Xiaomi Mi A1 is the primary in a wave of Android One smartphones to make the most of Google’s new value level goal. That may not sound thrilling to the typical citizen, however to the way forward for low-cost, high-end smartphone lovers like myself, that’s one thing to get pumped up about. The Xiaomi Mi A1 is actually a rebranded Mi 5X, this time coming with essentially the most primary Google-approved Android in the marketplace, which means it’s already market-tested and its is strong sufficient to be taken out an entire new door.

The physique of this machine ought to look fairly acquainted. Xiaomi is understood for his or her capability to take for their very own a number of the, ahem, most acquainted design components in the marketplace, making their merchandise extraordinarily inexpensive within the course of. The unit I’m utilizing for this assessment is Rose Gold – there’ll be a Black and a Gold model obtainable at launch as effectively.

The show on this machine is nearly as good as you’re going to get on a so-called “funds” machine. That identify has unhealthy connotations from a legacy of low-cost, low-quality units, however as of now, and due to units like this, funds smartphone ought to now not essentially imply something however small in value. With a 13.9cm (5.5-inch) LTPS FHD show up entrance with 450nits of brightness, that is the excessive finish of funds greatness.

This machine has three buttons up entrance – touch-sensitive residence, recents (multitasking) button, and again button. This implies there aren’t any residence row buttons on the show itself, and we’re again to a spot with we thought we’d left a 12 months or two in the past. The buttons are organized on this order: recents menu button, residence button, again button – similar to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

These buttons really feel old-school to me, however it’s largely as a result of I’ve reviewed so many smartphones over the previous half-decade (and extra) that I really feel like each little change is an enormous one. As such, this machine looks like a mixture of new and outdated – which I don’t thoughts.

The left and right-side bezels across the show aren’t as tiny as most top-level smartphones today, however they’re proper within the candy spot for these customers that don’t like their fingers smudging the perimeters of the show area.

Most vital to the on a regular basis seeker of a brand new smartphone is the concept that this looks like a premium telephone. There’s no blatant indicator that this Xiaomi smartphone isn’t each bit as premium as smartphones that value 4x as a lot. This machine has a wonderful digital camera setup, a not-mindblowing however actually respectable show, and a processor that’s nothing at which to scoff. It might as effectively value an entire lot extra – however it doesn’t.

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What we’ve acquired to remember on the similar time is the goal marketplace for this machine. In India, for instance, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to incorporate NFC. There’s merely not an entire lot of NFC motion in India – and essentially the most pervasive use of NFC (Android Pay) doesn’t exist there – as a substitute they use Tez.

The processor inside this machine is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. Different units that’ve used this processor embody the BlackBerry Keyone, Motorola Moto Z Play, Motorola Moto G5S Plus, Xiaomi Redmi Be aware four, and the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (amongst others). It’s respectable, runs principally each high-end app in the marketplace right this moment, and with this machine has 4GB of RAM to roll with.

This machine works with 64GB of inner storage with a microSD card slot able to holding a further 128GB information storage. This machine has a rear-facing fingerprint reader which works simply wonderful, and an IR Blaster at its head. With this IR Blaster, this machine works with the Mi Distant App (pre-installed) to manage nearly any tv.

One other function that’s changing into a commodity on this mixed-up world of ours that this machine has, is a headphone jack. Thanks, Xiaomi, for the headphone jack. There’s additionally a dual-SIM card tray that lets you select between having 2x SIM playing cards or one SIM card and one microSD card without delay.

Software program

Inside this Android One machine, we’ve acquired a virtually solely Google-made Android. Xiaomi has a few apps right here, one for Xiaomi assist, one other for the built-in distant management. They’ve additionally included the Xiaomi Mi digital camera expertise – which is fairly numerous, so far as digital camera experiences go. It’s additionally needed as a result of Android One doesn’t (but) assist dual-camera setups.

The software program is swift – far swifter than any smartphone I’ve used at this value level earlier than. That shouldn’t come as a shock given the processor beneath the hood from Qualcomm – however nonetheless, it looks as if this machine is simply too cheap to work this easily.

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The Mi A1 additionally has the Android Assistant onboard. This may be an extremely useful if not entertaining piece of software program for the tip person. When you like talking out loud to your smartphone to ask it questions, by all means.

Xiaomi means that whereas this machine is a part of the Android One universe, Xiaomi itself can be accountable for updates. That’s a bummer – not as a result of Xiaomi isn’t able to doing the deed, however as a result of there’s one other layer of builders to undergo earlier than the software program will get to the tip person. If Google dealt with the updates the identical approach they push updates to Nexus and Pixel units, we’d have a extra ideally suited scenario.

That’d all be true IF this smartphone was meant for the USA – however it’s actually not. As a substitute, this machine is launching in plenty of nations wherein Google doesn’t actually have an entire lot of presence. In a rustic like India, Xiaomi’s assist of the machine will possible be much better than Google’s ever might be – or has been within the latest previous.


This smartphone comes with a pair of back-facing cameras, a lot the identical as a number of latest Xiaomi smartphones – and simply as spectacular. The digital camera app comes from Xiaomi and consists of an array of options – most of that are both useful and/or spectacular.

There’s a “Beautify” function that guesses your age and gender – which may be both entertaining or mildly offensive, relying on the outcomes. Smoothing my ruddy pores and skin out and telling me I’m a 50-year-old goblin isn’t at all times my thought of a very good time, however… there it’s. NOTE: Goblin shouldn’t be truly one of many solutions the digital camera may give you, however it’d be tremendous neat if it have been.

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What’s extra spectacular from a digital camera performance’s perspective are the 7-step saturation, distinction, and sharpness changes. The distinction in photograph outcomes whereas adjusting these is extremely numerous. Now, if solely these changes might be made with out going into settings two ranges deep for entry.

ABOVE: A number of examples of the identical photograph (practically) with completely different ranges of saturation, sharpness, and distinction. BELOW: Tremendous SATURATION!

Have a peek on the photograph examples above and/or under and see if there’s any surroundings or shot that I’ve missed that you just’d wish to see tried. I’ll be glad to return and make an instance out of you and your request.


The battery inside this machine is 3080mAh giant, which suggests it lasts principally so long as you want. The show is giant, however not particularly dense with pixels, and doesn’t use a know-how that’s extraordinarily draining on the battery – so the battery doesn’t die in half a day. As a substitute we’ve acquired a scenario the place the battery life is nearly as good as I’ve ever seen on a smartphone with this battery measurement – a minimum of a full day’s motion, if no more, frequently.


Probably the most compelling purpose to purchase this telephone is its value – it’ll are available in at 15,000 INR, roughly $233 USD. That’s extraordinarily good for what’s included on this machine. The one factor you’re going to wish to watch out of is ensuring your chosen service’s SIM card works with the speeds you want.

When you dwell in Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Poland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Mexico, chances are high this machine goes to be able to roll with the service of your selection. In our Xiaomi Mi A1 launch article you’ll discover a full listing of nations to which the machine can be launched. For everybody else, there’ll be extra Android One units coming within the close to future.