Xiaomi Mi A1 is a mid-ranged smartphone that is claimed to be one of the best budgeting smartphone, which got my attention to Review this unit. One of the best thing Xiaomi has done with this smartphone is got a stock Android OS that helps to be away from the bloatwares app & just pure Android. We will see the detail review of Xiaomi Mi A1 that is done after several benchmarks test on all aspects.
What’s Inside The Box?
The Xiaomi Mi A1 comes in a very decent packing with nothing but a Xiaomi Mi A1 branding on it. When opened; You will see the 5.5-inch Xiaomi Mi A1 itself & beneath it you will see the adapter & USB type-C charger cable. One of the sad thing is that they does not include a headphone. The charger you get is not a fast charger.
Also Read: Xiaomi Mi A1 Top Features
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is designed really well. The build quality of this smartphone does look rich as compare to the price. The smartphone comes with a volume rocker button & another lock button (can also be used to restart & power off) on the right hand side. Where as on the left, you will only find a hype card holder that can place either two SIM or One SIM & a memory card.
The smartphone is made up of metal, which looks & feels premium on all angel. The device that I am using comes with a mat-black finished, which looks quite premium & sturdy. On the back you will find a dual camera with LED flash which is just above the fingerprint sensor. On the flat surface you’ll notice a camera bump which I personally feel is not a big deal, but for those who don’t like camera bump this might be an issue. The Mi A1 looks similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, but with a replacement of logo & adding a fingerprint sensor.
Considering the fact of being used mostly for calling, they have done a pretty job by adding noise cancellation microphone on the top & bottom for better audio while talking or recording. Towards the bottom you will also find a speaker, Type-C charging port & a 3.5mm headphone jack.
For me this is one of the best looking Mi has ever made. With this the expectation for the Mi smartphone has increased. We hope to see many improvements in the upcoming Mi smartphones.
With the Mi A1 Xiaomi has really got a lot of things improved including the display. The Xiaomi comes with a 5.5-inch LTPS FHD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels at 403ppi density & a 450nit of brightness. Having an stock Android make the display sharper & color accurate. The display is the LTPS display which give a better color tone.
The Mi A1 has one of the best displays in the price range. 20% of brightness is enough to show you your screen clearly even at day light. The display is not an anti-glare display, but event in the brightest light condition the viewing angle of this display is unbelievable. You could keep the display brightness to 40% for having the best viewing angle for brighter light. If you are one of those who keep their brightness setting automatic, I would suggest not to in this Smartphone. The sensor does not do an accurate job, but fine. The only reason for this suggestion is the display when kept automatic in daylight like to suck a good amount of battery as display consumes a lot of power for better visuals, which tend to drain the battery faster. Hence a suggestion for keeping it manual.
This is one of the parts which I’m quite disappointed with. The response rate of the display is not that accurate as expected. The display feels smooth, but the gesture stumbles a lot. But there are few features that make this overcome it. We have a 3D icons feature that gives 3D effect to the icons when long pressed. But, this feature is just limited to some apps only.
Talking about touch sensitivity feature fingerprint is one which is important here. The fingerprint scanner has an amazing response. It just takes a fraction of second to unlock your device. You can also set the fingerprint to check the notification by just few step going in the settings. To check the notification you just have to put your finger at the fingerprint sensor and pull down to check the notification.
This is one of the most noticeable part for any user. People have been claiming that the phone has an amazing camera, but it not completely true. The phone comes with a 12 MP Main Shooter with an aperture of f-2.2 & 12 MP Telephoto Shooter with an aperture of f-2.6. The regular lens has the 26 mm equivalent focal length, whereas the Telephoto lens has 50 mm equivalent focal length. The phone has some really good camera features but, on the other hand it does lack on some of the most important aspects of being a good smartphone Camera. So, let’s talk about each and every factor in detail. There is also a 5 MP Shooter on the Front.
The Rear Camera(s):
The Camera is kinda like a Mixed Bag here. While launching this phone in India, Xiaomi was hyping the Camera a lot and it was literally aimed to become the second USP after the Stock Android Software experience. So, we were really expecting the Camera to be pretty decent but, it didn’t stand up on our expectations. Let’s start with the Daylight Shots & we’ll move to the Indoor shots after that.
In daylight, the Camera performs well where the Sunlight is directly hitting the Subject but moving under shadows makes the image softer & the Subject start to lose sharpness & details. The colors are natural though but, they look a little bit washed out. So, in general the Camera lacks sharpness & photos also tend to be a bit underexposed. It’s not very bad or something but, it doesn’t reach up-to the expectations & hype.
Talking about the portrait mode, the camera does a pretty good job with it, but only if the object is 2.5 meter away. But, when we take photos away from 2.5 meter the portrait mode does not do a great job. I found the Bokeh to be pretty hit or miss. Sometimes there are noticeable Edge Defects & Background area misses to be found. So, we found the Software to be kinda immature to handle Portrait Shots well. Specially, if the subject was even a little bit far away from that 2.5 mm range, it keeps missing the subject randomly. The dynamic Range is ok but, it also could have been a lot better.
The manual mode of the camera is quite decent as compared to the price, but there are other brands that gives much better manual mode than this. The image processing in the other hand seems to be quick compared to some competitors, probably the stock Android is helping to push in this area.
In Indoor lighting conditions the pictures are softer as expected & you’ll see some noticeable noise in those photos. We thought it’ll loose most of the details as well & it does loose some of it. But, it isn’t as bad as much we assumed seeing the Daylight images. In low light most of the budget devices start to loose a lot of quality & show noticeable noise levels. So, this price point, the Low-light performance of the Mi A1 is just as you’d expect. Maybe they could have at least used a f-2.0 lens as that would have at least improve the low light performance a bit more and it does just as expected in Indoor Lighting conditions.
The Front Camera:
The 5 MP Front facing Camera is Good & can take decent Selfies in both Indoor & outdoor conditions. Just like the Rear facing Camera, the Front facing Camera does loose some of the details & the selfies are not very sharp as well. But, unlike the Rear Main shooter this Camera has an aperture of f-2.0. So, that aperture translates to slightly better Low-light selfies that we expected.
So, overall This Camera is a decent one. But, it doesn’t lived fully to our expectations & we think Xiaomi could have done better but, in some parts they’ve compromised some major aspects of the Camera. So, we expected this phone to perform a bit better from where Xioami was hyping it.
How’s the camera for Video:
If you are looking for video shooting, then i would suggest not to go for this smartphone. There are few problems that actually pull down the video performance of the smartphone.
First thing first. Auto-Focus is something that needs a huge improvement. While talking video the camera sensor does not focus on the right object. While shooting the phone does not support “tap to focus“, which is a huge disappointment for someone who is into videos. What’s more disappointing here is the absence of manual-mode for video shooting. I mostly prefer video shooting on manual mode. Even the Zenfone 3 Max 5.5 inch which we reviewed earlier, supports Manual Mode for Video, which was able to offer better controls over Video.
This phone has an amazing battery life, but what’s disappointing is that it does not support fast charging. This phone comes loaded with a 3080mAh battery, but the power distribution of the phone is quite amazing. On the battery test the phone was loaded with dual SIM with 4G support on one & another SIM for normal phone call simultaneously.
On my 3G talk time the battery last for 18 hours, where as web-browsing & YouTube video the battery supported for 13 hours. When used the phone for daily use age that includes photo/video shooting, web browsing, 3G talk time, YouTube videos & normal game play, the phone last for 10 hours from 100% to 5%.
Below table describes you the amount of time it takes for Charging:
Batter % (From – To)
|0% to 25%||30 Minutes|
|25% to 60%||1 hour|
|60% to 100%||2 hours 30 minutes|
This is where the battery performance lags. The charging time of the batter is too high, which i feel need to be upgraded. But never or less the battery consumption is managed quite decent.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 comes loaded with the Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with Cortex-A53 chip-set clocked at 2.0GHz. It also comes the Adreno 506 GPU. Being a mid-ranged smartphone the 4GB RAM does a pretty good job for the smartphone.
You can see the benchmark results below:
The Snapdragon 625 does a pretty good job & is one of the best performing processor for mid-ranged smartphone. This smartphone does a pretty good job for gaming too, but it does lags a bit for high-end games. but for the price the phone does more than what it deserves. The thing that i was really impressed was the device to stay cool even at heavy loads. I had no heating issues even after using heavy loads work. Xiaomi has really managed to work on the cooling as compared to Redmi Note 4 .
The Xiaomi Mi A1 packs a very decent specification for the price & what make this smartphone work smooth is the stock Android OS. The build quality of the smartphone is what makes the phone look premium. There is still a lot to improve in terms of camera, but in total the smartphone comes loaded with a very decent pricing for they are providing. We could soon see Android O coming to this device soon.
Giving the final words to it, this comes under of the best budgeting smartphone in the market 2017.