Xiaomi Poco F1 Seen to Pass Scratch Test, But Fail Pass Burn, Bend Tests


Xiaomi Poco F1 Seen to Pass Scratch Test, But Fail Pass Burn, Bend Tests

Photo Credit: YouTube/ JerryRigEverything

The plastic build of the Xiaomi Poco F1 was failed to pass the bend test

Poco F1, the new smartphone from Xiaomi that already gained huge popularity in India, has now undergone some durability tests. These come in the form of scratch, burn, and bend tests to ultimately check how the new smartphone performs in terms of toughness. The latest development comes days after Xiaomi officially confirmed the splash resistance of the Poco F1. The Chinese company also highlighted that the smartphone has Quick Charge 4.0 support, though it was initially announced with Quick Charge 3.0.

None other than YouTuber JerryRigEverything has released a video showing the durability of the Poco F1. Once unboxed, the YouTuber begins the Poco F1 durability test by start scratching the display panel that comes with a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The display is found to withstand scratches of up to 6 on Mohs’ scale of hardness. However, some deeper grooves were found at a level of 7. “It’s covered in Gorilla Glass, and you won’t have to worry about keys or coins or razor blades scratching the large 6.2-inch display,” the narrator describes in the video.

After scratch testing the display panel, the YouTuber took the sides of the Poco F1 to check the paint job. The shiny paint wasn’t able to resist the attacks of the sharp razor.

 

The fingerprint sensor that sits at the back of the Poco F1 is found to be “invincible” that resists scratches even from a sharp blade. Similar is the case of the protector covering dual rear camera setup that helps bear scratches. However, the back panel of the smartphone is highly prone to scratches. The plastic back, nevertheless, doesn’t shatter in case of any sudden drops, unlike models such as OnePlus 6 that carry a glass back.

Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

Further, the YouTuber took a burn test under which the screen of the Poco F1 wasn’t able to withstand an open flame even for few seconds. The phone also failed to pass the bend test. But notably, the body requires a huge force to change its shape.

 



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Poco F1 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage Variant to Go on Open Sale From Midnight Tonight


Poco F1 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage Variant to Go on Open Sale From Midnight Tonight

Poco F1 open sale will be conducted on Mi.com as well as on Flipkart

Poco F1 is currently one of the most talked about smartphones in the Indian market thanks to its high-end, flagship-grade specifications at a competitive price point starting at just Rs. 20,999. Having held three successful flash sales since the phone’s launch, Xiaomi sub-brand Poco has now announced that the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant of the Poco F1 will be available as part of an open sale starting 12am IST on September 14. The open sale will be conducted on Mi.com as well as on Flipkart, where the variant will be widely available in all three Rosso Red, Steel Blue, and Graphite Black colour options.

In a short video posted to Poco India’s official Twitter account Thursday, Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain and Poco India General Manager C Manmohan announced the latest development. The two added that apart from the 6GB/ 128GB storage variant, the other two – 4GB/ 64GB and 8GB/ 256GB – will be made available in an open sale “maybe sometime soon.” Let’s get into the details.

Poco F1 price in India, availability

The 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model, which is supposed to be made available in India via open sale starting Midnight, September 14, and is priced at Rs. 23,999. The phone is also sold in three other variants – the base 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage model is priced at Rs. 20,999, the 8GB RAM/ 256GB inbuilt storage variant at Rs. 28,999, and a special Armoured Edition (8GB RAM/ 256GB storage) one at Rs. 29,999. These three variants will still be sold via weekly flash sales held simultaneously on Mi.com and Flipkart.

Poco F1 specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Poco F1 runs MIUI on top of Android 8.1 Oreo, and sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, paired with 6GB/ 8GB of LPDD4X RAM and 64GB/ 128GB/ 256GB of onboard storage.

In the camera department, the Poco F1 bears a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor, with f/1.9 aperture, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor with f/2.0 aperture. On the front, the handset bears a 20-megapixel front camera sensor with AI face recognition and AI portrait mode. There is a 4,000mAh battery under the hood, with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 – a development that was recently announced by the brand.





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Poco F1 Third Flash Sale at 12pm Today on Mi.com, Flipkart


Poco F1 third flash sale will be held in India at 12pm on September 12. Interested buyers will be able to snag a Poco F1 configuration of their choice via Mi.com and Flipkart at the assigned time today. Considering there is a lot of demand for the Xiaomi-branded smartphone, we recommend users log on to their preferred e-commerce portal a few minutes before the sale. Apart from the three regular variants, the Poco F1 Armoured Edition will also be part of the sale on both portals. That said, let’s get into the Poco F1 pricing, availability, and specifications. The phone was launched late last month.

Poco F1 price in India, availability

Poco F1 price in India starts at Rs. 20,999 for the base variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage. Apart from that, the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model has been priced at Rs. 23,999, while the 8GB RAM/ 256GB onboard storage variant comes with a price tag of Rs. 28,999. The variants are available in Graphite Black, Rosso Red, and Steel Blue colour options. There is a special Poco F1 Armoured Edition also up for grabs, with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, priced at Rs. 29,999. The Armoured Edition comes with a ‘real Kevlar’ back panel.

While the Poco F1 claims to offer value for money with flagship-grade specifications at a competitive price tag, there have been a couple instances of poor quality control including the lack of Widevine L1 licence that means no HD streaming on services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and user reports around display bleeding on their retail units. The second sale was held on September 5 in India.

Poco F1 specifications

The dual-SIM Poco F1 runs MIUI on top of Android 8.1 Oreo, and sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ (1080×2246 pixels) panel with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, coupled with 6GB/ 8GB of RAM and 64GB/ 128GB/ 256GB of internal storage.

In the camera department, the Poco F1 bears a 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor. On the front, the smartphone sports a 20-megapixel selfie camera sensor with HDR and AI Beautify features. There is a 4,000mAh battery under the hood, with support for 18W charging via Quick Charge 3.0.



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Xiaomi Poco F1 Armoured Edition to Go on Sale for First Time in India Tomorrow, via Flipkart and Mi.com


Xiaomi launched the Poco F1 in India in varied RAM/ inbuilt storage options, and sale for all the variants has already been conducted once on Flipkart and Mi.com, except for the Armoured Edition with a ‘real Kevlar’ back. However, the most premium variant of the Poco F1 (Review) is now going on sale for the first time tomorrow on both the sites. The Armoured Edition comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB inbuilt storage, and is priced at Rs. 29,999 in India. Other key highlights of the handset include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC with LiquidCool Technology, a 6.18-inch display, 12-megapixel rear camera, and more.

Xiaomi’s sub-brand Poco has announced on Twitter that the Poco F1 Armoured Edition will go on sale for the first time on Flipkart and Mi.com. The sale will begin at 12noon on both the sites, and we recommend that you register beforehand, and fill in your payments and address details in advance for faster checkout. The Poco F1 Armoured Edition, as mentioned, is priced at Rs. 29,999. All the other variants are also going on sale alongside the Armoured Edition, at 12 noon on Flipkart and Mi.com. In its first sale, Xiaomi announced that over one lakh Poco F1 units were sold within five minutes. It said that more than 300 Poco F1 units were bought every second during the sale before it went out of stock.

In the sale tomorrow, the Poco F1 will be available in 6GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant (priced at Rs. 20,999), 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage model (priced at Rs. 23,999), the 8GB RAM/ 256GB inbuilt storage model (priced at Rs. 28,999), and the Armoured Edition model with ‘real Kevlar’ priced at Rs. 29,999.

Xiaomi Poco F1 specifications
The Xiaomi Poco F1 is a dual-SIM smartphone that runs MIUI 9.6 out-of-the-box based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The Poco F1 uses MIUI for Poco, a customised version of MIUI that is said to be optimised for speed. The Poco launcher is said to appear closer to stock Android’s UI and it also includes features like third-party app icon support. It is equipped with a 6.18-inch display alongside 2.D curved Gorilla Glass 3 glass protection, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor that comes with LiquidCool Technology. As mentioned, the smartphone comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants and bears a dual camera setup with a 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 primary sensor with 1.4-micron pixel, dual-pixel autofocus, and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor from Samsung. At the front, there is a 20-megapixel selfie camera that comes with HDR and AI Beautify features, with an IR light that powers the Face Unlock feature.

The Poco F1 comes with 64GB/ 128GB/ 256GB inbuilt storage options, all of which are expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) in a hybrid SIM slot configuration. Connectivity options in the smartphone include 4G+, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack. It includes sensors such as an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. The handset packs a 4,000mAh battery with 18W charging support and Quick Charge 3.


Xiaomi Poco F1 looks great value for the price, but is there a catch? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.





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Poco F1 Does Not Support HD Video Streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Other Major Platforms


Poco F1 – also called Pocophone F1 in certain international markets – was launched earlier this month by Xiaomi’s new sub-brand Poco. It was released as a powerful new smartphone with a mid-range pricing that undercuts even the affordable flagships in the market. However, the Poco F1 is lacking a crucial feature that will be disappointing for heavy multimedia users. It does not come with support for the Widevine L1 DRM, necessary for playing HD videos (720p and above) on most major streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play. It only supports Widevine L3 which is only capable of streaming standard definition (SD) content. It is the lowest standard among the three – Widevine L1, L2, L3.

Gadgets 360 has independently been able to verify this development, first reported by Indian blog Android Pure. All Netflix titles show an HD icon on phones that support Widevine L1, and none on the ones that don’t support the standard; the latter was spotted on the Poco F1. With Widevine L3, Netflix is capable of running videos only up to 540p in resolution. We have reached out to Xiaomi India for a comment and will update this space accordingly.

poco f1 widevine Poco F1

The Xiaomi Poco F1 (left) does not show the HD tag on Netflix, while the Pixel 2 XL (right) with Widevine L1 shows it

 

Google’s Android platform supports numerous DRM platforms such as ClearKey, Microsoft Playready, and more; however, Widevine is the most popular one used by streaming services. Widevine helps curb piracy of content from these platforms. This issue was previously observed in the OnePlus 5T back in December last year. Issuing a software update to fix this certification issue does not seem to be the way out, according to the Android Pure report.

Xiaomi Poco F1 price in India, specifications

The Poco F1 has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 20,990 for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. The 6GB RAM/ 128GB onboard storage model has a price tag of Rs. 23,999, while the 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage variant comes in at Rs. 28,999. An Armoured Edition has been priced at Rs. 29,999.

To recall, the Poco F1 sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ (1080×2246 pixels) panel with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and maximum brightness of 500 nits. It is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, coupled with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB onboard storage.

In the camera department, the Poco F1 sports a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary Sony IMX363 sensor, coupled with dual-pixel autofocus, and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor. On the front, the smartphone bears a 20-megapixel camera sensor with HDR and AI Beautify features. There is a 4,000mAh battery under the hood, with support for 18W charging (Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0).



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Xiaomi Poco F1 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Xiaomi has been one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturers in India over the past 18 months, becoming the biggest smartphone brand in the process. It managed to capture a large chunk of the market with its Redmi series by offering powerful hardware at affordable prices. While the lower end of the market welcomed Xiaomi smartphones, the higher end still preferred established brands such as Samsung and OnePlus. Premium Xiaomi phones haven’t done well in India, and the Chinese manufacturer hasn’t launched a flagship phone in the country since the Mi 5 (Review). Xiaomi says that the new Poco sub-brand lets it start with a clean slate, without being burdened by the expectations that people have based on its other products.

With Asus and OnePlus making waves in the sub-Rs.40,000 market, Xiaomi doesn’t want to be left far behind. The F1 is the first product from Poco, and sports powerful specifications including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with a big 4000mAh battery. But the most interesting bit about the Poco F1 is the pricing. With prices starting at Rs. 20,999, the F1 is by far the most affordable smartphone running the flagship Qualcomm processor. Has Xiaomi cut corners to meet this price? Let’s find out.

 

Xiaomi Poco F1 design

The Poco F1 sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It has 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. Just like other recently launched smartphones, the Poco F1 has a notch at the top of the display, but it’s bigger than the ones on the OnePlus 6 (Review) and the LG G7+ ThinQ (Review), primarily because it houses an infrared camera, infrared emitter, 20-megapixel selfie camera, and the earpiece. Also, the borders around the display are slightly thicker than on those phones. The bottom chin is thick and houses a tiny white notification LED, which also lights up when a cable is plugged in.

The buttons on the Poco F1 are placed on the right. The power button is easy to reach but the volume controls are placed a little too high, needing a bit of a shuffle to reach them. At the back, this phone has a vertically positioned dual camera setup along with a dual-LED flash. Below the camera module is the fingerprint scanner. The positioning is perfect, and either of your index fingers will rest on it naturally when you hold the Poco F1.

Poco F1 R Back Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

 

Another thing we found hard to ignore about Xiaomi’s Poco F1 was the fact that the display doesn’t quite look to be sitting flush with the body of the phone. We’ve been spoilt by unibody phones at even more affordable price points, and it seems this is one of the areas where Xiaomi has decided to keep the costs in check. 

The back is made out of polycarbonate for the regular variants of this smartphone. We had the Armoured Edition for review, which has a Kevlar back. Xiaomi says that it has used real Kevlar, and you can feel the weave when you run your fingers over it. We haven’t used the other variants with the polycarbonate back other than the brief time that we spent with them before launch, and it’s safe to say they don’t look as slick as the competition.

Xiaomi has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack, and it’s positioned on the top along with the secondary microphone. The Poco F1 does not have an IR emitter, commonly seen on Xiaomi smartphones. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port and two grilles on either side, of which only the right one houses a loudspeaker. The phone weighs 182g and you will notice the weight when you hold it. This is mainly down to the 4000mAh battery. Xiaomi ships a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 certified charger in the box to top it up quickly.

Xiaomi Poco F1 specifications, software, and features

The Poco F1 sports a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with four cores clocked at 2.8GHz and the other four clocked at 1.8GHz. Xiaomi has designed a cooling system called ‘LiquidCool’ for this phone, using a copper chamber with vapour in it to dissipate heat. There are three RAM and storage variants: 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM with 256GB of storage, with the Armoured Edition we reviewed only available in the latter configuration. The Poco F1 has a hybrid dual-SIM tray that lets you expand storage if you wish to.

Xiaomi has opted for LPDDR4X for RAM and UFS2.1 for storage, similar to the Honor Play (Review). In terms of connectivity, the Poco F1 has Bluetooth 5 and dual-band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac. The Poco F1 is a hybrid dual-SIM device. It has support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs, which lets both SIMs be on a 4G network. Xiaomi has said that the Poco F1 also supports 4G+ that will lets it latch onto the 800MHz and 2300MHz bands simultaneously.

The dual camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.9 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, and dual-pixel autofocus. The secondary camera is a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixels. At the front, this phone has a 20-megapixel selfie shooter.

Poco F1 Screenshots Xiaomi Poco F1 ReviewPoco Launcher, Dual 4G & VoLTE, Gestures on the Xiaomi Poco F1

 

In terms of software, the Poco F1 ships with the familiar MIUI, but with a new Poco theme. The phone currently runs MIUI 9.6 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Xiaomi says that it will roll out an update to MIUI 10 when it is available, and an update to Android Pie is expected to roll out in Q4 2018. The Poco F1 gets an app launcher right out of the box, something that is missing on MIUI-powered Xiaomi devices. The Poco launcher has tabs that let you sort apps based on their type, but there is no way to customise this. Xiaomi has also added a sort by colour option that lets you group apps together based on their icon colour. We used this feature and found it to be useful when searching for an app quickly. There are also a few other customisations to the notification shade.

The Poco F1 supports themes, which lets you change the way the phone looks, right down to the icon pack. The Settings app is unchanged from what we’ve seen with MIUI before, and just like with other Xiaomi phones, we sometimes had to use the search function to get to the setting we were looking for. You also get other MIUI features including Dual Apps which lets you run two instances of supported apps such as WhatsApp, and Second Space which lets you create a separate user profile.

Poco F1 Infrared Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

The Xiaomi Poco F1 support iPhone-X like face scanning

 

The Poco F1 has a Face Unlock feature that uses the infrared camera and emitter to scan your face. We found this feature to be very handy as it was quick to unlock the phone. Even in low light where only the iPhone X (Review) and Oppo Find X (Review) work well, the Poco F1 managed to succeed. The fingerprint scanner is also quick, something you can fall back on if face recognition fails.

Xiaomi hasn’t gone easy when it comes to preinstalled apps. You get loads of Microsoft and Google apps along with Xiaomi Security, Cleaner, UC Browser, Community, Mi Store, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and PhonePe, among others. Most of these can be uninstalled so you will be able to reclaim some storage space. Gestures are a part of MIUI and they are available on the Poco F1 as well. You can change the order of the navigation buttons or disable them in favour of swipe gestures.

Xiaomi Poco F1 performance, battery life, and cameras

We have now used quite a few phones with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and we know how well it performs. The Poco F1 delivers the same experience. It is fast and we never saw any lag or stutter. Xiaomi has also dialled down the MIUI animations which makes it feel snappy. We did not experience apps getting killed in the background, and our review unit (which has 8GB of RAM) had close to 4GB RAM free at all times. Even the base variant has 6GB of RAM which should deliver good performance. The display on the Poco F1 has good viewing angles and a vivid output. Xiaomi uses the earpiece with the speaker on the bottom for a stereo-like effect.

The Poco F1 scored 2,65,305 in AnTuTu, as well as 2,454 and 9,048 in the single-core and multi-core tests in Geekbench 4. These scores are similar to what the OnePlus 6 and the Asus Zenfone 5Z (Review) achieved with identical hardware. The Poco F1 also scored 62,889 in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and 55fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Poco F1 R Cameras Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

 

To put the liquid cooling system to the test, we ran AnTuTu five times back to back, and we saw that the score did not drop below 2,50,000. We played PUBG and Asphalt 9: Legends, and the Poco F1 didn’t break a sweat. After we played our third consecutive match in PUBG, the phone got warm to the touch. What was also interesting was the battery drain. We noted a 6-7 percent battery level drop on average per round which is more than acceptable. If you game quite often, you should be able to squeeze in quite a few rounds before needing to plug the phone into a charger.

In our HD video loop test, the Poco F1 went on for 17 hours and 5 minutes. With our heavy usage consisting of playing close to an hour of PUBG, an hour of GPS navigation, an active WhatsApp account, and a few calls, we ended a day with 25 percent left in the tank. If you aren’t a heavy user, we reckon this phone could last you two working days. When it finally needs a recharge, the supplied fast charger is capable of charging the phone up to 35 percent in 30 minutes, and 74 percent in an hour. It takes close to two hours to top the phone up completely.

Xiaomi has used the same primary sensor for the Poco F1 as the Mi 8, which managed to bag the same DxOMark score of 99 as the Galaxy S9+. Naturally, we were interested to see how the same sensor performs on this phone. The camera app on the Poco F1 is similar to what we have seen on most other Xiaomi devices. Apart from the regular Photo and Video modes, it has Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and Manual modes. The Manual mode gives you control over white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO. AI mode is enabled by default and helps the camera in scene detection. It is fairly quick to determine what the camera is pointed towards. There is a toggle for HDR and an option to select filters before you take a shot.

In our testing, the Poco F1 managed to lock focus and meter light quickly. Photos taken in daylight had good detail, and objects at a distance were still recognisable. When shooting against the light, the phone switched HDR on automatically and managed to capture details quite well. Macros were sharp and had good detail, and the phone could focus on tiny objects without needing multiple taps. Low light camera performance was just average. To compensate for low light, the Poco F1 drops its shutter speed and AI switches the camera to night mode. The resultant images appeared good on the phone’s screen, but zoom in and you will notice a loss in details. Noise was kept under control but the edges in these photos weren’t well defined.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Poco F1 camera samples

 

The selfie camera did a decent job as well but missed out on a few details. In favourable light, it managed to capture good detail and the portrait mode produced a good bokeh effect. You also get beautification options to smoothen faces. In low light, the selfie camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning to capture a usable shot at the cost of resolution.

Video recording on the Poco F1 maxes out at 4K for the rear camera and 1080p for the selfie shooter. When recording in 4K, we observed that the phone stopped itself after 8 minutes. The OnePlus 6, on the other hand, has a 10-minute cap for video recording. The 4K footage we shot appeared a little saturated and wasn’t stabilised, so you’ll need a steady hand. Full-HD footage, on the other hand, was stabilised well. Slow-Mo video recording is also available and you can shoot at up to 240fps at 1080p.


Xiaomi Poco F1 in pictures

 

Verdict
With the smartphone market buzzing with so many launches, Xiaomi has managed to make a mark by pricing the Poco F1 aggressively. It has all the elements of a Xiaomi phone: a powerful processor, MIUI, and a low price. In the company’s assault on the OnePlus 6 (Review), many mid-range smartphones with far lower specifications have been taken down. The 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant of the Poco F1 is priced at Rs. 20,999, the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 23,999, and the 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage is priced at Rs. 28,999. The Armoured Edition, which we had for review, is priced at Rs. 29,999 and also has 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. Xiaomi has hit the ball right out of the park with the pricing of the Poco F1, and it’ll be interesting to see whether any manufacturer is interested in a price war.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is unheard of at these prices, but the Poco F1 also offers excellent battery life, something people have been asking for. The Armoured Edition uses Kevlar which feels different from the materials we already have in the market, though you may find the build quality of the other variants a bit underwhelming. All these factors make it an easy phone to recommend, though we would still like Xiaomi to tweak the camera on the Poco F1 for better low-light performance. Availability could be an issue with the Poco F1, as Xiaomi is once again relying on flash sales, and there’s sure to be enormous demand. If you do manage to get your hands on one of these phones, go for it because this is the best value you’ll get for your money.


Xiaomi Poco F1 looks great value for the price, but is there a catch? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Xiaomi Poco F1 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Xiaomi has been one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturers in India over the past 18 months, becoming the biggest smartphone brand in the process. It managed to capture a large chunk of the market with its Redmi series by offering powerful hardware at affordable prices. While the lower end of the market welcomed Xiaomi smartphones, the higher end still preferred established brands such as Samsung and OnePlus. Premium Xiaomi phones haven’t done well in India, and the Chinese manufacturer hasn’t launched a flagship phone in the country since the Mi 5 (Review). Xiaomi says that the new Poco sub-brand lets it start with a clean slate, without being burdened by the expectations that people have based on its other products.

With Asus and OnePlus making waves in the sub-Rs.40,000 market, Xiaomi doesn’t want to be left far behind. The F1 is the first product from Poco, and sports powerful specifications including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor along with a big 4000mAh battery. But the most interesting bit about the Poco F1 is the pricing. With prices starting at Rs. 20,999, the F1 is by far the most affordable smartphone running the flagship Qualcomm processor. Has Xiaomi cut corners to meet this price? Let’s find out.

 

Xiaomi Poco F1 design

The Poco F1 sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It has 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. Just like other recently launched smartphones, the Poco F1 has a notch at the top of the display, but it’s bigger than the ones on the OnePlus 6 (Review) and the LG G7+ ThinQ (Review), primarily because it houses an infrared camera, infrared emitter, 20-megapixel selfie camera, and the earpiece. Also, the borders around the display are slightly thicker than on those phones. The bottom chin is thick and houses a tiny white notification LED, which also lights up when a cable is plugged in.

The buttons on the Poco F1 are placed on the right. The power button is easy to reach but the volume controls are placed a little too high, needing a bit of a shuffle to reach them. At the back, this phone has a vertically positioned dual camera setup along with a dual-LED flash. Below the camera module is the fingerprint scanner. The positioning is perfect, and either of your index fingers will rest on it naturally when you hold the Poco F1.

Poco F1 R Back Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

 

Another thing we found hard to ignore about Xiaomi’s Poco F1 was the fact that the display doesn’t quite look to be sitting flush with the body of the phone. We’ve been spoilt by unibody phones at even more affordable price points, and it seems this is one of the areas where Xiaomi has decided to keep the costs in check. 

The back is made out of polycarbonate for the regular variants of this smartphone. We had the Armoured Edition for review, which has a Kevlar back. Xiaomi says that it has used real Kevlar, and you can feel the weave when you run your fingers over it. We haven’t used the other variants with the polycarbonate back other than the brief time that we spent with them before launch, and it’s safe to say they don’t look as slick as the competition.

Xiaomi has retained the 3.5mm headphone jack, and it’s positioned on the top along with the secondary microphone. The Poco F1 does not have an IR emitter, commonly seen on Xiaomi smartphones. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port and two grilles on either side, of which only the right one houses a loudspeaker. The phone weighs 182g and you will notice the weight when you hold it. This is mainly down to the 4000mAh battery. Xiaomi ships a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 certified charger in the box to top it up quickly.

Xiaomi Poco F1 specifications, software, and features

The Poco F1 sports a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with four cores clocked at 2.8GHz and the other four clocked at 1.8GHz. Xiaomi has designed a cooling system called ‘LiquidCool’ for this phone, using a copper chamber with vapour in it to dissipate heat. There are three RAM and storage variants: 6GB RAM with 64GB storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM with 256GB of storage, with the Armoured Edition we reviewed only available in the latter configuration. The Poco F1 has a hybrid dual-SIM tray that lets you expand storage if you wish to.

Xiaomi has opted for LPDDR4X for RAM and UFS2.1 for storage, similar to the Honor Play (Review). In terms of connectivity, the Poco F1 has Bluetooth 5 and dual-band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac. The Poco F1 is a hybrid dual-SIM device. It has support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs, which lets both SIMs be on a 4G network. Xiaomi has said that the Poco F1 also supports 4G+ that will lets it latch onto the 800MHz and 2300MHz bands simultaneously.

The dual camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.9 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, and dual-pixel autofocus. The secondary camera is a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixels. At the front, this phone has a 20-megapixel selfie shooter.

Poco F1 Screenshots Xiaomi Poco F1 ReviewPoco Launcher, Dual 4G & VoLTE, Gestures on the Xiaomi Poco F1

 

In terms of software, the Poco F1 ships with the familiar MIUI, but with a new Poco theme. The phone currently runs MIUI 9.6 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Xiaomi says that it will roll out an update to MIUI 10 when it is available, and an update to Android Pie is expected to roll out in Q4 2018. The Poco F1 gets an app launcher right out of the box, something that is missing on MIUI-powered Xiaomi devices. The Poco launcher has tabs that let you sort apps based on their type, but there is no way to customise this. Xiaomi has also added a sort by colour option that lets you group apps together based on their icon colour. We used this feature and found it to be useful when searching for an app quickly. There are also a few other customisations to the notification shade.

The Poco F1 supports themes, which lets you change the way the phone looks, right down to the icon pack. The Settings app is unchanged from what we’ve seen with MIUI before, and just like with other Xiaomi phones, we sometimes had to use the search function to get to the setting we were looking for. You also get other MIUI features including Dual Apps which lets you run two instances of supported apps such as WhatsApp, and Second Space which lets you create a separate user profile.

Poco F1 Infrared Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

The Xiaomi Poco F1 support iPhone-X like face scanning

 

The Poco F1 has a Face Unlock feature that uses the infrared camera and emitter to scan your face. We found this feature to be very handy as it was quick to unlock the phone. Even in low light where only the iPhone X (Review) and Oppo Find X (Review) work well, the Poco F1 managed to succeed. The fingerprint scanner is also quick, something you can fall back on if face recognition fails.

Xiaomi hasn’t gone easy when it comes to preinstalled apps. You get loads of Microsoft and Google apps along with Xiaomi Security, Cleaner, UC Browser, Community, Mi Store, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and PhonePe, among others. Most of these can be uninstalled so you will be able to reclaim some storage space. Gestures are a part of MIUI and they are available on the Poco F1 as well. You can change the order of the navigation buttons or disable them in favour of swipe gestures.

Xiaomi Poco F1 performance, battery life, and cameras

We have now used quite a few phones with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and we know how well it performs. The Poco F1 delivers the same experience. It is fast and we never saw any lag or stutter. Xiaomi has also dialled down the MIUI animations which makes it feel snappy. We did not experience apps getting killed in the background, and our review unit (which has 8GB of RAM) had close to 4GB RAM free at all times. Even the base variant has 6GB of RAM which should deliver good performance. The display on the Poco F1 has good viewing angles and a vivid output. Xiaomi uses the earpiece with the speaker on the bottom for a stereo-like effect.

The Poco F1 scored 2,65,305 in AnTuTu, as well as 2,454 and 9,048 in the single-core and multi-core tests in Geekbench 4. These scores are similar to what the OnePlus 6 and the Asus Zenfone 5Z (Review) achieved with identical hardware. The Poco F1 also scored 62,889 in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and 55fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Poco F1 R Cameras Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

 

To put the liquid cooling system to the test, we ran AnTuTu five times back to back, and we saw that the score did not drop below 2,50,000. We played PUBG and Asphalt 9: Legends, and the Poco F1 didn’t break a sweat. After we played our third consecutive match in PUBG, the phone got warm to the touch. What was also interesting was the battery drain. We noted a 6-7 percent battery level drop on average per round which is more than acceptable. If you game quite often, you should be able to squeeze in quite a few rounds before needing to plug the phone into a charger.

In our HD video loop test, the Poco F1 went on for 17 hours and 5 minutes. With our heavy usage consisting of playing close to an hour of PUBG, an hour of GPS navigation, an active WhatsApp account, and a few calls, we ended a day with 25 percent left in the tank. If you aren’t a heavy user, we reckon this phone could last you two working days. When it finally needs a recharge, the supplied fast charger is capable of charging the phone up to 35 percent in 30 minutes, and 74 percent in an hour. It takes close to two hours to top the phone up completely.

Xiaomi has used the same primary sensor for the Poco F1 as the Mi 8, which managed to bag the same DxOMark score of 99 as the Galaxy S9+. Naturally, we were interested to see how the same sensor performs on this phone. The camera app on the Poco F1 is similar to what we have seen on most other Xiaomi devices. Apart from the regular Photo and Video modes, it has Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and Manual modes. The Manual mode gives you control over white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO. AI mode is enabled by default and helps the camera in scene detection. It is fairly quick to determine what the camera is pointed towards. There is a toggle for HDR and an option to select filters before you take a shot.

In our testing, the Poco F1 managed to lock focus and meter light quickly. Photos taken in daylight had good detail, and objects at a distance were still recognisable. When shooting against the light, the phone switched HDR on automatically and managed to capture details quite well. Macros were sharp and had good detail, and the phone could focus on tiny objects without needing multiple taps. Low light camera performance was just average. To compensate for low light, the Poco F1 drops its shutter speed and AI switches the camera to night mode. The resultant images appeared good on the phone’s screen, but zoom in and you will notice a loss in details. Noise was kept under control but the edges in these photos weren’t well defined.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Poco F1 camera samples

 

The selfie camera did a decent job as well but missed out on a few details. In favourable light, it managed to capture good detail and the portrait mode produced a good bokeh effect. You also get beautification options to smoothen faces. In low light, the selfie camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning to capture a usable shot at the cost of resolution.

Video recording on the Poco F1 maxes out at 4K for the rear camera and 1080p for the selfie shooter. When recording in 4K, we observed that the phone stopped itself after 8 minutes. The OnePlus 6, on the other hand, has a 10-minute cap for video recording. The 4K footage we shot appeared a little saturated and wasn’t stabilised, so you’ll need a steady hand. Full-HD footage, on the other hand, was stabilised well. Slow-Mo video recording is also available and you can shoot at up to 240fps at 1080p.


Xiaomi Poco F1 in pictures

 

Verdict
With the smartphone market buzzing with so many launches, Xiaomi has managed to make a mark by pricing the Poco F1 aggressively. It has all the elements of a Xiaomi phone: a powerful processor, MIUI, and a low price. In the company’s assault on the OnePlus 6 (Review), many mid-range smartphones with far lower specifications have been taken down. The 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant of the Poco F1 is priced at Rs. 20,999, the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 23,999, and the 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage is priced at Rs. 28,999. The Armoured Edition, which we had for review, is priced at Rs. 29,999 and also has 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. Xiaomi has hit the ball right out of the park with the pricing of the Poco F1, and it’ll be interesting to see whether any manufacturer is interested in a price war.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is unheard of at these prices, but the Poco F1 also offers excellent battery life, something people have been asking for. The Armoured Edition uses Kevlar which feels different from the materials we already have in the market, though you may find the build quality of the other variants a bit underwhelming. All these factors make it an easy phone to recommend, though we would still like Xiaomi to tweak the camera on the Poco F1 for better low-light performance. Availability could be an issue with the Poco F1, as Xiaomi is once again relying on flash sales, and there’s sure to be enormous demand. If you do manage to get your hands on one of these phones, go for it because this is the best value you’ll get for your money.


Xiaomi Poco F1 looks great value for the price, but is there a catch? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Oppo F9 Pro, Poco F1 by Xiaomi, Nokia 6.1 Plus Launched in India, and More News This Week


Oppo F9 Pro, Xiaomi’s Poco F1, and the Nokia 6.1 Plus India launches were arguably the biggest pieces of news this week, with each of these targeting a different price point, demographic, and feature set. Starting with Oppo, the company has launched two models in its F9 series in India – the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro. While the former is priced at Rs. 19,990, the price in India of the latter is Rs. 23,990. The Oppo F9 Pro will go on sale from August 31 across online and offline retailers, while the Oppo F9 will become available to buy ‘soon’.

The only difference between the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro is the amount of RAM on board – the former has 4GB of RAM, while the latter has 6GB of RAM – both come with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The rest of the specifications of the smartphones are identical. The dual-SIM smartphones run Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.2, and bear 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) displays with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

Powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro feature a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor, as well as a 25-megapixel front facing camera. They are powered by 3,500mAh batteries and support VOOC fast charging tech. Both smartphones will be available in Starry Purple, Sunrise Red, and Twilight Blue.

Oppo F9 Pro and Oppo F9 First Impressions

 

Xiaomi’s new Poco sub-brand, focused on ‘speed’, was launched in India this week, ahead of global launches in Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Paris next week. The highlights of the brand’s first offering, the Poco F1, are the fact it bears the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, while also sporting the dual rear camera design of the company’s other flagships, at a staggeringly low starting price of Rs. 20,999. It has been launched in 3 RAM/ storage capacities, with the 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage version being the base model, while the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model is priced at Rs. 23,999, and the 8GB/ 256GB storage variant priced at Rs. 28,999. These three Poco F1 models are available in three colour options – Graphite Black, Rosso Red, and Steel Blue.

There’s also a fourth option for the top-model – an Armoured Edition – featuring ‘real Kevlar’ on the back panel and priced at Rs. 29,999. The other models use a polycarbonate back. The Poco F1 will go on sale for the first time on Wednesday, 12pm IST on Flipkart and Mi.com. We’ve already described the innards and SKUs, but as for other specifications, let’s note that the Poco F1 runs a speed-optimised version of Xiaomi’s custom Android ROM called MIUI for Poco. Currently based on Android 8.1 Oreo, the company says an Android 9.0 Pie-based build will also make its way to the handset. Besides this, Poco has also released a launcher that can be used for other MIUI-based phones, and it’s currently available as an APK file.

Other Poco F1 specifications include a 6.18-inch (1080×2246) display with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 protection; a dual camera setup with a primary 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor from Samsung; there’s a 20-megapixel camera at the front with HDR and AI Beautify features; storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB), and a 4,000mAh battery.

Xiaomi Poco F1 First Impressions

 

As we mentioned, this week, Nokia mobile brand licensee HMD Global also launched the Nokia 6.1 Plus smartphone in India. The smartphone is the global variant of the Nokia X6, that was launched exclusively in China back in May. It arrived in its present avatar in Hong Kong for the first time last month. At the New Delhi launch event, HMD Global also announced the Nokia 5.1 Plus, which similarly is the global variant of the Nokia X5, for India, saying it would become available to buy sometime in September.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has been launched in a single RAM/ inbuilt storage variant in India – 4GB/ 64GB – and it has been priced at Rs. 15,999. It will be available in Gloss Black, Gloss Midnight Blue, and Gloss White colour variants from Flipkart and the Nokia online store from August 31, with pre-orders currently ongoing. The smartphone’s highlights include the fact that it is part of the Android One programme, giving it a Google-certified stock Android experience, complete with the promise of timely version and security updates.

 

Other specifications of the Nokia 6.1 Plus include dual-SIM (Nano) support; a 5.8-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection; an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC; a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary monochrome sensor; a 16-megapixel front camera sensor; inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 400GB), and a 3,060mAh battery. HMD Global did not detail the Nokia 5.1 Plus price in India, but did reveal it will sport an EUR 199 (roughly Rs. 15,000) price tag.

Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus First Impressions

Apart from the above three highlights, major smartphone launches this week included the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy A8 Star. Without any fanfare, the South Korean consumer electronics giant on Friday launched the smartphone in the country via Amazon India. A premium Galaxy A-series smartphone, the Galaxy A8 Star is priced at Rs. 34,990, and its biggest highlights are its Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, massive 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display, 6GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup, and a massive 24-megapixel front camera. It will go on sale from Monday, August 27 in the country. To recall, it was originally launched as the Galaxy A9 Star in China, before being rebranded as the Galaxy A8 Star in other regions.

Samsung this week also officially launched the Galaxy Note 9 in India, though it had revealed its prices when putting it up for pre-orders right after its global launch. Online, the smartphone is available via Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, and the Samsung Mobile Store. It is also available via Airtel, which is offering it with a downpayment of Rs. 7,900. Offline, it is available via retail partners.

This week also saw the launch of the first Android Go smartphone from Samsung. Featuring some amount of customisation over Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition), the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core’s price has yet to be revealed by the South Korean company. It features low-end specifications, such as a 5-inch qHD display, an Exynos 7570 SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of inbuilt storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera.

Chinese smartphone brand Homtom entered the Indian market this week, with three budget smartphones – the H1, H3, and H5 – priced at Rs. 7,490, Rs. 9,990, and Rs. 10,990 respectively. The company says it plans to start manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative. Speaking of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Oppo had another announcement to make this week – the launch of the Oppo A5 in India. The smartphone, which features a dual rear camera setup and a display notch, is priced at Rs. 14,990 (MOP) and it went on sale in the country on Saturday. It was launched in China in July.

Xiaomi Poco F1 vs Oppo F9 Pro: Price in India, Specifications, Features Compared 

Oppo this week also launched the Oppo R17 Pro and Oppo R17 in China, its latest flagship models. The former is priced at CNY 4,299 (roughly Rs. 43,800), while the latter is priced starting CNY 3,199 (roughly Rs. 32,600). To recall, Oppo had detailed the specifications of the Oppo R17 earlier this month, but only just launched both the smartphones.

Lava this week launched a new budget smartphone in India, an Android Go offering called Lava Z60s. Priced at Rs. 4,949, it will be available in Black and Gold colour options. It offers low-end specifications, such as a 5-inch HD display, a quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage, and 5-megapixel cameras at both the front and back.

Transsion Holdings-owned smartphone brand Infinix on Thursday launched the Note 5 in India, priced at Rs. 9,999 (MOP) for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage option, and Rs. 11,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage option. It will go on sale via Flipkart from Friday, August 31. Unlike most other offerings from the company, the Infinix Note 5 is an Android One smartphone, and comes with Google offerings such as Google Assistant, Google Lens, and Google Photos pre-installed.

Another brand from Transsion Holdings made a splash in India this week – Itel – which launched three budget smartphones. The Itel A45, Itel A22, and Itel A22 Pro are priced at Rs. 5,999, Rs. 5,499, and Rs. 6,499 respectively.

Amazon’s private label brand, 10.or (pronounced tenor) launched a new budget smartphone in the country this week – the 10.or D2. The smartphone will go on sale via Amazon India, exclusively for Prime members on Monday, August 27, while regular customers will be able to buy it from Tuesday, August 28. The base model with 2GB RAM/ 16GB inbuilt storage is priced at Rs. 6,999 while the top 3GB RAM/ 32GB inbuilt storage model is priced at Rs. 7,999 variant.

 

DTH service provider Tata Sky this week introduced broadband Internet plans in what appears to be an effort to compete with Reliance Jio and its Jio Gigafiber service that opened for registrations last week. The company is offering monthly, three-monthly, five-monthly, nine-monthly, and year-long plans, starting at Rs. 999. It is offering speeds up to 100Mbps.

BSNL this week was reported to have revamped its Rs. 699 broadband Internet plan to offer 700GB of data a month at 20Mbps speeds. Once the 700GB data cap is passed, users will get speeds of 2Mbps. The state-owned telecom operator this week also unveiled a Rakhi Offer that gives buyers of Rs. 399 recharge pack unlimited calls and data for a period of 74 days.

Vodafone had a couple of announcements this week as well. First, it launched new Rs. 209, Rs. 479, and Rs. 529 plans that offer 1.5GB of data per day for 28 days, 84 days, and 90 days of validity, respectively. Next, the telecom operator launched a new Rs. 159 recharge that offers unlimited calls and 28GB of data for 28 days.

Xiaomi Poco F1 vs OnePlus 6 vs Asus ZenFone 5Z: Price, Specifications Compared

After making an announcement to the effect last month, Flipkart this month shut down its eBay India subsidiary. At the time of the announcement, the company had revealed it would soon be launching an e-commerce platform for refurbished goods that was built based on the learnings of eBay India. This week, the company has gone ahead, and launched a platform called 2GUD, currently only available on the mobile Web, but set to make its way to the desktop and also be launched as a smartphone app. The platform offers post purchase warranty ranging from 3 months to 12 months, and products will be serviced through a network of service centres across the country.

Flipkart this week held a one-day sale on Saturday, with exclusive early access from 9pm Friday for its Plus members. Called the Flipkart Superr Sale, some of the top offers included Apple iPad (6th generation) 32GB WiFi, the Google Pixel 2 128GB, the Nokia 5 16GB, the Microsoft Xbox One S 1TB bundle, the Apple Watch Series 3 42mm, the Google Chromecast 2, the Alcatel A3 10 32GB, and Moto Z2 Force 64GB.

Gamescom was happening this week, and a lot of news and updates about games came out of the event, including the announcement of the PUBG Xbox One Version 1.0 release date, as well as the Devil May Cry 5 release date. However, not everything was software, and just ahead of the gaming trade show, Nvidia launched its Turing GPU Architecture in the form of three new GPUs – the GeForce GTX 2070, GeForce GTX 2080, and GeForce GTX 2080 Ti.

Nvidia’s launch made its way into an announcement by another company ahead of Gamescom – Dell. The company unveiled refreshed Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 gaming laptops with per-key RGB lighting, while its Alienware Aurora and Alienware Area 51 gaming desktops gained Nvidia’s new GPU options. Dell also unveiled gaming monitors in 24-inch and 27-inch sizes. Alongside, Dell launched its Alienware Command Center and Alienware Training Academy.

Speaking of laptops, Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi this week unveiled a new model – the Mi Notebook. The launch follows other laptop lineups from the country, including the Mi Notebook Air, the Mi Notebook Pro, and Mi Gaming Laptop. Prices start from CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,700), and the lineup offers up to 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors.

Vivo this week was in the news for the reported launch of the Vivo Y83 Pro in the country, apart from issuing invites for the launch of the Vivo V11 Pro in India on September 6. Finally, another anticipated phone, the Vivo X23, went official in China, however, beyond its design and few features, not much is known at the moment, but more should become evident when it is launched.

Nokia 6.1 Plus vs Redmi Note 5 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

This week, a OnePlus 6T leak pointed to an October launch for the anticipated next-generation flagship smartphone from the company. The report added that the OnePlus 6T would continue the trend of pricing the smartphone higher than the previous generation, or a marginal $21 (roughly Rs. 1,500).

Two separate iPhone leaks made their way to the Internet this week, with one report claiming that the new 2018 iPhone models will become available to buy from September 14. It adds that faster wireless chargers will also make their way to the market. Meanwhile, another report claims that the models will be launched on September 12, while the LCD display variant is said to sport iPhone 7-like internals.

Former Oppo brand Realme this week made some revelations about its upcoming Realme 2 smartphone. First off, the company revealed that the Realme 2 would sport a Snapdragon 610 SoC, and be available on Flipkart this time around – to recall, the Realme 1 was an Amazon India exclusive. Later, the company revealed that the Realme 2 would have a priced tag below Rs. 10,000, and be powered by a 4,230mAh battery. The smartphone will launch in New Delhi at an event on Tuesday, August 28 – something that was also announced this week.



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Oppo F9 Pro, Poco F1 by Xiaomi, Nokia 6.1 Plus Launched in India, and More News This Week


Oppo F9 Pro, Xiaomi’s Poco F1, and the Nokia 6.1 Plus India launches were arguably the biggest pieces of news this week, with each of these targeting a different price point, demographic, and feature set. Starting with Oppo, the company has launched two models in its F9 series in India – the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro. While the former is priced at Rs. 19,990, the price in India of the latter is Rs. 23,990. The Oppo F9 Pro will go on sale from August 31 across online and offline retailers, while the Oppo F9 will become available to buy ‘soon’.

The only difference between the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro is the amount of RAM on board – the former has 4GB of RAM, while the latter has 6GB of RAM – both come with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The rest of the specifications of the smartphones are identical. The dual-SIM smartphones run Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.2, and bear 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) displays with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

Powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, the Oppo F9 and Oppo F9 Pro feature a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor, as well as a 25-megapixel front facing camera. They are powered by 3,500mAh batteries and support VOOC fast charging tech. Both smartphones will be available in Starry Purple, Sunrise Red, and Twilight Blue.

Oppo F9 Pro and Oppo F9 First Impressions

 

Xiaomi’s new Poco sub-brand, focused on ‘speed’, was launched in India this week, ahead of global launches in Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Paris next week. The highlights of the brand’s first offering, the Poco F1, are the fact it bears the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, while also sporting the dual rear camera design of the company’s other flagships, at a staggeringly low starting price of Rs. 20,999. It has been launched in 3 RAM/ storage capacities, with the 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage version being the base model, while the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage model is priced at Rs. 23,999, and the 8GB/ 256GB storage variant priced at Rs. 28,999. These three Poco F1 models are available in three colour options – Graphite Black, Rosso Red, and Steel Blue.

There’s also a fourth option for the top-model – an Armoured Edition – featuring ‘real Kevlar’ on the back panel and priced at Rs. 29,999. The other models use a polycarbonate back. The Poco F1 will go on sale for the first time on Wednesday, 12pm IST on Flipkart and Mi.com. We’ve already described the innards and SKUs, but as for other specifications, let’s note that the Poco F1 runs a speed-optimised version of Xiaomi’s custom Android ROM called MIUI for Poco. Currently based on Android 8.1 Oreo, the company says an Android 9.0 Pie-based build will also make its way to the handset. Besides this, Poco has also released a launcher that can be used for other MIUI-based phones, and it’s currently available as an APK file.

Other Poco F1 specifications include a 6.18-inch (1080×2246) display with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 protection; a dual camera setup with a primary 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor from Samsung; there’s a 20-megapixel camera at the front with HDR and AI Beautify features; storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB), and a 4,000mAh battery.

Xiaomi Poco F1 First Impressions

 

As we mentioned, this week, Nokia mobile brand licensee HMD Global also launched the Nokia 6.1 Plus smartphone in India. The smartphone is the global variant of the Nokia X6, that was launched exclusively in China back in May. It arrived in its present avatar in Hong Kong for the first time last month. At the New Delhi launch event, HMD Global also announced the Nokia 5.1 Plus, which similarly is the global variant of the Nokia X5, for India, saying it would become available to buy sometime in September.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has been launched in a single RAM/ inbuilt storage variant in India – 4GB/ 64GB – and it has been priced at Rs. 15,999. It will be available in Gloss Black, Gloss Midnight Blue, and Gloss White colour variants from Flipkart and the Nokia online store from August 31, with pre-orders currently ongoing. The smartphone’s highlights include the fact that it is part of the Android One programme, giving it a Google-certified stock Android experience, complete with the promise of timely version and security updates.

 

Other specifications of the Nokia 6.1 Plus include dual-SIM (Nano) support; a 5.8-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection; an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC; a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary monochrome sensor; a 16-megapixel front camera sensor; inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 400GB), and a 3,060mAh battery. HMD Global did not detail the Nokia 5.1 Plus price in India, but did reveal it will sport an EUR 199 (roughly Rs. 15,000) price tag.

Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus First Impressions

Apart from the above three highlights, major smartphone launches this week included the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy A8 Star. Without any fanfare, the South Korean consumer electronics giant on Friday launched the smartphone in the country via Amazon India. A premium Galaxy A-series smartphone, the Galaxy A8 Star is priced at Rs. 34,990, and its biggest highlights are its Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, massive 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display, 6GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup, and a massive 24-megapixel front camera. It will go on sale from Monday, August 27 in the country. To recall, it was originally launched as the Galaxy A9 Star in China, before being rebranded as the Galaxy A8 Star in other regions.

Samsung this week also officially launched the Galaxy Note 9 in India, though it had revealed its prices when putting it up for pre-orders right after its global launch. Online, the smartphone is available via Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, and the Samsung Mobile Store. It is also available via Airtel, which is offering it with a downpayment of Rs. 7,900. Offline, it is available via retail partners.

This week also saw the launch of the first Android Go smartphone from Samsung. Featuring some amount of customisation over Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition), the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core’s price has yet to be revealed by the South Korean company. It features low-end specifications, such as a 5-inch qHD display, an Exynos 7570 SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of inbuilt storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera.

Chinese smartphone brand Homtom entered the Indian market this week, with three budget smartphones – the H1, H3, and H5 – priced at Rs. 7,490, Rs. 9,990, and Rs. 10,990 respectively. The company says it plans to start manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative. Speaking of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Oppo had another announcement to make this week – the launch of the Oppo A5 in India. The smartphone, which features a dual rear camera setup and a display notch, is priced at Rs. 14,990 (MOP) and it went on sale in the country on Saturday. It was launched in China in July.

Xiaomi Poco F1 vs Oppo F9 Pro: Price in India, Specifications, Features Compared 

Oppo this week also launched the Oppo R17 Pro and Oppo R17 in China, its latest flagship models. The former is priced at CNY 4,299 (roughly Rs. 43,800), while the latter is priced starting CNY 3,199 (roughly Rs. 32,600). To recall, Oppo had detailed the specifications of the Oppo R17 earlier this month, but only just launched both the smartphones.

Lava this week launched a new budget smartphone in India, an Android Go offering called Lava Z60s. Priced at Rs. 4,949, it will be available in Black and Gold colour options. It offers low-end specifications, such as a 5-inch HD display, a quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage, and 5-megapixel cameras at both the front and back.

Transsion Holdings-owned smartphone brand Infinix on Thursday launched the Note 5 in India, priced at Rs. 9,999 (MOP) for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage option, and Rs. 11,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage option. It will go on sale via Flipkart from Friday, August 31. Unlike most other offerings from the company, the Infinix Note 5 is an Android One smartphone, and comes with Google offerings such as Google Assistant, Google Lens, and Google Photos pre-installed.

Another brand from Transsion Holdings made a splash in India this week – Itel – which launched three budget smartphones. The Itel A45, Itel A22, and Itel A22 Pro are priced at Rs. 5,999, Rs. 5,499, and Rs. 6,499 respectively.

Amazon’s private label brand, 10.or (pronounced tenor) launched a new budget smartphone in the country this week – the 10.or D2. The smartphone will go on sale via Amazon India, exclusively for Prime members on Monday, August 27, while regular customers will be able to buy it from Tuesday, August 28. The base model with 2GB RAM/ 16GB inbuilt storage is priced at Rs. 6,999 while the top 3GB RAM/ 32GB inbuilt storage model is priced at Rs. 7,999 variant.

 

DTH service provider Tata Sky this week introduced broadband Internet plans in what appears to be an effort to compete with Reliance Jio and its Jio Gigafiber service that opened for registrations last week. The company is offering monthly, three-monthly, five-monthly, nine-monthly, and year-long plans, starting at Rs. 999. It is offering speeds up to 100Mbps.

BSNL this week was reported to have revamped its Rs. 699 broadband Internet plan to offer 700GB of data a month at 20Mbps speeds. Once the 700GB data cap is passed, users will get speeds of 2Mbps. The state-owned telecom operator this week also unveiled a Rakhi Offer that gives buyers of Rs. 399 recharge pack unlimited calls and data for a period of 74 days.

Vodafone had a couple of announcements this week as well. First, it launched new Rs. 209, Rs. 479, and Rs. 529 plans that offer 1.5GB of data per day for 28 days, 84 days, and 90 days of validity, respectively. Next, the telecom operator launched a new Rs. 159 recharge that offers unlimited calls and 28GB of data for 28 days.

Xiaomi Poco F1 vs OnePlus 6 vs Asus ZenFone 5Z: Price, Specifications Compared

After making an announcement to the effect last month, Flipkart this month shut down its eBay India subsidiary. At the time of the announcement, the company had revealed it would soon be launching an e-commerce platform for refurbished goods that was built based on the learnings of eBay India. This week, the company has gone ahead, and launched a platform called 2GUD, currently only available on the mobile Web, but set to make its way to the desktop and also be launched as a smartphone app. The platform offers post purchase warranty ranging from 3 months to 12 months, and products will be serviced through a network of service centres across the country.

Flipkart this week held a one-day sale on Saturday, with exclusive early access from 9pm Friday for its Plus members. Called the Flipkart Superr Sale, some of the top offers included Apple iPad (6th generation) 32GB WiFi, the Google Pixel 2 128GB, the Nokia 5 16GB, the Microsoft Xbox One S 1TB bundle, the Apple Watch Series 3 42mm, the Google Chromecast 2, the Alcatel A3 10 32GB, and Moto Z2 Force 64GB.

Gamescom was happening this week, and a lot of news and updates about games came out of the event, including the announcement of the PUBG Xbox One Version 1.0 release date, as well as the Devil May Cry 5 release date. However, not everything was software, and just ahead of the gaming trade show, Nvidia launched its Turing GPU Architecture in the form of three new GPUs – the GeForce GTX 2070, GeForce GTX 2080, and GeForce GTX 2080 Ti.

Nvidia’s launch made its way into an announcement by another company ahead of Gamescom – Dell. The company unveiled refreshed Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 gaming laptops with per-key RGB lighting, while its Alienware Aurora and Alienware Area 51 gaming desktops gained Nvidia’s new GPU options. Dell also unveiled gaming monitors in 24-inch and 27-inch sizes. Alongside, Dell launched its Alienware Command Center and Alienware Training Academy.

Speaking of laptops, Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi this week unveiled a new model – the Mi Notebook. The launch follows other laptop lineups from the country, including the Mi Notebook Air, the Mi Notebook Pro, and Mi Gaming Laptop. Prices start from CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,700), and the lineup offers up to 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors.

Vivo this week was in the news for the reported launch of the Vivo Y83 Pro in the country, apart from issuing invites for the launch of the Vivo V11 Pro in India on September 6. Finally, another anticipated phone, the Vivo X23, went official in China, however, beyond its design and few features, not much is known at the moment, but more should become evident when it is launched.

Nokia 6.1 Plus vs Redmi Note 5 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

This week, a OnePlus 6T leak pointed to an October launch for the anticipated next-generation flagship smartphone from the company. The report added that the OnePlus 6T would continue the trend of pricing the smartphone higher than the previous generation, or a marginal $21 (roughly Rs. 1,500).

Two separate iPhone leaks made their way to the Internet this week, with one report claiming that the new 2018 iPhone models will become available to buy from September 14. It adds that faster wireless chargers will also make their way to the market. Meanwhile, another report claims that the models will be launched on September 12, while the LCD display variant is said to sport iPhone 7-like internals.

Former Oppo brand Realme this week made some revelations about its upcoming Realme 2 smartphone. First off, the company revealed that the Realme 2 would sport a Snapdragon 610 SoC, and be available on Flipkart this time around – to recall, the Realme 1 was an Amazon India exclusive. Later, the company revealed that the Realme 2 would have a priced tag below Rs. 10,000, and be powered by a 4,230mAh battery. The smartphone will launch in New Delhi at an event on Tuesday, August 28 – something that was also announced this week.



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Poco F1 Looks Great Value for the Price, but Is There a Catch?


The Xiaomi Poco F1’s price in India is the biggest talking point in the smartphone industry right now and that means Orbital podcast is right here to answer all of your questions around that. The Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Nokia 5.1 Plus are two more smartphones that have attracted a lot of interest and we discussed those two as well on this episode. Reviewers Aditya Shenoy and Shobhit Varma join host Pranay Parab to discuss these smartphones. We begin the episode by talking about the Poco F1, whose specifications read like those of a flagship smartphone while the price is decidedly mid-range. This means that the value proposition is fantastic, but is there a catch? We look at the potential pitfalls of this smartphone and the biggest one of these should be fairly obvious to everyone by now. Then we talk about the Poco F1’s performance and its position in the Xiaomi lineup of smartphones. Here we explain why Xiaomi chose to go with a new brand name for this smartphone and why the company has been struggling in the premium segment so far. Then we talk about the Mi A2 and how the Poco F1 affects that smartphone.

The next segment of this episode is all about the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Nokia 5.1 Plus. Here we discuss the build quality, the display, and how the software has been implemented on these two phones. Does stock Android really make the Nokia 6.1 Plus a great phone? Shobhit talks about this phone in detail to answer that question. Then we look at the burning question, who wins in the battle that is Nokia 6.1 Plus vs Mi A2? Having used both smartphones at length, Shobhit talks about the reasons why one of them is better, as Aditya adds a couple of useful points to the discussion. Finally, we wrap up the episode by sharing our wish list for Poco F1.

This episode of Orbital is brought to you by Goalwise.

That’s all for this week’s episode of Orbital, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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