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POCOPHONE F1 Unboxing and First Impressions

Xiaomi recently made the POCOPHONE F1 official in select Asian markets. It's an interesting smartphone under the new sub-brand with flagship specs at a killer price tag.
POCO F1 Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet POCO F1

Basically, the POCOPHONE F1 is the most affordable smartphone in the world with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor.

It is the very same high-end chipset found on other premium devices like the OPPO Find X, LG G7 ThinQ, and more. Those devices are at least 2 to 3 times more expensive than the above-mentioned device.

Moreover, Xiaomi paired the POCOPHONE F1 with high-end smartphone worthy specs and features.

How did Xiaomi do this? Are there compromises? Let's find out!


Display: 6.18-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 protected IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2246 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 AIE octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 630
ROM: 64GB/128GB/256GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.9 Sony IMX363 sensor + 5MP f/2.0 Samsung sensor w/ Dual Pixel AF, EIS, AI, and dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.0 w/ AI
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo w/ MIUI 9.6 (For POCO)
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), dual 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM, Radio, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IR face unlock, USB Type-C, LiquidCool technology, stereo speakers, Dual Smart PA, Dirac HD audio, Colors: graphite black, steel blue, rosso red, kevlar
Dimensions: 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm
Weight: 180 g
Price: PHP 17,990 (6GB RAM/64GB ROM), PHP 19,990 (6GB RAM/128GB ROM)

Disclaimer: The POCO F1 with 6GB RAM/64GB ROM was loaded to us by Xiaomi for our honest take.



The POCO F1 arrived black box with with yellow POCOPHONE branding by Xiaomi in the middle. At the back, it has a yellow colored carton with print of the key spec of the device like the SD845 SoC, LiquidCool tech, AI dual cameras, and 4,000mAh Quick Charge 3.0 battery.

Inside, you will see the USB wall charger with up to 2.5A fast charging and the USB Type-A  to USB Type-C data/charging cable, translucent TPU case, and SIM ejector tool. You will also see the usual paper documents like the quick start guide and warranty information.

What's missing in the package is the usual microphone freebie. But, that's okay, since the important thing is this phone has flagship specs for less.

Build Quality/Design

Decent build!
Decent build!

To keep the cost down of the phone without compromising much on the build, POCOPHONE used a "sturdy" type of polycarbonate unibody shell for the F1. It reminds us of the same material used of other mid-range phones.

Not metal, but I'm good with it!

In front, it has a 6.18-inch 18.7:9 IPS 2.5D screen. Surprisingly, despite the affordable price tag of this device, it has Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 protection against accidental drops and light scratches.

It even has an Armored Edition variant with Kevlar back design.

Just don't expect it to feel as premium as other devices with metal or metal/glass construction. But again, based on its price for the specs.
3.5 mm headphone jack and mic on top
3.5 mm headphone jack and mic on top
Mic, USB Type-C, and speaker below
Mic, USB Type-C, and speaker below
Hybrid SIM/microSD tray at left
Hybrid SIM/microSD tray at left
Power button and volume rocker at left
Power button and volume rocker at left

This device has a minimalist design. Despite the simple back paint job, the noticeable red ring and shiny "POCOPHONE" logo catches attention. It also has a red colored ring on the dual cameras.

Modern design with a notch!

The F1 is also surprisingly slim for a device with 4,000mAh battery. It has a slight camera bump. Fortunately, you can easily negate it after putting the case.

At the back, you'll see the two vertically aligned cameras in the middle and the fingerprint scanner.

In front, the bezels are slim on the sides. On the top, there's a notch. But, if you do not like it, you can hide it in the display settings. To nitpick, the chin/bottom bezel is a bit thick. However, it is still slimmer compared with most 2017 smartphones.

On the notch, there's the IR sensor, earpiece/secondary speaker, and 20MP selfie camera.

On the top, you'll see the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the mic. Yes, it still has a 3.5 mm headphone jack for your trusty earphones and headphones. Below, you'll see another microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker.

At left, it has a hybrid SIM tray. At right, you'll find the power button and volume up and down keys.

In terms of ergonomics, the phone is just as small as 2016 5.5-inch smartphones despite its large 6.18 screen. The result, it is still considered as comfortable to hold.

It isn't as slippery and prone to fingerprint smudges versus other phones with metal and glass build.

Initial findings

1. Build is plastic, but decent. The screen is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. Design is minimalist. 6.18-inch screen has a weird 18:7:9 ratio. The resolution is at FHD+ for crisp looking images and videos
The notch
The notch

Sunlight legibility is acceptable. However, it is prone to glaring. It has 10 points of touch as expected. Again, it has a notch, but you can turn off the notch in the screen settings.

2. NO CONTEST. The F1 has the best specs found on any smartphone with mid-range price tag as of writing.
Really high AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmark scores!
Really high AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmark scores!

It is insane that it loads with the 64-bit Snapdragon 845 AIE octa-core processor clocked at 2.8GHz. It is even paired with the Adreno 630 for max gaming.
Gaming? No problem!
Gaming? No problem!

The RAM and ROM size starts at 6GB/64GB respectively. It could go as high as 8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage.

The battery capacity is also HUGE at 4,000mAh. It even has Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 tech via USB Type-C port.

It also has dual 4G LTE connectivity for fast mobile internet connectivity and LiquidCool technology to avoid overheating and to sustain peak performance always.

3. This handset arrived with the modified version of MIUI 9.6. It is designed for the POCO phone. It is based on the Android 8.1 Oreo OS. It now has an app drawer mode.

It is also feature rich. In particular, I like that it has the security app for security scan, boost the speed, battery usage, and cleaner.

It has plenty of bloatwares though. Most of them are non-removable.
Camera UI
Camera UI

4. The cameras are very promising! It has a 12MP f/1.9 Sony IMX363 sensor + 5MP Samsung sensor at the back. It even has Dual Pixel AF, AI, and LED flash.

It can shoot bokeh with clean edges. It also has a pro mode with up to 32s shutter count. It isn't just as robust in other controls. But, it is still considered an impressive pro mode for a phone.

We also noticed that it has EIS stabilization even on 4K video mode.

The camera UI is also very easy to use. POCO promised that it will be updated to Android Pie late this year as well.

5. It has a tiny LED notification in front below the screen. It also has USB OTG support. This device also has WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), dual 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, FM Radio, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and dual SIM (hybrid).

The fingerprint scanner is crazy fast as expected. The IR face unlock tech is hidden. You need to change your region to India first before you can use it.

Related: POCOPHONE F1: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The POCOPHONE F1 is UNREAL! It is even crazier than the Honor Play out of the box. 

Design is decent and the performance is blazing fast. The big battery capacity, nice cameras with video stabilization, and loud stereo speakers are just bonuses!

It has very few "weaknesses" so far.

It isn't perfect, but F1 has the potential to be the "near perfect" smartphone for the price!

It is simply that good so far.

For our review: POCOPHONE F1 Review - #Numbawan for the price!

What do you think guys?
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