After launching the Pocophone F1 in India last week, Xiaomi is announcing global availability for the low-cost/high-spec smartphone. It will be available in a number of markets in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. But like most Xiaomi smartphones it won’t be sold directly to consumers in the US or Canada.
You may still be able to buy one from third-party sellers that import the phone. But if you do that you can probably expect to pay a little extra to get a phone that may have limited support for the wireless networks you need.
Among other things, the Pocophone F1 features a 6.2 inch, 2246 x 1080 pixel display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, at least 6GB of RAM, at least 64GB of storage, dual rear cameras, a 20MP front camera, stereo speakers, a 4,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support, a USB Type-C port, a headset jack, and a microSD card slot.
It also supports 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and a fingerprint sensor, and the phone has a face unlock feature that uses an infrared illuminator so that it can be used in the dark.
The most remarkable thing about the phone is that despite having high-end specs, it sells for less than half the price of competing flagships. Prices in India start at about $300.
It’ll cost a bit more in some markets, but it’s still a bargain compared with other phones with similar specs:
- €329 (~$380) and up in France
- 2,800 (~$360) HKD and up in Hong Kong
- 17,990 PHP (~340) and up in the Philippines
- 4,499,000 IDR (~$310) and up in Indonesia
- 1,237 MYR ($~300) and up in Malaysia
The phone isn’t necessarily perfect: it doesn’t have NFC and there’s no optical image stabilization for the cameras. There’s a notch in the top of the display, and the phone has a polycarbonate body (although there’s also an option for a pricier version with a Kevlar back).
Still, the price is pretty hard to beat, and Xiaomi is clearly targeting this phone at enthusiasts as well as mainstream consumers: the Pocophone F1 has an unlockable bootloader and Xiaomi plans to release kernel source code to the public this week.
Update: The kernel source is available.