The Roco F1 was probably the hottest debut for any brand's product to hit the Indian market in years. It has changed what consumers will expect from affordable flagships, and now, the Roco F2 will try to live up to that legacy.
Xiaomi's dream in India has been driven by exceptionally low-cost smartphones for an extremely price-sensitive market. Fun fact, only the Redmi Note series of budget smartphones outperform most other smartphone brands. With the ball in court, Xiaomi did not know that they should try and replicate this model in a higher price segment. The answer came in the form of Pocophone, Xiaomi's sub-brand that will focus on gaming phones.
Back in the day, gaming phones were almost ordinary smartphones with bold designs and top-of-the-line specs. The Roko F1 has nailed that aspect by bringing the flagship Snapdragon 845 silicon processor into the 30K price sub-segment. This range of products was a masterstroke and made the F1 one of the most popular smartphones of its time, especially when mobile gaming is picking up again. India is known to be a processor-oriented market, and Poco F1 tickled the right spot.
Of course, this left consumers hoping for the Poco F2 to retain the same DNA and bring incredible performance for the price. But it's been almost a year since the launch of F1, and there's still no word on the existence of F2 from the company, raising questions about how we should even expect it in this case.
Get to the point
- What is this? Successor Poco F1
- When is that? In the last quarter of 2019
- How much is it? Should start under Rs 30K in India
Xiaomi executives have commented that Pocophone will absolutely not be phased out, but their current focus is still on F1. At this point, he confirmed that there are more to come from Poco, probably just not anytime soon. There's not a lot of information out there about the Poco F2 yet, but leaks have surfaced.
Poco F2 launch date
One of the main reasons why the Roco F2 might release later than last year is most likely simply due to the fact that component update cycles were in 2019. When F1 was opened, Qualcomm's best chipset, Snapdragon 845 processor has been nearly eight months old. However, this year, Qualcomm went ahead even introduced the Snapdragon 855 Plus in July as an update to the 855. Knowing Poco, they wanted to ship with the latest chipset.
The Roco F1 came when the Snapdragon 845 processor was at the end of its life cycle (and was one of the last significant flagships with this chipset), but the Snapdragon 855 plus processor is still relatively new, and no smartphone on the market currently sports. We guess that Pocophone will wait until prices come down and then include it in F2.
So in the 4th quarter of 2019, when the Poco F2 should be and will be one of the last flagships to be introduced this year.
Poco F2 specifications
As mentioned, the F2 will ship with the latest Snapdragon 855 plus chipset with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Roko will also be adding some tweaks that improve the gaming experience of the device.
In terms of design, the phone will look very similar to its predecessor with a large shaped display on the front, a polycarbonate back with a different camera in the center and an uncompromisingly thick home-sized battery.
The display will stay at FHD+ resolution but could do a bit taller at 6.4-inches. Rumors also point to an OLED screen in-display fingerprint reader, which would represent a big step up from the wide shaped LCD panel on the Poco F1. Some design patents filed by Xiaomi recently show a phone that looks very similar to the Poco F1, but brought fancy upgrades such as a triple camera setup and a punch-hole camera on the front.
Speaking of cameras, the Roco F2 will most likely come with a triple camera setup that could consist of a main, ultra-wide, telephoto or depth sensor. Xiaomi has announced that it will be bringing 64MP and 108MP image sensors to smartphones later this year, and may make an appearance on the Poco F2 as well. Camera performance was not the most influential aspect last year and should be improved by Xiaomi this year.
What do we want to see
If Pocophone wants to win back the hearts of consumers, here are some tips that should help Roko F2:
The Roco F1 has a very functional design, but it was nothing spectacular and looked very simple. Add plastic designs to the mix and it loses a few more points. Xiaomi has already moved to glass bodies for most of its budget smartphones and should be implemented on the Poco F2 as well if possible. Agree that design is not the top priority, but even something a little more original or iconic would help the F2 stand out.
The F1 comes with a mediocre display with fairly significant bezels all around, and an alarmingly fuller level. Not only should they work to increase the screen-to-body ratio, but also improve the quality of the panel. If the game is still the top priority, a little more or higher, the display will be appreciated. If we were to be desired, it would be great to see the Poco F2 bring a higher refresh rate display to the budget segment.
Roco F1 is already over 4 mAh in a rather thick body. By the time the F000 arrives, we expect them to find a way to deliver a larger capacity battery, and not just chase small waists for aesthetics.
2019 saw the launch of several gaming smartphones that brought new, bold designs and elements like dual front speakers. Roko F2 will be positioned as a gaming smartphone and should offer the highest sound quality, especially if the top and bottom bezels are not very thin. If not, at least the speaker should function as a second speaker.
Main camera 64MP
Xiaomi is already very active and optimistic about this new 64MP Samsung GW1 image sensor and has even mentioned that it will debut on a Redmi device. The Roco F2 is designed for junkie specs, and the impressive 64MP sensor should go a long way in making that happen.
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