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Mi A1: the perfect budget smartphone is here
by Seth L.
CREATED BY XIAOMI, POWERED BY GOOGLE

Generally speaking, the Mi A1 is actually a variant of the Mi 5X with narrower bezels. There is some very noticable technical, design and finish similarities it shares with the iPhone 7 Plus, especially the dual cameras and where its situated on the body of device. The device feels good in the hand with its ultra-thin 7.3mm thickness, top-notch build quality and curved aluminium unibody, though it could get a little bit slippery if you have sweaty palms so we reckon you should get a casing and screen protector for the Mi A1 pronto. The back is covered in a nice aluminium finish, making it look very much like the back of the iPhone 7 at a glance with a circular fingerprint scanner placed at the top middle of the chassis.

Marketed as a device that is created by Xiaomi and powered by Google, the Mi A1 is Xiaomi’s first ever Android One smartphone.

So what is Android One you ask? Well, Android One is a low cost line of consumer electronics devices that run the Android operating system. It is a hardware and software standard created by Google for Android systems and customers. Unlike other previous OEM Android One smartphones that were limited only to their own respective manufacturing countries, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is the first Android One smartphone that will be widely available in quite a few countries. With the release of the Xiaomi Mi A1, Google aims to progressively bring a unified and consistent hardware and software experience worldwide.

User can expect to receive an almost stock, clean Android experience out of the box with the Mi A1 because the device does ship with three MIUI apps: Feedback, Mi Remote. and MIUI Camera app. Xiaomi has opted to use their own camera app because the default Android camera currently does not support dual camera setup. The Mi A1 ships with Android 7.1.2 Nougat and will receive a minimum of two years of OS upgrades, including an upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of 2017 and Android P in 2018.

PICTURE PERFECT DUAL CAMERA

The Mi A1 can do a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom with its dual shooters, a 12-megapixel f/2.6 50mm telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 26mm wide-angle lens. Just like any current dual cameras on the market, the twin shooters on the Mi A1 is no slouch. Portrait mode shots comes out great with strong colours and well-balanced blur effects. Overall photo colours were nice and natural in good lighting but your shots might suffer a bit of noise in low light. There are several other modes you can snap with like Panorama, Hand Held Twilight, Beautify and Manual.

The device also comes with a 5-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture and beautification mode.

All Android One devices comes with free unlimited high quality storage on Google Photos and access to shared albums, so don't worry about that storage space. Just keep on snapping and you can easily back them all up in the cloud.

SPECS: WELL WORTH THE PRICE

Aside from its price-worthy dual cameras setup, the Mi A1 is powered by a power-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, which definitely offers enough punch to handle routine tasks easily. The Mi A1 is loaded out with a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD display with 2.5D Corning Gorilla glass, massive 64GB of expandable storage, 4GB of high-speed RAM and a 3,080mAh battery.

VERDICT

Just like many of Xiaomi’s recent devices, the Mi A1 comes into the game as an affordable and reliable smartphone, with a core focus on being a no-fuss device with good photography capabilities. The price tag for the Mi A1 is RM1099. The Mi A1 will be available in Black and Gold colours for Malaysia.

Well, with a price tag that competitive, the pure Android Mi A1 may possibly succeed as Xiaomi’s most popular smartphone or dare we say the best mid-range smartphone you can purchase in Malaysia today!

Check out Xiaomi Malaysia page for further information on the Mi A1 or Xiaomi's Lazada page to purchase the Mi A1

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