In the Android world, every smartphone maker has got their own custom UI over the top of Android. This is done to differentiate themselves from others.
Xiaomi has MIUI for its phone, apart from the ones that come with stock Android, such as the Mi A series.
But, when Xiaomi launched the Poco F1 under their new sub-brand, Pocophone, they decided to go with a customized MIUI and called it Poco Launcher.
Even though it is built on the same MIUI ROM, it is slightly different an brings some key changes to the MIUI Launcher.
We have talked about the interesting features of the Poco Launcher in a separate post, so in this post, we will be doing a fair comparison of both the launchers coming from the Xiaomi.
Now, you should keep one thing in mind that app launcher or custom skins should not be buying a factor for an Android smartphone because you can always use a third party launcher to get a unified look across your devices.
Moreover, these custom Android skins offer extra functionality over the top of Android.
Now let’s talk about the key differences between both the launchers.
App Drawer Support
One of the biggest changes Xiaomi did in the Poco launcher is introducing the app drawer which was absent.
Xiaomi has been taking a lot of inspiration from Apple being the hardware or the software this is why it decided to mimic the iOS even while using the Android.
And the reason to include app drawer in the Poco Launcher is to give users a stock Android experience, and the smartphone is mainly competing with the OnePlus, which also uses a custom skin, which is very much near to the stock Android experience.
So, while you have to be a little creative to organise your apps in the MIUI, you don’t really have to work that hard on the Poco Launcher.
All the apps can stay in the app drawer so that you can pick only the ones you want on the home screen.
For the majority of Android users, it’s the app drawer that is preferred and using MIUI with no app drawer support is kind of a compromise the MI users have to make in order to use Xioami smartphones.
So, the Poco Launcher is definitely better than MIUI Launcher.
MIUI has a standalone app for Themes and Wallpaper and the community keeps coming up with new and refreshing themes that any Mi user can download and apply to their Mi smartphones with MIUI.
This one aspect of MIUI makes it more appealing. Since the Poco Launcher is built on MIUI, it also supports all the themes in the Theme Store.
Talking about keeping the apps organized on smartphones, it’s also a crucial part of opting for a launcher.
With more than 100 apps installed on an Android smartphone on an average, one really needs to keep stuff organized if they want to use it in a better way.
With the limitation of no app drawer support on the MIUI, it has enabled the MI users to use Folders to keep their apps organized on the Home screen, which is a better way to keep apps organized on iOS as well.
Talking about the Poco Launcher, apart from letting users organize their apps in Folders, the launcher automatically organizes the apps in the app drawer by categorizing them according to their type.
It isn’t as accurate but it’s still better to have such type of organization in the app drawer.
Apart from the, you can also groups apps on the basis of the colour of the app icons.
Tap on blue dot and it will show you Facebook, Trello, Truecaller etc apps so that you can launch the app in the next tap.
Search bar Support
Again, in MIUI, the apps are placed on the home screen, and there is no option to look for the particular app when you need it.
You either have to look for it by swiping left or right on different home screens or use the Google search widget.
To add Google search widget, long press on the home screen and tap on the ‘Widgets’ option that appears at the bottom.
Poco Launcher has got the search bar at the bottom of the app drawer, which makes it easy to search for the app if all the given organizational features do not work.
The search bar is placed at the bottom, which is great for bigger phones where reaching your fingers on the top is a little troublesome.
And the winner is….
The Poco Launcher is a clear winner, and it isn’t surprising by any bit since it has been well thought to bring out features people missed the most in MIUI.
Since the Poco Launcher is a part of the broader MIUI, we can see the Poco launcher as an option to use on upcoming smartphones from Xiaomi, especially in the Midrange segment.
Either way, you can still install it from the Play Store for free, and it on any Android smartphone since both are available on Play Store.