The Mi A1 is the first Xiaomi smartphone to run on stock Google Android Nougat out of the box. Xiaomi has infused the camera app, Mi Store app, Remote app and app for feedback in the OS but other than that everything else is pure Android. The software offers no frill design and is clean to the core and, therefore, there is no clutter anywhere.
What is important to note here is that the device will get Android latest Oreo update soon and the phone will be one of the devices to get the ‘Android P’ first. The information was shared by the company’s official at the launch.
While stock Android is definitely a plus but the Mi A1’s key feature is its camera module that utilises dual 12-megapixel camera sensors on the back and a 5 MP sensor for selfie on the front. The camera at the back is by far the best camera module we have seen in Xiaomi devices after Xiaomi Mi 6. The result is somewhere identical, if not on par, with the Mi 6.
The portrait mode and 2x optical zoom feature delivers consistently, except in low-light conditions. Bokeh, which blurs the background and sharpens the focus, looks natural with little to no artifacts.
Screen, audio quality and battery life
The Mi A1 smartphone sports 5.5-inch screen of fullHD resolution. The screen is of in-plane switch (IPS) breed, which offers better contrast and brightness. The Gorilla Glass cover protecting the screen is reflective in nature but does not hinder screen’s sunlight legibility.
Another key feature of the smartphone is the dedicated headphone amplifier that boosts the audio output without creating any distortions. The phone offers one of the best audio output and can compete flagship smartphones easily.
Running the show is a 3,080 mAh battery that keeps you going for a day and more. The battery life looks promising and we will look at it closely in our final review.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 looks promising and can give competition to yesteryear Google Pixel devices. At Rs 14,999, the smartphone is a deal for those looking for stock Android experience without compromising on design, features and camera performance.