Our pick

POCO F1

Still great

OnePlus 6

There isn't a phone in the market today that can hold up to the POCO F1 when it comes to value. By offering a Snapdragon 845-powered phone for just $300, POCO has made every player in the smartphone industry stand up and take notice.

$290 at Flipkart

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Flagship-level performance
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Notched display
  • No NFC
  • Limited availability

The OnePlus 6 continues to be a great choice in the $500 segment, but it does end up looking expensive next to the POCO F1. OnePlus has steadily hiked the price of its phones over the last four years, and while the $529 figure is still around half what you pay for a Note 9, there are plenty of phones in this segment that offer a similar package.

$529 at OnePlus

Pros

  • Gorgeous AMOLED display
  • Premium design
  • Clean software experience

Cons

  • Notch
  • No wireless charging
  • Costly by comparison

When we're talking about phones in this segment, we primarily focus on value. And right now, no device does that better than the POCO F1. The F1 fundamentally changes how we view phones in this category, and sets a new standard for affordable flagships.

POCO F1 redefines value in this category

POCO F1

In a lot of ways, the POCO F1 is like the OnePlus One. When OnePlus launched its first phone back in 2014, it took the industry by storm thanks to a combination of robust hardware and low price.

POCO is following the same formula with the F1. The phone has a basic polycarbonate chassis and a decent display, but that sets it apart is the fact that it costs just $300 and is powered by the Snapdragon 845 and has LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage as standard.

POCO F1 OnePlus 6
Operating system Android 8.1 Oreo
MIUI for POCO
Android 8.1 Oreo
OxygenOS 5.1.11
Display 6.18-inch IPS LCD, 2248x1080 (19:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
6-inch Optic AMOLED, 2160x1080 (18:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
Chipset Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
4x2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4x1.70 Kryo 385
Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
4x2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4x1.70 Kryo 385
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 630
RAM 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X 6/8GB LPDDR4X
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1) 64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1)
Rear camera 1 12MP, 1.4μm, f/1.9
Dual PDAF
16MP, 1.22μm, f/1.7
OIS, EIS
Dual LED flash
4K@60FPS, 720p@480FPS
Rear camera 2 5MP, 1.12μm, f/2.0 20MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/1.7
Front camera 20MP, 0.9μm, f/2.0 16MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/2.0
Battery 4000mAh 3300mAh
Charging USB-C
Quick Charge 3.0
USB-C
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
Water resistance No Splash resistant (no IP rating)
Security Fingerprint sensor
Face unlock
Fingerprint sensor
Face unlock
Dimensions 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm
180g
155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm
177g
Variants Black, Blue, Red, Kevlar Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk White, Amber Red

The hardware on offer has allowed POCO to stand out in an increasingly crowded market, and take the fight to established players like OnePlus. The POCO F1 is by no means as refined as the OnePlus 6, nor does it have as many features. The lack of NFC in particular makes the F1 a dealbreaker in many Western markets, but there's no arguing that it offers the best value in the handset space today.

The POCO F1 isn't as refined as the OnePlus 6, but it doesn't need to be.

Where the F1 truly excels is at battery life. With a 4000mAh battery under the hood, the phone delivers two days' worth of usage consistently. Xiaomi has led the way in this category for some time now, and the F1 continues that tradition. If you're in the market for a flagship that offers two-day battery life, look no further.

Nothing comes close at $300

By undercutting the OnePlus 6 by over $200, POCO has managed to offer a phone that breaks new ground when it comes to value. The phone will be making its debut in the UK and other Western markets over the course of 2018, but it will not be heading to the U.S. That's a shame, because the F1 is the best example yet that you don't need to shell out over $300 to get a flagship-tier phone.

Our pick

POCO F1

Redefines the value segment

The POCO F1 is designed to offer the most amount of value for your money, and it manages to do just that. If you're looking for the best hardware at the lowest cost, then the F1 is the device to get.

Still great

OnePlus 6

Refinement comes at a price

The OnePlus 6 is a more refined product, but at $529 it costs $200 more than the POCO F1. And that's a lot of money when you consider both phones share the same internal hardware.

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