Xiaomi is known for its budget devices with great design and built quality and with its new launch, Xiaomi has done it once again. Xiaomi has launched its first Android One phone, the Xiaomi Mi A1, at an event in New Delhi. Xiaomi has partnered with Google to make this device as the punch line says, “Created by Xiaomi, Powered by Google”. This means that the Mi A1 will come with a near stock Android experience. Have you ever imagined what a Xiaomi phone would look like with a pure Android skin?
However, Xiaomi Mi A1 does have some Xiaomi apps such as the Mi Camera, Mi Remote, and Mi Store apps, apart from a Mi Services section within Settings.
The first Xiaomi device, powered by Android One comes with stock Android Nougat 7.1.2 and will get timely updates to Android Oreo. Xiaomi Mi A1 will also get other Google services baked in such as Assistant and Photos, and Google Play Protect will keep it secure. Google Photos also gives users unlimited high-quality photo storage.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 features a metal unibody design, 2.5D curved glass. Like any other typical Mi phone, the device boasts an IR Blaster and a 3.5mm audio jack. At the back, there is a fingerprint sensor and a dual camera which resides at the top left corner with LED Flash.
Overall, the Mi A1 impresses with its minimalistic design and full metal chassis. The antenna band fluidly blend with the top and the bottom edges and are hardly visible in the Black color variant.
There is a slight camera bump but not a prominent one. The device is slimmer and the curved corners make it a compact device which fits comfortably in one hand. The device weighs 168 grams and is easily one of the best designs in this price segment.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD(1080X1920) display with a 2.5D curved glass, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The display is quite bright and the text and images look sharp. It has good sunlight legibility and great viewing angles.
The device packs in some impressive hardware for the price. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM which is ideal for the mid-range budget devices.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 packs in a hybrid tray so you can either use two SIM cards or one SIM card and one microSD card. However, 64 GB of internal storage should be good enough for a mid-range device.
As far as the battery is concerned, the Mi A1 has a 3,080mAH battery with a USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 comes with Android 7.1.2 out of the box. As an Android One smartphone, it aims to offer pure Android Nougat experience with a guarantee of Android Oreo update this year. In a surprise announcement at the launch, it was shared that the Mi A1 will also receive the Android P update, whenever it’s available.
While there’s no MIUI skin this time, there are three Xiaomi apps namely Mi Remote, Feedback, and the Mi Store which also can be uninstalled if you wish to. The Mi A1 also uses Xiaomi’s own camera app, which is expected since the default Android camera app doesn’t support dual cameras as of now.
The stock Android experience on a Xiaomi phone feels refreshing but is similar to Nokia or Lenovo smartphones. The seamless integration of Google Assistant and free unlimited cloud storage on Google Photos in high quality is a gift of stock Android.
The highlight of the smartphone is its dual camera setup. There’s a 12 MP wide-angle lens and a 12 MP telephoto lens that work together to help you click photos with depth-of-field effect, popularly known as bokeh. The telephoto lens also supports up to 2X optical zoom. There’s a 5 MP front camera for selfies.
The camera performance is impressive as expected but the bokeh shots are inconsistent.
Overall, it is one of the best cameras in this price segment but there is nothing to be compared with OnePlus5 or the iPhone 7 Plus.
Let’s take a look to at the spec sheet:
- 5.5-inch Full HD 1080X1920 Display with 2.5D curved glass & Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
- Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage with a hybrid microSD card slot.
- 12MP wide-angle lens & 12MP telephoto lens with 2X zoom at the back.
- 5MP front camera for selfies.
- 3,080mAh battery with USB Type-C for data syncing and charging.
For the price of Rs 14,999, Xiaomi Mi A1 is a great smartphone with premium looks. The stock Android experience and a promise to future updates make it more promising and future proof. The camera quality is good but struggles in low light conditions but the Moto G5s Plus does a better job in the camera department.
Xiaomi usually uses a flash sale system to sell their phones and I am not a very big fan of it. But there is nothing we can do about it.
The first sale of the Xiaomi Mi A1 will start at 12th September, 12 noon. The device will be exclusive to Flipkart. The device is definitely a go getter but will face some stiff competition from LG Q6, Moto G5s Plus, and even Moto G5 Plus.
I am going to include a video review by Geekyranjit here to get a better insight on the device:
Do not forget to comment and let us know what you feel about the Mi A1? Are you looking to buy it? What do you think of Android One?