Gadgets for humans

Xiaomi unveils its flagship-spec Poco F1 at just $300

After teasing its launch for weeks, Xiaomi has taken the wraps off its Poco F1, a powerful phone with flagship-grade hardware, a new sub-brand, and a surprisingly low price.

I usually don’t like to lead with specs, but that’s what this device is about, so here goes. The notched 6.18-inch F1 is armed with a Snapdragon 845 chip at 2.8GHz, a 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual rear camera system, a 20-megapixel selfie camera, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery.

You can choose between 6GB + 64GB storage, 6GB + 128GB, and 8GB + 256GB. The device also boasts liquid cooling, which is achieved by passing water vapor through a copper heatsink that helps heat dissipate quickly from the processor and across the internal components.

 

So what’s with the new moniker? With Poco, Xiaomi wants to focus on making a device that’s as fast as anything else you can buy right now – but without the high price of a flagship phone.

Achieving those goals meant breaking away from the constraints of Xiaomi’s own Mi line of high-end devices, while taking advantage of the hardware giant’s supply chain and expertise in crafting dependable devices. That’s how Poco is able to offer a top-of-the-line chipset for 2018, along with the primary camera system from the significantly pricier Mi 8, for a lot less money than any other brand right now.

On paper, the F1 blows away every other phone available at this price point. The competition includes the likes of Huawei’s Nova 3i, the Vivo V9, the Samsung Galaxy A6 Plus, Oppo’s F5, and the Moto X4.

It’s worth noting that the F1’s body is made of plastic, with attractive finishes on all its colorways. The large battery also adds to the device’s thickness, so it’s a bit more than the 7.5mm-8mm standard we’ve gotten used to with recent devices over the past couple of years.

You’ll also find IR-powered Face Unlock which should work in all light conditions, Quick Charge 3.0, a 3.5mm audio jack, and room for dual SIMs, or a single SIM and a microSD card. It runs on Android 8.1, with MIUI 9.6 on top; the company says that it’ll soon roll out an update to MIUI 10.

The F1 will go on sale in India and all other markets across Asia and Europe that Xiaomi operates in – except China. You’ll only be able to buy it online. In India, the 6GB + 64GB variant costs Rs. 20,999 ($300), while the 6GB + 128GB version will set you back by Rs. 23,999 ($343). The top-end 8GB + 256GB model costs Rs. 28,999 ($414), while the Armored Edition with these specs and a Kevlar rear panel comes in at Rs. 29,999 ($429). It’ll be available across India through Flipkart and Mi.com on August 29 through a flash sale at 12pm IST.

Published August 22, 2018 — 08:17 UTC