POCO F1 is Xiaomi’s everything killer, can competitors keep up?

There’s a new smartphone brand in town and it’s called POCOPHONE. The sub-brand of Xiaomi promises two things – back-to-basics and pure performance. Its first product is called the POCOPHONE F1 or POCO F1 (as it is affectionately known in India), and boy is the world in for a treat.

As mentioned in a previous post, POCOPHONE is all about the basics and performance. The team is a small outfit that operates separate from the mother company. Presumably armed with plenty of raw creative juice, an empty canvas and plenty of freedom.

It’s like Huawei’s honor, but a little more brutal.

Brutal because the POCO F1 packs all the goodness of a top-class Android device, but offered at an obnoxious price.

And like honor, it’s not tied to a bottom-line, so it can churn out crazy things, stay agile and as POCOPHONE says, listen to customer feedback and adapt quickly to market wants and trends.

Towing the “flagship killer” line that was once OnePlus’ domain, the POCO F1 is undoubtedly a screamer of a performer.

Master of speed

It boasts the best mobile silicon from Qualcomm’s stable – the Snapdragon 845 complemented by powerful Adreno 630 graphics. This sizzling combo is mated to either 6GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM alongside 64GB, 128GB or 256GB UFS 2.1 storage (Malaysia get the first two options, for now). Just in case you need more, there’s microSD storage expansion of up to 256GB.

So how powerful is the POCO F1? A little more powerful than the OnePlus 6 it seems. Based on internal AnTuTu benchmark tests, the new kid on the block scores over 290,000 points.

What’s important is it remains cool under pressure – outperforming the OnePlus at ambient temperatures of 35 degree Celsius.

The baseline performance of the Snapdragon 845 is already extremely high, judging from top flight Android devices running the chip – OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Mi 8, Galaxy Note9 (US-version), vivo NEX, OPPO Find X, just to name a few. And to be honest, you’ll likely not see or feel real-world benefits on a typical day-to-day basis.

That said, in terms of graphics performance, the POCO F1 is claimed to be 60 percent better than Huawei’s Kirin 970, and 30 percent more powerful than Samsung’s Exynos 9810.

Impressive, yes?

Scorching performance aside, the device packs more earthly, regular specs. This includes a notched 6.18-inch Full HD+ display (2246×1080) with an 18.7:9 screen aspect ratio, protected by Gorilla Glass.

Optics-wise, it uses a familiar 12MP Sony IMX363 f/1.9 main shooter with Dual Pixel AF from the Mi 8 and Mi MIX 2S. Sadly, there’s not OIS although it does have EIS-based stabilisation for video. The secondary camera is a 5MP f/2.0 depth sensor supplied by Samsung.

On the front, a familiar 20MP shooter takes care of all selfie endeavours.

The device has down-firing speakers and boasts dual Smart PA built-in. And in case you were wondering, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Keeping things going all day is a large 4,000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0 charging via USB Type-C.

Keeping to its “back-to-basics” theme, the design and build of the POCO F1 is unremarkable. The body is polycarbonate, offered in Steel Blue and Rosso Red. There’s a special Armoured Edition that features DuPont Kevlar aramid fibre, and I’d like to think this is the one you should go for.

The POCO F1 runs a customised version of MIUI 10 with a POCO Launcher and a “turbocharged engine” which Xiaomi says performs better than OnePlus’ super snappy Oxygen OS. I’ll judge this for myself when I get a hands-on with a review unit soon.

POCO F1 pricing and availability

Xiaomi has announced that the POCO F1 will make its debut on 30 August, in conjunction with the official launch of the Mi Store at Mid Valley Megamall.

Here’s the pricing:

  • POCO F1 6GB RAM + 64GB storage – MYR1,249 (Mi Stores, 30 August)
  • POCO F1 6GB RAM + 128GB storage – MYR1,428 (Mi Stores, Lazada Malaysia, 30 August)

Due to SST implementation, from 10 September onwards, the 6GB + 64GB storage version will be priced at MYR1,299, while the 6GB + 128GB storage version will go for MYR1,499.

During the store opening at Mid Valley, the first 200 customers to purchase the POCO F1 will receive a free Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones (RRP: MYR93) and a game holder.

Photos by Rory Lee |

By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.