Xiaomi is shaking up the smartphone market with its outrageously cheap Pocophone F1. So it makes sense to take a closer look at this new candidate in the race for smartphone of the year. To get the price this cheap, the Chinese brand must have been cutting corners somewhere. Could it perhaps have been on the display?
First, let’s get to the key data for the Pocophone F1’s display: the screen has an LCD panel with a 6.18-inch diagonal and a fairly wide notch at the top. The new smartphone has a screen resolution of 2246 x 1080 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 403 ppi. There’s more to it than that, but on paper, that’s not bad.
But the results from our test speak for themselves, and they’re less generous. The maximum brightness is 454 cd/m², which isn’t very high and makes the device difficult to read in bright sunshine. The deviations in color representation and grayscales, which are expressed in Delta E values, are too high. That’s especially the case with the grayscales, which have an average of 8.11. The colors are too far from ideal, especially with cyan, magenta and white.
You’ll notice the issues with your own eyes
You’ll notice the display’s shortcoming with your eyes when you take a closer look at the Pocophone F1 display. The colors don’t shine like on an OLED panel, and the blacks aren’t quite deep enough; they seem slightly gray. The viewing angle stability is also a bit shaky, as the display darkens relatively quickly when you view it from a sharp angle. The panel also doesn’t evenly illuminate, and clear halos can be seen at the lower end.
The Pocophone F1 is well on its way in terms of contrasts: 1,302:1 is a good value for an LCD screen. In the standard setting, red and blue are also pretty close to the 100% mark, and green is exactly on it. That speaks for a balanced display.
Saving money on the display is dangerous
The settings options offered by Xiaomi on the Pocophone F1 display are quite good. Not only can you freely set the basic color temperature, the contrasts can also be adjusted in three stages (normal, increased and automatic according to ambient light). The owner of a Pocophone F1 can configure the night and reading modes in terms of intensity and also define periods during which the display switches automatically.
The bottom line is the Xiaomi Pocophone F1’s display isn’t good enough to compete in the luxury class. The weaknesses aren’t all that serious, but they run through all the major components ranging from brightness to viewing angle to color display: there’s room for improvement in all facets. But it should be noted: the Pocophone F1 can compete with top-range devices in many aspects of the equipment, but costs only $349. The smartphone’s performance is alright for this price class. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a caveat in the Pocophone F1’s amazing value for money, you’ll find it in the display.
How important is a smartphone’s display to you?