The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is a smartphone that is very interesting! The looks are good but can be better. The specs are good and they are almost on top of the list! Battery life is good and Xiaomi says you can last for 2 days?! All those things are great and that at a very affordable price. What else do we want?
- 1 Introduction & Specifications
- 2 Hardware & Design
- 3 Display
- 4 Camera
- 5 Features
- 6 Software
- 7 Performance
- 8 Battery Life
- 9 Conclusion
Introduction & Specifications
With the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 I already had a fast and good working smartphone. The only thing that I don’t like about the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, was the battery life. I was able to get a day of battery life if I did not play any games. With the Pocophone F1, it feels amazing to last more than a day while I game or watch a TV show.
Are the rest of the specifications also worth the affordable price?
Hardware & Design
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, a 6.18″ screen, 20MP selfie camera and 4000 mAh for this price?! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I say the hardware that Xiaomi put in the Pocophone F1. This is just amazing and, if the software keeps up to date, you are able to last multiple years with this smartphone, right?
There are two cameras on the rear, a 12MP + 5MP, and I’m happy with the quality of the photos. They are sharp but might come out a bit cold. This is easily adjustable with the AI mode on the camera which adds lots of color to the photo or scene. If that is not enough, you can change it with the photo editor, which is available in the default photo app. Overall, with some editing, I’m really happy with the shots! If traveled for five months and only took photos with the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, you can view the results here (after editing) Click Here!
The Snapdragon 845 runs up to 2.8GHz, which is crazy fast and the software is smooth and I like the stock android feeling of the Poco-launcher that is installed. This skin is still fast and I like the feeling and looks of it.
While the display sticks out a bit, it could be a weakness of the Pocophone F1. The back is made of plastic, which makes it a little bendable. There is another benefit, it is not glass. If you drop it, the back won’t break that easily. The 6.18″ screen is made of cornering Gorilla Glass which is durable and prevent it from scratching easily.
The materials used for the back are not top of the line like the hardware inside. The back is made out of plastic, which comes with its own benefits. It is not made from glass which makes it more durable and better capable of handling a drop. The screen sticks out from the casing a bit which makes it vulnerable to damage too. Luckily the screen is made out of tough Cornering Gorilla Glass.
Unfortunately, the Pocophone F1 is not water or dust proof like we see in the flagships of OnePlus, Samsung and Apple. Which is a downside if you ask me.
The 6.18″ display with a resolution of 2246 x 1080 gives you a clear and very nice colored screen. It is roughly the same size as the iPhone XS Max and due to the notch, there is a bigger display in the same housing size.
The display is not on the same level as the casing. It sticks out a little bit and I don’t know why they did this. Maybe there is more space on the inside now to fit in a bigger battery? This is, I think, one weakness of the Pocophone F1 since the screen is way more vulnerable now. Of course, if you use a case you are better protected, but some people like to use their smartphone without a case.
The hype continues and the Pocophone F1 is joining the long list of smartphones with a notch. Some people love and some people hate it. It is there and we have to accept it.
This is my first smartphone with a notch and I like it. The icons are stored on top and I have more space for my apps. Having said that there are some apps which are not compatible with the bigger screen and the notch. Now some of the apps look weird, but I guess this is a matter of time before those apps get an update.
On the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, there was a really good camera. I was able to take some sharp pictures for the reviews too. Can the Pocophone F1 do the same? There is a dual camera with 12MP + 5MP on the back and a stunning 20MP selfie camera. Taking selfies will succeed with the Pocophone F1 for sure!
Taking selfies is getting a bigger thing with the younger generation. On the Pocophone F1 is a 20MP selfie camera which should be able to get the job done and capture you perfectly. Here are some examples that were taken with the Pocophone F1:
Again, I’m really happy with the quality of the camera. If you are taking photos all the time, the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is a great smartphone for you. The price is low, the speed is great and the photo quality is really good too.
Our smartphones are getting better and better. We don’t walk around with camera’s anymore, we just bring our smartphone. The current day smartphones must some great performance on speed, battery, AND cameras. Can the Pocophone F1 compete with models like the OnePlus 6 or even the iPhone Xs or Samsung Galaxy S9? Here are some examples that were taken with the Pocophone F1:
I’m personally really happy with the quality of the camera of the Xiaomi Pocophone F1. The photos might come out a bit “cold”, but with the AI turned on, you can see some great improvements. Also, the editor, which is available in the photo app, can make the picture come to life even more.
The Pocophone F1 is not just unique with the great hardware for this price. There are some other points that make the Pocophone F1 a masterpiece that deserves a mention. Did you know that the Pocophone F1 is liquid cooled?
We see these in-game computers or heavy game smartphones, but Xiaomi did a great job by building it in the Pocophone F1. This technique makes sure that the Pocophone F1 is able to handle all the heavy games that you want and the Snapdragon 845 won’t overheat. Want to play PUBG for some time? No problem for the Pocophone F1. With the liquid cooling technique, Xiaomi tries to eliminate the freezing screens or slow responding smartphones when gaming.
Infrared Face Unlock
Unfortunately, this is not available for all devices. Mine does not support the Face Unlock yet, but I see some great response on that. I hope that Xiaomi is releasing this feature for all the countries very soon so that everybody can enjoy this great method of unlocking. No more fingerprint, just hold up your smartphone and you are unlocked!
When it comes available, I will update this part.
For now, we have to unlock the smartphone by passcode or fingerprint. This scanner is located at the back which we see more often, like the Elephone U Pro. I must say that I was a little skeptical about the placement of the scanner first, but now that I used it for some time, it works pretty well. I do miss the ability to unlock the smartphone when it is on my desk without lifting it… Hopefully, the Face Unlocked will come soon.
Of course, we have the speaker at the bottom, near the charging port. This works good and the sound that comes from there is good and clear. It can go pretty loud, but there is another nice little feature. There is also music/sounds coming from the top speaker that you normally use for calling. This sound is, of course, not as loud as the bottom speaker, but it gives you just a little extra.
The Pocophone F1 runs on Android 8.1.0 OPM1.171019.011. It has an own version of MIUI and it runs now on MIUI Global 9.6. It will get an update to MIUI 10, but that is not available for me yet.
Want to know more about MIUI 9? Please click here to learn all about it.
There is one thing different from other Xiaomi phone. The Pocophone F1 does not have the MIUI Launcher, but it got its own Poco Launcher which gives you the feeling of a stock Android phone. This is a big plus and I hope that Pocophone will keep using this stock Android like launcher. There are some downsides too, sometimes I have to wait longer than usual to see the apps when I switch back to my home screen. Also, there are some ghosts vibrations, which I can not explain.
With the Snapdragon 845, we can expect some great performance. This top of the line processor is able to give you great speed and performance. First, we are going to have a look at some of the benchmark test and at the last point, I will talk about the daily experience using the Pocophone F1.
Geekbench does not give you a single score. They test the performance on single core and multi-core, which gives you a better overview of the performance of the Xiaomi Pocophone F1. As seen in the pictures below, the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 scores really good!
Performance In Daily Usage
With the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, I already had a pretty fast smartphone. The Pocophone F1 is stepping it up a bit. The processor is fast, the screen is bigger and the battery is better.
On my way to work, I sometimes watch a TV show or play a game. During the day I use my phone to browse, WhatsApp and play games like Football Manager 2018. This all goes quickly and I’m able to switch between apps without a problem. The battery lasts the complete day, most of the time ending the day with 30% to 35%. For me, that is just great! I’m able to play games, watch TV and just use it normally and still manage to get a day of battery life out of the Pocophone F1.
With the Xiaomi Mi Note 3, I had to recharge it before I go home from work, otherwise, I would not be able to make it home with a working phone.
All day battery life! Finally! After my Lenovo P2, I have a smartphone again that can last for a day or more. I really hope that the batteries will get better in the future, but for now, being able to last longer than a day is just great. When you play some games, watch a TV show while you are on the bus, you are still able to reach the end of the day with 20%-30$ battery left in your Pocophone F1. Can you imagine what happens if you are not playing games or watching TV shows? Right, you are able to last 2 complete days!!
Charging the battery goes pretty quick with the 18W charger that Xiaomi gave with the Pocophone F1. If the smartphone is below 10%, you are able to charge it within 1.5 to 2 hours, which is good if you ask me. Now, after the charge, you are able to last 2 days if you are not playing games or watching a TV show.
The Pocophone F1 surprised me a lot. For this price, this is an absolute killer smartphone. With the hardware inside you are able to last for a good 2 years. The display is big with 6.18″ but due to the notch, the display is bigger in the same housing as the iPhone 8 Plus. It does miss some features like NFC or wireless charging, also the Pocophone F1 is not water/dustproof.
With the younger generation taking more and more selfies, the Pocophone F1 could very well be a selfie monster. With the 20MP selfie camera, you are able to take great selfies. The dual rear camera, 12MP + 5MP, is performing not as good as I hoped.
Inside we have a 4000 mAh battery, which will last you over a day. It does not matter if you play games, watch TV shows or just use it for browsing. The Pocophone F1 is able to last over a day. Switching apps is smooth and goes quickly. No problems at all! There are regular updates which I hope Xiaomi will continue.