Xiaomi POCO F1 is the new flagship killer

Xiaomi’s latest is called POCO F1. It is the first of the more new devices under Pocophone line. What makes the POCO F1 special? Is it special enough to be considered?

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In the smartphone market, the biggest attention grabbers are flagship smartphones. They represent the best phone a company can make. Flagship killers garner more attention than flagship smartphones (who doesn’t like a David vs Goliath tale?). OnePlus is the prime example of this as the company pioneered the concept of a flagship killer. Asus followed in the footsteps and came out with the ZenFone 5Z. The latest to jump on this bandwagon is Xiaomi, a company that is known for making value-for-money products. The latest from the company is called POCO F1. It is being touted as a flagship killer. Is it one? Even if it is, is it worth spending one’s hard-earned money on?

Specifications Xiaomi POCO F1
Price Rs 20,999 – Rs 28,999
Processor 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 GPU
RAM 6GB/8GB
Display 6.18-inch, Full HD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB (expandable up to 256GB with microSD card)
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI for POCO
Rear Camera 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel
Front Camera 20-megapixel
Battery 4000mAh with fast charging
Dimensions 155.5mm x 75.2mm x 8.8mm
NFC No
Fingerprint Scanner Rear-mounted
Water/Dust resistance N/A

What’s new about the Xiaomi POCO F1?

The Xiaomi POCO F1 is the latest phone to join the notched display bandwagon (started by Essential Phone, popularized by iPhone X). Despite that notch, it still has a thin forehead and chin too. The phone is features glass up front and polycarbonate rear shell. In the POCO F1 Armoured Edition, the phone features glass front, metal sides, and Kevlar back. The phone’s design is nothing to write home about. Anyone who has seen the OnePlus 6 can guess this phone’s design.

Xiaomi-POCO-F1-2

A few bits and pieces on the Xiaomi POCO F1 do stand out. Crucially, there is no Mi branding on the phone. It is replaced with POCO by Xiami branding on the rear panel. Also, the rear camera setup and the fingerprint scanner arrangement is reminiscent of the Galaxy S9/S9+ smartphones. Also standing out is the charging port on the bottom edge and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge. These are not issues but things owners will likely notice about the phone. They help the POCO F1 earn brownie points by helping it stand out from the crowd.

Xiaomi-POCO-F1-6

The Xiaomi POCO F1 is powered by 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip (no, seriously!) and it is mated to Adreno 630 GPU. The phone comes in three variants based on RAM and internal storage space – 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/256GB. The internal storage space can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card. The phone gets a 6.18-inch display with Full HD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio. From the looks of it, it seems Xiaomi opted for an IPS LCD panel and not the AMOLED/OLED type to save costs.

Xiaomi-POCO-F1-1

This is the Xiaomi POCO F1 Armoured Edition

The POCO F1 runs on MIUI for POCO, a special variant of MIUI based on Android 8.1 Oreo. Android 9 Pie will reportedly come to the phone by Q4 2018. The phone has a dual rear-camera setup consisting of a primary 12-megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture and dual-pixel autofocus. The secondary lens is a 5-megapixel unit with f/2.0 aperture. The front camera has a 20-megapixel lens which is also used for facial recognition security feature.

Xiaomi-POCO-F1-4

Connectivity options on the Xiaomi POCO F1 include 3.5mm headphone jack, dual-SIM, 4G on both SIM slots, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, and USB Type-C. It is powered by a 4000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support. The phone measures 155.5mm x 75.2mm x 8.8mm and weighs 182g (Armoured Edition measures 155.7mm x 75.5mm x 8.9mm and weighs 187g). In the box come the POCO F1 smartphone, charging cable + adapter, SIM eject tool, warranty card, user guide, and clear soft case. It is available in three colours (apart from Armoured Edition) – Graphite Black, Rosso Red, and Steel Blue.

Is the Xiaomi POCO F1 worth consideration?

What’s not to love about the Xiaomi POCO F1? It costs as much as a mid-range smartphone. Its specs help it take on the best flagship smartphones out there. For value-for-money buyers out there, it is a no-brainer. However, there is a second side to the story which Xiaomi has addressed as well. Discerning smartphone buyers may think of staying away from this phone. After all, to keep costs down, Xiaomi did cut corners and they are quite visible. Keeping costs down doesn’t mean Xiaomi did not want to spend money.

Xiaomi-POCO-F1-3

The company spent money where it mattered. An example of this is the use of LiquidCool technology to keep the phone from overheating. That’s a fancy way of saying it has a heat sink. In a phone made of glass and metal, there isn’t much space for heat ventilation. This is why that heat sink is required and Xiaomi deserves brownie points for that. Whether that will change smartphone enthusiasts’ opinion about the POCO F1 or not will be seen in due time. However, it is worth a consideration by even the most hardcore smartphone geeks.

Xiaomi POCO F1 – Synopsis

  • Prices start from Rs 20,999
  • Made of primarily glass and metal
  • Armoured Edition is made of glass, metal, and kevlar
  • Powered by a 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip with Adreno 630 GPU
  • Variants – 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/256GB (RAM/Internal Storage)
  • Internal storage can be expanded up to 256GB with a microSD card
  • Notched display measures 6.18 inches across, has Full HD+ (2246x1080p) resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio
  • Dual rear camera setup has 12-megapixel primary lens and 5-megapixel secondary lens
  • Front camera has a 20-megapixel lens
  • Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, dual-SIM, 4G, and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Security features include rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and infrared facial recognition system
  • Powered by a 4000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support
  1. […] category had some interesting challengers for the crown like Nokia 6.1 Plus, Xiaomi POCO F1. However, while they were quite competitive, they just could not match up to what Samsung has done […]

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