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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is well-known for its affordable Redmi and Mi A series smartphones in the Indian market. However, the brand has not yet tasted the success in the mid-range and premium smartphone segment. The company's Mi series which introduced some top-of-the-line premium devices like Mi 5, Mi Mix, etc. failed to make a mark in the Indian smartphone space, wherever the affordable Redmi devices have always topped the list in budget price-point.
Having said that, Xiaomi has now introduced a new sub-brand to tap the mid-range price-segment in India. The company has unveiled the first smartphone under the Poco series, which goes by the name Poco F1.
At a starting price of Rs. 20,999, Xiaomi POCO F1 is the most affordable smartphone with flagship Snapdragon 845 CPU. The smartphone is touted as a gaming device and will be available in premium polycarbonate body in Graphite Black, Steel Blue, and Rosso Red color variants. The company has announced three variants. The entry-level variant boasts 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage and will sell at Rs. 20,999, whereas the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant will sell at Rs. 23,999. The high-end variant is priced at Rs. 28,999 and offers 8GB RAM paired with256GB internal storage.
Moreover, Xiaomi has also announced the Armoured Edition, which also comes in 8GB+256GB configuration and will retail at Rs. 29,999. It will go on sale on mi.com and Flipkart on 29th August 2018, starting at 12 PM.
Xiaomi has also joined hands with HDFC Bank under which consumer will get Rs.1,000 instant cashback to all credit and debit cardholders.
The company is also offering benefits of Rs. 8,000 worth along with 6TB of high-speed data with Reliance Jio.
We used the smartphone for a while to find out what Poco F1 has to offer and here is what we have to say about the new Xiaomi smartphone in our first impressions.
Design and Display: Polycarbonate back panel and 6.18 inches display with a notch
The Poco F1 comes with a polycarbonate body that feels premium and robust. The back panel houses a vertically stacked dual-lens camera setup that comprises of a 12MP main camera and 5MP secondary camera to create depth of field effects. The module also fits a fingerprint sensor along with a dual LED flash placed adjacent to it.
On the right side of the smartphone, you will find the volume rockers and power button, while the SIM tray slot is on the left and a 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the top.
Poco F1 also has dual speaker grill at the bottom and a USB Type C port for charging.
Overall, the new smartphone looks premium and feels good in hands, thanks to its Kevlar back panel and compact form factor. The Poco FI is also sturdy because of its polycarbonate body and metal frame.
On the display front, the Poco F1 comes with a 6.18-inch Full HD+ resolution display. The display also has an IPS panel with a resolution of 2246 x 1080p with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. There's a big notch at the top that seems way too big as compared to some recent launch smartphones in the same price-point. For instance the OPPO F9 and F9 Pro that comes with a waterdrop notch that takes just a fraction of the screen at front panel.
The screen is touch responsive, offers vibrant colors and decent brightness levels.
Camera: 12MP+5MP rear camera and a 20MP front camera
On the imaging front, the new smartphone comes with a 12MP+5MP rear camera and a 20MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture size. Both the rear and front cameras are supported by AI features for photos, such as AI Portrait, AI Beautify, and AI Scene Detection.
POCO F1 also comes with an infrared illuminator and infrared camera on the front, allowing the AI face feature to securely unlock the device both in pitch-dark conditions as well as in bright daylight.
We tested both the cameras for a brief period and found that the shots showed decent detailing and natural color tones on the 6.18-inch display. We will evaluate this smartphone in the coming week during our detailed camera review of Poco F1 on GIZBOT.
Processor and RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC
The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 version paired with 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB, and 8GB+256GB respectively while Armoured Edition comes in an 8GB+256GB configuration.
It also comes with LiquidCool Technology, enabling it to deliver sustained peak performance for extended periods.
During our short span with the smartphone, we did not face any delay while opening applications and navigating through the user interface.
Battery, Software, and Connectivity
The new smartphone sports a 4,000mAh battery which the company claims can sustain 8 hours of non-stop gaming and 15 days of standby time. It is also teamed up with Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging.
We will evaluate such claims while reviewing the handset.
On the software front, the Poco F1 comes with MIUI 9 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo.
It will also receive the Android P update in the near future.
The device performed quite well when used for basic tasks like surfing the internet. In our brief interaction with the smartphone, we found that the face unlock feature is quite fast and we didn't find any lag as such.
On the connectivity front, it features options like 4G+ and dual VoLTE, and Bluetooth 5.0, AAC/aptX/aptX-HD/LDAC.
Xiaomi Poco F1 is a flagship smartphone at an affordable price-point. It offers top-of-the-line hardware and good build quality. We will evaluate the performance in everyday usage to give you a detailed overview of Xiaomi's latest product for Indian consumers. Stay tuned on Gizbot.com.