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Friday, August 23, 2019

Poco F1 with Snapdragon 845, Notch display launched in India, price starts at Rs. 20,999

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Ashwin Karthik
Originally a Business Grad, Ashwin is a natural at testing and reviewing apps & games for Windows and Android Apps, as well as flashing ROMs. A proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S7 and an ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1, he is also an avid gamer and loves playing on his PC & Nintendo consoles.

The Poco F1 has been launched in India. Poco is Xiaomi’s new smartphone brand, and the company is basically aiming to launch affordable flagship phones to compete with the likes of OnePlus/Oppo/Vivo, ASUS, Honor etc.

In India it is the Poco F1, and for the rest of the world it is the Pocophone. Don’t ask us why, we think it is silly too. It probably has something to do with F1 (formula one racing) and Poco’s focus on speed for the device.

I think by now everyone is already aware of the Poco F1 tech specs, but here is a recap for those who don’t know.

Poco F1 tech specs

Poco F1 Technical Specifications

  • Display: 6.18-inch Full HD+ 2246 x 1080 pixels, IPS LCD, 18:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass, 500 nits brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio
  • Operating System: MIUI for Poco (MIUI 9.6) based on Android Oreo 8.1
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.8GHz 10nm FinFET
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • RAM: 6GB/8GB
  • Storage: 64GB/256GB + microSD (Hybrid SIM)
  • Rear Camera: 12MP + 5MP, Dual Pixel
  • Selfie Camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (9V 2A charger)
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM with Dual 4G LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou,
  • Security: Fingerprint Scanner, IR face unlock
  • Ports: 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB Type-C
  • Audio: Dirac HD sound, Dual Smart PA

The Pocophone has a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with a notch and an 18:9 aspect ratio, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and has 6GB/8GB of RAM. The phone will be available in 64GB/128GB/256GB of storage and does support a microSD card for expandable memory. The device runs MIUI for Poco, which focuses on Speed. Xiaomi has promised faster updates for the Poco F1, and has promised to update the device from Android 8.1 Oreo to Android Pie 9.0 in the last quarter of 2018. The device supports Treble.

The dual rear cameras on the Poco F1 features dual pixel 12MP and 5MP lenses. The 12MP camera has a Sony IMX 363 sensor with 1.4um pixel size (which is apparently similar to Pixel 2, and the same as the one on the Xiaomi Mi8 and MiMIX2S). The secondary 5MP lens is a depth scanner, used for portrait mode bokeh effect.

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The selfie lens is a 20MP front camera, which is also the same used on the Mi8. The Pocophone has an IR Face Unlock sensor, which works even in the dark. And it also has a rear placed fingerprint scanner.

Poco F1 Infrared Face Unlock

The Pocophone uses LiquidCool Technology, which comprises of a copper heatsink and water cooling, to prevent the phone from overheating when you use it for gaming or watching videos over a long period of time. Xiaomi claims that the Poco F1 AnTuTu benchmark score is 291,302. The Pocophone has an IR Face Unlock sensor, which works even in the dark.

Poco F1 price in India

The Poco F1 price in India is Rs. 20,999 for the 6GB/64GB variant, which makes it the cheapest Snapdragon 845 phone which beats the Zenfone 5Z (Rs. 29,999). The 6GB + 128GB variant costs Rs 23,999, while the high end variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage costs Rs 28,999 which is still cheaper than the Zenfone 5Z. The POCO F1 Armoured Edition with 8GB +256GB will retail for ₹29,999. The Poco F1 is made in India.

Poco F1 price in India

The device will be sold exclusively via Flipkart, and will come in three colours: Rosso Red, Graphite Black, and Steel Blue. All Pocophones include a free soft case in the box.

The Poco F1 will go on sale at 12PM on August 29th, exclusively on Flipkart and Mi.com. The company is also bringing an Ultra-slim case worth ₹399 and an Armoured case worth ₹799 for the device.

Poco F1 Hands-on Images

Poco F1 cashback offers

You can get the Xiaomi Poco F1 for Rs. 19,999 thanks to a Rs. 1000 instant discount for HDFC credit card and debit card users. Jio is offering Rs. 8,000 instant benefits, and upto 6TB of data. These offers are available for the other variants too, and are all only valid for the launch sale.

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Poco F1 colours 2

There are several cases for the Pocophone including a Kevlar back cover.

Poco F1 colours

Global Launch Details

Oppo F1 will also have official product launches in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and France on August 27, 2018. If you stay in one of these countries, look out for pricing and availability details at launch which may be different for different regions.

Our thoughts about the Poco F1: (purely based on specs, not an actual review)

Having a plastic back panel is not okay in today’s world. But for this price, should we complain? Probably not. Poco defended it by saying, people put a case on phones to protect the glass back which makes having a glass back pointless, and that’s why the Poco F1 has a plastic back. You get what you pay for, right? And Xiaomi has cut several corners to make the device affordable.

That being said, I am no fan of MIUI. Talking about speed and bundling in a bloatware OS totally defeats the purpose of the brand’s tagline which focuses on “Speed”. If this was stock Android OS instead, well, that would have been a winner. But, we think that Snapdragon 845 will prove to be the difference here.

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The cameras seem to be sub-par, and many reviews suggest the same. What we are saying is, don’t expect the Poco F1 to be a great camera phone or a device with a premium feel. If you want an Honor Play alternative, this could be it. But expecting a phone similar to the OnePlus 6 or Zenfone 5Z, is not realistic. Those devices probably offer more value than the Poco F1, but also cost an extra Rs. 10,000 or more.

Poco may not be the gimmick we thought it to be. But still, buyer beware.


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