We have been thoroughly testing the new Pocophone F1 for some time, the Xiaomi terminal that has attracted the most attention this year due to its high-end characteristics and specifications, but with a much tighter price than the usual 500 euros that costs a cheap high end.
Today, we will show you our analysis of the Pocophone F1, a high-end terminal at a demolition price that has met practically all our expectations. However, as you can imagine, not everything has been a bed of roses. Therefore, after a month of use with the Pocophone F1, today I will tell you what my experience has been with the best mobile about the quality and price of 2018.
Pocophone F1: features and specifications
|Dimensions||75.2 x 155.5 x 8.8 mm. 182 grams of weight.|
|Screen||6.18-inch IPS LCD protected with Gorilla Glass. It occupies 82% of the front.|
|Resolution and density||Full HD + (2,246 x 1,080 pixels) with 18: 9 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 64-bit octa-core (8x Qualcomm Kryo at 2.8 GHz) and 10 nm|
|RAM||6/8 GB LPDDR4X|
|OS||MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie|
|Cameras||Rear : Dual lens with Sony IMX363 main sensor of 12.2 megapixels and 1.4 µm wide-angle with aperture f / 1.9; secondary sensor (telephoto) Samsung S5K5E8 of 5 megapixels and 1.12 µm with aperture f / 2.0 Front : sensor of 20 megapixels and 0.9 µm with aperture f / 2.0|
|Video||1,080p @30 FPS and 4K @ 30 FPS. Slow Motion at 1,080p @ 120 FPS and 720p @ 240 FPS|
|Battery||4,000 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0|
|Others||Rear fingerprint reader, USB-C, notification LED, ultrasonic proximity sensor|
|Connectivity||4G / LTE, NFC, WiFi 4 × 4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and Dual-SIM|
|Bands||FDD LTE B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B13, B17, B18, B19, B20, B25, B26, B27, B28, B29, B30
TDD LTE: B34, B38, B39, B40, B41
WCDMA: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B8, B9, B19
CDMA : BC0, BC1, BC10, EVDO, BC0, BC1, BC10
GSM: B2, B3, B5, B8
|Colors||Black, blue, kevlar finish, red|
The best of the Pocophone F1
System latency and fluidity
The Pocophone F1 was presented with the promise of offering a fluidity experience taken a step beyond what we are used to. The truth is that although we were skeptical about this, the terminal has surprised us in these terms and a lot.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 provides the terminal with great speed and battery management. This, added to the great optimization that Xiaomi has carried out with this terminal, ensures a very good experience using any application and, especially, moving through the Interface.
However, when typing on the keyboard or scrolling, the terminal does not give the same feeling as other high-end terminals since, when typing fast, the terminal slows down to the point that it does not recognize some touches. Nothing worrisome, but certainly surprising considering the features that the terminal has.
A screen that is quite surprising
The screen of the Pocophone F1 has surprised us a lot due to the balance it has. It is a 6.18-inch IPS panel at Full HD + resolution, which has a density of 416 pixels per inch and occupies 82% of the front of the terminal.
We have not had any problem outdoors to see the terminal screen, nor with the minimum brightness indoors. On the other hand, the automatic brightness of the terminal works quite well. With its maximum brightness of 461 nits, it can be seen even on sunny days when it is usually difficult for us to glimpse the content of the screen, and it offers very realistic colors, and with quite pure whites, which is not the case with other terminals in the range—medium-high of the Chinese company.
However, it is in things like HDR support that the terminal falters concerning the OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S, or Xiaomi Mi 8, since the Pocophone lags, justifying that difference of almost 200 euros with the “flagship killers. ” The Pocophone F1 is a term loaded with good intentions, but it is evident that it lags behind its competition in some aspects.
Battery for more than two days
If we had to summarize it in one sentence, we would tell you that the Pocophone F1 is that cheap high-end you have to buy if you want barbaric autonomy. Inside, the firm decided to introduce a 4,000 mAh battery. As you can imagine, this added to a 6.18-inch screen with Full HD + resolution and the energy management of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It makes the results incredible…
And, we had gotten results from two days of use with 10 hours of the active screen just before the terminal ran out of battery, some figures that will make it possible for you to completely forget about charging your mobile on the phone—a night without negative consequences.
When mounting a Snapdragon 845, it is compatible with QuickCharge 4.0, and it will take about two hours to charge it, which is not bad considering the autonomy you will receive in return. And, yes, the charger that comes in the box will help you quickly charge your smartphone.
The worst of the Pocophone F1
The design and materials
The Pocophone F1 is a mobile that, for 329 euros, offers us a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6 GB of RAM, a pretty good screen, and an incredible battery. However, as you can imagine, its low price means that we have to lower expectations in certain sections.
The design is one of them, and even though the terminal has a pretty decent styling and good frontal use, the materials of the same leave a lot to be desired since we find the main polycarbonate on the back and the sides. On the other hand, the buttons are quite solid, well placed, and comfortable to press.
The advantage of plastic is that it weighs little, yes, but on the other hand, the sensation that it offers us in hand is not as premium as that which even a mid-range terminal like the Xiaomi Mi A2 can offer us. One of the shadows of the terminal that you can perfectly forget due to its good performance.
The notifications, blissful notifications
The notch is an element that, although we may like it more or less, allows us to gain some screen at the top. However, when it comes to implementing it in a terminal, not everything goes. Beyond the aesthetic tastes of each one, it should not hinder our experience with a terminal.
And this is precisely what happens with the notch of the Pocophone F1 -as well as that of the high-end Xiaomi-, since this is too wide, and this causes that we cannot see the notifications in the bar, just as we’ve been doing –almost– our entire lives on Android.
The logical solution to not being able to see the notification icons in the bar is the floating notifications, as well as the notifications on the lock screen, that is clear. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. And it is that the facial recognition of the Pocophone F1 is fast, very fast, and seeing a notification on the lock screen is an impossible mission if we have it activated.
On the other hand, floating notifications – and on the lock screen – are not activated by default. Still, we will have to activate them manually in Settings, an absurd task that, in the middle of 2018, does not make sense that it is the responsibility of the users. Being given a choice is an advantage, but activating everything manually is a task in which less advanced users may have some other problem, so why not make these become activated automatically? In our opinion, the biggest incongruity of the terminal.
There is no NFC, and in the high-end, that is inexplicable
This Pocophone F1 came to light with the mission of competing with the cheapest high-end, yes, those Xiaomi Mi 8 and OnePlus 6 that we like so much, and the truth is that in some aspects, the terminal makes us forget the idea to buy one of these more expensive terminals.
Perhaps, users can give up a design with premium materials or the best camera on the market. Still, the truth is that for 329 euros, there are certain functionalities that we want to have in our terminal, and one of them is NFC connectivity.
My personal mobile is the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S, and I have to say that after a few months with the terminal, I have gotten used to leaving the card at home and paying, when necessary, with the mobile through Google Pay. Something that, in the long run, means you don’t have to worry about not having too much money on you, not to mention the possibility of pairing our accessories, such as Bluetooth speakers or headphones, simply thanks to NFC.
In the Pocophone F1, we are going to have to do without the benefits of the NFC, something that, honestly, bothers us a lot since it is a fairly round terminal and from which we can assume the rest of its shortcomings.
Pocophone F1, this is how your cameras are
In general terms, the Pocophone F1 is a terminal with a very competent camera, a particularly good portrait mode, and a fairly high-quality front camera. At night things change, as there are times when the terminal does not quite get good results. Despite that, it is capable of taking good pictures in almost any situation.
Behavior by day, portrait mode, and at night
The rear camera, day photos
The rear camera, night photos
At night we will not see results as good as in good lighting conditions, and sometimes the terminal does not automatically adjust the white balance well. Of course, there are times when we will be able to take pretty decent pictures.
The rear camera, portraits
The portrait mode, for its part, works especially well, and the clipping carried out by the terminal is more than correct. However, on very rare occasions, we find a fault if the situation is complicated. Both in the rear and front cameras, the Pocophone F1 will offer us very good results, or at least during the day.
A front camera, day selfies
The front camera of the Pocophone F1 offers very good results during the day, and the portrait mode can make a good crop. However, it is true that on many occasions, it does not achieve a good level of detail in the foreground. Also, if you are one of those people who like photos with more realistic colors, you should reduce the amount of saturation a bit.
A front camera, night selfies
At night, as with the rear camera, the story changes, and the results get a bit worse, tarnishing the experience we have with the terminal’s camera in good light situations.
Pocophone F1, final thoughts and opinion
Without any doubt, the Pocophone F1 is an ideal purchase, as long as you bear in mind that it is not a 500 euro flagship killer as we know it. It is a much cheaper mobile, and as such, it has some shortcomings that these terminals do not have. If you understand it, and it still seems like the best option, go ahead; you will not regret buying it. But the truth is that, for us, it falls short in certain respects. At the performance level, we have no complaints except the problems with the scroll and the Google keyboard that Xiaomi will surely fix through the official update to MIUI 10, as it did with the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S, which had the same defects at the level of software.
That the terminal is made of plastic does not have to be a hindrance when buying it. Still, if to this step down concerning the flagship killers, we add the notch problem, which does not let us see the notification icons in the bar. The absence of NFC connectivity will prevent us from paying with Google Pay; it is not crazy to think about investing a little more money until reaching the 500 euros that terminals cost, like the recently presented OnePlus 6T. As we have said, the Pocophone F1 is a device that makes us assume certain commitments to which, if you have been a mid-range user, you will be used to, but which may make you miss your old top of the range.
On the other hand, we have to make special mention of the facial recognition of this Pocophone F1, which works through the infrared sensor located in the notch, which is really fast, so much so that if you have it activated. You want to keep an eye on the notifications. On the lock screen, you can forget about it. And the fingerprint reader is not far behind in terms of speed. One of the aspects in which the device stands out over the majority of the high-end range is its autonomy, thanks to its huge 4,000 mAh battery that will ensure about two days of autonomy, despite intensive use.
In conclusion, we would not choose this Pocophone F1 over a Xiaomi Mi 8, for example. Still, it is undeniable that it is one of the best terminals of the year, and that for everything it offers us, pay 329 euros for him is more than fair. In short, at the performance level, it is not too far from any high-end, and the customization that Xiaomi has carried out with the terminal makes it move away a bit from MIUI but maintaining certain advantages of the layer, such as application blocking, dual applications or independent permission management.
As we have said, if you are looking for a cheap and fast high-end and are willing to give up a premium design and NFC connectivity, the Pocophone F1 is the best option on the market for its price. It is around the terminal, and that, of course, is capable of competing with much more expensive terminals. The flagship killer is one of the best we have seen this year, and the creation of this sub-brand by Xiaomi makes us look hopeful for the future, as long as they maintain the philosophy that they have followed with this first foray into the market.
Price and where to buy the Pocophone F1
As we have told you on many occasions, the price of the Pocophone F1 makes it the best mobile for value for money on the market. And, for only 329 you can buy the terminal, although the truth is that, as it usually happens, the price of it is going down, and you can buy it for around 30 euros less.
+ The best value for money on the market
– Its back is made of plastic
We have already anticipated it in the title; the Pocophone F1 is the best phone on the market about value for money. It has a very good performance, a huge battery, and a pretty good screen that will make you forget about its shortcomings, such as NFC connectivity or its plastic finishes. For the price it costs, it is the ideal terminal.
8.5 Pocophone F1 Incredible
Performance and battery at a laughable price, the Pocophone F1 is the ideal mobile for you, as long as you can give up some things like NFC connectivity or premium finishes.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.