Xiaomi Mi A1 Review Xiaomi Mi A1: Your Best Buy for 150 Euros

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That Xiaomi is one of the most fashionable Chinese companies of the moment is not a secret at all. Boasting value for money that is nothing short of exceptional, the company offers users products that are the envy of better-known companies, such as Samsung.

Today we’re going to talk about the Xiaomi mi A1, a smartphone released in the fourth quarter of 2017 that sits in the mid-range.

When it was launched, the Xiaomi I A1 cost about 244 euros, but it is not now difficult to find it on offer for about 140 / 150 euros. We have two models: one with 32 GB of internal storage and 3 GB of RAM and one with 64 GB of internal memory and 4 GB of RAM. The colours available are red, black and rose gold.

But let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this device in our review.

Packaging

Just by looking at the packaging, we can see how the device mounts Android One, the clean version of the green robot. This was a choice that not everyone agreed with on release. Personally, however, I find it to be an interesting choice, since it allows security patches to be up-to-date for up to 18 months. The Chinese company also promised the presence of Android P on the device.

The contents of the package are as expected: phone, 5V 2A charger, Type C charging cable and the sim removal pin. Inside the package we also have a welcome gift: a plastic film for our screen.

Technical Specifications

The technical features of the Xiaomi Mi A1 are in line with those of the medium range.

  • Processor – Snapdragon 625
  • RAM: 3\4 GB
  • Internal Memory: 32\64 gb
  • GPU: Adreno 506
  • Operating System: Android Nougat 7.0 (soon available with Oreo 8.1) with Android One interface
  • Dimensions:  155,4 x 75,8 x 7,3 mm;
  • Weight: 165 g;
  • Battery: 3065 mAh.

Sensors

  • Fingerprints
  • Brightness sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Step Counter
  • Compass.

The fingerprint sensor works 7 times out of 10. Sometimes, due to a software bug, you have to unlock the device manually even if the device has recognized your fingerprint.

The brightness sensor is poor; too imprecise. This means that you have to constantly correct the brightness of your device manually.

Network

  • GSM: Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900)
  • Network:4G LTE
  • Bluetooth:2
  • GPS
  • Wifi a/b/g/n/ac
  • Infrared
  • Type C

Design

The design of this phone is captivating. Even though smartphones are generally all the same, the Mi A1 is able to stand out from the others. The Chinese company has decided to leave the part above the smartphone practically bare, leaving only one of the two microphones. Below we find 3.5mm headphone jack, the second microphone, the type C connector for charging and the speaker. The latter works very well, although if you cover the speaker, the sound is really muffled, even on the maximum volume.

On the display we will find the 5MP front camera, the brightness and proximity sensors and a white notification LED. The flash for the front camera is missing. On the back, however, we find the 12MP rear camera, the flash and the fingerprint sensor.

I liked the “I Android One” signature on the bottom of the backcover; very iPhone-style. The latter is in polished aluminum and slightly holds prints. In these two weeks of testing, however, I only had to clean it once.

Screen

The 5.5″ display is one I really enjoyed. The viewing angles are quite good. The only flaw, as with all IPS screens, is the blacks that tend to gray. It maintains visibility under sunlight though.

Battery

The battery life did not particularly impress me. With average use (social, a few games and calls) I never got more than 6 hours of screen on. However, the 3000 mAh battery generally makes it to the evening with 15 / 20% of life left. For a full charge, the supplied charger takes about two hours.

Audio

The audio on call is clear and clean, either using the speakerphone or without. The listener can hear you clearly too. During my tests I never noticed any significant problems.

Gaming

Here, too, the A1 behaves quite well. Despite the loading times not being the best (Real Racing loaded in 29 seconds), during the game experience I never encountered a lag and the gameplay was relatively smooth. The only flaw was that on a sunny day (the temperature was about 22C) I noticed that the back of the device started to heat up a lot.

Camera

The general photo quality amazed me. In direct sunlight you can notice some photos have natural, vivid colours. This changes in low light though. In fact, at dusk the colours become dull and fake. Despite the option of HDR mode in the dark, I highly recommend the installation of the GCam. Mounting one of the many APKs that use the same algorithms as the Pixel cameras, yields a marked improvement in the quality of photos. To install one of the many APKs, you just need to search for one of the many guides on the internet.

With 2x Zoom:

Conclusion

I had a love-hate relationship with this phone. On the one hand, I appreciated many things about the device such as the software and the display. On the other, I found it impossible to ignore the flaws. Overall, however, the Mi A1 is definitely a good smartphone, which I recommend especially to those who know how to mod. If you are not an expert, however, there are various groups on the internet about it, where you can get a bit of “how to mod” advice.

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