The Pocophone F1 from Xiaomi has been without a shadow of a doubt one of the most groundbreaking smartphones to ever come out. While we've previously seen a ton of great value for money devices, the Pocophone was the first one to bring flagship specs at a budget to mid-range price.
But that was back in the summer of 2018 - almost 2 years ago. How about now? Is the Poco F1 still worthy of a purchase in 2020? Well, let's find out, shall we?
This is NOT an article about Pocophone owners who are looking for an upgrade. We are writing this for those who are on the lookout for a brand-new phone that costs about $300 - which is the current price of the Poco F1.
The only question is if you should go for the Poco F1 that still offers a great value or choose another device for the same money, a bit more, or even a bit less.
If you already own this phone, then let us say that upgrading to a newer model at the same price-range is most likely not worth it. Maybe if you absolutely need a better display, slightly better battery life, or more camera sensors. But, other than that, you generally don't have that much to gain by ugrading just yet.
With that out of the way. Let us move on!
Pocophone F1: Chipset and Performance
Let's start with the one thing that truly sets the Pocophone apart from other budget devices - the chipset.
The Poco F1 uses the Snapdragon 845 and up to a certain point, this is what most flagships used to have. That includes some of the most popular devices like Google's Pixel 3 and even the Galaxy Note 9!
Now that the Snapdragon 855 is out, most flagships nowadays are either using that or their own proprietary chipset (Kirin, Exynos, etc). But let us not forget that the 845 is still a very capable chip. There is no doubt about that.
The only question is - is it good enough to choose the Pocophone over its competitors? We believe that the best way to answer that question is a direct comparison. All things considered, the Xiaomi Mi 9T is quite possibly the best pick for this.
We believe that it's a good point of comparison because:
- It comes from the same manufacturer (Xiaomi)
- It uses the same Android skin (MIUI)
- And it currently asks for the same price ($300 - give or take)
If you're living in India or somewhere in Asia, you'll probably find it as the K20 instead of Mi 9T. But it's essentially the same phone.
It has been called by many the "flagship killer of 2019"! And while the newer version is expected to come out in early 2020, chances are that it's going to be way too expensive to be compared with the Pocophone. So, without any further ado, let's get right into it!
Pocophone F1 VS Mi 9T: Speed Comparison
As we mentioned above, the Mi 9T costs almost exactly as much as the Pocophone and it comes from the same manufacturer. So, it makes for a good point of comparison.
Unlike the Poco F1, the Mi 9T uses the Snapdragon 730. And you may think that it's an inferior chip - which in some ways it is, but that's not exactly true.
As far as benchmarks are concerned, there is no clear winner. In some of them, such as Geekbench, the Mi 9T seems to be the winner. But in others, such as AnTutu, Pocophone manages to come ahead - especially in terms of GPU performance.
In everyday usage, however, you're unlikely to notice any major differences. The Pocophone is theoretically better for gaming and that's about it.
Even against the Mi 9T Pro (Same phone but with the 855 chipset), the differences in performance are minimal to almost non-existent. Of course, since this one comes with Qualcomm's latest chipset, it goes without saying that it's more future-proof and power-efficient. The only problem is that it costs $70 more - which is why this is not a fair comparison.
Overall, as far as performance is concerned, we'll have to give this one to the Poco F1! It asks for the same price as the Mi 9T but it's slightly faster (Often the same) in everyday tasks while also delivering better gaming performance!
- Poco F1: 1
- Mi 9T: 0
Pocophone F1 VS Mi 9T: Display and Battery Life
When it comes to battery life, there is literally zero competition between the two phones. Both the display and the chipset of the Mi 9T are so much more power-efficient.
At the end of the day, depending on what features are enabled and what you're doing, you can get as much as one hour of extra usage out of the Mi 9T! This can translate to many more hours or even days of idling/standby usage. So, again, there's no room for comparison here.
The display is a different story. While the Pocophone uses an LCD IPS panel, which is what most phones still use, the Mi 9T uses an AMOLED display.
Unlike battery endurance where there is always a winner and a loser, displays can be a bit more complicated. There is a lot to take in at once. Personal preferences, color accuracy, contrast, brightness, saturation, power consumption, endurance, etc.
There is a whole list of things to talk about here, so let's leave that for another time. To put it in a nutshell:
- Mi 9T (AMOLED): Produces true blacks along with saturated and vivid colors, but it may end up suffering from screen burn-in and degraded color-quality in the long run
- Pocophone (LCD IPS): Better whites while producing realistic/accurate colors, but it looks less vivid and it may end up with yellow spots in the long run
Most people prefer the beauty of an AMOLED display. But since this is largely a matter of personal preference, let's just skip it and say that you should pick whatever you prefer.
- Poco F1: 1
- Mi 9T: 1
Build Quality, Camera Performance, and Features
Build quality may not affect your phone's performance, but it does make a difference in aesthetics and feel nonetheless.
So, in this department, the Mi 9T is a clear winner. Unlike the F1, it's made of glass with impressive color effects on the back - not to mention the pop-up camera and full-screen display. Everything just feels more premium.
Now, there is the argument that pop-up cameras are prone to mechanical failure. But the truth is that it's been a long time since the first one came out with no major reports about failures. Xiaomi themselves have rated it at more than 300,000 uses. So, chances are that your battery will die tens of times before the camera can wear out.
The camera is another part where the Pocophone falls slightly short. The main cameras don't differ all that much, even though the Mi 9T has a 48MP sensor. But that doesn't change the fact that the Poco F1 offers nothing more than a depth sensor.
Other alternatives at the same price point, including the Mi 9T, can give you things like wide-angle cameras, optical zoom sensors, and macro lenses as well.
When it comes to features, the decision is a bit tougher as both devices have their own pros and cons. The Pocophone offers both a microSD card slot and an IR face scanner while the Mi 9T sacrifices it for the full-screen display.
At the same time, the Poco lacks NFC, HDR support (Partially), extra cameras, and has a huge notch at the top instead of a full-screen display. So, at the end of the day, choose whatever fits you best.
Since the Mi 9T won for both the camera and the build quality, though, we'll have to give this point to it.
- Pocophone: 1
- Mi 9T: 2
Should you Get the Pocophone in Early 2020?
Now that everything has been said and done, the only thing that remains is for us to draw a conclusion. Should you get the Pocophone in early 2020?
If you want to strictly compare pros and cons, you should probably go with something like the Mi 9T instead. After all, it wins in almost every way except with face unlock which is slower and in raw power due to its chipset.
However, there are cases when the Pocophone is still the superior choice. If you absolutely want the most powerful chipset for your money or if you prefer IPS displays and don't feel bothered with the notch, then you should probably go with the Poco F1 instead.
Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!