So recently, I have been pondering the idea of having to upgrade my phone with one of the modern releases we’ve been treated to over the year. Silly given that we’re nearing 2019 already and the new flagships for most of the popular brands like Samsung, Apple, Google, Sony etc are just around the corner. But that’s where you might not know me well enough.

Since December 2017, I rocked the SUPER outdated Samsung J5 Prime as a result of my stupidity and never really bothered to spend on more than B$500 for a handphone with all these wireless charging, touch sensor, waterproof shenanigans anymore…

….until they announced the Pocophone F1.

If you know me well, I’m not exactly the most latest tech chaser as most people tend to be but I do enjoy some of the perks that most phones now have to offer. I appreciate a good camera, slick interface and the occasional speeds of having Pokemon Go launch within seconds of a touch. But I never liked the inflated prices that they’re all slabbed with that could easily amount to a high spec gaming PC.

So after much thought and debate with fellow Geekturf writer, Haadi, I have officially dubbed THE phone of choice (and maybe even the year) to Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1.

The Pocophone F1 was launched in August 2018 and to this day, continues to baffle users and reviews with its high specifications for a low budget price. I mentioned price being a tricky pick for me when it comes to phones so having the Pocophone F1 priced at about BND450 was a good done deal. But, is it really worth the low price tag when its specs are said to even compete with the big guns of Apple, Samsung and Google?

I could hit you with the tech jargon like a Snapdragon 845 chipset or 6GB of RAM, or 4000mAh battery but that really wouldn’t put things into perspective so I’ll simplify it for you with the basics.

I restart my phone and it’s ready for use in 20-25 seconds. I play Hearthstone and Pokemon Go for at least 2 hours in my day (each respectively) and still have about 20 per cent worth of battery charge at the end of my day. I can juggle writing this article on my phone while peeping at my Instagram feed in multitask as easy as you reach for your bag of chips while watching TV.

Right now you’re probably thinking, “Dude, I could easily do that on my iPhone/Samsung/Pixel already!” and you’re right. But you could have easily saved B$500-B$1000 doing it.

The Pocophone F1 is a beast of a phone in the most casual-est designs. Kind of like how you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, this phone packs a punch without the discrimination of its affordable price which many of us often associate with having a catch – “It must have a horrible camera!”, “It’s probably too slow!” or even “I’d drop it once and it’ll be dead!”. But in all honesty, it really isn’t so bad.

This phone clearly demonstrates how inflation and expectation have dictated our consumer habits into thinking that spending more equals quality for phones but at its core, certain companies like Xiaomi are still able to deliver on that promise of quality within a reasonable level of expectation.

To side track for a second, the Pocophone F1 is also able to reach its FULL potential that many may not even know about on the surface.

A week after I got the Pocophone F1, a friend of mine recommended that I root my phone to look and even feel like a Google Pixel 3. The process gets quite technical and very tedious but after some heavy research and feedback, I can safely say that my Pocophone F1 is now waaaay better than a Google Pixel 3.

With the Pocophone’s speed, the Pixel Experience now peaks to a whole new level in which I dare say is enough to compete with a Razer Phone without the exaggeration. But ultimately, the Pocophone’s camera is what really benefits from Google’s Pixel software. The Google Camera app is already a beast on the Pixel 3 especially with its Lens and Night Sight features. Now imagine that with the Pocophone’s dual camera which then further enhances your pictures, with some minor tweaking of course. And finally, NO BLOATWARE!

Here’s a quick pic using Google’s Night Sight feature of last week’s Geminids meteor sighting:

VERDICT: The Pocophone F1 is nonetheless a great phone with a great price! Even with Xiaomi’s stock POCO Launcher, it still is a phone that could easily match the Top Dogs in the 2018 scene. Unlocking its potential is just a bonus for phone/tech enthusiasts who want a bit more bang for their buck.

Only time will tell how long this phone will stand against the coming tide of 2019 phones and beyond but if you’re thrifty with phone prices then you’d definitely go Loco for Poco’.

PS: The Pocophone F1 recently came in second place in MKBHD’s blind mobile photo competition, knocking out the iPhone, Samsung and even Google Pixel 3. Be sure to check out his video!

Also, for those who want to go with the Pixel 3 Experience for their Pocophones, understanding that this voids your warranty which we are in no way responsible for, check out LinusTech’s The Ultimate Pixel 3 Killer video for the perks and how to go about it.

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