Apparently, Google’s choice to hold on to the Android One platform is a huge win for the consumers. Thanks to this initiative, we now have the Xiaomi MI A1 (as in Android 1) — a device with the Chinese company’s hardware, minus their MIUI interface.
The Xiaomi MI A1 is the latest Android One smartphone from a partnership with Google. This means that the two companies have worked closely on this handset to bring consumers the best possible Android experience ever at a reasonable price. And with that said, Xiaomi had to part ways with their own MIUI interface just for this one. All we’re getting is the pure, uncluttered Android interface.
And since it runs on pure Android, you can expect it to stay fresh and secure. Android One devices, Pixels, Nexuses, and other devices that run on pure Android are always the first in line on getting updates. Since there’s no more compatibility to worry about, the manufacturer can deliver the updates quickly and more efficiently.
Currently, the Xiaomi MI A1 only runs on Android Nougat. However, it is expected to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update right after it becomes available in the market. We can also expect it to receive the Android P upgrade once it becomes available next year.
Since the updates flow smoothly, security updates will also become frequent. The devices also have the Google Play Protect built-in to automatically detect and disable security threats.
Hardware wise, the Xiaomi MI A1 is pretty much the same with the recently announced Xiaomi MI 5X. The two shares the same iPhone-ish design and midrange hardware that packs a punch. The handset’s highlight feature is, of course, the dual cameras at the back.
There are two 12-megapixel sensors at the back, with one having a wide-angle lens, while the other sports a telephoto lens that can provide up to 2x optical zoom. The duo can also produce “bokeh-licious” photos, in case you’re wondering.
It also has an all-metal unibody build, with a familiar antenna band design on top and bottom. It also has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a capable Snapdragon 625 processor, a decent 3000mAh battery, and a fingerprint scanner sitting comfortably at the back.
Xiaomi MI A1 Specs
- 5.5-inch FHD LTPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution, ~403ppi
- Dual SIM, hybrid
- 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- Adreno 506 GPU
- 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 12-megapixel (wide-angle, f/2.2) + 12-megapixel (Telephoto, f/2.6) dual rear cameras, PDAF, dual-tone flash
- IR Blaster
- 4G LTE, VoLTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm
- Weight: 165g
- Black, Gold, Rose Gold
- 3000mAh battery
The Xiaomi MI A1 will retail for INR14,999 (~Php13,000) in India starting September 12. Pricing and availability in other markets are yet to be determined. But considering that Android One’s original formula is to cater emerging markets, we can expect it to arrive in the country very soon through various retailers.
Hopefully, Android One’s revival works out. If it does, we’re hoping for the “Google Edition” phones to make a come back — a term used on already existing flagship smartphones which were reconfigured to run on stock Android. Devices from the past include the Galaxy S4, Moto G, Xperia Z1, and HTC One — all of which had their own Google Edition counterparts.