Pocophone by Xiaomi: Making affordable flagship smartphones
Pocophone is a new smartphone sub-brand under Xiaomi that recently launched the Pocophone F1, a flagship-grade smartphone with a mid-range price. We are all wondering — how exactly did they pull this off? Let’s find out.
The brand is marketed as ‘Pocophone by Xiaomi’, with the slogan, ‘Master of Speed’. Sub-brands are no longer new to us as we have Huawei’s Honor, OPPO’s Realme, ZTE’s Nubia, and Lenovo’s Zuk. It’s a way for these big companies to experiment and innovate, serve certain niches, or even solve market problems.
We sat down with the Head of Pocophone Global, Alvin Tse to learn more about Pocophone and its philosophies.
What’s with the name?
Pocophone or Poco doesn’t really have a deep history to it, but Mr. Tse explained that they chose ‘Poco’ is because it uses few letters, and is easy to spell and pronounce. This is particularly helpful for a company that is launching globally. Pocophone also employs a yellow theme as it is bright and sharp.
The Pocophone mission and strategy
Pocophone’s mission is to deliver truly useful innovations to as many users as possible — and that means making a product with the latest technologies at an affordable price.
This was achieved using a very simple method. They listened to users and chose the features that would improve their experience. In the case of the F1, it focused heavily on performance, battery, camera, and display, at a low price — factors they believe are relevant to the user.
Cool and unique features are nice to have, but they’re still only secondary if the user doesn’t deem it absolutely necessary. It doesn’t improve the overall experience by a lot and most importantly, it increases cost. This may also be the reason why the F1 doesn’t have any fancy features found in other flagship smartphones like metal or glass bodies, super high-resolution screens, pop-out cameras, and water and dust resistance.
How about quality?
Some have frowned upon the fact that Pocophone used a polycarbonate body for the F1, while others hinted that they have cut corners somewhere. Mr. Tse emphasized that they will never cut corners, will never compromise quality, and will only use world-class top-tier brand new components. In fact, they share the same quality tests and standards used by Xiaomi.
Benefits of being a Xiaomi sub-brand
Being a sub-brand actually has its advantages. In the case of Pocophone, they share Xiaomi’s supply chain, after-sale service infrastructure, and quality standards. They can enjoy these resources without the commercial baggage and profitability targets. According to Mr. Tse, as long as they’re not losing money, they’re fine.
This comfortable setup allows Pocophone to focus on their mission of making an affordable, but technologically superior product. This is a big plus for budget-conscious consumers, as they are able to get exactly what they want.
We asked Pocophone about their future plans, such as future phones and product cycles, but unfortunately, they are unable to comment as they just launched their first ever device.
POCO users will be able to enjoy the Beta ROMs of Xiaomi’s MIUI. They can try the latest updates and provide feedback to improve the software experience. They’re still in the Xiaomi ecosystem if you think about it.
At the moment, the company is focusing on the market performance of the F1 and the satisfaction of its users. One thing they can confirm is that they will stick to their philosophy of listening to users and delivering the specs and features that matter.