Xiaomi is capable of making budget smartphones with decent hardware, and it is a known fact. With the launch of Mi A1 powered by Google on 5th September 2017, they proved it again. Mi A1 (Tissot) is the latest Android One device with the hardware and software standards set by Google and is capable of delivering a pure android experience. It looks and weighs almost like a Redmi Note 4, but this device is loaded with pure Android and lots more features. It is currently available from Flipkart and Mi.com for Rs 14,999 via flash sales.
Our package with Mi A1 Black 64GB from Flipkart was delivered last week and we are really impressed with the device. Xiaomi has created something different this time in partnership with Google. Here is what we felt about the device after using for almost a week.
Mi A1 has got a premium design with full metal unibody build and rounded back edges. It sports a 2.5D curved display design with narrow bezels. The antenna bands blend perfectly with top and bottom sides while in the rear, there is noticeable camera bump. The front side features the display along with the selfie camera and sensors. On the matte finished back, you will find the fingerprint sensor, dual camera setup, dual tone flash LED and the Android One branding. The left-hand side has the hybrid SIM tray, the power key and volume rockers are on the right-hand side. On the top side is the IR blaster and noise cancellation mic, whereas the bottom side features the USB type-c port, 3.5mm jack, loudspeaker grills, and noise cancellation mic.
It weighs about 165 g and measures 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3 mm, making it more ergonomic to hold. The Mi A 1 might also feel like a sized down version of Mi Max 2, slimmer and shorter.
- Full metal unibody and rounded back edges.
- Narrow bezels and 2.5D curved display.
- Noticeable camera bump for rear setup
Mi A1 features an LTPS IPS LCD capacitive display which offers great picture quality. It is a 5.5 inch full HD display with 403 ppi protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It has a good screen-to-body ratio of 70.1%, and delivers 24-bit color depth. The display is way stronger and better when compared to Redmi Note 4.
User Interface & apps
It is powered by stock Android and comes out of the box with Android 7.1.2. In other words, it is pure Android from Google and has access to premiere security features, applications and innovations on your phone, such as unlimited high-quality storage with Google Photos. It also has a guaranteed upgrade to Android Oreo and also to Android P, when available.
In the app section, you’ll not find any bloatware except the Mi community app, feedback app, and remote(IR blaster) app. The camera app also comes from Xiaomi for dual camera compatibility. This app features a portrait mode, for taking pictures using the dual camera with Bokeh effect.
- Stock Android experience with less bloatware.
- Frequent updates and guaranteed upgrade to Android Oreo and Android P.
The Mi A1 is a budget performer, with average to good gaming capabilities. It is powered by Octa-core Snapdragon 625 coupled with Adreno 506 which supports Vulkan API. The device has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM for all your applications and files. Some of the benchmark scores are AnTuTu: 63464 and Geekbench 4: Singlecore 863, Multicore 4172.
It has an independent 10V smart power amplifier paired with the advanced Dirac HD Sound which can produce powerful speaker output. The top and bottom mounted mics help in noise cancellation with a noise-reduction algorithm by Fortemedia. Combined with VoLTE capabilities Mi A1 gives you a clear and perfect calling experience.
- Vulkan API supporting GPU with 14nm Finfet SD 625 CPU.
- Independent audio amplifier for powerful output.
Mi A1 sports a rear dual camera system with two 12MP, where one lens is 26mm wide-angle while the other is 50mm telephoto (zoom lens). This setup allows you to capture portrait mode pictures with Bokeh effect. The camera also supports 2x optical and 10x digital zoom. The front camera is a 5MP which can take decent selfies. Low light performance is not up to the mark for both front and rear cameras. You can also find other mods and filters viz Natural colour correction, Smart beautify and Beautify 3.0 within the camera app.
- Rear dual camera setup with 12MP Omnivision OV12A10 sensors.
- Wide-angle and telephoto lens together produce Bokeh effect.
- Decent 5MP selfie camera.
On the connectivity side, the device supports 4G VoLTE, 2G and 3G networks. Like the regular Xiaomi phones, this also has a hybrid SIM tray but with one major difference. You can use either 2 Nano SIMs or 1 Nano SIM + Micro SD card. Other connectivity specs include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, IR blaster and USB Type-C 1.0 reversible. For geolocation and navigation, it supports GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS.
- 4G VoLTE capability with 2G and 3G support.
- Hybrid SIM tray – 2 Nano SIMs or 1 Nano SIM + Micro SD card.
- USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector.
The unit is juiced by a non-removable 3080mAh Lithium Polymer battery and is well within the standards of Google. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge and lasts over 2 days in normal usage. The battery optimisation won’t hinder the performance much. It provides about 106 hours of standby time or 14 hours of web browsing or 68 hours of music or 16 hours of telephone or 4 hours of video recording.
Inbox Components & Accessories
Inside the package, you will find the handset, power adaptor, USB type-c cable, user guide, warranty card and 1 SIM eject tool. You can also grab the branded clear screen protector and back case from Mi.com.
Xiaomi has once again proven that they are the leaders in the budget smartphone market. Their Mi A1 powered by Google is without any doubts a stunning budget device. To say it is a perfect combination of decent hardware and pure software. You can give it a go if your budget allows above 10k. Other alternatives in this price bracket are Moto Gs Plus, Redmi Note 4, Honor 6X. But, Mi A1 being an Android One device have several privileges like frequent updates and upgrades. Hope you enjoyed the review, Peace!