Xiaomi POCO F1 first impressions: the race car of phones

Oppo played on the ‘Redmi’ name to make Realme, I think this is Xiaomi’s revenge, because today they launched the all-new POCO F1 in India. While we have been seeing leaks here and there, the one thing they’ve been teasing is speed and the name too indicates that. Well, here is our first impression of potentially the fastest phone in India.

Poco F1 Design:

The design is the definitive indicator of a new phone, it’s the first thing you see and which sets the tone for your impressions on the phone. Well, it feels like POCO F1 has nailed that for me the enthusiast, but not for me the average consumer.

It’s a solid piece of hardware and that’s the first thing you’ll feel when you hold it in your hand. The back is going to be plastic but I, fortunately, didn’t get time with it, and the unit we shot was the high-end Kevlar version. It definitely felt more premium, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the look or the slight texture that helps you differentiate. There are also these cool looking red accents around the camera and fingerprint module.

Also read: Nokia 6.1 Plus review: this Nokia phone deserves to sell in big numbers

Poco F1 Display

The Pocophone uses a good quality LCD panel at a Full HD+ resolution. It comes in at an aspect ratio of 19:9 and the size is about 5.99 inches. There is a notch up top, but apparently not having that is a caveat nowadays. So going with the trend the notch doesn’t look bad, it’s slightly on the bigger side, purely because there is an IR scanner there for secure Face Unlock. Moving on the rest looks crisp and colorful. I shot these clips in bright daylight and it looks just fine. It’s not the brightest you can find, but then it’s bright enough to view things well outside. The touchscreen also looks smooth and premium. No complaints here.

Poco F1 Software

Well, the unit I picked up ran MIUI 9, but yes MIUI 10 is coming very soon. But even without that Pocophone brings in a few features.

The app drawer has categories now and you will even get color-coded categorization and the fact that most of us recognize our apps by visual cues before their names in text. Xiaomi uses this and I think it’s a great innovative idea from them. Rest all looks quite standard for MIUI, the theme on it looked quite cool and looked closer to stock with the two-tone color design. Even the settings look toned down in colors, there are a few more data saving features which we will delve into during our full review.

Poco F1 Performance:

The processor inside is a Snapdragon 845, and the unit I had is an 8GB 256 GB version and while we couldn’t get enough time to check the performance, I quickly ran the Antutu benchmark and we got a whopping score of 266,490. This is unheard of at this price. This is more than the Zenfone 5z and very similar to the One plus 6. At literally half the price. The aggressive pricing is probably due to the fact that it’s made in India else somebody going to get fired at Xiaomi for pricing it here.

It’s going to be a beast, the UI was smooth and premium and snappy and I mean if there were words to describe how fast it was. It’s was just too quick. That’s what she said.

We are going to test it thoroughly once we get a review unit.

Also read: Honor Play review: 2018’s most value-for-money flagship phone

Poco F1 Camera

The camera specs are also quite impressive, the back has a 12MP f/1.8 lens with a big 1.4micron pixel size and 4axis OIS. And a secondary 5MP depth sensor. The front also has a 20MP lens and the pi tires look good. The AI mode detects the subject and here it makes the image-saturated as a lot of others but it’s still subtle enough.


I’ll let you take a look at the pictures and reserve my thoughts for the full camera comparison and review.

You get Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C port with QC 3.0 support and a 4000mAh battery which is quite good a size.

PS.: Click to view full-size image and video samples

Closing thoughts

This is a tough one for me, I don’t know who to recommend this phone to. I mean you get a good solid design, great modern display, best processor and performance possible in 2018, great battery and reliable software.

It’s difficult, very difficult to not recommend this over any other phone. We obviously will give you our detailed and final thoughts in the full review, but first impressions, not bad.

The Kevlar variant is priced at Rs. 29,999, while the standard 8GB model will retail for Rs 28,999. And if you’re going for the 6GB/128GB it will fetch you Rs.  23,999, 6GB/64GB base version will run you Rs. 20,999. 

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Sreehari is in love; in love with technology. His enthusiasm for new gadgets can be seen in his videos. He single-handedly built Mr. Phone's YouTube channel and continues to persevere with Nitesh in making world-class tech videos. Sree - as everyone calls him affectionately - is also a big fan of Artificial Intelligence and Industrial Design. If he is not working on gadget reviews, Sree is a trained Carnatic singer. When you meet him, do to request for his rendition of Kabira by Arijit Singh.