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Xiaomi Mi A1 in-Depth Review: Is it worth buying?

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We judge the quality of a product when a company decides to offer it for a very low price. But surprisingly that’s not the case with the Xiaomi Mi A1. Shai Krish

Xiaomi has been killing the budget segment by making several great smartphones over the past few years. Even though the devices are great, I never used to enjoy MIUI as much as I loved the Stock Android and that’s exactly what Google offered Xiaomi. This reboot and with the launch of the Mi A1, Xiaomi has once again taken the “budget league” to a whole new level. Anyways its time for us to decide whether the Xiaomi Mi A1 will live up to the hype?

Design

Like all the other companies, Xiaomi has followed the curved Apple design gimmick. The looks are more polarizing and it gives a premium feel with a metallic finish. Not too slippery and definitely well crafted to feel great in your hands. The device weighs around 165gm but still feels super lite! Maybe because of its sleek design which measures around 7.3mm. I’m not a fan of protruded camera design because they are easily prone to get damaged. The buttons are well placed and give a tactile feel.

Hardware

Specification

Weight(g): 168.00| RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB + Upto 128GBMicro SD | Camera: 12MP+12MP Dual Camera + 5MP Front

So the specs of the Mi A1 are also mid-range, just as expected for the price segment its playing in. The device is packed with an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and is coupled with 4GB RAM. The Mi A1 comes with 64GB of internal memory and this doesn’t stop there, it also offers 128GB of external memory support but be ready to sacrifice one of your sim slots!

Performance & Display

One major add-on to the Xiaomi Mi A1 is the display quality. With 5.5-inch IPS display & 2.5D curved glass, the Mi A1 delivers crisp & rich contrast. The viewing angles are also great. One issue that I faced was the drop in color when viewed in outdoors and even at full brightness the colors seems washed out.

The Stock Android choice is definitely a cherry on top of a cake. It means no bloatware and optimized performance on the hardware its running on. It will lead to regular OS updates. The combination of 625 Snapdragon & 4GB of RAM did tend to handle a lot of intensive tasks with total ease. The performance is fluid and smooth. Surprisingly even after an hour of gaming and browsing, there were no heating issues.

Finally Xiaomi! You’ve heard us!

Camera

Here we are! The highlight of the device. This could be the most affordable 2x lossless optical zoom dual camera smartphone available currently in the market. The dual setup is combined with a 12MP wide-angle lens and the other being a 12MP telephoto lens, coupled with a dual-tone LED flash. The Portrait shots were pretty good. Most shots had clearly defined edges and the perfect ratio of blurring.

Also read, Xiaomi Tripod Selfie Stick with remote shutter at $16.99

In ideal lighting, the phone was able to take some amazing portrait shots. The camera was able to capture good amounts of texture and detail with low noise, but only in good light. The night shots were a disaster with lots of extensive noise and loss in contrast. But the photos taken with flashlight came out better, although I don’t prefer artificial lights. Another major drawback is the lack of optical image stabilization. Which results in non-stabilized video shots!

Also read, XIAOMI QICYCLE EUNI ES808 Folding Electric Scooter

Battery

Out of the box, the device doesn’t come with fast-charging support! Fortunately the recent Oreo Build has got the Mi A1 users lucky, by providing them fast-charging support but still you might require a fast charger. The device comes with a 5V 2A charger, which has a decent flow of electrons that can charge the device from 0 to 100% in less than 2 hours(considering the Nougat Build). Standby time is usually good on any stock integrated android device.The optimization scripts that are running alongside the OS make the device drain charge easily on 4G networks. Which further results in lifetime of less than 10 hours with some day to day usage.

PS : I hardly had a day run.

Also read, Xiaomi Bluetooth 4.2 Speaker Offered

Conclusion

In-spite of all the drawbacks, considering the price range.The Xiaomi Mi A1 is still a pretty attractive device. It might not have the glitter you need! But definitely holds everything essential. With that being said, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is definitely worth buying.

You can get the Xiaomi Mi A1 on Gearbest for $199.99 (64 GB Variant). The launch of Mi A1 has set a hype for the Android One Program and I just can’t wait to see where this is going to take the budget smartphone segment!

Good
> Elegant & Premium design
> Excellent price
> Stock Android

Bad
> Poor low light Photography
> Average Battery Life
> Sturdy Build Quality
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