Xiaomi hasn’t been in the Indian market for just five years, but it’s already the top-selling smartphone brand in the country. Xiaomi has a market share of a massive 30% at the moment. You can tell a lot about a company by its success in the hyper-competitive Indian market. Xiaomi smartphones are good-looking, reliable, fast, and—most importantly—value for money.
The Poco F1 is Xiaomi’s newest “premium” flagship. It’s available at a retail price of Rs. 21,999 and is designed to take on the likes of OnePlus and Asus. The phone features many of the features you’d find in high-end flagships. Its biggest selling point is its low price. Is the phone worth your time, though? We’ll help you find out with this review:
Standout Features of the Xiaomi Poco F1
What’s special about the Xiaomi Poco F1? It packs some impressive features for a very affordable price:
– Flagship-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset with octa-core CPU
– Amazing battery life due to a 4,000 mAh battery (with QuickCharge 3.0)
– A lightning-fast fingerprint scanner and infrared facial recognition
– Upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie available
– Includes a 3.5mm audio jack
Design: A Minimalistic, Old School Approach
The first thing you’ll notice about the Poco F1 is how different it looks from the other flagships in the market. At 6.18 inches tall and 2.96 inches wide, it’s about as big as the other smartphones out there. However, unlike other premium flagships, the Poco F1 is made entirely out of hard plastic, with a nice matte finish. The design is reminiscent of old Nokia phones. It definitely looks unique.
The hard plastic body is a great touch. While it doesn’t look as good as glass or aluminum, the phone feels solid and very easy to grip. It won’t slip out of your hand anytime soon. And even if it does, it will probably survive.
The Poco F1 has rounded edges with even bezels all around. As is the current trend, it also has a “notch” at the top of the display. The notch houses the speakerphone, the front camera, and sensors. In all, the phone looks minimalistic, rugged, and durable. You’ll probably want to use a cover, though, to make it look even trendier.
Display: Large and Bright
The Poco F1 carries a tall 6.18 inch Full HD display. The display has a 403 PPI count, which is pretty good, and an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 (2,246 x 1,080 pixels). The display is an IPS LCD screen, not OLED, which means it should have good brightness. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass and has rounded edges.
In performance tests, the display does surprisingly well. It has a very good contrast ratio of 1500:1. The 461 nits of max brightness make the display usable in direct sunlight. The color reproduction is accurate. Watching videos and photos on this phone will be an enjoyable experience. The screen is also large enough to allow you to game comfortably.
Camera: Very Good
The camera on the Poco F1 is excellent for a budget phone. The phone includes a dual rear camera and a single front selfie camera. The rear camera is a primary 12MP shooter with a Sony IMX363 Sensor and a 5MP depth sensor for support. The selfie camera is 20MP. The cameras don’t have optical image stabilization, but they still do a good job of clicking stable photos.
When it comes to photo quality, the back camera does extremely well in daylight conditions and brightly-lit areas in general. The photos are crisp and clear and the depth sensor does work properly. The front camera takes wonderful selfies. There’s a beautification software effect enabled by default, which makes photos prettier.
Performance: Blazingly Fast
The Poco F1 gets full marks when it comes to performance. It packs the newest, most powerful chipset on the market: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. The processor has eight cores: 4 x 2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold and 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver. The GPU is the newest Adreno 630. The phone has 6GB/8GB of RAM and 64/128/256GB of internal memory, depending on the version you buy.
The phone is very snappy, responsive, and fluid. Apps open and close lightning-quick. The phone can run the newest games with no hiccups whatsoever. Web browsing is a smooth, seamless experience. Multitasking is also a breeze. This phone is great for gaming too, with a respectable Antutu benchmark of 281,412. The Poco F1 offers flagship-level performance at a fraction of the cost. This is a great budget phone for gaming.
Software: Android 8.1 Oreo with the Option to Upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie
The Poco F1 shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo and MIUI 9.6 initially. What is MIUI? It’s Xiaomi’s aftermarket, custom firmware for its smartphones. It included various software improvements and features not found in stock Android. Recently, Xiaomi rolled out Android 9.0 Pie and MIUI 10 for the Poco F1.
Android 9.0, as you may know, is an excellent OS with amazing features and several quality-of-life improvements over the previous version. Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 takes something good and makes it even better. Using the Poco F1 is an intuitive, fun experience.
Battery-Life: Very Impressive All-Day Battery
The Poco F1’s battery is perhaps its most standout feature. The 4,000 mAh Li-Po battery provides some serious juice. Used normally, the battery should last for as long as two days. With heavy use, it should last for up to one day. The Poco F1 also comes with a 9V/2A 18W QuickCharge USB 3.0 charger. The QuickCharge function lets you quickly charge up a drained phone.
Compared to most other smartphones, the battery performance is phenomenal, to say the least. Most smartphones need to be topped off with a charge at least once a day. You won’t have to do that with the Poco F1. The phone is great for traveling. You won’t have to carry around cumbersome power banks with you anymore.
The Bottom Line
The Poco F1 is rugged, has a good display, performs extremely well, and has amazing battery life. The phone is affordably priced and Xiaomi offers good after-sales support. Considering all these factors, the phone makes for a smart buy. You can’t do much better than the Poco F1 at the asking price.
Do you want the Poco F1 at an even cheaper price? You can rent Poco F1 from RentoMojo at an affordable monthly rental price, with the option to buy it after 12 months for a nominal amount. What’s more, you can even choose to upgrade it for a newer variant later.