Xiaomi has made a move that was not expected, has launched the Poco brand to fight in the mid-range with top-end features. Pocophone F1 is the first smartphone of this new brand and promises great performance.
The Pocophone F1 is one of the mobile phones that you will have to talk about for the rest of the year. Not only because of his name and the few jokes he brings. But because we are with a wolf in sheep’s clothing at a bargain price.
Why wolf? Let’s take a look at some features of the Pocophone F1: mount a Snapdragon 845 processor. 6 GB of RAM and 4,000 mAh of battery among others. Now it’s worth a launch price of 329 euros? Will it become the mobile to recommend this 2018? We see it.
|screen||6.18 “18.7: 0
FullHD + (2.246×1.080px)
Brightness max 500 nits
|Size and weight||155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm
|OS||MIUI 9.6.11 For Poco (based on Android 8.1 Oreo)|
|Frontal camera||20mpx ( f / 2.0)|
|Rear cameras||12mpx ( f / 1.9) Sony IMX363 + 5mpx|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with LiquidCool Technology|
|Storage||64GB / 128GB + microSD up to 256GB|
|Battery||4000mAh with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 charging|
|Colors||Graphite Black, Steel Blue, Red Rosso, Armored Edition (Kevlar® aramid fiber)|
|Additional features||IR face unlock, hybrid dual SIM, fingerprint reader|
|Price||From 299 euros|
If there is one of the points where POCO has achieved a great result is in terms of design without betting on finishes in premium materials. Such as aluminum or glass. It has a polycarbonate finish, that is, plastic, but with a very pleasant matt touch.
The PocoPhone F1 is an ultra-widescreen design with a large notch. And well-used dimensions with very tight side frames and the bottom one of about half a centimeter.
It is a mobile phone that has caught our attention since its front shows a screen with rounded corners. But much more than any other smartphone on the market. It is a curve with a much larger radius and that makes that area of the corners less visible.
Otherwise, we can only applaud that the brand has maintained the minijack and that it has integrated a 4000 mAh battery in a mobile phone with a 6.18 “diagonal screen and only 180 g in weight. The theme of the audio has been solved with an audio system that achieves stereo effect thanks to the use of the loudspeaker for calls, although the large volume load is provided by the lower speaker.
Speaking of the screen, mount an IPS panel 18.7: 9 with FullHD + resolution and a maximum brightness of 433 lux in our measurements.
It is a screen that looks good indoors and that is usable outdoors but, obviously, is steps behind mobile phones such as Note 9 or LG G7 that practically double that brightness figure in boosted mode.
It is not a screen with HDR support but it does offer very wide viewing angles. There is virtually no loss of color or light when viewed at angles of up to 45º and since then it remains fairly stable until almost perpendicular.
How does the notch effect? Well, it is clear that this phone mounts a large notch, is wide, very wide, to make room for the 3D IR facial recognition system that, for now, we can not use.
In the day to day, we see how the right side shows relevant information while the left one is quite obsolete. If we see content in full screen, it rescales to the bottom of the notch, its sides being painted black.
The calibration of this screen comes by default in a slightly cool tone but it offers calibration options to our liking, between two profiles, cold or warm, in addition to choosing which contrast mode to choose or the maximum brightness of the night mode to avoid dazzling us in those situations.
The PocoPhone F1 is a mobile that offers a top performance of this 2018 and this is thanks to its SoC Snapdragon 845 and its 6 GB of RAM. It is a configuration that we have seen in mobiles that double their price. That is, you will have the top mobile performance.
In addition, the cooling system of the smartphone does not suffer excessively when used for long periods with high loads either CPU or GPU, for example, games.
The performance tests leave no doubt, this is a very high-performance smartphone. In the line of smartphones such as Galaxy S9 + or LG G7 or Huawei P20 Pro, among others.
|PocoPhone F1||Galaxy Note 9||OnePlus 6||Huawei P20 Pro||Aquaris X2 Pro||iPhone X|
|Processor||Snapdragon 845||Exynos 9810||Snapdragon 845||Kirin 970||Snapdragon 660||A11 Bionic|
|Graphic processor||Adreno 630||Mali-G72 MP18||Adreno 630||Mali-G72 MP12||Adreno 512||Apple GPU|
|RAM||6GB||6GB||6 GB||4GB||4GB||3 GB|
|Test of Geekbench 4||2.450 / 9.054||3.732 / 8.990||2.423 / 9.066||1,886 / 6,683||1,640 / 5,846||4,203 / 10,067|
|AnTuTu test||265,331 points||239,723 points||267,513 points||205,053 points||140,913 points||231,627 points|
|Price||329 euros||1,008 euros||599 euros||899 euros||359 euros||1,259 euros|
There is no doubt that the Snapdragon 845 platform is more than proven and Xiaomi has already used it on its flagship Mi8, so Poco has only had to implement the same solution on his smartphone. As we have mentioned previously, it has been seasoned with a heat pipe to improve the heat dissipation of the SoC and with it has achieved a better solution than the one that integrates the Mi8 of Xiaomi.
The Thermal Throttling with the Snapdragon 845 exists but in this smartphone is not as remarkable as in others with this same SoC and is noticeable when we play demanding titles such as Fortnite, Asphalt or PUBG.
The warming exists but does not reach a worrying temperature or make us feel uncomfortable holding the phone. However, the performance is fairly constant, with the part of the CPU that falls slightly in performance due to heat.
In fact, thanks to the 6 GB of RAM we have found that we can even leave in the background heavy applications such as those games, perform any other task and return to the application in question. The management of the available RAM of the system is very balanced. And not very aggressive, so applications are not closed unless really necessary.
How is the experience of using this Pocophone F1 in day to day? Xiaomi integrates into its smartphones MIUI 9 and with this smartphone. We have a modified version, MIUI for Poco, which also uses its own Launcher.
This launcher has a drawer of applications and curious features. Such as the filtering of apps by colors of their icons. However, the most interesting is the fluidity that is achieved both in the change of screens. And in the launch of applications.
It is an experience very similar to that achieved with the Google Pixel. Without exaggeration, and it is something that is surprising seeing the price at which this mobile phone reaches the market.
As software bugs in the version MIUI 9, we find that the notifications we receive do not appear in the top, next to the notch. So we have to scroll the notifications bar to see what notifications we have. It is true that the phone has a small LED that flashes to have notifications. But that quick look to see if what we have is an email, a WhatsApp or a missed call is missing. In theory, the company will redo the system for MIUI 10, of which they have already started a beta program.
It has the option of being controlled with gestures and we liked the option but it turns out that in our daily use I detected gestures as keystrokes on the keyboard while writing if a letter was dragged. So we decided to leave the mobile with its default navigation bar. In theory with the next version of MIUI everything would be solved and functional.
And speaking of the beta program, there is something we can criticize about PocoPhone F1. And it is that although it integrates into its superior notch a system of 3D facial unlocking IR. We can not use it since at the time of launching it is not implemented via software.
The company has promised to activate it in an OTA update. But, of course, until then it is as if this feature does not exist.
Yes, we have been receiving MIUI updates during our tests solving bugs. And problems and improving the performance of some native apps.
At the time of writing the review, the PocoPhone F1 uses the MIUI version 9.11.18 stable. And we are targeted to the beta program to be able to test the version MIUI 10 already based on Android 9 Pie as soon as it is available.
It is clear that Poco is putting a lot of effort into the development of MIUI for Poco. We hope that this push will be maintained over time in order to keep this smartphone up to date.
Let’s talk about the cameras and this point is clearly the determinant of the price range that PocoPhone F1 has reached. It is clear that in terms of performance highlights. And we could expect the same from the section of the camera and, of course. Although the results are worthy is in a different league from that of smartphones top 2018.
The rear camera system mounts two sensors of 12 Mpx f / 1.9. And the auxiliary 5 Mpx with which it gets information to create that blur effect. The results in the portrait mode are good. With a good silhouetted and a progressive blur in the back as long as we have good light.
In fact, we can vary the defocus a posteriori as well as play with different light effects applied to the portrait in question. And even generate a few small videos in which you can see the evolution of the blur and the shape of the points of light.
In good lighting situations the camera performs very well, the HDR is quite subtle. Not as exaggerated as in other terminals and you can achieve high-quality results, equaling or improving those of the Mi8, for example.
When taking pictures indoors or in adverse light situations is where the camera loses the whole. And where you really notice the difference in front of smartphones top. Makes in the line of Redmi Note 5 in these situations, a more modest result, no doubt.
In the video, section highlights something else as it can record up to 4K or FullHD video with digital stabilization. And even 240fps FullHD slow motion videos with a generally pretty good result.
If there is something that highlights the PocoPhone F1 when we saw its specifications was its battery. And, no wonder, that 4,000 mAh with fast loading support surprised us and once tested we can only confirm that initial intuition.
It is a mobile that has offered us on a normal day to day use. Web browsing, a call, social networks, push messaging, a photo. And some idle time with a game between 8 and 9 hours on screen.
According to our tests, you could be watching streaming video between 12 and 13 hours at an average brightness. And it is something that, without a doubt, makes you forget to have to charge your smartphone every day.
The issue of the load is well solved with QC 3.0 support from Qualcomm. Although it is not the fastest on the market it does offer that improvement in load times. Which is interesting considering the large capacity of its battery. In fact, despite sharing capacity with the Note 9. This phone takes a little less time to charge than the Samsung smartphone, as we can see in the graph.
And finally, we can only confirm that the PocoPhone F1 is a great mobile. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, a smartphone that we only think needs to polish some software problems. And that we would have liked NFC to be around the smartphone.
Xiaomi has been the first in the market to offer a mobile with top features at this price range and could have started a revolution. Interestingly we have already seen the first reactions of the market with Honor Play announced at the same price.
While we wait to see the movements of other manufacturers but, for now. We can only say that the PocoPhone F1 is undoubtedly placed as the smartphone with the best value for money in this market in 2018.