Where the heck is the Pocophone F2?
The release of the Pocophone F1 in mid-2018 got a ton of attention. By all accounts, the first phone from the new Xiaomi sub-brand was a huge hit, and it’s no wonder: it packed in high-end hardware — including the Snapdragon 845 chip — a 6.18-inch display, and a huge 4,000mAh battery. All that was in a phone that launched with a price point of just $300. So, a follow up to this handset, the Pocophone F2, would follow in 2019, right?
It’s October 2019 now, and there have been no indications that the Pocophone F2 is launching anytime soon. What might be causing the delay for the successor to one of the most exciting smartphone launches of 2018?
Internal changes at Xiaomi?
One major issue that is almost certainly a factor in the delay of the Pocophone F2 are some changes inside Xiaomi itself. In July, it was reported that Jai Mani, the leader of the Poco sub-brand, departed Xiaomi after five years at the company. There’s no word on why he decided to leave. However, since Mani was leading the charge at Poco, it’s possible his departure affected the sub-brand’s release schedule.
Is the Pocophone F2 waiting for the Snapdragon 855 Plus?
Another possible explanation for a Pocophon F2 delay is the desire for speed. Xiaomi may have wanted to make sure the phone had the fastest current Android processor. In 2018, that was the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm launched its successor, the Snapdragon 855, in early 2019. However, the company surprised many by launching a faster version, the Qualcomm 855 Plus. in July. Xiaomi may have decided to wait until that faster chip was more readily available to OEMs so it could put it in the Pocophone F2.
Did the Redmi K20 replace the Pocophone F2?
In July, Xiaomi launched a new phone from Redmi in India. The Redmi K20 Pro has features like the Snapdragon 855 chip, and a 4,000mAh battery. It also has three rear cameras and even a pop-up selfie camera. All that had a starting price of just over $400. While that’s definitely affordable for what you get, the Redmi K20 Pro was still over $100 more than the Pocophone F1’s price when it launched in 2018.
At the time, Xiaomi India’s managing director Manu Kumar Jain posted an open letter about those price differences. Among other things, he pointed out the Redmi K20 Pro had features like an AMOLED display, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and more. That was the reason the phone was more expensive than the Pocophone F1. That phone had features like an older LCD display, a rear fingerprint sensor, and a plastic body.
It’s possible that when the Pocophone F2 goes on sale, it may have similar specs compared to the Redmi K20 Pro. However, it’s also likely that the Pocophone F2 will cut corners in other areas. We may see another plastic body, an LCD display, fewer rear cameras, or no pop-up sensor to cut that price to the $300 level.
How long must we wait?
Unfortunately, news on the successor to the Pocophone F1 has been hard to come by lately. A recent Twitter image by Xiaomi’s Manu Kumar Jain generated some chatter online a few days ago. Many people took a close look at a whiteboard behind Jain, and speculated that they had found a reference to the Pocophone F2. However, that’s all we have at the moment: sheer speculation. It looks like we’ll have to wait a little while longer before we know anything concrete on the Pocophone F2.