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[Review] Pocophone F1 2 months full review

2018-12-10 11:41:38
859 15
1) Specs

NETWORKTechnologyGSM / HSPA / LTE2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 23G bandsHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 21004G bandsLTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 38(2600), 40(2300), 41(2500)SpeedHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (4CA) Cat16 1024/150 MbpsGPRSYesEDGEYes

LAUNCHAnnounced2018, AugustStatusAvailable. Released 2018, August

BODYDimensions155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm (6.12 x 2.96 x 0.35 in)Weight182 g (6.42 oz)BuildFront glass, plastic bodySIMHybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

DISPLAYTypeIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsSize6.18 inches, 96.2 cm2 (~82.2% screen-to-body ratio)Resolution1080 x 2246 pixels, 18.7:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)MultitouchYesProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version) 

- MIUI 10 (POCO customization)PLATFORMOSAndroid 8.1 (Oreo)ChipsetQualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm)CPUOcta-core (4x2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)GPUAdreno 630MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)Internal256 GB, 8 GB RAM or 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM

MAIN CAMERADual12 MP, f/1.9, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF
5 MP, f/2.0, 1.12µm, depth sensorFeaturesDual-LED flash, HDR, panoramaVideo2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS), 1080p@240fpsSELFIE CAMERASingle20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µmFeaturesHDRVideo1080p@30fps

SOUNDAlert typesVibration; MP3, WAV ringtonesLoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers3.5mm jackYes - Active noise cancellation with dedicatedmic

COMMSWLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspotBluetooth5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HDGPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDSRadioFM radio, recordingUSB2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go

FEATURESSensorsInfrared face recognition, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compassMessagingSMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IMBrowserHTML5 - Fast battery charging 9V/2A 18W (Quick Charge 3.0)
- MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.265 player
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
- Photo/video editor
- Document viewer

BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh batteryMISCColorsGraphite Black, Steel Blue, Rosso Red, Armored Edition with KevlarPriceAbout 290 EUR

PerformanceBasemark OS II: 4034 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 3713
Basemark X: 43652DisplayContrast ratio: 1468:1 (nominal), 3.059
(sunlight)CameraPhoto / VideoLoudspeakerVoice 72dB / Noise 74dB / Ring 86dBAudio qualityNoise -93.6dB / Crosstalk -93.8dBBattery lifeEndurance rating 94h

2) Build Quality

The phone is made from Poly Carbonate. (Enhanced version of plastic) Most people think that plastic is not durable. But its not the case at all. Polycarbonate is an enhanced version of plastic which is solid and feels like metal. Yeah it can be scratched but it won't shatter. You can use a back cover to avoid scratches. There are advantages of plastic back like better heat resistant better network reception which i think is pretty useful if you have a high powered chipset. For the past 2 months i am using this phone with a back cover and rarely i use without  back cover. I can proudly confirm that my phone doesn't have even a single scratch at the back. Coming to the display protection, The display is protected by Corning Gorilla glass 3. Which is an outdated version of Gorilla glass. Even though its outdated it offers top protection. For example now we are on Gorilla glass 6 and it also scratches at level 6 hardness. The Gorilla glass 3 also scratches at level 6 hardness so no difference at all. In my usage i don't have any scratches on the so far. On YouTube i saw some Indian YouTubers creating hype about the phone that it has a poor display and every time it falls it breaks. Any glass including sapphire crystal glass will also break on a drop of 5 feet or higher. In YouTube you may have seeing videos that some phones actually survives 10 feet drops also. It is because the actual display doesn't touch the hard flat surface due to the popped out edges of the phone's frame. In this case with the Poco you can use a decent back cover that has popped out edges and edge to edge protection tempered glass. In my own use i dropped the phone twice and it had no scratches, dents or glass shatter. The phone's camera and finger print reader is unscratcheble. Finally coming to the water and dust resistant capabilities, The phone doesn't have an IP rating. But Xiaoami has mentioned on their website that the phone is splash and dust resistant. Which means dust will not be able to do any harm and it is protected from splashes of water. This is impressive for the price point. I can strongly confirm that this phone's build quality is superior and obviously better than some other 2018s flagships which are more expensive. If you still have doubts you can watch Jerryrig's Pocophone F1 durability test on YouTube.

3) Screen bleeding

There's lot of hype going on the internet regarding that this phone has screen bleeding issues. Specially Indian YouTubers. Actually some units suffer from something like screen bleeding. Xiaoami has officially addressed on this problem and stated that the units that has effected are less than 0.03% of devices. They have also mentioned that the problem only occurs in 2nd batch of  Poco F1 (Indian version) 6GB 64GB variant only. Furthermore they have mentioned that its not actually screen bleeding instead its light assumption from the badly placed LED inverter and doesn't get worse over time. Some users also confuse the higher light gradient on the bottom chin in MIUI 9 to screen bleeding, Which is now removed on MIUI 10. If you still want be sure you can buy Pocophone F1 (Global version) which is completely safe from screen bleeding. During my 2 months of usage i didn't encounter any light bleeding issue on my phone.

4) Display

Pocophone F1 comes equipped with a 1080p Full HD + IPS LCD Panel. Which is great but has slightly lower contrast than an Amoled display. IPS and AMOLED displays both have their pros and cons. Amoled displays have better contrast and better blacks. Its also power efficient and consumes less battery. However Amoled displays may suffer from ghosting and image retention. In addition it is expensive hard to make and hard to replace. On the other hand IPS LCDs have slightly lower contrast and  blacks. But its not far behind from Amoled screens it has great colour reproduction and viewing angles. Its not power efficient and consumes more battery life. You can also expect screen bleeding in some cases. However its cheap, easy to find and replace. In my experience the display on the Pocophone F1 provides great image quality. You will not be disappointed. Specially for the price point.

5) Software

MIUI might not be the most loved skins in the smartphone world. But it is on par with stock Android. Lots of users complain about MIUI and small bugs with in it. But i personally love it. Pocophone F1 came with MIUI 9.4 (Poco Customisation) on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Yes MIUI 9 had small bugs with the Pocophone but their Poco Customisation is impressive. They have provided highly requested app drawer within in it and feels like nearly stock Android. Recently Xiaoami updated Pocophone F1 to MIUI 10. Which still has some bugs. However the performance is improved and is fluid. You can always expect some bugs in every skin or os. Even in the high end flagships. I don't see it as a much of a problem since Xiaoami is pushing software updates regularly to fix bugs and improve user experience. The few things i really like about MIUI are second space, dual apps and really well implemented full screen gestures. Talking about the Android version the phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. Xiaoami has confirmed this phone will get Android P before 2019. The phone officially ships with Google's project treble which makes developers a lot easier to edit the source code for delivering the updates faster. Xiaoami has also promised that the phone will receive two major Android updates which will be Android P and Q. Well that is outstanding for this price since all major flagship's including Pixel phones will also get 2 major Android updates. The phone also supports Google' AR core and has camera 2 API enabled by default. Which will improve photography on third party camera apps. I have to say the phone's software is amazing and you will get what you expect from most high end flagships. In addition the price significantly boosts this phone ahead compared to any other flagship.

6) Notch & Notification area

I am not a fan of notches. But in the case of Pocophone F1, Xiaoami can justify the the notch. Thanks to the IR camera and IR sensor which is used for Face unlock. What i don't like is MIUI's poor optimization towards the notch. I still believe that they can use the empty space around the notch for more notifications other than network indicator and battery icon. There's still some space that they can use for battery percentage and app notifications. Overall i don't like how Xiaoami uses the notification area around the notch. Hopefully in future updates they will fix it. What i like is what most people didn't like about this phone. It is the placement of the notification LED. Many people really hate it because its placed on a rather odd position. But i like it very much because its unique. I hate when companies copy each other. I love it when they bring unique and new designs.

7) Camera

When it comes to the camera hardware the phone equips main 12 MP Sony IMX 363 sensor which is also found in the Google Pixel 3. The second rear camera is 5MP Samsung sensor which is only used for depth sensing data for portraits. The front camera is 20MP sony IMX sensor. The camera hardware is great. The only thing missing in the camera hardware is the lack of OIS. This can be a problem if you have shaky hands while shooting low light pictures. In addition the stock camera app on this phone is poorly implemented by Xiaoami. The images on daylight are pretty good. But in low light conditions the camera struggles. Unfortunately there is some heavy noise reduction going on the background that tends low light images to loose sharpness and details. Therefore the image becomes more soft and unnatural. The camera sensor is certainly capable of much better than this. But it is held back due to the poorly implemented stock camera. However the stock camera has a manual mode that can shoot good pictures in low light conditions if you have some manual camera control knowledge. Thankfully the phone comes with camera 2 API enabled by default. That gives third party camera apps to use the full potential of the camera sensor. You can use Pixel 3 camera port to take amazing pictures. I am really impressed how Pixel 3 camera performs on this phone. The results are far better than IPhone XS max. The images are almost identical to the images taken from pixel 3. If any phone comes closer to Pixel 3 by using ported  Gcam it will be the Pocophone F1. Because it has the same primary sensor which is found on Pixel 3. Talking about video quality the phone can record 1080p @ 30/60 FPS and 4k @ 30 FPS, even though its capable of doing 4k @ 60 FPS. The phone also has Gyro EIS for video stabilization but it will only work in 1080p qaulity. If you want 4k @ 60fps than you can install Open camera that lets you record 4k videos @ 60 fps and also works Gyro EIS on front camera. In addition you can record time lapse and slow motion videos a@ 240fps. In my personal experience i will recommend you to use the stock camera only on daylight. If you are shooting low light pictures i will recommend you to use Gcam, Open camera or any other camera app that has manual controls and is able to take camera 2 API advantage. I still expect Xiaoami to improve its stock camera implementation by software updates. I mean they can do it, they can give an MI 8 style camera also. The chipset and the camera sensor is certainly capable of much more than this.

8) Security

When it comes to security the phone certainly offers flagship level options. You can use traditional passcode and patterns to lock the device. In addition the phone offers rear scratch proof finger print reader. Which is the fastest finger print reader in a smartphone until now. This is impressive and better than all the flagships currently on the market. In addition the phone offers IR Face unlock. It does not take an 3D image of the person's face like Apple, Huawei and in MI 8 Explorer edition. However its much more secure than normal face unlock that use RGB sensors. The infrared camera and sensor on the Pocophone actually scans users face and the movement of eyeballs. Than combines with AI to improve security. It learns the users face overtime. I really like the way that this face recognition system implemented. Its secure and fast. Amazingly this phone's IR face unlock is also the fastest on a smartphone until now. I have no issues on face unlock since the infrared sensor is able to recognise your face even in the in pitch darkness.On the software side the phone offers plenty of options for security. The phone comes preloaded with Google's find my device and a MI ' s find my device. In addition the MIUI offers a lot of small features for security.

9) Audio and Speakers

In the first few days of my usage i faced some call qaulity problems and poor network reception. Due to that in-call audio was distorted and disrupted. However within few days an update was rolled out to fix the problem. After the update the network reception and call quality are absolutely fine. I really admire that this phone has a 3.5MM headphone jack. I hate phones with type C to 3.5MM headphone jack. The audio from the headphones are fantastic. Its  loud and clear. One of the best things that i really l love about this phone is the stereo speakers. By stereo speakers i mean the main speaker is under the bottom chin while the ear piece doubles as a secondary speaker. However the setup is well implemented and the quality is outstanding. I am truly amazed by the qaulity. The audio is loud, clear and crisp. It will not perform like front facing stereo speakers on the Pixel 3. But still this phone has one of the best stereo speakers on a smartphone. And for this price point it really is outstanding. I really love these stereo speakers.

10) Battery

The phone has a huge 4000 MAH LI-PO battery. In my personal experience the battery lasts 2 days on normal usage. While doing intensive tasks such as playing high graphics games like PUBG or Asphalt the battery lasts a day or some times more than half of a day. Well that is quite impressive. The phone supports quick charge 4.0. But out of the box you will get an adapter that supports up to quick charge 3.0. In quick charge 3.0 it takes 1hrs 30 mins to fully charge the phone. Which is really good compared to the huge 4000 MAH battery that the phone packs. If you want charge much faster than this you can buy an third party adapter that supports quick charge 4.0. I have no complaints regarding the battery life or the charging time.

11) Performance

Performance is where this phone really shines. And performance to the price point is where this phone totally outshines all other flagships on the market. Under the hood the phone packs Snapdragon 845 chipset combined with 6/8 Gigs of RAM and 128/256 Gigs of storage. The Snapdragon 845 is the latest flagship processor on the market and powers almost every Android flagship in 2018. In my own experience the performance is solid and fluid. On MIUI 9 i got a score of 26000+ on Antutu benchmarks. On MIUI 10 i got a score of 28000+ on Antutu benchmarks. The phone performs really good on daily tasks and high intensive tasks. The gaming is stunning on this phone with Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630 GPU combined with a water cooling system, This phone outperforms more than 70% of 2018 flagships in gaming category. I play PUBG on max settings for straight 4 hours everyday for the past 2 months. I proudly confirm that i didn't face any lag or frame drops while playing. After all it doesn't even overheat. Thanks to the amazing water-cooling system in the phone. Well i have nothing more to say about the performance. It is fantastic as it is.

12) The Verdict

Overall the Pocophone F1 is a all round winner. Sorry OnePlus you are no more crowned as the affordable flagship phone. The price of this phone with the Snapdragon 845 chipset, water cooling system and the battery blows all other 2018 flagships to dust. Usually to bring this level of chipset to this price manufacturers need to cut some corner and make huge compromises. But some how Xiaoami has managed to deliver a phone that doesn't compromise in any area that affects the user experience. I am very happy with this phone and everything i need is there in this phone. Considering the price and performance you can crown this phone as the best flagship of 2018. I can't wait to find out how its successor going to perform.


Number of participants 1 Experience +3 Pack Reason

View Rating Log

2018-12-10 11:41:38
Favorites1 RateRate

Rookie Bunny

1857364085 | from app


This is what I called constructive criticism. Instant favourite from me. Kuddos to you OP.
2018-12-10 11:56:14

Rookie Bunny

matejjj | from app


Nice review, I fully agree!
2018-12-10 12:08:05

Pro Bunny

bahar@zeel | from app


I love my poco. Everything is true , except the call voice qwality.
2018-12-10 12:22:52

Pro Bunny

// | from app


2018-12-10 12:24:23

1881510815 | from app


I can't find build and region/version information. I mention it because you wrote LTE-A(4CA) Cat16, which is not true as it doesn't support LTE band aggregation on all those lte bands, only some combinations work, which means that even though in China and India there might be LTE+/4g+, in europe in most places  there will be no LTE+/4g+, despite being in range of multipule bands. No touch issues, I presume? Or perhaps 2 months were not enough to test that in the "full" review?  The more you use your phone and more other devices you use, the more apparent the issue becomes. It is not hard to find something if you know where to look for. I know that in some cases, like mine, the issues is barely noticible but I think it is fair to at least mention it.
2018-12-10 20:04:19

Advanced Bunny

1852496127 Author | from app


I didn't mention because the touchscreen issues i face on this phone is to the same extent on any other phone that i use. Its not as much to effect the whole user experience. Well that's my opinion.  
2018-12-10 22:08:16

Advanced Bunny

1852496127 Author | from app


And the Specs are not by me. I thought if i had to write a full review specs should be necessary, So i copied specs sheet from GSMARENEA. As far as i know GSMARENA is a very reliable source of information.
2018-12-10 22:11:11

1881510815 | from app


1. Fair point. 2. You could have mentioned the website. Third party websites are not always reliable source of information (official site should be honest) and everyone can make a mistake. 3. There are at least two versions of the phone (I have global one), region diffrence (which can be changed in the options but it affects some things) as well as different  RAM versions. Operating system is also changing, old bugs are fixed and new ones emerge. All these things should affect review, that's why I asked for versions of phone and operating system this review is based on. If you believe that it doesn't make a difference I have no further questions.
2018-12-11 13:41:21

1881510815 | from app


The only reason I mention all this stuff is that you called this review a "full" review. What I expect from "full" review of a product is a through check of all of its functions, if it works as advertised etc. Otherwise, it is not a "full" review, it is just a review. Of course this is my opinion.
2018-12-11 14:10:42

Advanced Bunny

1852496127 Author | from app


Yeah thanks for letting me know. I forgot to mention that this review is about Pocophone F1 Global version. And i am using 6GB 128 GB varient.
2018-12-11 19:32:32
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