Two weeks ago, Xiaomi launched its latest Android One phone, the Xiaomi Mi A2 in the India market and also made it available for sale a couple of times. The Mi A2 came as the successor to the previous Mi A1, which was the first stock Android One phone by Xiaomi. The people who hadn’t used Xiaomi phones before because of reasons like MIUI were left with no excuses after this launch, and even they were lured into the hype which the Xiaomi Mi A2 created. Boasting of some impressive camera specifications combined with lots of AI enabled functions the phone was able to garner massively positive reviews for its shooting capability. In the performance areas also, the phone was able to live up to its expectations and also justified its price tag. We took our time to review this device on all the fronts, and now we have come up with a review that would leave no doubt in your mind if you are considering to buy this phone.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Design and Display
The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a 5.99-inch screen which is enclosed in a bigger form factor and it does not feature a notch. The IPS LCD on this phone has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, and it also gives it a 403 PPI density. At the price point which Xiaomi has revealed this phone, it might come as a shock for some buyers when they do not see a notch on the Xiaomi Mi A2. On holding the phone, the Mi A2 again stays behind some modern standards by offering a wider screen compared to its other competitors. The phone is also ergonomic like its predecessor. The screen is quite wide with curved edges and decent brightness levels which makes reading under the sunlight possible but not entirely comfortable. There are also significant bezels under and above the screen, wherein at the above level the front camera, sensors and sound bar make their place. However, there is more to the phone when it is about design. Despite its shortcomings, the overall build of the phone is modern which doesn’t feel dated even from afar.
Speaking of the form factor, the Xiaomi Mi A2 does surpass its other budget-friendly friends. However, it does so at the cost of the headphone jack which might disappoint some buyers. The thickness of the phone stands at 7.3mm which lends it some impressive aesthetics. However, the thinness of this phone causes the vertically oriented camera setup on the back to protrude out and look bulgy. There is also the fingerprint sensor on the rear which is located in the middle of the phone. The phone comes with a metal build which does not make it a fingerprint magnet like other contemporary phones and the curve on the sides also make it a comfortable device while holding.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Hardware, Software and Performance
The Xiaomi Mi A2 packs the 2.2Ghz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor which brings some impressive performance onboard especially considering the price of this device. Compared to the Mi A1, the phone does climb the ladders quite high in this regard. We saw that the phone doesn’t disappoint even while multitasking with texting, browsing and running YouTube. The company claims that the phone comes with two cores which deliver extra power when needed. Also, you should note that Xiaomi hasn’t brought all the variants of the Mi A2 to India and only the 4GB and 64GB storage option remains up for selling. However, even the 4GB RAM performs well with day-to-day tasks. Although it might be a little underwhelming for other heavy functions like gaming, this configuration caters very well for the mainstream users.
The phone comes with a 3000mAh battery, and it also supports Quick Charge 4.0+, but the charger which you get in the box does not support that technology. However, we noticed that the battery was quick to drop down when we multitasked on the phone with camera intensive apps like Snapchat, with games, the battery dropped even more quickly. Overall, it could take on around nine to ten hours of usage in a day, which puts it a little bit behind the other phones in the market right now.
On the software front, the Mi A2 runs the stock Android 8.1 Oreo. The device boots up pure Android stock experience which appears very clean as you would expect it to. The camera app also comes with a manual mode which allows you to tweak the settings to your liking. Xiaomi also puts some of its apps in the drawer, like Mi Remote and Mi Feedback application. Overall, except for the battery performance of the device, the Mi A2 can score decently on all fronts.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Cameras
The camera is another area where the Mi A2 truly shines. The two sensors on the back which are vertically oriented are a 12MP sensor (Sony IMX 486 sensor) and another 20MP sensor (Sony IMX 376 sensor). Both of these lenses come with a f/1.75 aperture with the first sensor rendering bigger pixels, while the second sensor comes equipped with pixel binning that results in decent photos in low-light on paper. Xiaomi has also claimed some impressive feats on this camera setup and has said that the cameras switch between 12MP and 20MP sensor depending on ambient surroundings. This setup also comes paired with dual-LED (dual-tone) flash.
In reality, too, the camera of the Mi A2 lives up to expectations and clicks good pictures which present some competition to other phones of a higher range. The portrait mode on the phone also clicks decent photos with precise edges. However, the users of Mi A1 might be surprised to know that the absence of a telephoto lens doesn’t allow the Mi A2 to sport optical zoom. For selfies, the Mi A2 sports the same 20MP Sony IMX 376 sensor. On clicking selfies, it was apparent that the sensors of the phone draw sufficient light and click excellent low-light photos.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Pricing and Availability
Xiaomi is offering this phone at the price range of Rs 16,999. The Chinese manufacturer has also said that this new phone will be an available sale every week through Amazon India. Overall, this phone entirely justifies the price tag and appears to be an excellent contender for the spot of best mid-range camera phone. Except for the headphone jack, whether it is about performance, design or camera, the Xiaomi Mi A2 checks all the boxes.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.