Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Unboxing! – $300 Phone Worth It?

Here’s Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Unboxing!  Xiaomi has launched a $300 Android smartphone with latest Snapdragon 845 processor(just like found on latest Galaxy S9/Note 9/LG G7) witth 6.18-inch 1080P screen(2246×1080 resolution), 6 or 8GB of RAM, 64/128/256GB of storage, 12MP + 5MP back cameras, 20MP front camera(same as Mi8), 4000mAh battery, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.  For what Xiaomi is offering, this may be the deal of the century on a smartphone that has flagship-like specs at budget prices.

Design is actually not bad at all, at least Xiaomi is not blatantly copying Apple iPhone camera back on this one.  Due to the 4000mAh battery, the phone itself is much thicker than the Mi8 but still feels very good in the hands even with its cheaper poly-carbonate(or plastic) back.  In fact, it does not feel “cheap” at all, feels solid in the hands, a little boxy feel but definitely does not feel like a $300 phone rather $500 phone.  Buttons are very clicky and no signs of cheapness there either.

While many other Xiaomi smartphones do not have microSD card slots, the Picophone F1 DOES and definitely this is one of my favorite features on it.  You do also have the option of using as a dual SIM phone and that’s up to the user.

Pocophone cameras are actually top-notch.  Although my unboxing video shows it does not do as well as the Mi8, after unboxing I did a software update and made it much better.  In my short camera tests in-house I did last night, it beat out both Galaxy S9 and the LG G7 in low-light indoors.  Now, I will have to do further detailed analysis but for $300, that’s already a bargain anytime a budget phone can keep up anywhere near flagship phones.  The front camera is identical to the one found on Xiaomi Mi8, and it is a great front camera also that keeps up with all the flagship phones today.  I should have further comparisons but for now, I am a firm believer in Pocophone having excellent cameras.

Pocophone display isn’t as bright as the Super AMOLED found on the Mi8, in fact only scoring near low 400 lux versus over 800 on the Mi8.  But it is still bright enough that you probably won’t have any problems using in full sunlight.  Xiaomi did have to cut some corners and the display is where they had to use a cheaper LCD.  Personally though, I don’t mind the display at all, it is great for general usage but it may deter those of you pixel Nazis out there who must have the best display.

Pocophone also comes with a dedicated IR front camera for face unlock.  Now, this is not available yet for all countries but if you change your region in settings to India or China, you can use it right away.  In my unboxing test, I was able to use it just fine even in complete darkness and also the added IR front camera should give you much better protection over phones that don’t have a dedicated camera.  Face unlock speed is super fast and yes, it is much faster than found on my Galaxy S9 also which is amazing.

 

Touchscreen responsiveness seems to be a bit quirky at times as I had a little trouble typing especially if I had some grease in my hands in comparison to my Mi8.  This could be due to the cheaper Gorilla Glass used but if you type a TON on your smartphone like myself, the Mi8 may be a better option.   I wish Xiaomi had spent a bit more money here and would have made the Pocophone perfect.

Overall, there are things to not like about the Xiaomi Pocophone such as the ugly notch with no room for notifications or 540P limit when watching YouTube.  But considering the price of just $300(or $340 I paid for those in the U.S.), this is still a killer bargain on a smartphone that has the latest Snapdragon 845 processor.  What Xiaomi may have done is simply start the new race for the most affordable flagship smartphone and this may be a great thing for us consumers who have been waiting for a new era of smartphones.  Honestly, I am sick and tired of paying over $1000 for a new smartphone every year.  Sometimes, you don’t need IP68 rating, you don’t need the most expensive material backing, but what we need is a low price so we can have our money go much longer every year.

I will do a full review of this in about a week or two but for right now if you ask me which is the best smartphone you can buy under $350, buy the Pocophone F1.   You can buy on eBay here(where I bought it from and also a seller I highly recommend as I have bought many phones from).

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.