Pocophone F1 Review

- Introduction -
- Physical features -
- Audio -
- Display -
- Performance -
- Bootloader unlocking -
- Repairability -
- Custom ROM & Kernel Availability -
- Other issues -
- Conclusion -

Introduction

The Pocophone is the first device I've modded, for the historical value (or lack of).

Physical features

The F1 feels like a budget phone with its plastic back, but I'd say that's actually fine. The top section houses the secondary mic & headphone jack at the right corner, USB-C charging port, speaker, & primary mic on the bottom corner, left for volume & power buttons, right for the hybrid dual SIM tray, back holds rear cameras & fingerprint scanner.

One thing I'd actually knock the F1 for is the display's drop resistance.

JerryRigEverything durability test video

Audio Quality

The F1 has a bottom loudspeaker + earpiece stereo combo & a headphone jack.

The speaker quality is passable. The earpiece is somewhat drowned out by the loudspeaker though.

The headphone jack quality is kinda passable. Loudness wise, it squarely falls into "average" territory.

Display

The 6.18 inch 18.7:9 LCD is passable, ignoring its issues. Issue examples include:

To clarify, I have changed the F1's display more than 8 times, and all of the displays had a combination of issues, which can be seen above. Surely I couldn't ask for more considering how much this cost, but when secondhand flagships (mostly ones with better displays) are available for cheaper than a brand new F1, the display fell below my standards.

Performance

Tested with "stock+" kernels: Canting, Optimus Drunk, Twisted, & Silvercore.

Will run PUBG at Smooth / Extreme. Fate/GO is also running at full 60hz without issues. In terms of heat, you won't really feel it due to the plastic back - though I still advise playing in front of a fan.

As of now, and counting into the future, the F1 will be my last device to run PUBG.

Note about Silvercore kernel : This kernel has GPU overclocked at 820mhz (22/08 build removed GPU OC).

Bootloader unlocking

This is the worst part of the F1, no questions asked. You need a Xiaomi account, have to submit your phone number to Xiaomi servers, and use a proprietary Windows-only application to unlock its bootloader. That, combined with 72 real-world hours of wait time (which gets triggered somewhere around the unlocker app as far as I remember), makes it the worst.

munchy's bootloader unlock video

Repairability

The hardest part of the F1 is removing the back shell. Not the screws, but the unclipping of the shell itself.

Once inside though, it's straightforward from there on out, except for the headphone jack - it's soldered to the motherboard.

JerryRigEverything's teardown video.

Custom ROM & Kernel Availability

In terms of custom ROMs... don't bother asking, there's a kiloton of it, from venerated ones such as Lineage to newfangled ones like Evo-X(urgh). There's a lot of it, from the XDA development thread to the Telegram channel.

Kernel wise, the F1's doing awesome, as it has Optimus Drunk, Twisted, Silvercore, Canting, & that's only an example that worked well for me. Well, if I had to name a kernel to avoid, that'll be LawRun, due to its numerous issues such as random screen freezes & reboots, & a privacy-hostile download link (ads galore).

Silvercore is the only custom kernel for F1 not available in XDA. It's available in the Reignz Updates Telegram Channel.

Other issues

Generally, there's not much problems with the F1, aside from:

Conclusion

In conclusion, just because of the bootloader unlocking method, this device is my first & last full-on Xiaomi PDA. Welp, I did neglected mentioning the Mi A1, but that's an Android One device - and has the same fastboot oem unlock bootloader unlocking as a Pixel device.

Back to top

PDA Reviews

Main Page