The Xiaomi Mi A3 is official: Android One, 48MP camera, better processor

The Xiaomi Mi A3 is official: Android One, 48MP camera, better processor
The Xiaomi Mi A1 and Mi A2 lineups combined have outsold every other Android One series on the planet. Today, aiming to prolong this success for another year, the Chinese brand has introduced the highly anticipated Xiaomi Mi A3 which costs €249 ($279) in Europe.

Better processor and more storage for the same price

For the same price as Xiaomi’s previous model, buyers now gain access to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665. The performance increase won’t be as noticeable as the jump from the first-gen device (Snapdragon 625) to the second-gen offering (Snapdragon 660), but the upgrade is still more than welcomed. Accompanying it is 4GB of RAM and double the storage – 64GB – but if that's not enough a pricier version with 128GB of storage will be available too. Additionally, following user complaints last year, Xiaomi has reinstated the microSD card slot.

The Xiaomi Mi A3, as you’d expect from any other Android One smartphone, ship with stock Android 9 Pie straight out of the box but should receive a speedy update to Android Q, perhaps before the end of the year. Other features include a 4,030mAh battery, support for 4G LTE networks, Bluetooth 5.0, and support for 18W fast charging. The popular 3.5mm headphone jack is also making a comeback on the Mi A3.

Upgraded cameras but a potentially worse display

Although the Mi A3’s internal upgrades are pretty decent, Xiaomi itself is focusing heavily on the improvements that have been made both in the camera and design departments. The phone builds upon the look introduced last year by retaining the vertical camera setup. This time around, though, it adds an extra sensor into the mix and replaces the aluminum rear panel with a glass alternative. Also, as you may have noticed, there’s no fingerprint scanner on the back. That’s because it’s been replaced with an in-screen alternative.

Regarding actual specifications, the primary rear camera offers a 48-megapixel resolution. However, with the help of software, the Mi A3 combines four pixels into one and ultimately produces enhanced 12-megapixel shots. Paired with this is a new 8-megapixel snapper that features a 118º super-wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor for improved bokeh shots. Regarding the selfie department, Xiaomi has fitted the phone with a new 32-megapixel camera that sits inside the new 6.1-inch display’s notch. Speaking of which, it’s worth pointing out that the company has, unfortunately, introduced one rather disappointing change.

Although it has made a conscious effort to reduce the overall size of bezels and switch out the LCD panel for a Super AMOLED alternative, Xiaomi has chosen to reduce the resolution of the display. Specifically, the Mi A3 features a 720p panel which, combined with the underlying PenTile matrix technology, may not produce the best viewing experience and could be considered a downgrade over the 1080p LCD featured on last year’s Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A3 price, release date, and availability

The Xiaomi Mi A3 is available to pre-order starting today in Spain where it’ll be released next Wednesday, July 24. The smartphone retails at €249 ($279), although the 128GB version can be purchased for €279 ($312), and will be sold in Kind of Gray, Not just Blue, and More than White. Presumably, the Mi A3’s availability will soon be expanded to include the rest of Europe and certain parts of Asia. Like the previous-generation models, however, an official launch in the US seems extremely likely.

Despite rumors of a Mi A3 Pro and Mi A3 Lite, Xiaomi hasn’t announced either. It’s unclear if the company has plans to release these devices at a later date, but for now, it hasn’t spoken of their existence.

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