There is no doubt that Xiaomi started the price war for smartphones in India just like Jio did in the telecom industry. Though Xiaomi smartphones are now facing stiff competition from the likes of ASUS, Honor, and Realme, it still holds the crown, which is evident from the sales figures. The brand has earned quite the reputation in an average Indian’s heart, but they’ve sort of limited themselves to the sub Rs 20,000 price range.
That is going to change soon, on August 22nd to be precise. Because that’s when Xiaomi is bringing its new subsidiary – POCO, to launch the Poco F1 (Pocophone F1 in some regions) with flagship internals in India as well as some other parts of the world. Better late than never, right? Well, we’ll look into that very point in this article.
Poco F1 Specifications
Though POCO is yet to announce the Poco F1, the entire specifications of the device is doing its rounds on the internet, thanks to the leaks and unboxing videos.
In a nutshell, the smartphone sports a polycarbonate back panel, housing dual rear cameras (12MP + 5MP) along with a fingerprint scanner. It comes with a notched 6-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6GB RAM and 64GB storage (base variant), 20MP front-facing camera and is powered by a 4000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. The details mentioned here aren’t expected to change much as they’ve been obtained from actual hands-on videos themselves.
Xiaomi knowingly or unknowingly branded themselves as a budget brand in many countries including India. The last flagship Xiaomi brought to India was a seriously underpowered version of Mi 5 which didn’t do well when compared to the then “Flagship killer” – OnePlus 3. Since Xiaomi’s business model relies on the number of users in their ecosystem, they shifted their focus to the mid-range segment where they were breaking sales records.
Xiaomi made a small mistake here as they didn’t understand the small yet consistent demand for a OnePlus competitor from their beloved community. A device in that segment might not have boosted up sales figures that much but could’ve given Xiaomi a presence and an upper hand considering today’s competition.
Meanwhile, OnePlus grew quite quickly to become the best seller among smartphones priced above Rs. 30,000 in India. Now that OnePlus themselves are competing with ASUS and Huawei to secure its spot, how POCO manages to stand out remains to be seen.
From the leaked AnTuTu score, Poco F1 seems to be a beast, with the latest and greatest from Snapdragon along with better cooling and enough juice to back it up. But comparatively, it seems lacking points when it comes to design and some other areas. The point here being Poco F1 can’t break records if priced similar to the Zenfone 5Z or OnePlus 6, as it doesn’t bring anything groundbreaking compared to them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in the regular buyer’s eyes, it’ll just be one among the three.
That brings the discussion down to price. As we’ve seen, the Zenfone 5Z has stolen a good number of OnePlus 6 sales by pricing it down, which means Xiaomi has to undercut even the Zenfone 5Z to make an impact on a price-sensitive market like India. The leaked pricing for Poco F1 is US$490 for the base variant which translates to approximately Rs. 34,000. But that is the European pricing and Xiaomi usually price devices lower in India so don’t panic, at least not now.
I personally would prefer Xiaomi (or POCO, whoever does it) pricing the Poco F1 below Rs 30,000 or even below Rs.27,000, rather than aiming OnePlus 6 directly. That would not only be a better value for the performance-hungry consumers but also bring the market attention, which Xiaomi needs a lot in the segment.
Considering the fact that price of OnePlus devices are creeping up slowly and the market has a tendency to follow the top one, the Poco F1, if priced aggressively would once again disrupt the market just like the Redmi Note 3 did in 2015. Also, keep in mind that we don’t have that many options in between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 which Xiaomi can possibly change with the Poco F1
That’s just my personal opinion, what do you think? Are you excited for the Poco F1? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Naufal AJ (intern), edited and published by Atish Rajasekharan.