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

Posted: , by Plamen D. Plamen D.

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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?


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

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.

Software 


Xiaomi + Android = <3

Xiaomi + Android = <3


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.

Hardware


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

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.

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

26 Comments
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posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:30 3

1. kiko007 (Posts: 5733; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


"Shamelessly inspired"

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:33 2

2. peace247 (Posts: 512; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


For that u have to wait for iphone 8.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:40

4. kiko007 (Posts: 5733; Member since: 17 Feb 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.

posted on 06 Sep 2017, 06:42

24. brasstax (Posts: 443; Member since: 16 Apr 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.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 09:05

10. cmdacos (Posts: 867; Member since: 01 Nov 2016)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 09:06 3

11. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1544; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Following is their tweet from twitter. I found it from the following link

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/5/16254256/xiaomi-mi-a1-android-one-flagship-announced-india

"#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...

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 12:43

21. Cyberchum (Posts: 794; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:37 4

3. sip1995 (Posts: 1717; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Please stop comparing your phones with the iPhone.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:57

5. andriodfanboy1 (Posts: 59; Member since: 22 Jul 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.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:23

16. peace247 (Posts: 512; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 07:57 2

6. NoAllegiance (unregistered)


"Similar to the iPhone 7 Plus"

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 08:07 7

7. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 1362; Member since: 06 Jul 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.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 08:40

8. antmiu2 (Posts: 389; Member since: 19 Jun 2011)


So its the Xiaomi 5X with stock android?

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 08:53 1

9. Razeer123 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Sep 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.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 09:08 3

12. cmdacos (Posts: 867; Member since: 01 Nov 2016)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:13 1

14. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4376; Member since: 07 Mar 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.

posted on 06 Sep 2017, 13:00

25. TeriusRose (Posts: 85; Member since: 12 May 2017)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 09:48

13. piyath (Posts: 1132; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:16 3

15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4376; Member since: 07 Mar 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".

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:26

17. peace247 (Posts: 512; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


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.

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 11:12 2

20. Tipus (Posts: 249; Member since: 30 Sep 2016)


Is that you Tim? :)))))

posted on 06 Sep 2017, 06:01 1

23. PhoneInQuestion (Posts: 214; Member since: 20 Aug 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.

posted on 09 Sep 2017, 10:37

26. Sammy_DEVIL737 (Posts: 180; Member since: 28 Nov 2016)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:30

18. tonyv13 (Posts: 71; Member since: 07 Jun 2015)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 10:56 1

19. monoke (Posts: 776; Member since: 14 Mar 2015)


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

posted on 05 Sep 2017, 21:18

22. gehrig (Posts: 385; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


iClone

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