A week with the POCO F3
I am not yet ready to draw any major conclusions but wanted to quickly summarise my thoughts so far.
- I am still occasionally struggling with the background process thing and MIUI. Geofencing applications become a lot less useful if you have to manually start them. Given that, for example, the Geofencing disables my security cameras in my office, I've been mostly deleting images from the app this week (An exaggeration, of course). I seem to have found all the right switches for now but I wonder how often I will have to reset them as I am pretty sure I had to do some of these preference edits at least twice.
- Adding to that, the whole Settings thing is a disaster on MIUI. There are so many places where you can (and have to, see previous point) edit settings and permissions for apps with very different paths through various different apps (at least it feels that way) to get there that I can't remember them and always have to google them.
- I still dislike the size and the heavyiness of the device – I recently bought a couple of short cyclying trousers and both pairs don't fully fit the F3 in the front pocket. On the positive side it doesn't fall out either.
- The weight and size do come with some pretty obvious advantages, though – The screen is fantastic and I am happy about the additional size available to me. Also, the battery holds up great as well. I finally have a phone that is more than capable of carrying me through the day with room to spare. Also, when using the provided power adapter, the turbo charge is just impressive. When you can charge the phone to a level that gets you through the day in less than an hour, wireless charging (which, to be honest, I've never been able to try) looks a lot less desirable.
- I can't say much about apps yet. Most of the apps I use are available for both iOS and Android and the quality in general seems to be fine. That being said, there are two apps I want to mention because I think they are doing a particularly great job: Pocketcasts quickly became my Podcast player of choice and has a pretty great UI, almost comparable to Castro which I've used on iOS. And FocusReader is a worthy replacement for my beloved Reeder, obviously taking a lot of cues from one another without being a blatant copy.
- I enjoy the upgraded camera and was really surprised about the quality of both the Portrait mode (it does come with pretty hilarious artefacts every now and then but that's expected) and the macro lens which is really appreciated, as I love shooting macros. The wide angle lens is great as well, but I guess I would have loved a tele lens instead (But yeah, I know why that is difficult to do in a flat phone design)
- Of course I had to run Geekbench on the new Phone and the F3 seems to come in at around 950 in GB5 single core and somewhere around 3000 in multi core. It helps that the Qualcomm chip has 8 cores, I guess.
- My SO, on the day after I got the F3, got herself an iPhone SE, so I do have a device to compare things. I looked up the Geekbench scores for that and it seems that it beats my phone in single core (to be expected) by quite an amount but falls short in multi core slightly.
- Last but not least, and I have yet to find out if that's a MIUI problem or a general Android 11 problem, I already twice found myself in a situation where I wanted to take a phone call (this is a phone, after all) and somehow managed to close the screen but then found no obvious way to get back to that or how to actually take the call. User error, sure, but definitely something that I think would never happen on iOS, at least not in the same confusing way.