Xiaomi Mi A1, the first stock Android phone from Xiaomi, is a rebranded version of the Mi 5X which was launched a few weeks back in China. The new Xiaomi phone comes with a competitive specs-sheet and an equally aggressive pricing.
Even the idea of Xiaomi combining its hardware prowess with Google’s software might (since this is an Android One phone, Google itself will handle software and updates), seemed too good to be true till a few weeks back.
As of today, the Xiaomi Mi A1 stands as the most lucrative Android One phone there ever was. It’s also the only phone as of today that’s guaranteed both Android O and Android P upgrades. At the launch event, we got an opportunity to go hands on with Xaiomi Mi A1 and here’s our first impression of the device.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Specification: All that you need to know
|Model||Xiaomi Mi A1|
|Display||5.5-Inch, Full HD LTPS|
|Processor||2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor|
|Internal Storage||64GB,expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||Android Nougat 7.1.1|
|Primary Camera||12 MP (telephoto lens) + 12MP (wide-angle lens) rear cameras|
|Secondary Camera||5MP selfie camera|
|Dimensions||155.4×75.8×7.3mm and 165Grams|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm, USB Type-C|
Xiaomi Mi A1 Advantages and Disadvantages
Xiaomi Mi A1 Pros:
- Pure Android without any bloatware
- Elegant design
- Powerful yet battery efficient hardware
Xiaomi Mi A1 Cons:
- Hybrid SIM slot
- No fast charging
Xiaomi Mi A1 Design and Display
The Xiaomi Mi A1 design aesthetics are impressive and the phone feels very premium in hands. The unibody shell is made of aeroplane grade metal and has a seamless finish. Like the Mi Max 2, it has ‘U-shape’ antenna bands on both top and bottom edge which go well with the overall design.
The dual camera setup is placed on the top left corner and juts out slightly. The fingerprint sensor, Mi, and Android One brandings – all reserve a spot on the rear. Xiaomi, during the launch event, claimed the black colour variant of the Mi A1 (back cover and cases) carries anti-fingerprint coating. In our opinion, it looked sexier in Gold colour.
Both power key and the volume rocker is placed on the left edge. IR blaster is mounted on the top edge, while USB Type C port and mono loudspeaker both share the bottom edge.
The side edges are slightly rounded, and since the phone is only 7.3mm thick, it’s extremely comfortable to hold in the hands and to carry around in the pocket. The weight of 165 grams is well balanced too, and the A1 doesn’t feel heavy.
The full HD display on the phone felt decent. It adheres to the conventional aspect ratio and is accompanied by fairly beefy bezels on top and bottom. Colors and contrast felt fine on the display, the touch glass felt a tad reflective, though.
Finally Xiaomi’s Stock Android Phone
Xiaomi always managed to put together excellent value for money hardware and the same rings true for the Mi A1. It rocks a Snapdragon 625 chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It comes with a hybrid sim tray where secondary sim can be swapped with a microSD card. The phone supports Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE with VoLTE, and a 3080mAh battery.
What’s different this time is what the hardware is driving. Unlike any other Xiaomi smartphone, the Mi A1 boots up on stock Android 7.1.2 Nougat with August 1 security patch. Since this phone is part of the Android One family expect timely updates which will be directly coming from Google itself. At the launch event, Google also promised that before the end of 2017, Xiaomi A1 with be upgraded to Android Oreo.
When we experience this phone today, the UI felt buttery smooth while navigating. There is no bloatware on the phone. Xiaomi’s own apps are restricted to just three: Mi App store, Mi Remote, and Mi camera.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Dual Camera
This is our first experience with Xiaomi’s dual camera setup and I have to say it worked well. The phone packs a dual 12-megapixel rear camera setup where the primary one has a 50mm, f/2.2 aperture wide angle lens while the second one has a 26mm, f/2.6 aperture telephoto lens. This is the same camera system as used in Mi 6 and the implementation is the same as on phones like Apple iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5.
Apart from blurry background images, this setup allows you to go up to 2X optical zoom. We clicked a few images using the Mi A1 dual camera the results seem to be a mixed bag. There was no shutter lag, but in all the images that we clicked (under good enough indoor lighting), there is a good amount of noise which affects image quality adversely.
It’s, however, too early to pass on a verdict about the camera quality just yet. All we are saying is that the camera on the Mi A1 while being perfectly acceptable, might not be the one to break new grounds in its class.
Xiaomi Mi A1 Camera Samples
Xiaomi Mi A1 Quick Review (hands-on review)
Xiaomi A1 is a serious competitor to the like of Lenovo K8 Note, Moto G5S Plus and Nokia 6. It looks as elegant as the Nokia 6, has stock Android, and can match Moto G5s Plus in terms of hardware. For now, it’s quite clear that Xiaomi has yet another blockbuster in its kitty and for good reason.
The Mi A1 will be available in black, gold, and rose gold colours and it will go on sale at Mi.com and Flipkart next week for ₹14,999.