Gadget Enthusiast

The New Pocophone Could Make Me A Pro Mobile E-Sports Gamer If I Practice More

  • The Pocophone F1 is a sub brand of Xiaomi which is known for their budget friendly phones.
  • Key features include a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4,000 mAh with QC 4.0, 6/8GB RAM and Liquid Cooling technology with a price point starting at just RM1237.

Just one day before we celebrated our 61st National Day on the 31st of August 2018, I and a number of people around the world were celebrating for another reason—the launch of a phone dubbed as the “flagship killer-killer”, the Pocophone F1.

Pocophone was originally designed based off feedback that they got from a reddit thread where they asked users what they want to see in a phone.

This came at right time for me as I was looking for an upgrade from my ASUS Zenfone Max 3 which I used for almost 2 years.

As I was picking up more mobile games such as MapleStory M, Dragon Nest SEA, Brawl Stars and also PUBG, I needed a better phone with better specs than my 3GB/64GB phone and I was looking to get a mid-tier phone priced around RM1000 to 1500 which would be perfect for gaming.

With a few phones in mind that fit in that budget including the Huawei Nova 3i, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Honor Play, I was leaning more to the Asus as it was more affordable with a 6GB/64GB and Snapdragon 636 chipset costing at around RM999.

As gaming and speed were my main criteria it was the best suited phone for me at that point of time, until news about a phone called Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi was released.

The Pocophone F1 with the box it comes in.

As it piqued my interest, I put my Asus phone plans on hold and went to watch the global launch. After that, I was sold onto the idea of the Pocophone F1 as the “master of speed” and I had to get my hands on it asap! So on 30th August midnight sharp, I went on Lazada to get the 6/64GB version.

Hardware Specs
Display 6.18 inch IPS LCD display, 1080 x 2246 pixels, 18.7:9 aspect ratio
Dimensions & Weight 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm (6.12 x 2.96 x 0.35 in) 180 grams
Camera Dual Rear Camera: 12MP, f/1.9, dual pixel PDAF + 5MP f/2.0, depth sensor

Front: 20MP selfie camera

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory 6GB or 8GB RAM (At time of writing, only 6GB available in Malaysia)
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB, expandable storage up to 256GB
Battery 4,000 mAh

The Master At Pricing

As it’s branded as the master of speed, it truly lives up to its name as it packs the latest Snapdragon 845 processor which is mostly used in top end flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and One Plus 6.

However, if the Pocophone F1 uses the same processor such as flagship phones, what makes it so special?

To put it in simple terms, what do Malaysians pay the most attention to when buying products? You guessed it right, the price!

The Pocophone F1 comes at only RM1237 6/64GB and RM 1428 6/128GB. With such prices it is a fraction of the price of any flagship phone out there that have the same specs as the Pocophone F1.

AnTuTu scores among Android phones.

The 6GB/128GB variant comes at 8th place among Android phones on the AnTuTu Benchmark losing only to the likes of flagship phones that cost more than close to double its price. Furthermore, the 8GB/256GB variant isn’t even released yet.

Focusing On Speed But Lacking In Other Aspects

With such an attractive price, there are sure to be some downfalls as the Pocophone F1 cannot be a perfect phone without some cutbacks. Firstly, the Pocophone F1 uses Gorilla 3 Glass which is totally outdated as newer phones are already using Gorilla Glass 6.

The phone comes in blue, red, black and even a special “Armored” edition (not released in Malaysia yet) which has a rubbery Kevlar backing. For me, I settled with the black colour and although it has a polycarbonate back it still feels solid in the hand.

The front and back of the Pocophone F1.

However, the polycarbonate back is easily scratched, which I found out when I inserted a metal plate there for my magnet phone holder in my car.

So please learn from my mistake and don’t put anything behind it, just cover the phone with the casing that is provided in the box. Furthermore, the front display has a thick and wide notch and also a huge chin, which may be and issue to some.

The most talked about downside of this phone is the inability to watch Netflix on HD. Netflix requires the Widevine L1 to stream in HD and the Pocophone F1 only has Widevine L3 support.

The OnePlus 5 and 5T also had the same problem in the beginning and users fixed it by sending back their phones to receive replacements with updated firmware. So hopefully, we will see Xiaomi doing something about it in the future. However, if Netflix HD is the least of your worries, it wouldn’t bother you too much.

A Gamer’s Dream

As the main feature of the phone is speed/gaming, it fulfilled my goal of getting a new phone as all I wanted to do was play heavy duty games. From PUBG to Mobile Legends, the Pocophone F1 is so fast that I now even have to wait for others to load into the game!

I’m Zezima by the way (Runescape OGs will know who he is)

The experience with gaming is also very smooth that I can even set the highest settings for PUBG. Check it out I even managed to get a winner winner chicken dinner during my first game after months of not playing (against real players fyi).

Winner winner chicken dinner!

The most amazing part of this phone that makes it perfect for gamers is that it has liquid cooling technology which is designed to reduce CPU heat.

With my previous phone always heating up after half an hour of playing Mobile Legends, it is a huge difference now as the Pocophone F1 doesn’t heat up even after hours of gaming.

Picturesque Or Not?

Although the Pocophone F1 is known for speed and mainly for gaming, it packs a decent dual rear camera setup. The cameras come with a bokeh mode, artificial intelligence for scene recognition being able to detect up to 25 different categories of objects and up to 206 different scenes.

A beautiful sunset of Kuala Lumpur.
Our lovely office cat, Cookie taking a nap.
Cookie looking pissed with me taking pictures of her.

However, in low light settings it doesn’t perform the best.

Normal light vs low light settings in KL

It still does its job especially the infrared camera located in the notch which helps with face unlock. Although it works well even in a dark room, sometimes it requires me to open my eyes wider or make my lips more visible.

It also doesn’t have image stabilisation so those that don’t have steady hands might have an issue taking selfies.

Me and my colleagues playing Dota 2.

Anyway the phone’s main feature isn’t the camera as they want to focus on the speed so don’t put too much hope on it. It does a decent job, but if the camera is your priority, this is not the phone for you.

Verdict

Overall, the Pocophone F1 meets my requirements of a gaming phone and it has served me well for the past week. With a 4,000 mAh battery it lasts a whole day. Even with a couple hours of PUBG I still can go to sleep with around 10-20% of battery left.

Even if you’re not into gaming but would like to get a phone that is worth every ringgit, I recommend you to get the Pocophone F1 as it’s the cheapest out there with the fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor inside with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, a 6.18-inch screen, a 4,000mAh battery, a dual-lens camera setup with AI recognition, and even liquid-cooling! What more can you ask for?

At RM1,237 for the 6GB/64GB and RM1,428 for the 6GB/128GB variant, it beats its closest competitors by a mile with such pricing.

Furthermore, the developers are constantly fixing bugs and pushing out updates weekly to improve the phone further, with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 recently announced and that the phone is also splash proof.

For those Android heads out there, although the Pocophone F1 runs on MIUI, the Pocophone F1 has its own MIUI which is modified for speed and Android Pie is slated for release by the end of the year.

  • Do note that you can only get the 6GB/64GB variant on Lazada and the 6GB/128GB variant in physical stores.
  • If you would like to know more about the Pocophone F1 you can check out their social media here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.

 

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