Do Rs 1 lakh phones make sense?
What are we up to?
Pitting 2018’s most contradictory phones against each other – the Poco F1 provides top-notch hardware at a shockingly low price, whereas the iPhone XS Max [review] brings the best of Apple at an exorbitant price.
The point is, while the iPhone XS Max costs 4x the Poco F1, is it 4x the phone? In other words, with great value for money phones like the Poco F1 in the market, does it even make sense to squander over a lakh rupees on a smartphone?
- Durable build: The Poco F1 is fully made of polycarbonate, and before you claim that it may feel ‘cheap’, keep in mind that people buy premium glass sandwich phones just to put them protected inside a plastic/ rubber case, funny! With the F1, you can totally skip using a case and still not worry about anything shattering or badly scratching.
- Infrared face unlock AND fingerprint scanner: The Pocofone F1 has an infrared-based face unlock which is ridiculously quick. In fact, just press the power button, look at the phone and you’re done! With the iPhone, you have to swipe up to go to the home screen. If you don’t like staring at your phone, then there’s a good old rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for you as well.
- Fast charger: It’s hilarious how Apple expects you to separately purchase fast charging hardware on top of its already overpriced XS Max. The F1, on the other hand, comes with an 18W fast charger inside the box, which charges its 4,000mAh at almost twice the speed of what Apple’s charger does.
- Wide-angle front camera: Like taking a lot of group selfies? Well, the F1’s front camera will then please you with its wider field of view thanks to which you can squeeze more people into the frame.
- Headphone jack: It’s funny how the 3.5 mm headphone jack is now a feature, but it is how it is. The Poco has it, whereas with the iPhone, either you embrace the dongle life, or buy the AirPods (Apple would love if you do the latter).
- Cameras (photos): The XS Max’s cameras outdo the ones on the Poco F1 in most scenarios. While the F1 takes good photos in isolation, the pics from the iPhone have better dynamic range and white balance. During dimly lit scenarios, the gap widens further with the iPhone producing less noisy results. Then, the secondary telephoto lens on Apple is far more useful than the depth sensing unit on the Poco.
- Cameras (videos): The iPhone, again takes better videos than the Poco. Also, iPhone’s OIS works much better at stabilising shakes than the Poco’s EIS.
- Better RAM management: Even though the F1 has more RAM (6/ 8GB) on paper, the iPhone nails it with its RAM management. The 4GB RAM on the XS Max is enough to keep the most demanding apps and games in memory. The Poco, on the other hand, has the tendency to occasionally reload heavy apps.
- Water/ dust proofing: While the F1 has a more durable polycarbonate body it lacks any form of IP rating due to cost-saving reasons. The iPhone XS Max is IP68 certified, which means you can use it in wet conditions without worrying much.
- Screen: While there’s nothing wrong with the Poco F1’s IPS LCD, those who’ve used an OLED know that the viewing experience on the latter is much more pleasing. So, the Samsung-sourced OLED on the iPhone will provide you with punchier colours a majority of times.
So, where do we go from here?
Let’s cut to the chase – when compared to the Poco F1, the XS Max is not 4x the phone. But, if you presently want the latest and greatest from the world of iOS, you have to be deep-pocketed – that’s how Apple works.
In a lot of cases, the Poco will gracefully keep up with the iPhone, despite costing 1/4th of the former. That’s the forte of these flagship killers – time and again they prove that spending a fortune on a phone is more about indulgence than a pragmatic decision.
So, are true flagships worthless?
In one word, no! Manufacturers always reserve some great things exclusively for their flagship devices, which flagship killers, for cost-saving reasons, cannot quite have. Two most important of these are:
- Cameras: Be it iPhones or top Android flagships, these phones will always outclass mid-rangers/ flagship killers with their superior camera hardware and software. So, if photography/ videography is your priority, it’s worth spending money on expensive phones.
- Industry-leading features: If you’re a tech-savvy person and fancy having wireless charging or some brand new tech that a company has to offer, then you have to shell out more money on a true flagship. Flagship killers get these features eventually, but only when they become common.
Therefore, true flagships, be it Android or iOS, have their strengths. But just don’t be jealous seeing a Poco F1 or OnePlus 6T [review] user keeping up with your expensive phone in most scenarios. It is bound to happen!
|Xiaomi Poco F1||Apple iPhone XS Max|
|Display||6.1-inch IPS LCD||6.5-inch OLED|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 845||A12 Bionic|
|GPU||Aderno 630||Apple quad-core|
|Storage||64/128/256 GB||64/256/512 GB|
|Rear Cameras||12MP (f/1.9) Primary + 5 MP (f/2.0) Depth Sensor||
12MP (f/1.8) Primary + 12MP (f/2.4) Telephoto
|Front Camera||20MP f/2.0||7MP f/2.2|
|Price||Rs 19,999 – 28,999||Rs 1.10 – 1.44 lakh|