Poco, a sub-brand of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, seems to be redefining the mid-range flagship segment with the launch of the Poco F1. The smartphone offers top-of-the-line innards at a starting price of a budget mid-range device, challenging the dominance of OnePlus in its own game, and almost killing the budding new names in mid-range flagship segment, such as Asus.
A smartphone is more than just the sum of its components. This is true of every smartphone, be it one from OnePlus or Samsung, Apple, Asus or Xiaomi. Like a camera, which is more than just the megapixels, a lot more than just a processor defines a smartphone. A powerful processor, coupled with an optimised operating system, proper RAM management, healthy battery, capable camera units with software-based image enhancements algorithms, etc, are a few things that complete a smartphone. Here is a look at the key players in the mid-range segment and how they stack up against one another:
OnePlus 6: The OnePlus 6 smartphone is a result of experience that the company gathered over years. It boasts a top-notch hardware, best-in-class Android-based operating system and a premium glass-metal-glass body. Importantly, the consistent software upgrade cycles and a healthy community group that shares regular feedback to the company make this device even better with time. Poco F1
The Poco F1 is a fresh new experience. It also boasts premium innards but cuts corners on design, camera and some other features to keep the cost in check.
It is important to note that the Poco brand is part of Xiaomi, which has been a dominant player in the country with its value-for-money phones. However, the company’s last flagships did not make an impact in India’s price-conscious smartphone market due to irregular launches and uncanny price tags. Compared to OnePlus, Poco has had a similar start with the F1, which is not perfect, but sets the benchmark for future Poco-branded smartphones.
Asus Zenfone 5Z: The Asus Zenfone 5z, which is also a capable mid-range smartphone that could be considered the only alternative to the mighty OnePlus 6. The Poco F1 not only takes the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-based smartphone title from it, but also makes it look overpriced. However, Asus has so far been consistent with the support, providing regular software upgrades that continue to make the Zenfone 5z even better. However, with rising competition, it remains to be seen if Asus continues to be a relevant player in this segment.
But one thing is clear: A segment that has long been dominated by OnePlus is finally seeing some competition. With rising competition among brands, the consumer is sure to be the real winner.