Xiaomi has come up with another game changer or a new term too “Budget Flagship”. Or we can also call it the real ‘Flagship Killer’.
It’s been 4 years since this company launched their first smartphone in a Indian market which was already dominated by Big-shots like Samsung, LG, Nokia, Blackberry and few other newbies like Lava, Karbonn and a much established domestic brand Micromax. Getting into such a crowded market was never easy, especially when you are tagged as “Chinese brand”, which is synonym for “non-trusted”.
But Xiaomi has put all bad-mouth to shut and has emerged has one the most promising brand and is already the second major market sharing here. Xiaomi is now known to deliver the best smartphone in every budget segment may that be the low cost Redmi series Mi 4A, 5A, and the Redmi Note series for big screen lovers and it’s going to deliver the performance lovers.
Xiaomi’s sub-brand POCOFONE is up with their new offering the POCO F1 especially for India. This device has already caused a stir and is right now the best and the cheapest 845 chipset phone under the 21k bracket. The F1 doesn’t have a metal body which is common neither does it have a glass back which is what we see on flagships these days. Instead it went back to good old Polycarbonate, which is solid and has now flaw whatsoever, the top variant has Kevlar on its back which is the same material that’s used to make bulletproof vest.
On the front it does follow the trend by giving a notched display which also houses the front cam and the dedicated IR sensor to allow face unlock even in dark. Don’t expect the phone to turn head but overall the phone look strong enough to handle the daily wear and tear.
The focus is primarily on speed so with the flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset there’s 6GB and 8GB of RAM and if that’s not enough, you get dedicated cooling mechanism to push to performance even further. The 6.18-inch IPS FullHD+ display (1080 x 2246), sorry AMOLED panel is hard to expect in this price range. However the display is bright, in sunlight the colors do tend to get washed out a bit, the blacks aren’t quite saturated. As I stated earlier this phone’s focus is on speed and sustained peak performance and its stands true to its words.
It scored higher than the current heavyweight the OnePlus 6 in all test, the An Tutu score is whopping 265754 and 9009 in Geekbench multicore test. In real life usage the POCO F1 is blazing fast, there’s no delay in launching apps, no lag even the latest graphic heavy games are handled with ease. The phone doesn’t heat up for atleast an hour of gameplay thanks to the copper pipes which carry water vapor to absorb the CPU heat and dissipate is across the body AKA ‘Liquid Cooling’.
This department is again special, as the Xiaomi has put a customized version of MIUI 9.5 specially for POCO F1 which more tuned to stock Android fans, the customization includes faster transition animations, faster swipes and flicks. It is called the POCO launcher, it has an app drawer unlike other Xiaomi phones and will soon be available on Playstore. The POCO F1 also supports carrier aggregation which gives you higher rate of 4G speed compared to even OnePlus 6. It also supports dual VoLTE and dual 4G out of the box.
On the back it sports a dual camera setup with a 12-mp (f/1.9) dual pixel PDAF sensor + 5mp (f/2.0) depth sensor. On front there’s amazing 20-mp (f/2.0) with HDR support and pixel- binning technology to give you better picture quality even under low light. In daylight the POCO takes good vibrant photos and the AI mode recognizes scene you’re shooting and applies a relevant camera setting to give you much more pleasant looking pictures.
While indoor the lack of OIS means shaky images if you don’t have steady hands, once stable enough the pictures are sharp, well exposed and the dynamic range is also quite commendable. Under low-light although the POCO F1’s camera struggles a bit to focus and there’s high loss of details, but the noise is lesser compared to its competitor.
This is the only 845 Chipset phone with a 4000mAh battery in India right now. Now this means you should get more than a day of usage with full-charge, it also supports QuickCharge 3.0 and a fast charger is included in the box too.
The POCO F1 is flagship performer in a mid-range budget, by providing the high-end chipset, higher RAM, the storage are all at par with the most powerful Android device right now. However there are few things which doesn’t make it the actual OnePlus 6 or a flagship killer, for e.g. the design is not so attractive, no IP rating, the Gorilla Glass is outdated, the display is not the best, and the software too isn’t perfect yet with few bugs. This phone is for someone who need only speed and performance at any given day without breaking your bank.