Xiaomi, on 8 August launched the Mi A2, the second version of its Android One powered smartphone Mi A1. Although the Mi A1 was a decent smartphone that offered a stock Android experience, rather than the not-so-intuitive MIUI, it did not garner much attention in the market.
With the Mi A2, Xiaomi is looking for more buyers for its aims to get more people to buy its Android One devices.
Although not much has changed in terms of specifications, the Mi A2 comes with a few new features, improved camera and an all new design.
Here's how different the Mi A2 is from Xiaomi's first Android One device.
The Mi A2 has a fresh design and looks more modern than the A1. Although the phone's build quality feels premium with its metal body, it doesn't look quite different from other Xiaomi handsets in the market today.
In terms of overall looks, the A2 takes it home with its slimmer 7.3 mm body, smaller bezels and the vertically placed dual cameras. But the X factor that the A1 provided at the time of its launch is missing this time around. The phone doesn't seem to stand out.
One big miss: The Mi A2 does not come with a headphone jack, so your only option is to pick up a relatively more expensive Bluetooth headset.
However, the phone does adapt to modern design standards well, even without the notch. It is easier to use with one hand, despite a bigger screen, which brings us to the display.
The Mi A1, launched in September 2017 had a 5.5-inch full-HD display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel density. The display was bright enough to use in bright light, just with the limitations of an IPS panel. The A1 used Corning's Gorilla glass 3 for scratch protection.
The display on the Mi A2 is much brighter and with a bigger 5.99-inch full-HD+ display.
The display offers a better experience at a 2160 x 1080 pixel density and with a bigger 18:9 aspect ratio. The Mi A2’s screen is more sturdy as it uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5.
Hardware and Performance
The Mi A2 comes with a Snapdragon 660 processor paired with 4GB RAM. There is a 6GB RAM variant as well, which will be launched later. The A2 comes in two storage options as well, with a 64GB and 128GB variant. The phone comes with Android 8.0, with the August security patch update out-of-the-box.
The phone comes with a 3,010 mAh battery, which is enough to last a day with normal usage. However, the actual battery life will be subject to testing in our review later.
The Mi A1, on the other hand had a Snapdragon 625 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM. The phone came in only one 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage option, with a 3,080 mAh battery. Being an Mi A1 user, the phone has frozen a couple of times, but I've not had any major issues with it.
The 3,080 mAh battery is enough for a whole day. Even with heavy usage on some days, the phone’s battery manages to last more than 10 hours.
What remains to be seen is if the A2's battery can perform better than the A1.
In terms of software, both phones run Android Oreo. The A1 was launched with Oreo update out of the box, which although is not stock Android, it is cleaner and lighter than Xiaomi's MIUI.
I have used the Mi A2 for about a day and have not seen any difference when it comes to the user experience. It just performs some tasks faster and smoother.
The Mi A2 comes with a dual camera setup, with 12 megapixel and 20 megapixel Sony shooters at the back. The camera performance has significantly improved on the Mi A2 as it uses pixel binning technology with f/1.75 aperture that performs better in low light compared to the f/2.2 aperture on the Mi A1.
The low-light pictures on the A2 are also much better than the photos clicked from the Mi A1 shooter, with the AI integration playing a part here. The camera still keeps all the features like portrait mode, manual mode, slow-motion videos and panorama among others. This time around, even the front camera sports a portrait mode.
With the better camera capability and smoother performance on the A2, it is definitely worth upgrading.
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