Lately we’ve been dazzled by all-glass flagships that feature mouth-watering specs and spectacular dual-camera (or triple-camera!) setups, offering the latest technology the market has to offer. But these same devices often feature painfully high retail prices. As good as the iPhone XS is, it’s tough to stomach the $999 starting price.
So, when Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 arrived with its high-end specs and affordable price, we had to check it out. The device features a beastly list of specs, including a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4,000mAh battery, 6.18-inch 1080p display, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of expandable storage. Yes, it’s a powerful device, and it starts at $299.
While we know the phone is powerful, we were most interested in what kind of pictures it can produce—arguably a phone’s most important feature beyond the design.
The Pocophone F1 features a main 12MP f/1.9 camera with a pixel size of 1.4µm and phase detection autofocus, similar to the iPhone XS and Google Pixel 2. The second lens features a 5MP sensor with f/2.0 and a depth sensor, allowing users to utilize portrait mode capabilities.
The camera app itself is pretty barebones, offering a handful of different shooting modes and quick access to settings such as HDR, flash, and more—all pretty typical for a camera app. There’s also a feature to quickly apply a filter in real time, which is a nice touch and allows users to imbue some creativity.
Using the device around the office, the Pocophone F1’s camera was easy and enjoyable, not much different than using any other device. However, I did notice a few hiccups while navigating through different shooting modes—it froze up on me a few times. I can let it slide cause I was taking static photos of objects around our office, but If I were trying to take a picture of my dog or something that was moving, that wouldn’t be acceptable.
Otherwise, camera performance is snappy and focus is reasonably quick. Like many other companies, the Pocophone F1 features AI camera features that detect the scene and adjust settings based on what it’s looking at, including food, landscape, and more.
As for quality, we’ll let you be the judge. To our eye, pictures look detailed and vibrant, with decent exposure and saturated colors. Portrait mode also returns surprisingly good results—much better than you’d think a $299 phone would. But can it compete with phones that are several hundred dollars more?
Check out the gallery above and let us know how you think the Pocophone F1’s camera performs.