Xiaomi Mi A1 review


With the Xiaomi Mi 5X confined to the domestic Chinese market soon after launch, its double, the Mi A1, is called upon to boost the brand’s global presence. Steered by Google, Android One is full of potential and Xiaomi’s looking keen on getting its message across a wider audience and, of course, making some profit in the process with the Mi A1.

Android One started as an initiative for the emerging markets, making decent smartphone experience widely-available on entry-level and budget-friendly handsets. It has now outgrown its initial target and ready to confidently step into mature markets with more phones like the Xiaomi Mi A1. The Chinese maker benefits too from this sort of partnership, celebrating the first Mi ever that’s officially available across Europe.

We, users are lucky enough to enjoy this midrange smartphone with on-time updates and a pure Android experience. The 5.5″ LCD screen is a popular choice, while the Snapdragon 625 is still the benchmark for power efficiency. The dual-camera is what makes the Mi A1 so attractive though, delivering the trending imaging experience on the cheap.

Xiaomi Mi A1 key features

  • Body: Aluminum unibody design
  • Screen: 5.5″ IPS LCD display, 1080p resolution, 403ppi
  • OS: Android OS v7.1.2 Nougat, Oreo coming soon
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 625 chipset: octa-core 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 processor; Adreno 506 GPU
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Camera: Dual 12MP Sony IMX386 camera; wide-angle F/2.2 + telephoto F/2.6, live bokeh effects, dual-LED flash, phase detection auto focus, 2160p@30fps video;
  • Selfie: 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p@30fps video
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB of built-in storage
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (nano-SIM)
  • Connectivity: LTE; Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Bluetooth v4.2, USB-C port, IR blaster
  • Battery: 3,080mAh non-removable battery
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor (rear-mounted)

Main shortcomings

  • No NFC or FM radio
  • No Quick Charge

The omissions of the Mi 5X are automatically inherited by the Mi A1 – it’s pretty much the same phone after all. This means no NFC and no fast charging. The bundled charger will restore about 30% of a flat battery in half an hour, which is not so bad. Luckily, the phone has broader availability and is free of MIUI for better or worse.

It’s a big deal when such a properly equipped package as the Mi A1 is entering the Android One program. There are lots of firsts happening for both Xiaomi and Google and we can’t wait to see how the story will unfold. If you are curious too, follow us to the next page for the usual unboxing and hardware checkup.

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