It has come to some extent the place a flagship smartphone isn’t only a smartphone anymore. It’s your digital camera alternative, your house theater answer, your PC in a pocket and even your swim buddy. This want so as to add increasingly more to a wafer skinny handset has turn into a little bit of a double edged sword. Sure, daring new concepts are a good way to push the business ahead, however lots of them are likely to turn into nothing greater than a gimmick whereas additionally including a big worth premium to your handset. That’s why it has grow to be virtually a norm for flagships to value round RM4,000.
What occurred to the great previous flagship smartphone that’s solely targeted on supplying you with the perfect smartphone expertise? Targeted on supplying you with a clean and snappy efficiency with a battery that may final? And most significantly, at a worth that extra individuals can afford.
Properly, that’s the place a model like POCOPHONE is available in. This small, Xiaomi-backed group of people have set out — with laser focus — on doing one factor and one factor alone: To offer individuals what they need. And their first product, the F1, might be probably the most targeted gadget I’ve seen launched shortly.
POCOPHONE. It’s an fascinating identify, little question, however you’ll be able to’t argue that it doesn’t serve its function. It’s memorable, straightforward to pronounce and straightforward to spell — all issues a reputation ought to be. And POCO isn’t only a assortment of syllables, it truly means “a little” (un poco) in Spanish, which is each an homage to their essential model Xiaomi (the place Xiao means small in Mandarin) in addition to a mirrored image of the dimensions of the present staff behind POCOPHONE.
However, a model’s identify typically derives extra which means from what they produce than anything. That’s the place the F1 is available in, and from the seems of issues, it’s set to make an enormous splash.
OK, what’s so particular concerning the POCOPHONE F1?
In a phrase? Efficiency. In a few phrases? Efficiency per ringgit. Whereas everybody else is making an attempt to make motorised cameras, twin curved screens and triple cameras work on their flagship handsets, the POCOPHONE F1 is just involved about supplying you with the most effective efficiency your pockets can afford.
Consequently, this handset has a few of the greatest inner specs you’ll discover out there. It’s received a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, as much as 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 inner storage. Pair that with a big four,000 mAh battery that helps Qualcomm’s Fast Cost three.zero (by way of USB C) and also you’ve obtained principally the perfect type of telephone hardware cash should buy.
However that’s not the place this obsession with efficiency ends. POCOPHONE F1 additionally runs on software program that the corporate says has been particularly tuned to assist it run clean AF. No, it’s not inventory Android. As an alternative, it’s a customized model of Xiaomi’s MIUI that I feel could be greatest described as how Google would make MIUI.
POCOPHONE have been meticulous of their pursuit of efficiency. They stated that along with over 20 deep system optimisations, they’ve additionally optimised UX animation in order that it’s extra responsive and tweaked swiping efficiency in order that it’s now 21% quicker than MIUI.
And it exhibits. The telephone is so snappy — OnePlus 6 ranges of snappy, actually. Every part opens actually shortly and swiping is tremendous responsive too. I can’t objectively inform you if “swipe performance” is quicker than different handsets as a result of it might simply be a placebo, however the telephone is definitely aware of your enter. That stated, one among my favorite issues about this MIUI for POCO is that it comes with a stock-Android-like app drawer that may be accessed by merely swiping up on the house display.
This app drawer also can intelligently organise your apps based mostly on perform in addition to app icon color. There’s even a hidden nook of the app drawer (accessible by swiping left twice whenever you activate it in settings) the place you’ll be able to disguise your apps if there’s ever a time the place you’ll want to take action.
Oh and sure, in case you haven’t picked up on it, the smartphone does have a notch in it. And it’s a very massive one, in all probability the most important I’ve ever seen. However the excellent news is that the handsets 6.18″ Full HD+ IPS show nonetheless appears fairly good. It’s obtained good viewing angles, is seen even outside and is good and sharp.
Wow that sounds nice. However how is that this attainable? Are there any apparent drawbacks?
Properly, sure, this isn’t some miracle gadget. POCOPHONE has undoubtedly made a variety of cost-cutting measures to maintain this handset reasonably priced. The very first thing you’d discover when choosing the telephone up is that the again of the telephone is definitely manufactured from plastic. POCOPHONE calls it a polycarbonate physique, however it undoubtedly feels very plasticky.
And, whereas I feel the show seems fairly good by itself, you gained’t have the ability to use it in its portrait orientation with polarised sun shades on — identical to the Mi A2 and Redmi Word 5 from Xiaomi. In fact, in case you don’t put on polarised sun shades then this gained’t matter to you, however I put on a pair virtually each single time I’m out, so to see this telephone endure from this drawback too is an enormous bummer.
Then, we’ve obtained the software program. Sure, for probably the most half I do prefer it as a compromise between MIUI and Inventory Android. Nevertheless it isn’t with out its flaws too. There’s bloatware pre-loaded (apps like Reserving.com and Lazada) in addition to duplicate apps for the gallery and a bunch of MIUI-specific apps. That is undoubtedly not a clear expertise.
It additionally options MIUI’s poor widget scaling and I can’t appear to discover a solution to have my notifications seem as icons on the notifications bar — one thing that my colleague Hanif has additionally observed on his Mi eight. From the seems to be of issues, MIUI simply isn’t tremendous properly optimised for a notched show. The one silver lining right here is that at the least it isn’t as dangerous as Huawei’s once you’re in purposes like Instagram.
Subsequent, we’ve acquired the audio system. Sure, on the spec-sheet it says that the telephone options stereo audio system however the distribution between the speaker within the earpiece and the one on the backside feels like 5%-95% when it comes to quantity. Odds are you gained’t even discover it till you cowl the underside grille and put your ear as much as the earpiece.
Regardless of being a flagship smartphone, the POCOPHONE F1 undoubtedly sacrifices loads of what individuals in the present day would describe as “flagship” options. Stuff like IP67/IP68 mud and water resistance, wi-fi charging, and NFC are all absent on this handset.
That’s a bummer. What concerning the digital camera? Did they skimp out on that too?
To reply you with 100% certainty, I’ll want to offer this smartphone a full evaluation with photographs in an entire bunch of various lighting circumstances. My temporary time in Jakarta was surrounded by haze so I didn’t assume that was a good state of affairs.
However, I have spent a brief period of time with the digital camera and from what I can inform, it’s not terrible.
The POCOPHONE F1 contains a twin digital camera setup on the again with a 12MP foremost sensor (Sony IMX363, similar as Mi eight) with an f/1.9 aperture lens and a secondary 5MP sensor for depth results.
There’s a 20MP selfie shooter on the entrance too with beautification options, although not one of the cameras function optical picture stabilisation (OIS). The primary shooter does have EIS for movies, nevertheless.
From the time I obtained to spend with the digital camera, I’d say the smartphone performs about the identical as a great smartphone in its worth bracket does. I’d examine it to the Xiaomi Mi A2 and Redmi Word 5 so far as picture high quality goes, however I’d give the sting to the POCOPHONE relating to velocity. It’s fast to launch, focus and seize the shot which is all the time a pleasant factor. Its largest weak spot is within the low mild the place you have to carry very nonetheless otherwise you’ll find yourself with blurry photographs like these:
The excellent news is that POCOPHONE have been capable of leverage Xiaomi’s good edge detection for his or her Portrait Mode photographs so that you’ve obtained fairly an honest shooter within the F1.
Respectable for its worth level anyway. Don’t anticipate Galaxy Note9 or iPhone X ranges of picture high quality out of this man.
OK. Ultimate query: Is it well worth the cash?
That’s all the time the toughest query to reply as a result of it actually depends upon you. Like I stated, this smartphone is among the most targeted units I’ve seen launch shortly. The handset is designed to go quick in the identical type of means a monitor automotive is designed for energy. There’s no air-conditioning, no plush leather-based heated seats, no energy home windows and no carpet. POCOPHONE has stripped the system of every little thing however what is required to assist it go quick and final lengthy.
Nevertheless it’s much less like a showy monitor automotive that’s made for sponsors or to race in a big-time occasion. It’s extra like a DIY sleeper cellular, with its understated appears and sensible type issue. It’s also possible to inform that regardless of the stripped down nature of the handset, the individuals who made this additionally meant for it to be sensible. In any case, POCOPHONE F1 nonetheless comes with a three.5mm headphone jack, microSD storage enlargement by way of a hybrid dual-SIM slot, a fingerprint scanner on the again, and IR face unlocking on the entrance.
And since it’s such a specialised gadget, this isn’t a telephone for everybody. Some individuals need the additional options like a premium construct, a flagship-class digital camera, IP68 mud and water resistance, in addition to wi-fi charging. Some need a stylus, whereas others need to be advised they can’t unlock their handsets with their fingerprint. In the event you’re a type of individuals, this isn’t the system for you.
Nevertheless, for those who’re prepared to lose all of these “unnecessary” options, then you definitely’ll get the reap the most important profit this smartphone has to supply: A killer price ticket.
In Malaysia we’re solely getting two variants. The bottom mannequin with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is priced at simply RM1,237 whereas the high-spec variant with double the storage (128GB) will retail for less than RM1,428. That’s a loopy reasonably priced worth level. Give it some thought, earlier than this you can solely get a paltry mid-ranger with one thing like a Snapdragon 636 or 660 for that cash. Now, you will get a flagship-class Snapdragon 845 as an alternative. Even after SST will get carried out, the bottom mannequin continues to be solely RM1,299 whereas the high-spec system will retail for RM1,499.
Due to that, it turns into arduous to fault this handset. In case you’re in search of out-and-out efficiency, I feel that proper now there’s just one system value your cash. Overlook about handsets like the distinction Play or the Huawei Nova 3i. From the place I’m standing proper now, it seems like your reply ought to solely be POCOPHONE.
However, I’ll maintain off from a tough suggestion of this gadget till after I give it a full evaluate. Proper now, although, issues are wanting actually good for this model new handset.