Within a short span, Xiaomi has risen to become the second largest Smartphone seller in India, with over 25 million devices sold so far. The Chinese Smartphone maker is all set to retain this position with its latest launch, the Mi A1. Marketed as “Created by Xiaomi and Powered by Google,” this device belongs to a handful of Android One devices.
While the MIUI is appreciated and loved, several Xiaomi fans have been waiting for a device with a clean, stock Android interface. The Mi A1 delivers just that. With stock Android, regular updates from Google, the Mi A1 is all set to win the hearts of Android lovers.
Let’s take a closer look at the features and key specifications of the Mi A1 from the house of Xiaomi.
• Build Quality and Design
The Mi A1 sports an all-metal chassis with the antenna lines running on the top and bottom. The design looks refined and premium, thereby scoring big on aesthetics, while ensuring an outstanding build quality. The bezels lining the screen are thin, thus giving you an immersive experience.
The capacitive navigation buttons are right below the display.
At the bottom of the device, you can find the 3.5mm jack and USB Type-C port. The volume rocker and power buttons are to the right, while the IR blaster is on the top. At the back of the device, you can find the dual-camera setup to the top left corner.
The fingerprint sensor is on the rear along with the Mi and Android One logos. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently located, and you can authenticate your fingerprints without any fumbling.
• Display and Hardware Performance
Xiaomi mostly offers LCD screens on all its devices, and this holds true for the Mi A1 too. The device comes with a 5.5” Full-HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 403 PPI, which has ultra-wide viewing angles, vivid colours and excellent sunlight legibility.
Coming to the internal hardware, the Mi A1 runs on the Snapdragon 625 chipset from Qualcomm. It has 4GB high-speed RAM along with an internal storage of 64GB. The powerful chipset combined with stock Android gives you an efficient performance. Whether you’re running day-to-day tasks, switching between apps, using the dual camera or running memory intensive games, there is no visible slowdown or delay.
• Battery Life
The Mi A1 sports a 3080 mAh Li-ion non-removable battery, which easily lasts for a regular workday with moderate to heavy usage and one and a half days with regular usage. The only downside of the battery is that it lacks a Fast charging option. It takes around two hours to go from 0 to 100% charge with the 5V/2A charger provided in the box.
• Software, UI, and Updates
If there is one feature that sets the Mi A1 apart from its competitors, it is the Software. Xiaomi has paired with Google in the Android One initiative for this device. This means that the Mi A1 doesn’t have the MIUI interface, like other Xiaomi phones but comes with a stock Android experience. The user experience is similar to that of what you get in Google’s Nexus or Pixel range of phones.
It runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat out of the box and receives regular security updates from Google. You get all the features of Nougat like in-line notification replies, split-screen, customisable gestures, app shortcuts, and several other granular controls.
The Mi A1 is the first phone from Xiaomi to offer an uncluttered, pure Android experience. Since the Mi A1 uses Xiaomi’s camera app and IR blaster, future software updates will come from Xiaomi and not directly from Google.
• Camera Quality
The Xiaomi advertises the Mi A1 as “Flagship camera at a Budget price.” True to this tagline, the primary camera has a 12MP dual-camera setup. The first one features a wide-angle lens of 1.25µ pixels with an aperture of f/2.2, while the second one has a telephoto lens of f/2.6 with 1.1µ pixels and 2x optical zoom.
The camera app has several features like panorama, a square mode for Instagram, tilt-shift, HDR, portrait mode, a telephoto lens with the 2x button, flash and so on.
The selfie camera is of 5MP and is quite decent for clicking selfies. The camera functions exceptionally well in daylight but tends to get a bit grainy in low-lighting conditions.
Key Technical Specifications at a Glance
• OS – Android 7.1.2 Nougat
• Display – 5.5” IPS, 2.5D curved glass with Corning Gorilla glass on top
• Processor – 2.0 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 with Adreno 506 GPU
• RAM – 4GB
• Internal Memory – 64GB (expandable up to 128GB)
• Battery – 3080mAh
• Primary Camera – 12MP dual-camera with Flash
• Selfie Camera – 5MP
• Dimensions – 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm
• Weight – 165gram
Pros – The Good
• Stock Android experience without any irky bloatware
• Performance is exceptional for all regular and intensive tasks
• Dual rear cameras with 2X zoom, that give you DSLR like images
• Fingerprint sensor is snappy and works efficiently
• Affordable price range that fits all budgets
Cons – The Bad
• Photo quality takes a hit in low-lighting conditions
• The device is a bit slippery due to the polished metal chassis
• Absence of NFC connectivity
• Absence of a Turbo Charger
• No FM radio app, even though it has a receiver