What’s in a name? In the case of this next review product, the name is that of Pocophone F1. As part of Xiaomi’s product portfolio, the Pocophone’s brand of smartphones forms part of the more than 100 million smartphones shipped during 2018 by the company although what its percentage would be, I have no idea.
Available in a choice of Graphite Black (my review sample), Steel Blue and Rosso Red, with dimensions of 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm (H x W x D) and weighing 182g, the Pocophone F1 has the familiar candy bar style of appearance. Dominating the front of this smartphone is a 6.18 inches IPS capacitive touchscreen capable of displaying 16M colours. Delivering a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels at ~ 403 ppi density and ~82.2% screen-to-body ratio, it quickly becomes obvious that this screen, with its Corning Gorilla Glass, was less included to collect finger smears and other unwanted items, even after a heavy work session, than certain other smartphones I have used. I was definitely impressed with the quality of this screen.
Sitting comfortably in the hand, the Pocophone F1 handset combines its glass frontage with a plastic body. To add an additional layer of protection, a flexible, transparent cover is provided, in the box, for slipping over the rear of this smartphone.
Located on the right edge of the handset are the standard arrangement of a volume rocker and the on/off button. Situated on the base of the unit is a Type C USB port for charging purposes and connecting to various devices. This USB port is sandwiched between a pair of speaker outlets. Only accessible when the protective back cover is not in position, is a pop-out tray that can hold either a pair of Nano SIMs or a single Nano SIM and a microSD card to increase the handset’s storage capacity by up to 256GB. Mounted on the top edge of the Pocophone F1 is a 3.5 mm Jack socket for attaching a set of headphones for private listening.
Front and rear mounted cameras are provided as standard. Acting as the main camera is the rear mounted dual combination of a 12MP f/1.9 and 5MP f/2.0 depth sensor. Supported features include dual-fixed LED flash, HDR, panorama and video capture settings of [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] Fans of the self-indulgent Selfie captures have not been forgotten. The front mounted camera is for the purpose of capturing these Selfies that some people can not live without. This camera is a 20MP f/2.0 model with HDR and the capability to capture video at [email protected] Also located on the rear of the Pocophone is a fingerprint reader to help protect the device from unauthorised use.
The Pocophone F1 is constructed around a Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 chipset. This consists of a Octa-core CPU (4 x 2.7GHz Kryo385 Gold and 4 x 1.8GHz Kryo 385 Silver) and an Adreno 630 GPU. While my review sample came with 128GH of ROM and 6GB of RAM, there is also a version with 256MB of ROM and 8GB of RAM. The Pocophone F1 comes with the current latest version of Android 8.1 (Oreo).
Built-in sensors feature infrared face recognition, accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass. For communications this handset supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac plus dual band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA and hotspot. You also get Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, LE, aptx and HD.
Providing the power to run this smartphone is a non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery that supports fast recharging with the proper equipment. Running my usual continuous video playing test, with content stored on a flash drive connected via the smartphone’s USB To-Go facility, I was able to view a series of videos. In total the playback lasted 10 hours and 45 minutes of full screen viewing before the battery was drained and the Pocophone F1 shut down. I must admit that I must have been distracted to miss if any warning messages of low battery appeared before shut down.
The Pocophone F1 is a well-built device despite the plastic back cover. I encountered no performance issues during the review period and felt comfortable using this product. Currently this smartphone is listed at £349 on Amazon.co.uk and is well worth considering.
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