Meet the Xiaomi Mi A1: an affordable mid-ranger with stock Android and fancy dual camera

A few days ago, we reported that Xiaomi is planning to announce an entirely new lineup of phones on September 5. Based on the teasers released at the time, our guess was that the Chinese manufacturer planned to introduce the next Android One phone, a fruit of its collaboration with Google. 

This has indeed happened, as today, the company unveiled its new Mi A1 model during an event in New Delhi, India. At a first glance, Xiaomi seems to have made the A1 specifically for this particular South Asian market, but the phone maker actually plans to introduce it on a much broader scale. However, let's see what the A1 has to offer before we discuss its availability and pricing.

What are Android One phones and does the Mi A1 fit the description?

In a nutshell, Android One is a series of budget-friendly phones that are intended for developing markets. They run a near-stock version of Android and most of them are designed, marketed, and supported by Google, with OEMs taking care of the manufacturing process. 

Up to this point, the search engine giant primarily partnered up with lesser-known Asian phone makers such as Micromax, Spice, and Nexian journey, so the collaboration with a more distinguished brand like Xiaomi is kind of a big deal. 

Does the Xiaomi Mi A1 fit into this narrative as well? Well, yes and no. The phone's looks and specs are absolutely identical to the Xiaomi Mi 5X, a great mid-ranger that's currently exclusive to China. This means that Mountain View didn't design the handset itself this time around. However, Google will most likely take care of any future updates to the A1, as virtually every other Xiaomi model ships with the company's Android-based custom MIUI skin.


Okay, so we've established that the Mi A1 will boast a clean version of Android, but what does this mean? Well, a generally bloat-free experience in addition to timely updates. 

The handset will ship with Android N out of the box, but it will be updated to Oreo by the end of the year. At the press conference, Xiaomi also assured that the device will be one of the first to get Android P when the software becomes available in 2018. Furthermore, A1 users will get the privilege of receiving monthly security patches in a timely manner and will benefit from Google Play Protect.

However, Xiaomi will keep some of its software on board the A1. The MIUI camera app will remain, but it will work together with Google Photos. It will automatically back up any pictures taken with the camera to the storage space of one's Google Account.


There's a lot to like with the hardware of the Mi A1. On the outside, you get a 5.5-inch 1080p screen and a nice metal body. On the inside, you'll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 powering the handset. This particular octa-core chipset is known for keeping a good balance between battery life and performance. As for system and internal memory, you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM. A 3,080mAh battery will keep the juices flowing. 

The obvious highlight of the A1, however, is the "flagship dual camera" at the back. Xiaomi calls it like that because you can find the same composition on the company's Mi 6 high-end model. You have two 12MP main shooters - one standard, and one that's capable of producing a telephoto view. Sounds familiar? Well, that's because you can find the same combo on the iPhone 7 Plus, and Xiaomi has even used this as a marketing strategy. You can see the promo poster as well as some camera samples in the gallery below. 

Price, release date, and availability

The Mi A1 will hit the shelves on September 12 in India. Its price tag is set at Rs. 14,999 which translates to about $234 or €197. People in other markets will probably have to pay a bit more, but if Xiaomi manages to keep the price below $300, the latest Android One phone could very well become one of the most popular mid-rangers of 2017. 

So what about availability? Well, we're happy to report that the handset will make its way outside of Asia. It will be available in ten European markets, four in Central and South America, and ten in the Middle East and Africa. You can see the full list of countries in the image below.

Related phones

Mi A1
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3080 mAh



1. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Shamelessly inspired"

2. peace247 unregistered

For that u have to wait for iphone 8.

4. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

From what I've seen in mockups, the 8 will look nothing like any phone currently available. Unless you're counting that Sharp phone no one cares about.

24. brasstax

Posts: 546; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Yes, the iPhone 8 will have an oled screen that no other phone has currently available and support ewireless charging which again is a first for a smartphone.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4383; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

No other manufacturer would make a piss poor design choice like having a unibrow.

11. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Following is their tweet from twitter. I found it from the following link "#MiA1 is similar to a DSLR that fits in your pocket with both 12MP Telephoto lens + 12MP Wide Angle lens that is similar to iPhone 7 Plus!" They openly admits they are inspired from Apple. I think its worth a little praise since they didnt go with words and claims like "reinvented" "revolutionary" etc. i think thats nice and are changing from their copying style...

21. Cyberchum

Posts: 1133; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Yay! How fulfilled you felt pointing that out. Did Apple patent it, like the "rounded corners" of 2010?

3. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Please stop comparing your phones with the iPhone.

5. andriodfanboy1

Posts: 170; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

India, Bangladesh ,uae ,ksa all in why they excluded Pakistan people in pak also want to purchase xiaomi and other chines smartphone makers.. If u look at list almost every bordering and Asian country included except pak.

16. peace247 unregistered

U can order from aliexpress...almost similar price....amd china is not away from u guys, so I think it will delivered decently fast.

6. NoAllegiance unregistered

"Similar to the iPhone 7 Plus"

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

And I thought Android One programme just dead. Xiaomi knows how to make Android One great again. Micromaxx and Karbonn and many others low cost Android One OEMs should watch out.

8. antmiu2

Posts: 552; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

So its the Xiaomi 5X with stock android?

9. Razeer123

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

"(...) as virtually every other Xiaomi model ships with the company's Android-based custom EMUI skin." As far as I know EMUI is a skin for Huawei phones. Xiaomi uses MIUI.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4383; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Yep. But can't expect PA authors to know about mobile tech. Knowledge isn't a requirement here.

14. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Though I agree they should check before they finalize the post, first thing to remember, they're all human too. Cut them some slack.

25. TeriusRose

Posts: 108; Member since: May 12, 2017

It isn't exactly difficult to mix up two things that sound really close to one another. That happens literally all the time.

13. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Every damn smartphone manufacturer copies Apple one way or In a way I feel a bit proud about that.

15. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Proud? Of a company's success that you don't own one bit? Tell me, is there an Apple logo on your forehead? And a note below, around your waist, that reads, "Self declaration- conforming to IS 13252 (Part 1), R 41013773".

17. peace247 unregistered

Every company follow that design bcos its easy af to copy....look how every company flagships are copy of samsung(mi6/honor x) bcos samsung is not easy to copy.

20. Tipus

Posts: 913; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Is that you Tim? :)))))

23. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

Who expects people like Piyath of having anything of their own in life to be proud of You've achieved zero since your mom refused to wear protection, also Steve was a conniving liberal douchebag and it's no surprise his health went south, he was so full of his own shit it poisoned everything.

26. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

LOOL Piyath just look at my profile pic. It's you.

18. tonyv13

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Price seems to be fine. Lol since when is México a central América country lol

19. monoke

Posts: 1206; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Bring that stock Android to the Mi Mix 2. That would make a near perfect device!

22. gehrig

Posts: 423; Member since: Apr 17, 2014


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