The amazing $300 Pocophone F1 is so fast, it uses water inside to keep cool

pocophone f1 news armoured edition

Choosing a partner in whatever you do is important, and although you may not recognize the Pocophone name, the new company has worked very closely with Xiaomi, a name known to many more people, to produce its first phone — the Pocophone F1. How close? This is an ongoing partnership, right down to the branding on the back of the device, which proudly states, “Pocophone by Xiaomi.”

That’s what you need to know about the name, so what about the F1? It has the latest, and fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor inside with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, a 6.18-inch screen with a 2,246 x 1080 pixel resolution (and a notch), a 4,000mAh battery, a dual-lens camera with artificial intelligence, and even water-cooling.

We know what you’re thinking. This is a flagship to rival those from OnePlus, Honor, and even Samsung and LG. The on-paper tech specs are as high-end as phones get, yet the Pocophone F1’s price is just $300, converted over from its international price. That’s cheaper than the OnePlus 6, the LG G7, the Galaxy Note 9, and every other Snapdragon 845 phone out there.

A closer look

pocophone f1 news red

Let’s look a little deeper. The Snapdragon 845 is paired with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal memory, plus an 8GB/256GB model will also be available in certain markets. It uses water-cooling, just like the Galaxy Note 9 and several Nokia phones, to keep the phone running at an optimum temperature. The dual-lens camera has a main, 12 megapixel lens with dual-pixel autofocus, a 1.4nm pixel size, and an f/1.9 aperture. The secondary lens has 5 megapixels, while the selfie camera inside the notch on the front has 20 megapixels and clever pixel boosting technology to reduce noise and improve low-light selfie performance.

The cameras both provide a bokeh mode, along with artificial intelligence for scene recognition, portrait mode, and a beauty mode. On the back of the phone is a fingerprint sensor, and in the near future an infrared sensor above the screen will be activated in a software update to provide secure face-unlock too. The feature list continues with Quick Charge 3.0 for the 4,000mAh battery, Bluetooth 5.0, dual-SIM support, a MicroSD card holder, and Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface over Android 8.1.

Where’s the catch?

pocophone f1 news blue

By now, you’re wondering what the catch is. How is this phone offered for so little? This is partly where Xiaomi’s partnership is so helpful, as it already has the manufacturing expertise and market power needed to create a phone like this, and supplies not only the software but the camera system, too — all ready to go, and all tested on other devices. Additionally, unlike the iPhone X, Note 9, and other expensive phones, the Pocophone F1 is not made of a premium material like glass. It’s made of polycarbonate, and is 8.8mm thick. This gives the company wiggle room inside the device for components, and reduces the cost of parts and manufacturing. Making curvy glass phones is expensive.

This isn’t to say the Pocophone is ugly. It’s not. There has been plenty of thought put into making the phone feel slim in the hand, and the 180-gram weight is perfectly acceptable today. It comes in blue, red, or black; but we love the Armoured Edition, which has a genuine Kevlar rear panel complete with exposed fiber weave. It looks great. The 8GB/256GB Armoured Edition is the most expensive F1 phone at about $430, or 30,000 Indian rupees, while the cheapest 6GB/64GB in red, black, or blue is about $300, or 21,000 Indian rupees.

Currently ready for release in India, where it’s known as the Poco F1, Pocophone intends to sell the F1 everywhere Xiaomi phones are available, which will include parts of Europe where the brand has recently made a considerable splash. It has announced Hong Kong, Indonesia, and France are next.  While the U.K. and the U.S. are not officially on the list yet, there is a chance this may change in the future. Given the Pocophone’s specs and incredibly tempting price, we hope the change happens sooner rather than later.


Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…

Walmart drops a killer deal on the Apple iPad Mini 4 tablet

The Apple iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet market, and the pint-sized 7.9-inch iPad Mini is the perfect everyday carry companion. Now’s the perfect chance to score a deal on the last-gen iPad Mini 4 before it’s gone for good.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

Solve a galaxy of problems with a simple reset of your S10

If your Samsung smartphone is acting up, then you may want to try resetting it. We'll show you how to overcome simple issues with a soft reset and also how to tackle bigger problems or prep it for sale with a factory reset.

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.

iFixit's teardown might show the reason the Galaxy Fold keeps breaking

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.