Xiaomi’s offshoot – Poco – grabbed the world’s attention with the insane pricing for its first smartphone which has flagship-level internals, and a very functional design. The Poco F1 is packed with a Snapdragon 845 which is indisputably the best chipset for Android smartphones this year, with a price barely hovering over the Rs 20,000 mark.

With the chipset, you get up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage and to keep things cool, the Poco F1 also has liquid cooling and a copper heat sink. But those are not the only unbelievable features that the Poco F1 delivers as it also comes with a really impressive camera for the price.

POCO F1 Camera Hands-On

While it’s too early to call this the best camera in the segment, here’s what I think about it after playing with it for just over a day. The Poco F1 uses the usual MIUI camera app so we would not dwell upon the features of the app and focus on the image quality and shooting experience.

Focus Speed

Speaking of focus, the Poco F1, does a great job in this department. The Poco F1 is very quick to focus on objects and while the company even boasted about beating competitors including the OnePlus 6 and Honor Play in this aspect the difference was minor in our preliminary testing. Having said that, the Poco F1 is still among the fastest phones when it comes to focusing, thanks to the Dual Pixel Autofocus.

POCO F1 Camera Hands-On

The Poco F1 is also quick to capture, process and save images and doesn’t take a lot of time showing you the final result.

Picture Quality

Rear Camera

The primary 12-megapixel Sony sensor on the Poco F1 does a great job of capturing detail in shots. The sensor has been borrowed from the Mi 8 and both phones produce nearly identical images in terms of both picture quality and color reproduction.

In cases of limited lighting, you see the sensor struggling a bit to maintain the sharpness of the images, but it still produces clear shots without a significant loss in quality.

The secondary 5-megapixel sensor from Samsung is used for portrait shots or the bokeh mode – as it is commonly marketed. This sensor also performs fairly well in terms of detecting edges and highlighting faces or objects in the foreground. The only complaint I have with the camera is that there is no visible option to adjust the background blur intensity. The sensor also serves as a telephoto lens with 2X zoom.

Front Camera

Poco F1 comes with a 20-megapixel shooter on the front, which — as per the specs — also appears to be the same as the selfie camera on the Mi 8. The sensor captures some great and well-illuminated shots.

POCO F1 Camera Hands-On

The built-in AI beautify mode also works to improve the quality of the picture by smoothening your skin without throwing off the colors.

The front camera also has a portrait mode that performs very well in our experience. There were some issues in edge detection, but that’s not unique to the Poco F1.

AI for Better Pictures

Like most its competitors, the Poco F1 has an AI mode dedicated to improving the quality of images automatically, and recognizing scenes.

POCO F1 Camera Hands-On

In its current form, the algorithm can identify up to 25 different scenes, but Xiaomi has assured us that the feature will be further optimized with additional scenes and better adjustment settings.

Currently, the AI can add a punch to the color, increase the contrast, and slightly improve the lighting conditions. The degree to which it can do this varies per scene. The AI also detects when you’re capturing a person’s face and automatically adjusts the output to give you the right shot.

The AI also detects when the subject is backlit, and fiddles with the HDR to either illuminate the face or create a silhouette, without over-exposing the background. But when the backlight is not that strong, the effect is not very pronounced.

Poco F1 Camera Hands On: Exciting Features With Appreciable Results

From the limited time I’ve spent with the Poco F1, I can say that it does impressively well in terms of camera and competitors should feel threatened. We will also be bringing you an in-depth comparison with other devices that compete with the Poco F1.

So, what do you feel about the Poco F1’s camera? Tell us about your opinions in the comments below.