Opinion, Smartphone

Pocophone F1 – Why It’s Still Relevant in 2019

The Pocophone F1 was released back in the second half of 2018, and it was an excellent flagship smartphone with great value for money. But it’s been a while since it was launched in Malaysia; is the phone still relevant in 2019?

Well, in our opinion, the Pocophone F1 is still a very good smartphone to get right now. Here are a few reasons why the F1 is one of the best phones you can buy in early 2019.

First of all, the Pocophone F1 is a powerful smartphone. After all, it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset; a fast, flagship-tier SoC. In fact, until the Snapdragon 855 is available in a consumer-ready smartphone, the 845 is still the best chipset you can get from Qualcomm right now.

This reason alone makes the Pocophone F1 an extremely compelling device. Not only are you getting comparable performance to flagship smartphones that cost much more than the F1, you’d be hard-pressed to find a different device with this kind of performance at this price point – more on that later.

Besides that, the Pocophone F1 has impressive battery life too. Thanks to the phone’s combination of a 1080p screen and a large 4,000mAh battery, we managed to get close to eight hours of screen on time with the F1 in our review. That’s really impressive, and not many phones can match the Pocophone F1’s battery life. If you’re a light smartphone user, we reckon you can get up to two days of usage with this phone.

But there is one small caveat: the Pocophone F1’s charging rate isn’t particularly impressive. In our testing, the phone only charged up to 35% – from empty, of course – within 30 minutes of charging. It’s not a fast charging rate, but at the same time, it’s not particularly bad either.

Surprisingly enough, despite its affordable price tag, the Pocophone F1 has good camera performance as well. The 12MP + 5MP dual camera system performs admirably regardless of lighting conditions, and although the low light performance could still use some work, it’s still really good for a phone at this price point.

If you want even better camera performance on the Pocophone F1, you can just install GCam; a camera app ported from the Pixel smartphones. However, do note that GCam doesn’t have any official support, and you will have to sideload the app.

Fortunately, you don’t need to root your Pocophone F1 to install the custom camera app. This makes it a lot more accessible to the average smartphone user.

In my opinion, the best reason to get the Pocophone F1 is for its exceptional value for money. Right now, you can get the 128GB variant of the F1 with 6GB of RAM well below its original RM1,599 launch price; some retailers are offering it for as low as RM1,399. The 64GB model with 6GB of RAM, on the other hand, can easily be bought for only RM1,199. This variant used to retail at RM1,299 when it was first introduced in Malaysia.

At these price points, there are practically no phones in the market now that offer the same package as the Pocophone F1. These include impressive battery life, flagship-level performance, and commendable camera performance.

That being said, you do have to live with the Pocophone F1’s inexpensive build material (read: plastic), notched display, as well as lack of NFC. Given the affordable price tag of the phone, sacrifices had to be made here and there.

As a whole, the Pocophone F1 is still very relevant in 2019. It’s an excellent, polished product, and at this point in time, it’s still comfortably the king of affordable flagship smartphones. If you want to learn more about the F1, check out our comprehensive review of the phone right here.

But as the year progresses, there will be other phones that are superior to the Pocophone F1, either in performance, longevity, or value for money – it’s bound to happen in the smartphone market. However, if you’re looking to get a new phone right now, the F1 is a fantastic option.