Since then many companies have become part of Google’s Android One program. But only a few of them launched their products in the Indian market. Nokia brand smartphone maker HMD Global had announced that all its Android smartphones will be part of the Android One program. All the phones of the Nokia brand launched in the Mobile World Congress 2018 have been brought to the Indian market. Now Xiaomi has introduced the upgrade of its first Android One smartphone Xiaomi Mi A1 to Mi A2. Apart from stock Android, it comes with better hardware. Xiaomi Mi A2 is the one to buy for pure Android experience? We have tried to find the answer to this question.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Design
Xiaomi Mi A2 It is a smartphone with great design. It comes with a metal unibody and gives a premium feel in the hands. The first major change is seen in the display compared to the Xiaomi Mi A1. The handset has a 5.99-inch display with 18: 9 aspect ratio. Because of this, the phone looks tall and thin. The edges are curved and due to this, there is a good grip in the hands. The black variant given for review comes with a matte finish. Fingerprints do not fall easily on it. But the phone slips easily in the hands and we would suggest our readers to use the cover provided in the retail box.
The power and volume buttons are on the right. Their response is great. We found the position of the power button to be good, but the volume buttons a bit above our liking. Xiaomi has placed the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and notification light above the display. The bottom part of the display is blank. A colored notification LED has been given in the smartphone.
There is a USB Type-C port at the bottom. It has speaker grills on both sides, but only the right one houses the loudspeaker. IR ammeter is also present in the phone, with the help of which the phone can be used as a remote control. It has got a place with the secondary microphone on the top. The phone does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, a USB Type-C dongle has been given in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a better quality amplifier so that the speaker and the headphones get good sound.
Xiaomi has given a dual camera setup on the back, in the vertical position. On the back side there is a 12-megapixel primary camera, 20-megapixel secondary lens and LED flash. The camera is on the rise. Because of this the phone remains raised on a flat surface. The fingerprint sensor has got a place next to the camera module. Xiaomi has given 3000 mAh battery in Mi A2.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Specifications, Software and Features
The Chinese smartphone maker company has used Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor in Mi A2. Adreno 512 GPU is integrated with it. Xiaomi Mi A2 has 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Sadly, there is no microSD card slot, which means you will have to compromise on the phone’s storage itself. This dual sim smartphone has space for two nano sim slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both the SIMs.
The 5.99-inch display is full-HD + resolution. Its pixel density is 403 pixels per inch. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has been used for protection. Viewing angles are fine, but the display is not very bright. You won’t be able to control the output either. The ambient display feature activates the phone when a notification arrives.
The battery capacity of the phone is 3000 mAh which is smaller than the battery found in the rest of the phones in this price segment. For example, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 ,review) Comes with a massive 4000 mAh battery. Xiaomi Mi A2 has support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+. But you will only get a standard 10W charger in the retail box. Connectivity features of Xiaomi Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 AC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and Baidu.
Xiaomi has focused on the camera of the Mi A2. On the back side there is a 12-megapixel primary camera with F / 1.75 aperture. The secondary camera is of 20 megapixels and its aperture is also F / 1.75. Remember that the secondary camera on the Mi A1 had a zoom lens for 2X optical zoom. But Xiaomi Mi A2 will give good performance in low light.
Xiaomi Mi A2 stock runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. The company has definitely given its feedback, file manager and Me Drop app in this. The Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, but the other two apps can be removed from the handset. The camera app has also been customized by Xiaomi. This is different from the default Android app. Google apps are already installed in this phone. When we started reviewing the phone, it was equipped with the June security patch. But during the review it got an update, after which the phone was equipped with the security patch of August.
If you want pure Android then you will love the software experience of Mi A2. It has an app drawer. You can view all installed apps by swiping up. You can access Google Feed by swiping right on the home screen. Google Assistant can be activated by long-pressing the home button. We found that there is no app on the phone to use the IR ammeter. This means that the handset cannot be used as an out-of-box remote control. If you want, you can do this by downloading the Mi Remote app from the Play Store. Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will bring the update after which the Mi Remote app will already be installed on this phone. The camera app can be activated by pressing the power button twice on the Mi A2.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Performance and Battery Life
We have used the Nokia 7 Plus and it comes with the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2. Nokia’s phone also runs on stock Android. The performance of Xiaomi Mi A2 is also similar. We did not face any problem while multitasking or using the phone’s UI. 4 GB RAM will prove to be enough for common use. The fingerprint sensor is fast and unlocks the phone quickly.
We played games like PUBG, Clash Royale and Asphalt 9 on the phone. PUBG ran by default in medium settings. We didn’t have any complaints with the performance. We played this game for about 25 minutes. During this it was found that the phone did get hot, but not very much. Asfault 9 ran without any lag or trouble.
In our HD video loop test, the battery of this Xiaomi phone supported for 8 hours 13 minutes, which is below average. in our review Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro ,review) And Redmi Note 5 Supports up to 16 hours, although they come with a bigger battery. The battery saver mode was activated only after about 7 hours and 30 minutes after active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, about an hour of gaming, some time on Instagram and some phone calls. If your user behavior is also similar, then do not forget to keep the charger with you. The charger provided with the retail box takes about 2 hours to fully charge the handset. In this case, we would suggest you to use a charger that comes with Qualcomm Quick Charge support.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Cameras
Xiaomi has worked on the camera app of this phone and it is different from the stock Android camera app. You’ll find Shot Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a manual mode. In manual mode, users will be able to control white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO. During this time users can also choose between regular and low light lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has made some such changes in the portrait mode that it uses the 12 megapixel camera in sufficient light and the secondary camera of 20 megapixel is activated in low light. But we found that this is not the case. When one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor.
Mi A2 detects light very quickly and locks focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 in the outdoors come with a lot of detail and the colors are also accurate. Even when you zoom in, you will be able to see the details in the picture and the noise is also not much. We also found that the camera app automatically switches to HDR mode when needed. Autofocus is fast when taking macro shots. We found that the Mi A2 is capable of focusing even on very small objects. Macros shot sharp. The phone showed a clear distinction between the subject and the background.
In low light, the Mi A2 raises the ISO and reduces the shutter speed so that the primary camera captures more light instead of using the secondary camera. We believe that Xiaomi should have automatically used the secondary given for better photography in low light. But if you want, you can do this by going to manual mode. These photos also came with pictures with detail, but we found that aggressive noise reduction has been done in the dark area, which gives a watercolor effect when zoomed in.
Selfies also come with details. Indoor photos came out sharp. Selfie fill light proves to be very effective in low light conditions. HDR is also available for the selfie camera and it gets activated automatically when needed. You can set the level of beautification according to you.
In Xiaomi Mi A2 you will be able to record 4K video with the primary camera and up to 1080 pixels with the selfie camera. You will have the facility to shoot 1080 pixels resolution videos at 60 frames per second with the primary camera. But we found that the camera was having trouble locking focus at higher frame rates. Video stabilization is available for the rear camera.
For stock Android experience in the budget range Xiaomi Mi A1 ,review) has always been the first choice. However, the situation has changed. Especially after HMD Global brought Nokia Android One phones. In such a situation, Xiaomi will have to take special care of the price and the company has done something similar with the new launch.
The cameras of Xiaomi Mi A2 are great. If seen, it is one of the best camera phones in this price range. Apart from this, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has been a part of more expensive phones till now. In such a situation, this phone will definitely entice the customers who want strong performance in the budget price.
The price of Xiaomi Mi A2 is Rs 16,999. This is a very aggressive price considering the hardware. However, Xiaomi Mi A2 also has some drawbacks. Battery capacity is below average. Because of this, weak battery life is available. Xiaomi has omitted the 3.5mm headphone jack and there is no slot for a microSD card either. Buyers pay a lot of attention to both these aspects. If you want stock Android and also aspire to have strong cameras, then the Mi A2 is made for you. If you don’t have any problem with MIUI Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro ,review) is still the better option and it costs less. We suggest you to keep an eye on Honor Play.