While launching the Android One device, Google made it clear that the Google One project is not just for cheap smartphones. Android One was introduced in 2014. The company’s effort was to bring stock Android to the general customers and also to guarantee regular updates to these phones of the budget segment. And India was one of the first countries where this OS was introduced. However, the project did not become as popular as Google expected. But it is clear from the new launch that this project has not stopped, rather the company has tried to revive it.
Xiaomi Mi A1 It is being marketed with the tagline “created by Xiaomi and powered by Google”. During the launch event, Google also said that Android One will soon be part of a wide variety of devices and will not be limited to the affordable segment. Xiaomi Mi A1 is set to get Android 8.0 Oreo update by the end of the year. Well, it’s too early to say anything now. An update to Android P is also promised for next year.
Mi A1 is a flagship smartphone for Xiaomi which has not been made available at a high price. That too when the Xiaomi Mi 6 has not yet been made available in India. The specifications of the Mi A1 are good for the price and the dual rear cameras are a welcome feature. In such a situation, it will be very interesting to see how Xiaomi fans react to the Mi A1? And how well does this strategy work for both companies?
Xiaomi Mi A1 Design and Build
Xiaomi Mi A1 is a design-wise upgrade compared to other Redmi devices launched in India. It has a glimpse of the old Redmi device, but it manages to make a mark of its own. It was technically launched in China in July. xiaomi mi 5x variant of . This phone comes in Black, Gold and Rose Gold colours. We were given a gold unit for review. Initially, only Black and Gold color variants will be made available. Rose Gold is expected to be brought later.
There is a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass design on the front panel which gives a premium feel to the phone. Due to the curved edges, it fits in the hands. The side profile of 7.3mm makes it look a bit slim. Xiaomi has repeatedly said that the Mi A1 will give a good feeling in the hands and we also will not completely dismiss this claim. The full-metal body is solid. But the rear part slips in the hands. We had to take special care of it while using the phone. We would suggest that do not forget to take a back cover with the phone. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 And Mi Max 2 Compared to the Mi A1, it looks more premium.
Xiaomi compared Mi A1 many times iphone 7 plus and we can also see the similarities between the two. The dual rear cameras and antenna line in Mi A1 will remind you of the iPhone 7 Plus. To overcome this drawback, the phone does not get too hot, Xiaomi has talked about giving dual pyrolytic graphite sheets in the handset. It releases heat rapidly and lowers the temperature by 2 degrees in a pinch.
Capacitive buttons are given for Android navigation at the bottom of the screen. The power and volume buttons are on the right side and reaching them is not a problem. The hybrid dual SIM tray is on the left and the infrared emitter is on the top. At the bottom you will find the USB Type-C port. Along with this, 3.5mm jack and speaker grill have also got place.
The fingerprint reader is on the back and it works well. Both the rear cameras are slightly higher than the surface. Two tone flash has been given with them. There is no branding on the front panel. But on the back side you will get the logo of Android One with the Mi logo at the bottom.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi A1 looks and feels better than any other Xiaomi handset. Xiaomi has paid attention to every detail. Whether it is the speaker grille or the antenna band line. However, the main problem with the Mi A1 is that the phone looks similar to other models from Xiaomi and Vivo. By the way, this is a completely new effort from Xiaomi in terms of software and the series is also new. In such a situation, the company should have worked more on the design.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Specifications and Software
The octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor has been used in Xiaomi Mi A1 which has been part of Redmi Note 4 and Mi Max 2. Xiaomi told during the launch that it has been trying to keep the price of the Mi A1 under control. The clock speed of this chipset is 2 GHz and 4 GB RAM has been given with it. The inbuilt storage is 64 GB and it will be possible to use a microSD card up to 128 GB if needed. Like other Xiaomi devices, the Mi A1 also sports a hybrid dual SIM design. This means that you have to choose between two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM card and a microSD card.
The phone has a 5.5 inch LTPS display. Its resolution is full-HD (1080×1920 pixels). Pixel density is 403 ppi. The dimensions of the handset are 155.4×75.8×7.3mm and weighs 165 grams. The battery is of 3080 mAh. Mi A1 also has an infrared emitter.
The company has praised the two rear cameras of this phone. You will get two cameras of 12 megapixels. One of these is a wide angle lens with f / 2.2 aperture and the other is a telephoto lens with f / 2.6 aperture. A 5 megapixel camera with F / 2.0 aperture has been given on the front panel and it comes with beautification mode.
Being an Android One device, you will get the stock Android experience in Xiaomi Mi A1. It runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat which is the latest OS for any Android device as of today.
The best thing about stock Android is that there are no unwanted apps in it. This is a huge change for a budget phone. Despite the promise of stock Android UI, you will get Mi Feedback, Mi Remote and Mi Store apps pre-installed in Xiaomi Mi A1. The camera app in this handset is also from Xiaomi. Because Google has not yet released dual camera support for its stock Android camera app.
Compared to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the new version 7.1.2 has fixed the old shortcomings. You’ll find popular Android Nougat features like split screen multitasking and app shortcuts. The avatar of Quick Settings has changed. If you want, you can open the notification shade by swiping down the fingerprint sensor. Apart from this, you can open the camera app by tapping the power button twice. Finally, you will get the support of GIF inside the keyboard itself.
Cameras of Xiaomi Mi A1
The two rear cameras of Xiaomi Mi A1 are its most important feature. You will get 2x optical zoom because of the two lenses. You will also be able to add bokeh effect to photos. Let’s start with depth mode. We were able to take great pictures with the bokeh effect. Edges were perfectly defined in most portrait photos. But in some shots, along with the background, some parts of the subject were also blurred. This decrease becomes more pronounced in low light. You will not have to do anything separately for this effect. it Lenovo K8 Note ,review) works better. Xiaomi claims that the performance of Portrait Mode is available on the iPhone 7 Plus and oneplus 5 is equal to. But we believe that to reach that level, Xiaomi will have to release many updates right now.
The Mi A1 autofocuses fast and is accurate on most occasions. Phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and face detection allow the camera to lock focus quickly. Landscape shots came out fine. But the macro shot lacked sharpness and detail, especially compared to the Mi Max 2. The phone captured pictures with texture and detail in adequate light. However, we got to see a lot of noise in low light. In dark places, the Mi A1’s camera lags behind and pictures come with very little detail.
Xiaomi claims that the camera app of the Mi A1 has been given an enhancement feature to take better pictures in low light. But after activating it, we did not see any big difference. Xiaomi Mi Max gave better results in low light.
The Mi A1’s camera app will also guide you in depth mode. You’ll keep getting warnings like “It’s too dark now” and “Move farther from the object”. This will be liked by the new user.
You will be able to take great pictures in good light with the 5 megapixel front camera. There is no shortage of details in these either. Selfies taken in low light were very blurry.
Overall, I would say that the dual camera setup is a great feature at this price. And you generally won’t be disappointed by it either. But performance in low light needs more work.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Performance
We found the screen of the Xiaomi Mi A1 to be bright enough. Photos and text appear sharp. Viewing angles are also good. However, the glass was more reflective than we would have liked. And when using the phone in sunlight, we had to take the brightness to the highest level.
The octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor has been used in the Xiaomi Mi A1, like the Redmi Note 4 and Mi Max 2. It is a capable processor. Common use apps run fast. 4 GB RAM facilitates multitasking. Touch response is good. We did not see any shortcomings during the review. We enjoyed playing games like Last Day on Earth and Asphalt 8 with powerful graphics. We found the 5.5-inch display to be excellent for watching videos. The benchmark scores of Xiaomi Mi A1 came close to that of Mi Max 2 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
Xiaomi says that it has used pyrolytic graphite sheets to control the temperature of the phone. All we can say is that we did not feel the phone overheating even while playing the game for a long time. However, the phone does get hot while charging.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 has support for 4G VoLTE and the call quality was also good. The phone connected to the network even in weak areas. The IR emitter worked flawlessly with the Mi Remote app.
The speaker has enough sound for a small room. The voice is clear too. Xiaomi says that Smart Power Amplifier has also been used for better sound than the earphones. The experience with the earphones was good. If you want, you will be able to use Mi A1 as an entertainment device to listen to songs every day. The complaint is that no earphones will be available with the phone.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Battery Life
The 3080 mAh battery lasted for about 15 hours on heavy use. Outlook, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Telegram, Gmail and WhatsApp apps were always running in the background of the handset. In our HD video loop test, the Mi A1’s battery lasted for about 10 hours and 18 minutes. It would be rightly called. One problem with the Xiaomi Mi A1 is that it offers poor battery performance compared to other Xiaomi devices. It took about two hours for the phone’s battery to be fully charged, which cannot be called bad.
When Android One was launched, a lot of promises were made. But they could not be completed. Now Xiaomi and Google have tried to give a new face to Android One. But how effective it will prove to be, it will be known only in the coming time. Xiaomi Mi A1 is a very strong handset in terms of price. The metal body and oval finish are excellent. Display and general performance is good. For the first time, users will get the stock Android experience on a Xiaomi phone. If you don’t like MIUI then this phone is for you. Dual camera works.
But the company should have paid more attention to photography in low light. Battery life is also average. Other Xiaomi phones also do well in these departments.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 priced at Rs 14,999 will be available on Flipkart, Mi.com, offline stores and the company’s own Mi Home store. Its sale will start from September 12. Xiaomi has made its own identity with the MIUI software. But it will be very interesting to see how customers react to this phone.