Xiaomi has been stepping up its smartphone game with every product launch. Recently, the Chinese electronics manufacturer announced a sub-brand which is called POCO. On Wednesday, POCO announced its first smartphone, the POCO F1 in India.
POCO F1 is just 8.8mm thin and its body is largely polycarbonate. The chassis has been reinforced and the phone goes through a 7 layer coloring process. Speaking of which, the POCO F1 comes in three color options - Graphite Black, Steel Blue and Rosso Red.
There's a special Armoured Edition F1 as well which has its back panel crafted from DuPont Kevlar Aramid fiber. While the phone isn't bulletproof, this version does look snazzy and makes it resistant to usual scratches. The Armoured edition, unlike the Avengers Infinity War Edition of the OnePlus 6 which was covered in glass, has this texture which feels good in the hand and gives the F1 a good grip which is important when using the phone in transit and playing games.
In more ways than other, POCO F1 comes with a flagship stature. The F1 is powered by top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor which is also assisted by the AI Engine. Qualcomm's flagship processor has made it into many smartphones this year such as the OnePlus 6 and Samsung Galaxy S9 among others. Naturally, this means that the POCO F1 possesses a great power which will be more than sufficient to process tasks like photo/video editing, gaming and media consumption.
In addition to that, POCO F1 is outfitted with a liquid cooling technology which distributes heat across the surface of the smartphone for faster cooldown. The phone will be available in RAM variants of 6GB and 8GB with 64GB/128GB/256GB of storage.
The POCO F1 features a notched (18.7:9 aspect ratio) 6.18-inch full HD+ (2246 x 1080 pixels) LCD panel. There are minimal side and bottom bezels which makes for a larger screen estate for users to play on. The display also offers tweaks like sunlight display, night display and reading mode.
Coming to the optics, POCO F1 sports dual rear cameras consisting of a primary 12-megapixel rear and a 5-megapixel secondary camera. The primary camera has a large 1.4um pixel size which allows more light to be captured by SONY's IMX363 sensor resulting in better low-light performance. The 5-megapixel secondary camera has a f/2.0 aperture and assists the rear camera in capturing depth information. The rear camera also supports electronic image stabilization (EIS) when shooting videos.
Due to the Snapdragon 845 and its AI capabilities, the rear camera is able to take pretty nice portrait shots. The camera is also equipped to detect up to 206 scenes which it places under the 25 preset categories. POCO has also made some India centric scene optimizations.
The front houses a 20-megapixel snapper which is the same module as the one on Xiaomi's flagship Mi 8. The notched design on the front houses an infrared light and lens for face recognition. As a result, users will be able to unlock the F1 in pitch darkness at under 0.4 seconds. Another way to unlock the F1 is via the fingerprint sensor which resided on the rear panel of the phone.
POCO F1 promises a great battery life as it comes with 4,000mAh battery capacity which supports Quick Charge 3.0 and the adapter is provided in-the-box.
MIUI on the POCO F1 is special as it has been tweaked for faster and smoother performance. The POCO launcher allows users to create an app drawer for all the apps. MIUI fans have been asking for this feature from quite some time now and while it hasn't made it to the MIUI, the POCO F1 does come with it.
The POCO launcher will also be available in Google Play Store for users to test it out on their smartphones from August 29. The POCO launcher has 20+ deep system optimizations courtesy of the turbocharge engine taking care of app startups, their performance, resource allocation.
The POCO F1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and is promised to get an update to Android 9.0 Pie before the end of the year.
The POCO F1 will retail at a starting price of ₹20,999 for the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage variant while the variant with 128GB of storage takes the price up to ₹23,999. For the 8GB RAM variant which has 256GB storage, users will have to shell out ₹28,999. Pool in ₹1,000 more and for ₹29,999 you can have the POCO F1 Armoured Edition.
POCO has partnered with HDFC Bank for a flat ₹1,000 off on all the variants of the POCO F1 for its credit and debit card users. Reliance Jio is also offering up to 6TB of data for the F1.
Accompanying the POCO F1 were supported accessories that consists of a soft case which is provided in-the-box. Users can purchase a hard case which has a matte finish for another ₹399, Armoured scratch-resistant case for ₹799 and skins for the rear panel starting at ₹299.
The POCO F1 will be available on August 29 in its first-ever flash sale starting at 12 PM on Mi Store and Flipkart.