Xiaomi has always been a great brand when it comes to budget smartphones as it offers great specs for a reasonable price and every other smartphone manufacturers were struggling to get into the limelight particularly in the budget category. Be it the Asus with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 or be it the Realme with Realme 1 and Realme 2. However, Xiaomi always struggled when it comes to Midrange. But now, with their latest sub-brand Poco, Xiaomi decided to revamp their regular format and their first product through their sub-brand Poco is the Poco F1 / PocoPhone F1. Without further ado lets jump into the review.
Design wise, the Poco F1 doesn’t look or feel like a flagship smartphone because of the polycarbonate body, but it does feel good when you hold it. Even though it has a mammoth 4000mah battery it doesn’t affect the weight of this smartphone. The corners are great, the buttons are tactile and it’s definitely a great smartphone to hold.
Talking about the backside of this phone, it looks completely clean and boring for the most part. Every time I use the fingerprint reader, I end up smudging the camera, every time. However, I mostly use face unlock on the Poco F1 as it has a dedicated hardware. I can just blindly trust on that.
Moving on to the front, here comes the ugly part of this smartphone, the notch. I personally don’t like notch but I do understand the purpose of it. Not everyone likes it, but yeah you can just hide it using software if you want and seeing the notch along with that big curved bezel, it felt, even more, uglier but as soon as I hide the notch I’m good to go. Talking about the LCD panel, the colors were great, the contrast was well maintained and it’s definitely a great display for watching video content and gaming.
So basically, the whole design is not a bliss to see but it does serve the purpose and most importantly it seems this the place where they’ve compromised a lot to achieve this price point. And yes, I do mention it as a flagship. Not in terms of design but in terms of internals. So, let’s dive into the smartphone.
Moving on to the performance, it is a beast when it comes to handling games, multitasking, and so on. Particularly when it comes to gaming, this device performs exceptionally well. I’ve played PUBG, Asphalt9, Modern Combat 5, and many other high-end games for an extensive period of time. And you know what, this thing is no less than a gaming smartphone. And that liquid cooling improves the overall experience a bit further. Ultimately, the gaming performance of this device is just great. Talking about multitasking and all of that I think 6 gigs of ram is basically enough for the tasks which I do.
As same as the typical MIUI ROM, this redesigned MIUI also eats up a lot of RAM and with the POCO theme they’ve tried
to make it as stock as possible but you still get a lot of bloatware on this device. Somehow, I never liked the MIUI and this device is no exception. Anyways, I end up using a launcher. That’s the first thing I do if I’m not a big fan of any software. By the way, I don’t know why I’m writing this in a post related to Xiaomi, but yes, EMUI is shit.
I mean, what can you expect if you got the Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630 GPU coupled with 6GB/8GB RAM and liquid cooling. Obviously, the performance is top-notch.
So now, let’s talk about optics of this smartphone. Honestly speaking, I thought they will compromise on cameras as they have already given so much great stuff inside the smartphone for this cheap. But unexpectedly the cameras end up pretty great, at least for the price. Diving deeper into cameras, the results were exceptionally good both in indoor conditions and outdoor conditions. Particularly in outdoor conditions, in broad daylight, the results were great. And the AI mode on this device definitely helps in achieving better results. But not every time. Sometimes it ruins the complete image by over saturating it, resulting in artificial look. However, the HDR mode is just great and definitely helps in getting amazing pictures. And oh, the portrait mode is not on point but yeah it can be improved via future software updates.
Talking about the video recording, the quality of both audio and video were good and the stabilization works exceptionally well for both front and rear cameras, because of the EIS of course. And I’m most impressed with the slow-motion shots. You can find out those cool shots in our video review which was linked down below.
Battery Life, Others:
The Poco F1 also comes with stereo speakers which are definitely loud and still maintains good quality. And remaining things like call quality and all of that were good. Oh, did I forgot to talk about battery performance? The battery can easily last for a day even after doing heavy tasks like gaming, video recording and all of that with some juice left. If you are a normal user, then it can easily survive for 2 days.
Finally, I think when it comes to this price range which is around 20,000 Indian rupees, there is no other smartphone which offers similar specs. Of course, Honor Play comes into the light but the Poco f1 is miles ahead when considering overall usability. Even though for Rs 30,000 (Kevlar Variant), it’s a great deal. But the base variant is just bang for the buck. So yeah, the Poco F1 is definitely not a flagship neither a flagship killer but you can call it as a killer of flag killer (*cough* OnePlus 6). If that makes any sense.
Who’s this phone for?
If you are a gaming freak and cannot tolerate overheating or lag while gaming or even when multi-tasking between various apps then this device is definitely for you. If the design is your main priority, then it’s better to look somewhere else.
Should I buy this smartphone if my budget is around Rs 20,000?
Yes, you can just blindly go ahead and add it to your cart but you need to be quick because flash sales basically suck.