Xiaomi’s new sub-brand, Poco officially introduced its first smartphone, the Poco F1 in India. Priced at an exceedingly affordable sum of Rs 20,999, the phone comes loaded to the brim with features and premium hardware, most of which are a first for its price segment. Here are seven best features of the Poco F1.
Jai Mani, the product head at Poco Global, mentioned at the launch that the Poco F1 is designed and built from the scratch, keeping aside all the baggage that a big company like Xiaomi comes with. Well, that may or may not be entirely true, but what’s true are the below set of facts and features which makes Poco F1 special.
1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Let’s start with the obvious. By launching at a starting price of Rs 20,999, the Poco F1 is the least expensive phone to be powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset. There’s up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable internal storage. The Adreno 630 GPU adds to the CPU goodness.
2. Liquid-cooled Internals
Being primarily targeted to users who want the absolute best hardware and mobile gamers, Xiaomi has included liquid-cooled thermals as well to ensure the phone doesn’t heat up during long, resource intensive sessions. Basically, it’s a copper heat sync with some water vapour inside and placed on top of the chipset. We usually see this on gaming smartphones. The polycarbonate shell further supplements this by being arguably better at usability and handling heat than other materials like metal and glass. Clearly, the focus is on speed and the effort is to ensure the speed doesn’t go down due to heating.
3. Hardware-based Face Unlock
One of the biggest highlights of the new Poco F1 is its hardware-based facial recognition system, unlike others who entirely rely on software algorithms. The phone features an IR lens as well as infrared lightning so that you can be authenticated irrespective of the scenario. In addition to that, you’ll also find a regular rear-mounted fingerprint reader.
4. Project Treble
While the Poco F1 inherits Xiaomi’s own MIUI software skin, there is one bit worth noting here. It’s the support for something called Project Treble, a Google project which allows phone makers to quickly adjust their skins to new software updates. Poco is, for now, promising to roll out a security patch every three months and Android Pie by the end of this year.
5. 4000mAh Battery
Another key feature of the Poco F1 is the gargantuan 4000mAh battery which is also compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. And the best part? The fast charger comes bundled in the box. Poco is promising a full-day battery life under ‘heavy usage’.
6. 4G+ Network support
Poco F1 is one of the first smartphones to support 4G+ networks in India. For those who don’t know what this means, 4G+ basically combines radio frequencies to give you faster network performance as well as better coverage. Poco is promising up to 275% faster data throughput with 4G+. And yeah, the Poco F1 supports Dual VoLTE.
7. UFS 2.1 Storage
Now, this is something that’s pretty common on premium flagship smartphones. But then, the Poco F1 starts at $300 which isn’t premium by any standards. UFS 2.1 storage means faster data transfer speeds and generally, lag-free performance. The Poco F1 also comes with up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and microSD card slot (hybrid).
8. Dual Smart speakers
On the Poco F1, the earpiece doubles up as a speaker providing dual speaker effect. Poco is using a Dual Smart Power Amplifier technology to get really loud audio without distortion. It also has support for Direc HD Sound.
9. MIUI for Poco and Kernel source
While some were hoping Poco to completely ditch MIUI for something like stock Android, Poco has predictably gone with MIUI itself but with some special customisations. This includes a custom launcher of their own, the Poco Launcher which comes with an app drawer, supports hidden apps and third party icon packs. Additionally, Poco has something called Turbocharged engine providing faster app startup for popular apps and also faster swiping experience. Also, unlocking bootloader won’t void your warranty and Poco F1 kernel source should be available by August 29th, which means more developer support.
10. Official Skins
The Poco F1 also marks the first time a phone maker has introduced official skins, for which buyers usually turn to companies like Dbrand. There are a handful of options available including mahogany, camouflage, all for an affordable sum of Rs 299. There is also an official Ultra-slim case with matte-finish costing Rs 399.
11. Armoured Edition
The Poco F1 will be available in a special Armoured edition which comes with a coating of Kevlar instead of polycarbonate. Poco boasts about this being a real Kevlar aramid fibre imported directly from DuPont. As for the specifications, it has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. And it costs Rs 29,999 in India.