Xiaomi launched its sub-brand Poco in August, and made the Poco F1 official in India. The Poco F1 runs on a customized MIUI for Poco operating system that comes with few tweaks like the Poco Launcher, quick settings from stock Android, and more. Due to its popularity, the custom Poco Launcher was launched for Android users in August itself, but was in beta ever since. However, the Poco Launcher app is now out of beta, and is available for download on all compatible Android devices. Key features of this launcher include a clean home screen, an app drawer, privacy features, and icon customisation ability.
The Poco Launcher version 188.8.131.52 for Android users requires Android 5.0 Lollipop and above, and the file size is approximately 16MB (it may vary from device to device). It works on most compatible Android smartphones not running MIUI. The launcher, as mentioned, brings an app drawer for all the apps making the home screen look cleaner. It's a stripped-down version of MIUI borrows elements from Google's stock version of Android Oreo, including Quick Settings tiles and different icons.
The Poco Launcher comes with a search feature with app recommendations and icon colour categories, the ability to group apps based on category and keep apps private, allows usage of third-party icon packs for customisation, and faster animations as well. With the app now live on the Play Store, it is available for all compatible Android devices as a free download.
The Poco Launcher comes pre-installed on the Poco F1, which was launched in India at a starting price of Rs. 20,999 for the variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage. The smartphone comes in Rosso Red, Graphite Black, and Steel Blue colour options, and packs in specifications including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, dual rear camera setup, and a display notch. The Poco F1 was available exclusively on Flipkart and Mi.com, but is now available offline in Mi Home Stores as well.
Xiaomi Poco F1 looks great value for the price, but is there a catch? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.