Xiaomi today held the global unveiling of their new sub-brand — POCO — with its first smartphone, the POCO F1. It is the new budget-focused flagship phone that’s made it to India before any other part of the world. It packs flagship features, promising camera, top of the line chipset and the most important, an insanely low price tag.
It’s the cheapest Snapdragon 845 smartphone that starts selling at mere Rs 20,999 (approx $300). Moreover, the POCO F1 family has three RAM and four colour variants— 6GB RAM/64GB storage, 6GB RAM/128GB storage, and 8GB RAM/256GB. All the variants will be available in Graphite Black, Steel Blue, and Rosso Red colours, accompanied by the Armoured Edition that comes in a single 8GB+256GB configuration.
If you look closely, it’s not just the aggressive pricing that makes the phone seem like a disrupter, but also the overall package is quite solid. Here’s what makes the POCO F1 an actual flagship killer.
Gets ample of processing power
The POCO F1 features the top-end Snapdragon 845 chipset with 6GB/8GB of RAM. On top, it gets LiquidCool Technology cooling system for thermal management. The company claims that it delivers sustained peak performance for extended periods. It is also claimed that the system is 300% more effective than conventional, non-liquid cooling solutions as it allows heat from the CPU to dissipate in a go. To make it even speedier, the phone uses an LPDDR4x DRAM and UFS 2.1 storage.
Bigger battery than most competitors
We have seen phones like the OnePlus 6 or Oppo Find X killing it with the performance, but it’s uncommon to find a big battery on them. POCO F1 get a 4000mAh cell, which is said to sustain 8-hours of continuous gaming. Moreover, with the Qualcomm QC 3.0 support, it shouldn’t take unusual charging time.
Borrows flagship camera setup from the Mi 8
It’s not revolutionary, but the rear camera setup on the POCO F1 looks quite promising on paper. To have an idea, it’s the same module that was seen on the Mi 8 earlier this year. It gets a 12MP Sony IMX363 primary sensor with 1.4-micron pixel size and a 5MP secondary sensor. It gets dual-pixel autofocus technology that was first seen on the Samsung Galaxy S7, and it enhances focus speed and accuracy.
Up front, there’s a 20MP sensor featuring Super Pixel tech that is said to combine information from four pixels into one large 1.8-micron pixel for clearer images with minimum noise.
Both the cameras get AI features for photos. Xiaomi says the AI intelligently identifies and optimizes the images in real-time by judging the scene. It is pre-fed with 206 scenes across 25 categories.
Infrared face unlock
Much like the Mi 8, the POCO F1 also comes with an infrared illuminator and infrared camera on the front, allowing the AI face unlock feature to unlock the device both in dark conditions as well as in bright daylight. It is much more efficient and secure than the conventional face unlock on Android phones.
Jai Mani, Head of Product, POCO Global, in his presentation said that the phone is designed based on what Indian consumers have asked for. Which also includes slight tweaking in the MIUI launcher. The on POCO F1 is called the POCO launcher, which will be available on the Google Play store eventually. The launcher is a slightly improved version of MIUI, which feels faster and smoother. For a change, the POCO F1 comes with an app drawer that can automatically categorise apps. Moreover, MIUI for POCO also priorities security and regular updates from Google.
The launcher is currently based on Android Oreo 8.1, but the company has promised to release the Android P by Q4 2018.
Price, availability, and offers
The POCO F1 will retail at Rs 20,999, Rs 23,999, and Rs 28,999 for the 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB, and 8GB+256GB respectively. The Armoured Edition comes in a single 8GB+256GB configuration and will retail at Rs 29,999. POCO F1 will go on sale on mi.com and Flipkart on 29th August 2018, starting at 12 PM.
It also brings a first sale offer with HDFC Bank which extends Rs 1000 instant cashback to all HDFC credit and debit cardholders. Also, there is a JIO offer with up to INR 8000 worth of benefits and 6TB of high-speed data.