Xiaomi's POCO F1 Is Here To Take Over The Indian Smartphone Market, Best Budget Flagship?

Xiaomi, in a global launch event today in New Delhi, India, launched the much-awaited POCO F1. POCO is a sub-brand from Xiaomi (much like Honor is Huawei's sub-brand) that is aimed at designing products for the mid-range category. POCO will work independently from Xiaomi, but the sub-brand will have access to all of Xiaomi's resources. At the launch event, Jai Mani, head of operations for POCO Global, said that the POCO smartphones will focus on features and performance. The POCO F1 is now official, and POCO seems to have nailed it with their first product. 

The unique selling point of the F1 is its price. The POCO F1 is the cheapest smartphone in the world to feature the Snapdragon 845. Well, this line is enough to say what Xiaomi has been up to. Xiaomi has been ruling the budget segment for a while now, and with its new sub-brand, Xiaomi intends to take on the likes of OnePlus in the upper mid-range segment. On the specification sheet, the POCO F1 ticks most of the boxes of being a great smartphone. Before we talk further, let's have a quick look at the specs.

The device, as stated earlier, comes with the beast Snapdragon 845 chip which is the best out there right now. What most of the consumers want nowadays are performance and optimized experience. In addition to the SD845, POCO has also included in what it calls as 'LiquidCool' technology. As you would have guessed, this technology is aimed at reducing heating during intensive tasks. POCO says that this technology allows the Snapdragon 845 to run at high clock speeds for longer durations. There's always a time when you play some high-end game and the phone starts lagging and heating. Well, POCO claims to have a solution to this issue, or at least, it has pushed the boundary for how long you can game without experiencing lag.

One of the reasons Xiaomi has been reigning the budget segment is because of the huge batteries it ships in its phones. POCO is sticking to its parent company's success formula, and the  POCO F1 comes with a huge 4000mAh battery. Despite the massive capacity, the phone is fairly light at 180 grams. The POCO F1 supports Quick Charge 3.0, and this time, a Qualcomm approved quick charger (9V/2A) will be included in the box.

In the camera department, POCO has made use of the same front and rear camera setups found on the Mi 8 and Mi MiX 2S. We have a 20MP S5K2T7 Samsung sensor at the front. The camera also has beautification mode which makes use of AI for scene detection. As for the rear camera, the device is having a dual setup. The primary camera is a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor (Google Pixel 2 has IMX362) and the secondary depth-sensing camera is a 5MP Samsung sensor. The rear camera has Dual Pixel Auto Focus with 1.4um pixels, portrait mode as well as EIS for video recording.

For security, the device has a fingerprint sensor at the back under the camera setup as well as face unlock. POCO seems to have used the same facial recognition system which Xiaomi used in the Mi 8.

With such amazing specs, the device is a total steal and it's one heck of a flagship phone. Xiaomi claims to have done some optimizations to touch sensitivity and animations. The POCO F1 will come with Android Oreo 8.1 and the company promises Android Pie update in the next couple of months. The F1 runs MIUI which is 'designed for POCO'. The device will have a brand new POCO launcher designed specifically to give a fast and fluid user experience. For the security updates, Xiaomi is going the Motorola way, as it announced that the device will get these updates once every quarter. Another good thing is that the 3.5mm headphone jack has been retained and there is USB Type-C port.

There are three RAM and storage variants at incredible prices:
  • 6GB + 64GB  priced for Rs.20,999 ($300 USD)
  • 6GB + 128GB priced for Rs.23,999 ($344 USD)
  • 8GB + 256GB priced for Rs.28,999 ($415 USD)
  • 8GB + 256 GB Armoured edition for Rs 29,999 ($430 USD)

If the price was already not good enough, the company threw in an amazing introductory offer. POCO has partnered with HDFC to give Rs.1000 off while purchasing the device using the bank's debit/credit cards.

For the included accessories, there will be a soft cover case and if users want more, the company is giving out cases as well as skins for the first time. The cases start from Rs.399 and skins from Rs.299. The device will come in three colors: Red, Blue and Graphite Black. All the colours are shown in the spec sheet image. There is also a special Armoured edition which is made of 'Kevlar Aramid Fiber'. POCO says that this material is both dust and water resistant. At the launch event, Jai Mani stated that this material is bulletproof and is used in designing spacesuits. The Armoured edition is Rs 10,000 costlier than the base variant, but it also has 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

Without a pinch of doubt, this new budget flagship seems to be the best choice now for this price point. The F1 will be sold online via Flipkart and Mi India and the first sale is on 29th August, 12PM, on both the platforms. You can grab the device starting for Rs 19,999 only when you purchase it through HDFC cards. A Snapdragon 845 powered smartphone under 20k seemed improbable, but Xiaomi has pulled it off. Interestingly, the POCO F1 will be competing with Xiaomi's Mi A2.

If you wish to have a look at the detailed specifications, we have compiled a specification sheet for you just below. Have a look:


Device POCO F1
Bands GSM B2/3/5/8
WCDMA B1/2/5/8
FDD-LTE B1/3/5/7/8/20
TDD-LTE B38/40/41(120MHz)
Display 6.18", 2246x1080 IPS LCD
500 nits brightness
1500:1 contrast ratio
84% NTSC color gamut support

Aspect Ratio 19:9
(Length x Breadth x Height)
155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm
Weight 180 g
Processor Snapdragon 845
(4x 2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold + 4x 1.8GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
LiquidCool Technology
Adreno 630 GPU
Storage 64GB UFS 2.1 (for 6GB RAM variant) internal memory
128GB UFS 2.1 (for 6GB RAM variant) internal memory
256GB UFS 2.1 (for 8GB RAM variant) internal memory

Support for microSD (hybrid slot) up to 256GB
Rear Camera Primary: Sony IMX 363 (12MP, f/1.9, 1.4μm)
Secondary: unnamed Samsung sensor (5MP, f/2.0, 1.12μm)
Dual Pixel Auto Focus
4K 30fps 
Slow motion: 720p 240fps, 1080p 240fps
Front Camera  (20MP, f/2.0, 1.0μm)EIS
1080p 30fps
Battery 4000mAh
Charging USB Type-C,
18W (9V, 4A) charger included,
QuickCharge 3.0
Security Fingerprint sensor (rear), Face unlock
Software Android Oreo 8.1
Android Pie update promised
NFC Not confirmed
Headphone jack Yes
Sensors Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Gyro,
Compass, Proximity, Hall sensor
Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual VoLTE
Colours Red, Blue, Graphite Black
Pricing 6GB/64GB - Rs 20,999 ($300 USD)
6GB/128GB - Rs 23,999 ($344 USD)
8GB/256GB - Rs 28,999 ($415 USD)
8GB/256GB Armoured edition - Rs 29,999 ($430 USD)

[Image credits - POCO]

Rajat Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor is a self confessed tech geek. Always up to date with what's going on in the tech world, he is currently pursuing MCA and prefers Android over iOS. You will see his articles here and we do hope that you find them useful and informational.
Xiaomi's POCO F1 Is Here To Take Over The Indian Smartphone Market, Best Budget Flagship? Xiaomi's POCO F1 Is Here To Take Over The Indian Smartphone Market, Best Budget Flagship? Reviewed by Rajat Kapoor on 8/22/2018 03:12:00 PM
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