Xiaomi Pocophone F1 – The best budget phone?
Xiaomi Recently announced the Pocophone F1 and it totally blew us off with the value that it offers. A Snapdragon 845, 4000mAh battery and a $300 U.S dollars Price tag makes things interesting.
In all honesty, it is very hard to evaluate this phone because what it offers pushes it into a category way beyond its price point.
Body & Aesthetics
Well made and entirely made out of high quality poly-carbonate, which just a fancy word for plastic. The exception is the armored edition which is a little more special with its Kevlar covered back. Another personality trait of the phone is the LED notification on the bottom bezel of the phone.
The Pocophone F1 is a little too wide so it is definitely a two-handed device. That said, it is not slippery and just with the feel of the phone you will not be afraid of completely shattering the phone is you drop it accidently. That is not something you get to feel about the modern smartphones.
The F1 is also splash proof but there is no IP rating, the verdict of this one is to keep it away from water as much as you can but if you need to use your phone urgently in rain, it will hold up against that pretty well.
The Pocophone has a finger print reader on the back and has raised edges around it so you can easily find it by simply touching it with your hand or fingers, however, it is a little too high for an easy approach. Nonetheless, the finger print scanner is lightning fast.
Thankfully the phone comes with face unlock option which as fast as the finger print reader and more secure than other Android phones. It uses IR as a part of its authentication, the infrared also guarantees that the phone’s face unlock feature will work in the dark.
The Pocophone F1 comes with a 6.18” IPS LCD panel that offers 1080 x 2246 Pixels, an 18.7:9 aspect ratio which is kind weird and offers 403 ppi display. You may expect the display to not be as good as an amoled screen, but one is immediately amazed by the excellent contrast and color accuracy.
The biggest issue with the screen is not the quality, it is rather the automatic brightness setting which doesn’t change to the changing light conditions.
The battery on the phone as expected is outrageous owing to the huge 4000mAh capacity. On top of the amazing battery life the phone also offers quick charging 3.0, so running out of battery juice is not a problem anymore. When held up against the current flagship phones in a similar category, the Pocophone F1 blows them out of the space in terms of battery life.
The F1 features stereo speakers that does a decent job although the trebles are a little muffled however when it comes to the loudness factor, it does an excellent job. The sound through headphones wasn’t quite as good and if you are using high impedance headphones, you will find it hard to pull up the volume to the highest. Thankfully, Xiaomi refused to ditch the 3.5mm Audio Jack which means you don’t have to worry about dongles.
The Pocophone packs a dual camera setup, there is a main 12MP camera with an F/1.9 aperture and a 5MP camera with F/2.0 aperture, for better depth sensing. Considering the price range, the pictures are great, in daylight the pictures are high quality and no noise. The dynamic range is good enough that the auto HDR verily gets triggered and when it does it pulls off a little extra detail in the shadows.
The camera takes a hit when taking picture in low light. The grain in the picture is annoying and distracting. The low aperture helps with keep the pictures bright, but the quality isn’t as good as you would expect from a flagship phone.
The video camera shoots 4K videos at 30 FPS but since there is no OIS in 4K the video can get shaky. The video however had a high contrast and quality result. The full HD video (1080P) is amazing, but not as much detailed as one would expect.
The point where the cost cut is the most evident are the looks, it just isn’t the prettiest phone around and if we are going to compare flagship killers, the OnePlus 6 is a much more elegant device. On the Poco, the bezels are a little too thick and the chin is far from what you consider subtle.
The Kevlar back attracts finger prints like crazy which just makes the phone look ugly and messy at the same time. The side edges of the screen have a significant amount of bezel to it, but let’s be real, if you are an actual smartphone enthusiast or even a practical user you will not consider buying a phone because it would sparkly in your hands. Smartphones are thought of as jewelry item lately, but there is more to that.