Xiaomi has released a couple of flagship smartphones in 2018. There’s the updated Mi MIX 2S, followed by the Mi 8 which comes in 3 different variants. Now they are making top-notch smartphone performance more accessible to the masses with their new flagship killer, the POCOPHONE F1. This new sub-brand device under Xiaomi is hitting the shelves in Malaysia this Thursday, 30 August 2018, and here’s everything you need to know.
Most affordable Snapdragon 845 flagship
The POCOPHONE F1 is the cheapest Snapdragon 845 powered smartphone you can buy at the moment and basically, you’re getting a high-end phone at a mid-range smartphone price. POCOPHONE isn’t cutting corners when it comes to performance as it uses LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage. Below is the official Malaysian pricing with and without SST.
6GB RAM + 64GB storage – RM1,237 (RM1,299 with SST)
6GB RAM + 128GB storage – RM1,428 (RM1,499 with SST)
According to Xiaomi, the SST pricing will take effect from 10 September as the first batch of devices were imported before 1st September. You can get the POCOPHONE F1 at authorised Mi Stores as well as Lazada Malaysia. There are only 2 colours – Graphite Black and Steel Blue.
Unfortunately, there’s no 8GB RAM + 256GB storage version for our market. In Indonesia, Xiaomi had introduced the Armoured Edition with 6GB RAM + 128GB of storage but so far there’s no mention of it coming to Malaysia.
No frills build quality
With such an unbelievable price tag, something has to be sacrificed to keep the price low. Unlike other flagship smartphones, the POCOPHONE F1 gets a polycarbonate back instead of using glass or metal. As a result, it feels plasticky but it is still a sturdy phone.
Despite having a low-cost build, the F1 is marketed as a gaming device. To keep things cool, it has LiquidCool technology which helps to maintain high-performance even with extensive usage.
In terms of operating system, it isn’t stock Android but a customised MIUI that’s tweaked for speed. At the moment, it runs on Android 8.1 Oreo but Xiaomi says that it will get the latest Android Pie by end of 2018.
Large Battery and Fast Charging
The POCOPHONE F1 has a large 4,000mAh battery which is on par with the likes of the Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note9. It charges via USB-C and it even comes with a Quick Charge 3.0 (5V 2.5A/9V 2A/12V 1.5A) charging brick in the box.
Retains essential features
Although it’s cheap, the F1 retains the essential features that many power users would appreciate. If you need more storage, the F1 supports microSD card expansion of up to 256GB via its hybrid dual-SIM slot (2 SIMs or 1 SIM + 1 microSD Card).
There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top and it even has stereo audio playback using both the earpiece and down firing speaker. If you look around, there are not many new flagship smartphones that offer a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and that includes Xiaomi’s own Mi 8.
To recap on the specs, it features a 6.18″ Full HD+ display that comes in an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. Yes, it has a notch at the top which houses an Infrared camera and illuminator for instant face unlock. Alternatively, you can also unlock the device by tapping on its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
At the rear, it also gets a dual-camera setup consisting of a 12MP f/1.9 main shooter (Sony IMX363) and a secondary 5MP f/2.0 camera for bokeh effects. In front, it gets a 20MP f/2.0 selfie camera.
Missing bells & whistles
Of course, you can’t have it all. The POCOPHONE F1 doesn’t have wireless charging or support for NFC. There’s no IP67 or IP68 dust/water resistance, so this isn’t a phone that you can take to the swimming pool. For less than RM1,500 even for its 128GB storage model, you can’t deny that this smartphone is cramming a lot of great hardware for your money.