Chinese internet giant, Xiaomi, is expanding its footprint with the launch of a new sub-brand Poco. The company marked the global debut of the brand with the launch of Poco F1 in the Indian market. Poco, as the company explains, has Xiaomi's backing yet is free to design products from the scratch. Featuring top-of-the-line specifications such as Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 4000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, and dual camera setup at the rear, Poco F1 will be available in four different variants with a starting price of Rs 20,999.
Jai Mani, Head of Product, POCO Global, says, "POCO stands for 'a little' - we believe in starting small but dreaming big. As a small outfit within Xiaomi, POCO has the freedom to start from scratch, zeroing in on the product choices and technologies that matter. This is why we have created a smartphone that delivers unbelievable performance, focusing on the core innovations that truly matter, which we believe will resonate with tech enthusiasts."
Poco F1 features a 6.18-inch full HD+ display with a notch and 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The notch houses a 20-megapixel front camera, proximity sensor, earpiece along with the Infrared lens and Infrared lighting for Face Unlock, which Poco claims is quite fast and secure. Measuring 155.5mm x 75.3mm x 8.8mm, the smartphone weighs 180 grams and has a fingerprint scanner at the rear. It has a hard-coated polycarbonate unibody that undergoes a seven-layer colour process and has a reinforced internal frame structure. Running MIUI 9.6 based on Android Oreo, it is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, with liquid cool technology for high-efficiency thermal performance. As the CPU heats, fluid inside the cooling module evaporates to vapour, moving to the cooler end, where it recondenses as liquid for letting F1 dissipate heat quickly, explains the company.
Even the MIUI has been customised for a lighter and faster experience. For instance it has a system optimisation feature called 'turbocharged engine', for faster app launches on the phone, faster gaming performance, as well as a faster-swiping experience, due to enhancements in the screen response and animation frame rate. The app drawer can automatically categorise apps, helping the user find apps easily. In India, MIUI for POCO incorporates taxi, music, and video streaming services. Based on Android 8.1 Oreo, MIUI for POCO will receive regular patches and updates from Google and Android P update in the near future.
For imaging, Poco features an AI dual camera with a 12MP Sony IMX363 primary sensor and a 5 MP secondary sensor with Dual Pixel Autofocus, and a 20MP front camera with Super Pixel. Both the rear and front cameras are supported by AI features for photos, such as AI Portrait, AI Beautify, and AI Scene Detection. This is a dual SIM smartphone, with support for Bluetooth 5.0, 4000 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and Type C port.
The phone will be available from August 29, in polycarbonate backs and in three variants Graphite Black, Steel Blue, and Rosso Red. The 6GB+64GB variant will be available for Rs 20,999, 6GB+128GB variant for Rs 23,999, and the 8GB+256GB variant for Rs 28,999. There is also an Armoured Edition with 8GB+256GB configuration that will cost Rs 29,999.
Until now, Xiaomi has been ruling the sub Rs 15,000 segment with its Redmi and Redmi Note range of devices. The company has been launching one flagship smartphone every year in India, for instance, the Xiaomi Mi 5 in 2016 and Mi Mix 2 in 2017, but both these devices were outshined by OnePlus' devices. However, the Poco F1 packs in the latest specifications at a very aggressive pricing, which will give a tough competition to OnePlus 6 and Honor 10.