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Xiaomi Poco F1 Review: Flagship of the Masses!

Xiaomi has perfected the art of pleasantly surprising its fans and followers, and it has done so by presenting great smartphones with amazing specs at unexpected prices. This strategy has also played an important role in the growth and success that Xiaomi has achieved in India. But this time, the company has pleasantly surprised everyone by launching a power-packed smart phone for a totally unexpected price. Xiaomi's Poco F1 is a smart phone stunner that comes with a rich and vibrant spec sheet and my jaw still hurts from hanging loosely after first learning about the price.

The Poco F1 not only puts a delicious source of supreme capabilities, but it does so in a non-extravagant way. At the starting price of just Rs 20,999 (on Flipkart), the Poco F1 not only shakes up the market for flagships and iconic assassins, but is also capable of driving a paradigm shift in our understanding of the word, " flagship". In addition to excellent internal components, it tries to lean on the world of premium smartphones and scores well when trying.

And, there is much more to know about the smart phone, so let me start by telling you about the Poco F1 specs.

Poco F1 Specifications

Little F1 comes with some solid paper specifications And before we start digging into features and performance, let me tell you about the hardware this smart phone is packed with.

Monitor6.18-inch LCD, FullHD + (1080 x 2246 pixels) IPS
Memory6/8 GB of RAM
Storage64/128 / 256GB ROM + Hybrid MicroSD slot, up to 256GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-Core (4 * 2, 8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold and 4 * 1, 8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) with Adreno 630
Camera12MP f / 1.9 + 5MP f / 2.0, LED Flash, 4K & Slo-mo Support, AI
Front20 MP f / 2.0, AI portrait mode
OS + UIAndroid 8.1 + MIUI for LITTLE
Battery4,000mAh with Qualcomm 3.0 Quick Charge
SensorFingerprint sensor, infrared unlock, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass
Bluetooth5.0 with AptX
WifiWi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, dual band

Box contents

Unlike the fantastic Poco F1, its packaging box is very simple and wrapped in the characteristic yellow + black color scheme, which has long been the universal color scheme of high-performance cars and might also remind you of Bumblebee . Nothing special, though, and in the basic packaging you get the following:

  • Poco F1 Headset
  • USB-C cable
  • Little 18W fast charger
  • SIM ejector
  • Protective TPU case
  • User manual and warranty guide

Design and build

With an emphasis on durability and performance, Poco F1 is equipped with a simple polycarbonate backrest . Choosing this limbo design, according to the company, is a voluntary decision that directs focus to other features that include a good camera in addition to powerful specs. The band that covers the edges appears to be made of brushed metal, but is also made of plastic.

If i prefer, you can spend Rs 1,000 on the top variant and choose the "armored edition" With three layers of Kevlar, it should lift your spirit and is likely to make the Poco F1 appear slightly superior. The volume up and down buttons by separated and the power button are located along the right edge of the F1 and the main speaker and USB-C port are located on the bottom. The location of the buttons is convenient and the gap between the volume and power controls makes it easy to differentiate between the buttons. If the power button had been textured, it would have made it more usable. The top of the Poco F1 carries a headphone jack, while the hybrid SIM card tray is placed on the top left of the smart phone.

The simplistic construction invokes a sense of balance and zen that is maintained when you take a look at the cameras. The dual camera setup, as well as the circular fingerprint scanner, lines up along the centerline and is a pleasure there is no blow to the camera . The design represents Pocophone's sense of originality and is inconsistent with his standard philosophy of shamelessly imitating the iPhone. This is probably because Xiaomi has launched the smart phone in more than 50 markets in everyone and design play a key role in the brand identity.

At the front, you get a 6.18-inch LCD screen with a notch on the top. The Poco F1 features front IR sensors placed on top. Although the choice of LCD over AMOLED is obviously due to the super competitive price, it is also add to the overall thickness of the smart phone . Edge chamfering also reduces ease of handling compared to the Mi 8, which comes with an AMOLED display. However, that can be cured with a back cover like the one included in the package. Lastly, there is a small notification LED that intersects the bottom edge.

Despite the polycarbonate body, not much flexibility and the Poco F1 is unlikely to fall prey to a curve in the future. It also won't break the back if you drop the phone and feel it. strong enough to handle soft drops well, although I have not had the courage to drop it. Lastly, there are no features like NFC, wireless charging, or any type of waterproofing, but these features are not even expected in this price range.

In general, I am convinced that the choice of the company polycarbonate on glass or metal does not hinder durability The Poco F1's overall construction feels solid and sturdy, even if it's not very important.

Monitor

When you get to the Poco F1 screen, use a 6.18-inch LCD screen that is bright enough and offers good colors . Xiaomi claims that the screen supports 84% ​​of the NTSC color gamut and it returns as bright as 500 nits . I can confirm that the screen is can easily read even in direct sunlight . It is protected under Gorilla Glass 3, which is another example of cost reduction considering that the sixth generation is already available.

But don't get me wrong: the screen looks very bright and has a vivid color scheme . Like most other Xiaomi devices, you can also optimize your color temperature according to your preferences . As with other LCD screens, colors appear slightly faded when viewed from sharp angles, but otherwise it doesn't disappoint in any way. Colors are well saturated and will not affect your viewing experience, except when viewed from those awkward angles.

If you're not a big fan of the notch, you can disable it. But personally I prefer to keep it simply because I liked and enjoy the additional real estate it brings to the screen. However, to place the infrared face unlock kit, Xiaomi has stolen space from the screen and the The area around the notch is mainly occupied by the condition of the battery and the signal and clock., without leaving space for notification cards or any other indicator.

The bottom corners of the screen are too round for my taste and I don't like curves like this. These corners obstruct the display of the elements on the screen and it feels like the cover glass and not the screen itself is curved. Although deficiency does not primarily affect performance, it is poorly optimized for games And I honestly despise this aspect of the Poco F1.

Overall, I find the Poco F1 display to be bright and detailed enough, while the colors are pretty accurate. I just wish Pocophone has spent more time and effort optimizing rounded corners with at least popular apps like PUBG.

Acting

With all corners ( literally ) aside, the Little F1 is really an excellent performance . The on-board Snapdragon 845 and up to 8GB of RAM free the beast from behind an unsuspecting facade. We have seen that this chipset shows incredible performance in the likes of OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi 8 and Vivo NEX. Both on paper and in real life, the Snapdragon 845 is the fastest processor, but does that guarantee unsurpassed performance in the Poco F1?

Well up to a point, yes. In terms of AnTuTu benchmarks, the Little F1 no achieves Samsung Galaxy S9 +, Asus Zenfone 5Z and even OnePlus 6 by a small margin . According to the Geekbench results, all three affordable Snapdragon 845 smartphones have a close brush.

Note: We are using the 8GB variant of Poco F1 and the performance of the 6GB version is likely to be slightly below this variant.

In real-world use, the Poco F1 refutes critics by offering completely lag-free, unobstructed performance. In my short time use of Poco F1, I have not encountered any problems in daily tasks except for the inaccurate notch support.

In terms of security, the Poco F1 comes with infrared face unlock alongside the regular fingerprint and the mechanism is quite accurate, fast, and quite reliable.

The gaming performance in the Poco F1 is simply amazing and anyone who doesn't know its prowess can easily mistake it for a much more expensive smartphone. I've been playing around on the smartphone a lot with titles like PUBG Mobile, Mortal Kombat, PES 2018, Shadowgun Legends, and Asphalt 9, and I've never observed a fraction of a second behind.

The game is really smooth and incredibly charming . However, I didn't like the fact that the screen cuts out the essential buttons located along the bottom corners. If you can forgive the Poco F1 but apart from this inconvenience, I loved every moment of the game in this one.

I just wish the Pocophone has made the effort to add a game mode so that the resources can be used even more appropriately, but I hope that will come in future updates.

Honor Play vs. Little F1 vs. OnePlus 6. Absurdly round corners on Pocophone make gaming difficult

Poco F1 offers a unique proposal in the form of the liquid cooling configuration it presents. Until now, the technology has been mostly limited to high-performance PCs and premium smartphones, including the Galaxy S and Note series. The heat sink on the Poco F1 prevents the phone from reaching unbearable high temperatures and it also helps it cope pretty quickly.

Unlike the sophisticated setup of gaming PCs, the Poco F1 uses a simple tube that transmits heat from the hottest parts to the cooler parts of the smartphone. Effectively, this results in a temperature difference of almost 4 C to 8 C. You can read more about our test of the heat dissipation mechanism.

The Poco F1 is clearly a prime performer and while it may be a bit more lacking than more expensive devices like the OnePlus 6 or Asus Zenfone 5Z, it is probably due to MIUI for Poco, which still feels a bit unfinished and is expected make it better over time. Lastly, I am really impressed by the liquid cooling mechanism in the smart phone.

Speakers

One of the peculiarities with which the Poco F1 comes is its two speaker setup, which is similar to the Huawei P20 Pro in terms of operation. It is divided between the main speaker at the bottom and a secondary speaker below the Poco F1 earpiece. My first thoughts about the speakers were that the settings are very high and clean.

Over time, I have noticed that the speaker has a decent amount of clarity . While Poco F1 challenges relatively more expensive devices, hoping that the sound matches those devices will lead you to the port of disappointment. Also, the secondary speaker sounds small and very weak compared to main speaker .

Cameras

Poco F1 is endowed with a dual-chamber setup, which thankfully doesn't protrude uncomfortably. The rear camera includes a 12-megapixel Sony sensor, which is the same as the Mi MIX 2S and Mi 8, and a 5-megapixel Samsung sensor that is used to detect depth in bokeh shots. The hardware is complemented by an AI that is capable of identifying 200 different scenes and improving the photographic skills of Poco F1.

Daylight shots are full of detail and have accurate colors. The same is true when we look at photographs taken in natural light but indoors. In well-lit images, there is enough detail that is equated with good, natural color rendering.

The images captured by the smart phone have a shocking saturation that is achieved without any exaggeration .

  • Night and artificial lighting

The rear camera does a commendable job of keeping the details intact, even in a dark environment. Poco F1 uses the same camera app as other Xiaomi smartphones with standard features, including an AI beautification mode and a manual mode. A slight amount of noise in color accuracy creeps in as the amount of light in the frame decreases.

Little f1

Other smartphones in its category do impressively well, including the Honor Play, Mi A2, and Nokia 7 Plus, and gives OnePlus 6 tough competition .

Poco F1 also features a portrait mode that flawlessly differentiates between foreground and background objects . AI can be viewed to improve image contrast, but some images are also exaggerated.

The front of the Poco F1 features a 20 megapixel sensor that also pick up good details and decent exposure while taking selfies . In addition to the rich details and great color of the selfies, Poco F1 fares exceptionally well in terms of self-portraits and easily beats competitors in this area. The edge detection is incredibly accurate, especially in cases of bright lighting.

Finally, you can add live filters to images, while another ingenious feature informs you when the camera lens is dirty ; however, I didn't find it working very well in case of sweat stains. You can take a look at our detailed Poco F1 camera review for better perspectives.

With 4K video at 30 fps and slow motion video at 240 fpsThere is little to ask the Poco F1 in this price range. Videos turn out to have enough detail in bright lighting and decrease with exposure. Take a look for yourself at 5:53 (I've already pointed it out):

Lack of OIS is felt a lot, but EIS does its best to reduce frame shake. Bottom line: You still get great video quality for the price.

In general, the cameras in the Poco F1 are worthy of your attention and should be able to serve you well in almost all lighting conditions. Dynamic colors and flawless sharpness led me to click many more random images than I usually do.

  • How does the Poco F1 camera work against competitors?

The Poco F1 is easily capable of embarrassing its biggest competitors, thanks to its great camera. In both daylight and night light, the sharpness of images remains intact and the only compensation is the quality of the color reproduction. I was pretty impressed with the performance of the camera and just wish the AI ​​was a little smoother with natural objects.

Here are some of the shots we used for comparison:

Little f1
OnePlus 6
Game of honor
My a2
Nokia 7 Plus
Little f1
OnePlus 6
Game of honor
My a2
Nokia 7 plus

The camera comparison between Poco F1, OnePlus 6, Honor Play, Mi A2 and Nokia 7 Plus resulted in neck-to-neck performance among the top two in the group. The Honor Play had a better camera than the Mi A2 and Nokia 7 Plus, but it devastated things by overexposing the colors.

Little f1
OnePlus 6
Game of honor
My a2
Nokia 7 Plus

Overall, the precise bokeh mode and deep details make me feel like Poco F1 is the best smart phone with camera OnePlus 6 and that it is only better in terms of capturing the skin texture in greater detail.

OnePlus 6
Game of honor
My a2
Nokia 7 Plus

software

Pocophone went to the trouble of creating a dedicated version of MIUI, called "MIUI for POCO", for Poco F1 which is based on Android 8.1. This is an intermediate between the regularly loaded version of MIUI and the stock of Android. What seems to be supporting this decision is the intention to make the interface less bloated and smoother, in addition to offering a visually clean interface. Being an idiot for Android, I prefer this version of MIUI much better.

MIUI for POCO is typically MIUI with a feature rich launcher that sports a cleaner notification tone and quick setup panel . Among the features, the launcher is the much needed app drawer . The launcher automatically classifies applications according to their category and also allows you to browse them according to the color of the icons. There's also a search bar, while you can also easily hide apps from the app drawer. You also get a relatively minimal configuration interface, although without any change in the available options.

Currently, there is no way to change the orientation of the cones or the size of the cone grid, but you get third-party cone pack support . At the same time, if you like to dress up your phone with cute wallpapers and bright colors, there is support for MIUI themes.

As of right now, it's hard to judge if the launcher really improves Poco F1's performance and there are a few issues that have been bugging me. The interface does not appear to be highly optimized for the large notch, as notification credentials are not seen because the available display area is crowded by the battery status icons and the signal .

Much of the upper area is occupied by the notch

This is especially annoying when you have to take a quick look at the apps that notify you instead of having to expand the notification panel. Also, while you can also turn on items like network speed, network cones and other connections eject you from the visible area.

This leads me to another reason I have with the Poco F1 and that is, the smart phone does not allow scaling YouTube videos, a feature present even in Redmi Note 5 Pro. So, despite the wider screen, you are limited to watching videos in their native aspect ratio and a large area of ​​the screen is wasted.

I hope Pocophone will take a look at these issues as the company has already announced a rewards program for beta testers. As for updates, Pocophone says that security updates are rolled out at least every quarter, while striving to narrow this gap as much as possible.

Poco F1's interface produces a significant improvement in terms of smoothness by getting rid of useless animations and maintaining an overall sense of minimalism. However, the system could use some improvements to make the interface more fluid and agile. We hope these issues will be fixed with the Android Pie update, which has been promised to arrive later this year.

Battery

Another area where the Poco F1 outperforms its competitors is its battery capacity. The smart phone uses a 4,000 mAh battery that comes with the benefit of fast charging. In intensive use, the battery lasts for almost 16 hours with a power display anywhere between four and six hours . In moderate use, the smart phone can last more than 24 hours, which is impressive.

Increasing the battery charge takes 120 minutes, while the half the battery recharges in 50-55 minutes, thanks to Quick Charge 3.0 from Qualcomm. The battery app also has optimization options that can be used to put the apps into sleep mode or unrestricted when not in use, and protection with more than 90% of battery capacity prevents the Poco F1 from hot.

Overall, the performance of the battery is excellent, but the added capacity compared to Honor Play and OnePlus does not guarantee a significant increase in battery backup, which is something I expected. Quick Charge is a nifty addition that results in a charging time of almost 2 hours, which we hope will decrease with the next update.

Connectivity

On the connectivity front, you get Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, and dual VoLTE. Pocophone has promised higher speeds and better connectivity instead of 4G +, or 4G with MIMO (multiple input multiple output), in Poco F1. I observed a better connectivity, especially while riding the Delhi Metro And in a side-by-side comparison with the Galaxy Note 9 and the Mi A2, the Poco F1 was the first to connect to a speed test. However, there was only a marginal increase in connection speed.

Also, dual 4G / VoLTE ensures that you can continue to use 4G on Poco F1 even when you are on a call. Finally, the process of changing the primary SIM for data is easy and fast.

Poco F1: a newly defined flagship

The Poco F1, with its impressive specs, is easily one of the highest values ​​for money. Despite the areas it lags behind, I'm sure it can withstand the stiff competition from the OnePlus 6 and even other smartphones in the sub-50k range. Aside from the great performance, the Poco F1 has very capable cameras with the goodness of artificial intelligence. For the price of Rs 20,999, it easily brings out its main competitors, Honor Play, Mi A2 and Nokia 7 Plus. Then quirks, like liquid cooling and a struggling dual speaker, put him ahead of the league.

Poco F1 is capable of bringing about a paradigm shift in our understanding of the word, "flagship".

Although my experience with the Poco F1 has been tremendous and full of attractions, there are some vices that I think could disappoint certain users. But, let's take note of the virtues of Poco F1 before tackling its vices.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Bright display
  • Flagship level performance
  • Liquid cooling
  • Drool-worthy cameras
  • Infrared face unlock
  • Mass storage with micro SD support
  • 4G +
  • Super effective price

Cons

  • Highest Gorilla Glass gene
  • Tin Tin Secondary Speaker
  • Poor optimization of the user interface for rounded corners
  • There is no dedicated game mode

SEE ALSO: Honor Play Review: The Best Budget Phone For Gamers?

Poco F1: a Pocket Friendly Flagship Killer

Poco F1's main competitors, Honor Play (starts at Rs. 19, 999), Nokia 7 Plus (25, 999) and Mi A2 (Rs. 16, 999), can easily bite the dust, while F1 comes out as a clear winner. Despite its few drawbacks, I think the Poco F1 is a super powerful device that can pose a threat to devices like the OnePlus 6. I also believe that the smart phone, if produced and sold in sufficient volumes, can cause a change in how we perceive the premium segment of today's smart phone market. With so many reasons to rejoice, the Poco F1 price leaves no room for any complaints.

So that's what we think of Poco F1 and we'll continue to update this article as we experience the device further. What are your thoughts? Have I missed something? Share your views in the comment section below as I look back at the new flagship of the masses.

Buy the Poco F1 on Flipkart ( starts at Rs 20,990 )