Xiaomi India has launched its new smartphone named Mi A1 in partnership with Google Android One program. The smartphone was launched in China earlier with the name Mi 5X with company’s own MIUI on the top of Android Nougat. The difference between the Mi A1 and Mi 5X is on the software front only. Mi A1 uses a pure Android version of Nougat 7.1.2 instead of MIUI. In this article, you will get the detailed information about the device and reasons for you to buy it.
Design & Build
Mi A1 smartphone boasts a full metal unibody design with 2.5D curved glass on the top, which looks awesome. The smartphone comes with rounded back edges for a better grip and a natural feel in the hand. The smartphone is just over 7mm in thickness & weighing 168g. The antenna bands have been integrated perfectly with the body at the top and bottom. The design resembles the likes of Apple iPhone 7 and OnePlus 5. The company said in its launched event that the phone comes with dual pyrolytic graphite sheets which will help diffuse and radiate heat quickly.
Mi A1 comes Black, Gold, and Rose Gold color options. All three variants of Mi A1 are highly fingerprint resistant and the black version comes with anti-fingerprint coating.
The device comes with a back fingerprint sensor, power, and volume keys on the right side of the frame. It also has IR blaster on the top of the frame for letting the device act as a remote control for controlling appliances. Mi A1 is dual SIM hybrid phone, you can use either two SIM cards, or one SIM card and one memory card, at a time.
Processor & GPU
Mi A1 comes with Snapdragon 625, clocked at 2.0 GHz, Cortex-A53 Octa-core processor. it is built using 14nm FinFET technology. Snapdragon 625 is highly efficient SoC with smooth performance, great battery life & good thermal management. Snapdragon 625 comes with Adreno 506 GPU which has very good gaming performance. Qualcomm claims Aderno 506 GPU to be a PC class graphics card. Additionally, we have seen the same Snapdragon 625 in many other smartphones including Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 series, Samsung Galaxy C7, etc. The performance of these smartphones is great. Thus, Mi A1 with this SoC and pure Android also performs great. It handles heavy tasks, high-end gaming without any issues.
Mi A1 comes with a 5.5” Full HD (~70.1% screen-to-body ratio) LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display. The resolution of the display is 1080 x 1920 pixels (~403 ppi pixel density). It also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the top of the display for protection against scratches. The display quality is great with a high level of color accuracy. Sunlight and outdoor visibility is also good.
The camera is the main selling point for Xiaomi Mi A1. The smartphone comes with primary dual camera setup which allows capturing a nice bokeh effect. The dual camera setup consists of a 12-megapixel 26mm wide-angle lens (F/2.2 Aperture) and a 12-megapixel 50mm telephoto lens (F/2.6 Aperture). Xiaomi claims that the cost price of the wide-angle and telephoto lenses is 41% more expensive than the bayer and mono lenses setup found in alternative setups. Mi A1 has a large 1.25μm pixel sensor size that lets in 56% more light than typical sensors. Both lenses work together with stereoscopic imaging and deep learning algorithm to deliver portrait shots. The portrait shots captured with Mi A1 are great, it focuses on desired objects and blurs rest of the objects very accurately. Mi A1 also has 2x optical zoom using the telephoto lens. 2x optical zoom gives lossless quality which doesn’t pale the image and works great.
On the software side, the primary camera comes with Beautify 3.0 and natural color correction features. Overall image quality captured with Mi A1 during the natural lighting conditions is excellent and on par with flagship camera performance. However, the low light performance is not that great and some level of noise can be seen in the images. This may be a software issue in the initial release and may be improved with upcoming updates.
The smartphone also comes with a 5-megapixel wide angle front camera for selfies and video calling. The image quality from the front camera is average but is better than many other smartphones in this price range.
On the audio front, Mi A1 includes a 10-volt smart power amplifier which amplifies sound when you’re on speaker mode without causing any distortion. The smartphone has incorporated the Dirac HD sound algorithm and a standalone amplifier which produces a more natural and transparent sound.
Mi A1 Comes with 4GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. The 64GB internal storage can be further expanded via a microSD card (up to 128GB). The microSD card can only be used if you don’t use second SIM card as the smartphone has Hybrid SIM tray.
One of the main USP of Mi A1 is its software. Xiaomi has partnered with Google under Android One program and provided the pure version of Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) in Mi A1. Mi A1 Android One runs pure interface, a small number of preloads, keeping the phone simple for users with different choices. MiA1 will get Oreo update by the end of the year and will be one of the first devices to get Android P. The software also has integrated Google Assistant. Further, the smartphone also has Google Photos with unlimited storage and backing up of your images. The benefit of a partnership with Google will be the faster updates and latest security patches from Google directly.
Mi A1 comes with non-removable Li-Ion 3080 mAh battery. Snapdragon 625 has been designed using 14 nm process which makes the device power efficient. Thus, the battery of Mi A1 is expected to last for one and a half day for a moderate usage. Further, the smartphone comes with a USB Type-C Port. The smartphone has not been supplied with quick charge supported charger. However, Xiaomi has customised a 380V charger for India to protect against frequent power spikes.
Network & Connectivity
Mi A1 supports all 2G, 3G & 4G networks in India. The 4G/LTE bands supported by the smartphone are band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 40(2300), 41(2500). Thankfully, it also supports band 41 (2500) because BSNL, Vodafone & Idea are planning to launch 4G services on this band too. Mi A1 has dual-band Wi-Fi support and also has WiFi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2 as connectivity options.
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