Xiaomi’s new sub-brand is named “Pocophone” internationally and simply it's called “Poco”. Xiaomi is a name not just only widely known in the western world, at least beyond those well-versed in the consumer techs cape. The firm has built a reputation for creating stunning, powerful devices at low costs, earning a commanding position in the Bangladeshi markets, significantly over a couple of years. Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is a stunning one for Xiaomi, It comes with some exciting features like large battery, bright display and capable cameras all for a tantalizingly low price, the Pocophone F1 is an exciting new entry in the smartphone marketplace.
Design and Display
In an era wherever every premium flagship smartphone sports some kind of glass and metal body, Poco has opted for a decent previous polycarbonate plastic as their material of selection. The reason for the choice of plastic is no doubt a cost-saving measure, but nonetheless, it should also add to the overall durability of the device—making it more likely to withstand an accidental drop or two compared to its rather fragile glass counterparts.
The front is covered by Gorilla Glass 3. Not the toughest out there, but still, it’s good to know there’s some level of protection on board. The notch holds an array of sensors together with those used for face unlock, a proximity sensor, and a front camera module. The notification LED has been relocated to the bottom and is nicely hidden under the chin.
Separate volume control keys and a power button are on the right side while the left holds the hybrid SIM tray. On the very top, you can find the 3.5mm headphone jack and a secondary microphone to help block out noise during calls. Missing from the list here is an IR blaster that is quite omnipresent on Xiaomi phones. The decision to forgo the IR blaster is likely due to the tight design constraint the company was working with. Indeed, after including those sensors at the top for the face unlock mechanism, it doesn’t look like there was any space left to accommodate an IR Blaster. It’s not a big deal for me, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re coming from a Xiaomi device and have grown accustomed to using that feature.
Moving to the back, you’ll find a vertically-aligned dual-camera setup situated on the upper half. The fingerprint sensor is located just below the camera and is slightly recessed so you can easily locate it by touch without accidentally smudging the camera lens. There’s no camera bump, that may be a massive relief once seeing so much devices with them in 2018. Lastly, the brand logo and a tiny dot, which the company says is required as part of the Kevlar manufacturing process, are located on the bottom.
The device feels solid and gives a feeling of reassurance when in your hand. Thanks to chamfered edges and solid grip, single-handed use is not an issue here. The corners are well-rounded and don’t dig into your palm. Since the device is all-plastic, you don’t get distracting antenna lines running on the top and bottom—a common design practice among devices made of metal for signal transmission—allowing for a clean and seamless look. The power and volume buttons are the only components made of metal.
As an extra bonus, the device is also splash resistant as recently confirmed by the company. That means it should easily withstand accidental water splashes and other liquid spills. However, you won’t be able to immerse it in a water tank or take it with you into a pool as it’s not waterproof.
The Poco F1 is employing a 6.18-inch IPS LCD panel provided by Chinese display maker Tianama. The panel itself is extremely smart quality and one of the higher LCD panels we've seen to date. Colors are vibrant and true to life and the contrast ratio is excellent as well for an LCD panel. Viewing angles are also impressive and even when viewed at off angles, there’s no noticeable color shifting. The display is calibrated to sRGB color area and offers actual color copy. There’s no support for wider color gamut like DCI-P3, however on the positive facet, it will support HDR content. The maximum brightness in manual mode is 450nits. While within the automatic mode, also as once viewing HDR content, it will go up to 500nits.
The most effective part of this Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is its camera. In truth, the primary 12-megapixel sensor with its f/1.9 aperture and 1.4µm pixels (a Sony IMX363, if you were wondering), as well as the sizeable 20-megapixel front-facer, have both been lifted directly from Xiaomi’s 2018 flagship handset, the Xiaomi Mi 8 – yet another benefit of Pocophone’s ties to Xiaomi’s supply line. This manifests as a powerful camera expertise – not just for a reasonable smartphone but outright. You get an AI-enhanced auto mode, manual control, automated HDR shooting, real-time photo filters and Beauty mode, QR code scanning, a Portrait mode and more.
You’d also be hard-pressed to find fault with images taken in well-lit situations. They’re full of detail, seem to have confidence solid color science, and showcase respectable dynamic range from that 12-megapixel main sensor. There’s additionally pleasing bokeh, instigated by the depth data picked up by the phone’s secondary 5-megapixel rear camera.
There is some apparent softening along edges and amid fine details, but you have to crop in to really make images fall apart. HDR is additionally extremely capable, ensuring that high and low contrast areas retain details that would be otherwise lost without adopting that compressed and processed ‘HDR look’ that some more affordable phones with an HDR mode finish up generating.
The AI-enhanced shooting apparently automatically sets the ideal settings for your compositions before you press the shutter. Like the experience doled out on the Honor Play’s AI-backed camera, all it appears to be doing is giving your shots a saturation boost. If you prefer that additional ‘pop’ then leave it on. Otherwise, switch it off for more natural-looking photos.
In low-light shooting, it’s easier to spot the F1’s lack of image stabilization tech. You can still take pleasing overall shots but shake and grain start to populate images once the lights go down. In spite of this, this camera isn’t rendered useless in low light; removed from it. This isn’t something that can’t be said of many low-cost phones.
The front camera has lots of pixels to capture your visage in pleasing detail. It copes well with strenuous lighting, and packs in a very strong Beauty mode which will either be stepped up through 5 levels or expanded for fine-tuned tweaking of skin smoothness, eye size and more. Best of all, it doesn’t leave you looking deformed, even at its highest settings.
The single sensor also can achieve a Portrait mode of its own. However, unlike the rear cameras, since it’s computing depth via a single sensor, it can sometimes become sloppy with its edge detection and confused when multiple faces are in-frame.
As for the video, we’re impressed that 4K recording at 30fps is even part of the equation at this price point, let alone the fact that there are additional options for high frame rate, time-lapse and slow-motion capture as well. A lack of stabilization is again the biggest consideration here.
Pocophone chose to rewrap Android 8.1 on the F1 with a tailored ‘For Poco’ version of MIUI 9.6. While not losing the shaping characteristics of the quality build of MIUI, it embraces traits a lot of usually found on alternative globally accessible devices. The company has additionally promised an upgrade to Android 9.0 with MIUI 10 running on high among the 1st 3 months of launch. A promise that should instill confidence in F1 owners, both existing and prospective.
Storage and Ram
There are four variants, with the 3 main ones being as follows 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage.
Provided you can pick up the Pocophone F1 in your region, it’s an easy buy for anyone who places performance, longevity and quality ahead of the aesthetics of conventional flagship phones. All in all, the Poco F1 performed rather impressively and well on the far side our expectations in these tests. While it may not compare to the Google Pixel as far as smoothness is concerned, it still held up fairly well on its own, delivering a consistent and measurably smooth UI performance across the board.