Xiaomi’s smartphone model has always given the world devices that deliver above their price category and in the latest Poco F1, the Chinese OEM is further undercutting rivals with a device that packs a high-end processor at the lowest price ever.
Poco by Xiaomi is the company’s latest attempt to dethrone OnePlus as the true flagship killer by focusing on delivering the best performance on a budget. In the Poco F1, you have a device that packs flagship features, among them, a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, but you can have it for far much less than what other already cheap Xiaomi phones sell for.
So, what really makes the Poco F1 unique that Xiaomi saw it fit not to simply release it as another flagship Mi smartphone? Let’s do some digging.
Related: Download Pocophone F1 Launcher APK
Xiaomi isn’t new to many Android fans, but Poco by Xiaomi is the opposite. For the uninitiated, Poco is to Xiaomi what Honor is to Huawei, however, Xiaomi is quick to point out that it won’t be releasing the same devices under the different sub-brands like in the case of Huawei, rather, Poco’s main focus is on perfecting the basics of a smartphone without including features that are of no benefit to the end user.
This, basically, means that some things like aesthetics will be sacrificed in order to deliver the best bang for your buck – something that is quite evident on the Poco F1.
Irresistible price tag
Look around you and you’ll notice that the only affordable smartphones with the premium Snapdragon 845 chipset on board are OnePlus 6 and Asus ZenFone 5Z, but none of them comes close to the pricing of the Poco F1. At just INR 20,999 (about $300 or €260), the Poco F1 is the most affordable smartphone with Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line processor alongside some other premium additions like up to 8GB RAM and 256GB UFS 2.1 storage, and a whopping 4000mAh battery to keep the device alive.
Xiaomi Poco F1 specs
- 6.2-inch 19:9 FHD+ (2248×1080) LCD display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
- 6GB or 8GB RAM
- 64GB, 128GB or 256GB expandable storage
- Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
- 20MP front camera
- 4000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo, upgradable to Pie
It’s a highly targeted device
A quick look at the Poco F1 specs and you’ll know what Xiaomi wants with this phone. In a smartphone market that tech enthusiasts are becoming more nitpicky, Xiaomi notes that:
“POCO understands the core elements of a great smartphone experience and focuses on providing exactly that. We think this is what users want, instead of abundant features that aren’t crucial and in fact add to costs. So POCO delivers a fluid, speedy and flagship experience at an irresistible price tag. Our devices offer the ultimate performance with no frills.”
Yes, the Snapdragon 845 is a fast processor, but Poco wants you to have a device that maintains optimum performance all day long, hence the inclusion of LiquidCool technology. Face Unlock has been creating all the fuss lately, but Poco wants it to deliver the same results regardless of the lighting conditions, hence the choice to go with infrared. The back camera has Dual pixel AF technology for super fast autofocusing regardless of the condition and to ensure there’s nothing to worry about during the day despite managing high speeds, the Poco F1 has a massive 4000mAh battery. The icing on the cake is the irresistible price tag of just $300 for the base model, although this could vary in different markets across the globe.
Beats Honor Play at its own game
In the official blog post detailing the launch of the Poco F1, Xiaomi aimed a dig at Huawei for releasing the same smartphone under different brands, but truth be told, this model is what means Huawei has always posed a threat to Apple and even Samsung. Through the Honor brand, Huawei has been able to capture a certain user base that is after performance-focused devices on the budget, the same market that Xiaomi is chasing after with the Poco sub-brand.
One of Huawei’s latest additions to the Indian market is the Honor Play. This is a good phone powered by the high-end Kirin 970 chipset akin to the premium Huawei P20 and Mate 10, but it’s a 2017 processor. With the newly launched Poco F1, Xiaomi has definitely undercut its fiercest rival with an even more powerful device with a 2018 flagship processor and more RAM at just about the same price.
Highly optimized MIUI
MIUI has been the reason some people don’t buy Xiaomi phones and while it’s still one of the best among custom skins, Xiaomi says MIUI for Poco F1 is “deeply customized for a lighter, faster, and smoother experience.”
With the help of a feature known as “turbocharged engine”, the Poco F1 promises faster app launch, gaming performance, and navigation thanks to “enhancements in the screen response and animation frame rate.” Even more interesting is that unlike the typical MIUI, the version on the Poco F1 has an app drawer.
Although it comes preinstalled with Android 8.1 Oreo, Xiaomi promised that an update to Android Pie will be ready this Q4 2018. The company has already opened the Poco Beta Testing Program and while we know this beta will bring MIUI 10 to the device, we can’t tell whether Pie will accompany it. Still, Xiaomi says that “MIUI for POCO also prioritizes security with regular patches and updates from Google”, which is what many Android enthusiasts like to hear.
What are your thoughts on the Snapdragon 845-equipped $300 costing Poco F1 smartphone by Xiaomi?