Xiaomi has gone all the way in to create a flagship killer smartphone or shall we say flagship killer killer smartphone cause it beats all the other budget-friendly high-end smartphones out there. Their ‘Pocophone F1‘ took things to the extreme by offering all the major high-end specs and still manages to come at a price tag of only $300. But is it actually better value for money? Let’s find out in our review of the Pocophone F1.
Firstly let’s talk about the built quality and design of this device, it is made up of polycarbonate material which is just a fancy name for hard plastic that isn’t actually that bad. Now you won’t be getting the premium feel and density that you get from high-end glass backed smartphones but you do get a higher quality plastic which does not feel cheap at all plus you also get more durability than a glass built smartphone. There is also a special kevlar-backed version available which costs a bit more.
The phone is also really lightweight, much lighter than I thought because it has a big battery I sort of expected a little bit weight. However, it is not that thin and measures approximate 8.8mm but thanks to the chamfered edges it feels thin and sleek in hands.
Also, the design looks pretty good considering its price point, the fingerprint sensor is present at the back and is easily reachable. The dual camera setup is placed just above the fingerprint sensor. The stereo speakers and USB-C can be found at the bottom. You also get an old school port up top which some of you might not remember, it’s called the headphone jack which you can use to connect your headphones with what’s called a wire if you’re into that. The volume rocker and the power button can be found at the right of the device.
Taking a look at the front of the Pocophone you can see a notch cutout up top which is very similar to the one found on Apple devices. There is also a real chin at the bottom and the rounded edges of the display are much rounder which kind of cuts out some pixels but overall Xiaomi has done a great job.
Now moving on to the display of the Pocophone F1, it has 6.1-inch full HD+ display which looks pretty great the colors, saturation level and contrast are on point. Of course, it is not as great as what you get on Samsung devices but it still does a pretty good job. It can also get bright up to 500 nits so you won’t be getting any problems of screen visibility even in direct sunlight. You get IPS display panel here so there won’t be any real deep blacks but it still looks really nice, the viewing angles on this phone are also pretty good.
Now let’s dive into the spec sheet of this device which is where this phone is getting all the hype. You get all the beastly specs found on $1000 flagship smartphones by other manufacturers. The Pocophone F1 boasts the latest and greatest Snapdragon 845 processor combined with the Adreno 630 GPU. You get 6 Gigs of RAM paired up with 64/128 Gigs of internal storage for the base model. There is also an 8 GB variant available that comes 256 GB of internal storage.
There is Hybrid Dual sim option available which means have to either use it for Second Sim or Memory Card so compromising any one of them. The only drawback in the specifications department is that there is no certified water resistance and wireless charging present.
Moving on to the user interface and software, the device runs a customized version of latest MIUI 9.6 at top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Here you get the option of app drawer by default which is not present in other Xiaomi smartphones. Overall the software experience is really nice and the performance is buttery smooth. I’m not a fan of skinned Android OS and prefer stock Android but this is actually the first MIUI version that I actually might consider using.
Taking a look at the cameras which is one of my most favorite features on the Pocophone F1. On the back, there is a dual camera setup, one 12 megapixels f/ 1.9 main camera and one 5 megapixel camera for depth sensor which you may know as the portrait mode. The image quality and performance is really good for the price, you get a decent dynamic range and color science although, the pictures seem a bit soft.
Now moving on to the front camera, here you also get amazing 20-megapixel sensor so your selfies are as detailed as they could be. The low light performance of both front and back cameras are also really great thanks to the big sensor size.
So this was our review of the Pocophone F1. It still surprises me how Xiaomi managed to offer all of this in under $300. What do you think about this smartphone? Tell us about it in the comments section below.