mAh unit must stay you up and working for a complete day, doubtlessly two, relying on how laborious you push it. We have been ready to get round nine hours of screen-on time on a unmarried fee, with the display screen set to 50 % brightness and a mixture of gazing video, surfing, the use of Reddit Sync, and a few gaming. When you faucet out, you’ll be able to get again within the sport temporarily, because of the beef up for Quick Charge 3 with the bundled 9V/2A charger. There’s no wi-fi charging regardless that – most likely a cost-cutting measure.

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NFC is lacking from the Pocophone F1, which is a disgrace, making an allowance for the Pocophone F1 might be offered in Europe, the place NFC cost terminals are not unusual.

The USB Type-C port is a welcome wonder. Given how Xiaomi needed to minimize different options down, we have been anticipating an older microUSB port very similar to the Vivo X21.

The Pocophone F1 includes a unmarried speaker, discovered at the backside (most effective one of the two grilles properties a speaker). It will get beautiful loud, however it has a tendency to buzz at excessive volumes.

The fingerprint sensor at the again of the F1 is one of the nicest we’ve used. It’s speedy and correct, and the recessed design method you don’t want to fumble round to search out it.

The Pocophone F1 additionally options an infrared-based face liberate sensor, which goes speedy and appropriately. Because it’s IR-based, it purposes neatly in all lighting fixtures prerequisites, negating the want to use the fingerprint sensor generally. Xiaomi famous that, in some markets, the characteristic might be activated with a long term instrument replace.

Speed is a large a part of Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 advertising marketing campaign and for just right explanation why – the F1 excels at it.

Pocophone F1 functionality

Speed is a large a part of Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 advertising marketing campaign and for just right explanation why – the F1 excels at it. With the probably the greatest internals it packs, the use of the Pocophone F1 is a pride. It’s speedy and really clean, with no lag or any jankiness. We didn’t come upon any problems enjoying graphics-intensive video games.

In AnTuTu, the type with 6GB of RAM hit rankings within the 240,000 to 260,000 vary, which is on par with or above many 2018 flagships.

Camera functionality

Moving on with our Pocophone F1 assessment, the rear digital camera at the instrument is a tough factor. In principle, it sounds nice – a twin digital camera setup comprising a 12MP major sensor and a 5MP secondary one for intensity data. In observe, functionality is inconsistent.

In maximum circumstances, particularly in just right lighting fixtures prerequisites outdoor, the Pocophone F1 manages to take some good photographs with a just right quantity of element. The portrait mode too is on the subject of best possible, with very good edge detection. Xiaomi has nearly cracked portrait modes on price range and mid-range smartphones, as we noticed within the Redmi Note 5 Pro or the Mi A2.

However, in tough lighting fixtures prerequisites – now not essentially low gentle – the overexposure and white steadiness reduce to rubble, leading to botched pictures.

The photographs glance extremely saturated generally, which is in most cases how we love it. Lot of instances, we don’t care about just right colour replica up to we do about unbelievable Instagram-ready photographs. But with the F1, there’s an excessive amount of colour saturation infrequently, like when clicking flora or meals, and that’s now not a just right factor.

The 20MP entrance digital camera makes use of Xiaomi’s pixel binning era to mix knowledge from four person pixels. The selfies will serve wonderful for social media posts, however gained’t blow you away.

Overall, the cameras on Pocophone F1 fare neatly. They’re forged, however now not remarkable, which is truthful for a smartphone on this payment section, however seems to be disappointing most effective as a result of Xiaomi guarantees the sector in its advertising.

Overall, the cameras on Pocophone F1 fare neatly. They’re forged, however now not remarkable.

Software

The Pocophone F1 runs Android 8.1 Oreo, with Xiaomi’s proprietary UI layer, MIUI 9.6. But since Pocophone is a separate sub-brand, there’s a Poco Launcher on best of MIUI. Yes, MIUI over Android, and Poco Launcher on best of MIUI. Launcher-ception!

The thought at the back of the brand new Poco Launcher is to make it glance extra like inventory Android, very similar to what Oxygen OS on OnePlus makes an attempt. This lets in Xiaomi to draw fanatics of the inventory Android revel in, whilst including extra options and functions.

The instrument at the Pocophone F1 feels somewhat forged and polished. MIUI is one of the extra feature-rich skins in the market and has garnered somewhat a large number of fanatics for its extremely sensible options. We’ve been instructed that upcoming updates to the Pocophone F1 will deliver a good higher (learn, nearer to inventory Android) consumer revel in for notifications and extra.

Xiaomi has promised to ship the Android Pie replace for the Pocophone F1 sooner than the tip of this 12 months.

One of the unusual problems that we bumped into is that the notifications icons don’t display up in any respect within the standing bar. We’re now not positive what’s happening there, even supposing that is one thing that may be fastened with a instrument replace. If that occurs, we’ll remember to replace our Pocophone F1 assessment accordingly.

The pageant

The marketplace that Xiaomi is concentrated on with the Pocophone F1 is terribly aggressive, so just right pricing is a very powerful. The telephone doesn’t disappoint. In India, the instrument (offered as Poco F1) will charge 21,000 rupees (~300$) for the 6GB/64GB type, 24,000 (~$345) rupees for the 8GB/128GB type, 29,000 rupees (~$415) for the 8GB/256GB type, and 30,000 rupees (~$430) for the 8GB/256GB type type with Kevlar again.

At that payment, the Pocophone F1 will cross up in opposition to:

  • OnePlus 6 (6GB RAM and 64GB garage) – Starting from 35,000 rupees (~$500). The OnePlus 6 includes a sleeker design, a greater display screen, a greater digital camera, and extra polished instrument with an ideal developer group. It has a smaller battery regardless that.
  • Honor 10 (6GB and 128GB garage) – Starting from 33,000 rupees (~470). The Honor 10 comes with a identical processor, extra base garage, and a nicer digital camera. The design may put you off regardless that and the battery is smaller.
  • Asus ZenFone 5Z (6GB RAM and 64GB garage) – Starting from 30,000 rupees (~430). The design of the 5Z is arguably higher and it provides nice audio functionality. Smaller battery; the instrument is hit or miss.
  • Honor Play (4GB RAM and 64GB garage) – Starting from 20,000 rupees (~$285). The highest payment you’ll be able to most likely get for a telephone with a flagship SoC. GPU Turbo era for progressed gaming functionality. Slightly higher design.

More Pocophone F1 assessment pictures

Xiaomi Pocophone F1.

Final ideas

As Xiaomi promised, the Pocophone F1 is all about velocity. If you care basically about having the most productive functionality or you need to ensure your telephone will keep speedy for a number of years, then it’s very laborious to overcome the Pocophone for the cash.

If you’re having a look for functionality and a battery that helps to keep you going all day, the Pocophone F1 turns into much more compelling.

If you’re having a look for functionality and a battery that helps to keep you going all day, the Pocophone F1 is terribly compelling.

The drawback is the F1 doesn’t excel at anything but even so the battery existence and its nice performance-to-price ratio. The design is uninspiring, except you select up the dearer Kevlar type. The cameras are inconsistent at highest. There a large number of instrument options, however none of them actually sticks out.

Xiaomi obviously desires to take at the OnePlus 6 and the Honor 10, however but even so identical functionality at a miles lower cost, it doesn’t produce sturdy causes to pick out up the Pocophone F1, which lacks the refinement of its extra mature competition.

The Pocophone F1 is a great telephone, however an awesome deal. If you’re on a decent price range, it must undoubtedly be on the best of your listing of choices. If you could have a bit of leeway, cross check out one of the vital different telephones we discussed.

Read: The highest smartphones in India below Rs. 30,000

The no-frills Pocophone F1 is only the start and we’re excited to look the place the Poco circle of relatives can cross one day. It’s now not utterly transparent why Xiaomi determined it wanted a sub-brand, making an allowance for it might promote the robust Mi 8 at a aggressive payment and actually give all of the “flagship killers” a run for their cash. Perhaps the tactic will grow to be clearer over the approaching 12 months, as Xiaomi works to tell apart its product strains. For now regardless that, let’s simply say that the Pocophone model is off to an ideal get started.

And that’s it for our Pocophone F1 (aka Poco F1) assessment. Will you select up one? Is it a just right deal? Let us know your ideas.