Xiaomi Mi A1 – the best budget device?

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I have already shown you many devices coming from the Chinese giant Xiaomi. They recently released the follow-up to the first bezel-less smartphone, the Mi Mix 2, and announced the selfie-targeted Redmi Y1. They are even gearing up for another announcement of the Redmi 5 and 5 Plus. Today, we’re taking a look at the famous Mi A1 – the midrange device that comes with Android One, perfect for global users. Let’s see what this device can offer.

Design

The Mi A1 is a pretty sleek phone that (as many) reassemble a bit to the iPhone look. It is built from aluminum, giving a premium feel when you’re holding it in your hands. On the front, you will find the 5.5” LCD display with 1080p resolution. It has huge bezels and the fact that is not following the 18:9 aspect ratio trend could turn people away. But, the panel is decent, with great color optimization and excellent brightness in outdoor situations. They did follow the dual rear camera setup though, on which I will get in a second. They’re placed in the top corner, with the fingerprint sensor placed closely under them.

Features

On the performance side, the Mi A1 is a powerhouse. The Snapdragon 625 processor clocked at 2GHz is capable of processing any task you throw at it. Paired with the Adreno 506 GPU and 4GB of RAM, the A1 is ready for every power user. The 64GB internal storage should be enough for most of you, but you can use the second SIM slot to insert a MicroSD card incase you need more. The battery capacity is clocked at 3080mAh, and from user reports, it could keep the phone up for around one and a half days.

The dual-lens camera setup is per 2017 trends, and they are not bad either. The sensors are both 12MP, with the second having an 2x optical zoom and the Depth Effect (or more famously known as Portrait mode or bokeh). Pictures out of these are great, with excellent sharpness and decent dynamic range. Colors are a bit colder compared to other smartphones, but you can easily tweak that in the settings. The optical zoom lens is not that great though, so if the conditions are not great, try to avoid it. The portrait mode is great though, though it can struggle with more complex backgrounds.

The real selling point of the Mi A1 is the software though, as it comes with Google’s Android One. It is basically a clean version of Android, without any bloatware or additional features. This ensures security and software updates for 2 years, which is perfect compared to other custom UIs. The only downside in this is that it ships with Android Nougat 7.1.2, but it should be upgraded to Oreo as soon as possible.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is available for purchase, with the price settled around $230. You could get it from Xiaomi’s site, or import it through GearBest or AliExpress if Xiaomi doesn’t sell it in your country.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is a serious contester to the budget range of smartphones, and the dual-lens camera and Android One OS could push it to the top. What are your thoughts on the Mi A1? Share them in the comments below.

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