The Xiaomi Pocophone F1, often simply referred to as the Poco F1, made waves in the smartphone market due to its flagship-level specs at a mid-range price point. Here’s an in-depth review of the Pocophone F1:
Launched in 2018, the Pocophone F1 was Xiaomi’s attempt to disrupt the market by offering high-end specifications at an aggressive price. It was introduced under the Poco sub-brand, emphasizing speed and performance.
- Operating System: Shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo, with Xiaomi’s MIUI for Poco skin, later upgradeable.
- Display: 6.18-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels.
- Processor: Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 Octa-core.
- Memory: Options of 6/8 GB RAM with 64/128/256 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD.
- Camera: Dual rear camera setup – 12 MP primary sensor and 5 MP depth sensor. A 20 MP front camera.
- Battery: 4000 mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS.
- Other Features: Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, stereo speakers, and a liquid cooling system for the chipset.
- Performance: With the Snapdragon 845 chipset, the Poco F1 delivered flagship-level performance, handling everything from daily tasks to intensive gaming with ease.
- Battery Life: The 4000 mAh battery ensured the phone lasted through a full day of heavy usage.
- Price: The Poco F1’s aggressive pricing made it one of the best value-for-money smartphones in 2018.
- Cooling System: The liquid cooling system was a unique feature in its price range, ensuring sustained performance during intensive tasks.
- Build Quality: To keep costs down, the Poco F1 used a polycarbonate back, which felt less premium compared to the glass and metal designs of other flagships.
- MIUI for Poco: While the custom skin had some optimizations, it also came with bloatware and ads, which some users didn’t appreciate.
- Display: The IPS LCD, while decent, couldn’t match the contrast and vibrancy of AMOLED displays found in some competitors.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In 2018, the Pocophone F1 faced competition from various segments:
- OnePlus 6: Another “flagship killer” with a more premium design, AMOLED display, and a cleaner software experience.
- Asus Zenfone 5Z: Offering flagship specs with a focus on AI features and a competitive price.
- Samsung Galaxy S9: A premium flagship with a stellar display, camera, and design but at a much higher price point.
The Pocophone F1 was announced in August 2018 and released shortly after.
- Touch Latency: Some users reported touch latency issues, where the screen would occasionally not register touches promptly.
- Screen Bleeding: There were reports of screen bleeding, where the edges of the display had uneven backlighting.
- Software Bugs: Some users encountered software bugs, though many were addressed in subsequent updates.
The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 was a game-changer in the smartphone market, challenging the notion that flagship performance necessitated a flagship price. Its combination of high-end specs and aggressive pricing made it immensely popular, especially in markets like India. While it had its compromises, the overall value proposition was hard to beat. The Poco F1 set the stage for the Poco brand to continue offering high-performance devices at competitive prices.