As with so many things in life, it began with a Tweet. It took a tweet from Xiaomi’s Jai Mani to confirm the existence of Xiaomi’s sub-brand, Poco. “Today is a special day. I’m excited to start sharing more about the new project I’ve been working on. Wish me luck.” Mani, considered one of the key figures in Xiaomi’s MIUI interface, tweeted along with a logo that read “Poco by Xiaomi.” And tagged in that tweet were Poco’s global and Indian handles (interestingly, global handle’s name is Pocophone, while Indian handle is named Poco), which also went live today. Needless to say, that has unleashed a tidal way of speculation.
We have been hearing about the existence of a Pocophone, or more specifically the Pocophone F1 for a while now. The brand was initially supposed to have been established to push phones powered by Xiaomi’s own processors (remember Surge, anyone) but many feel that it is now going to be used by Xiaomi to make its presence felt in the US, rather like Honor is being utilized by Huawei. However, we are not too sure where it would fit into the scheme of things in India, a market where Xiaomi is doing notably well and is already one of the leading players. Some observers feel that the Poco brand could be used by Xiaomi to make a renewed foray into the premium segment of the Indian smartphone market, an area where it has enjoyed relatively limited success.
Leaks (and there even has been a leaked unboxing) indicate that the Pocophone F1 comes with a large 6.2 inch full HD+ display with a notch, and will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, backed up by 6 GB/ 8 GB RAM and with storage capacities of 128 GB and 256 GB, and a massive 4000 mAh battery. The cameras, however, seem to be on the more modest side – a 12 and 5-megapixel combination at the back and a 20 megapixel one in front. In fact, from what we have heard, the Poco range of devices is going to focus on the twin virtues of powerful processors and big batteries, rather than cameras. The build of these devices is also more likely to be carbonate rather than metal and glass, which are the rage these days. And the topping on this cake is likely to be a surprisingly low price – some sources have put the price of the Pocophone F1 in the vicinity of Rs 30,000-35,000, but from what we have heard it could be significantly lower – maybe even Rs 25,000.
Of course, all this is just idle speculation at the moment, based on a few leaks and the odd video, but there can be no denying that this represents a significant move from Xiaomi. And former Googler Jai Mani’s involvement in it gives it a whole new dimension. We have got our ears to the ground and will keep you informed of developments. Do let us know if you hear something.