A pair of large shoes it has to fulfill – the Mi A1 was such a well-rounded yet affordable smartphone that it might regularly feature within our review decisions as the main alternative for a broad range of competitions.
For one, this year’s chipset is a top notch (or several) upward – the Snapdragon 625 at the Mi A1 was all about endurance, although the Snapdragon 660 at the Mi A2 is similarly frugal, just vastly stronger.
Speaking of notches, there isn’t one to spoil the very top of the Mi A2’s display. It’s a contemporary 18:9 device, the almost-6-inches in diagonal FullHD+ LCD that Xiaomi’s already used on a lot of smartphones.
Xiaomi Mi A2 specs
- Body: Aluminum body.
- Display: 5.99″ IPS LCD, 1,080×2,160px resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio, 403ppi.
- Rear camera: Primary 12MP, Type 1/2.9″ sensor, 1.25µm pixel size, f/1.75 aperture, PDAF; Secondary 20MP for low-light, Type 1/2.8″ sensor, 1.0µm pixel size, f/1.75 aperture, autofocus, pixel binning. 2160p/30fps.
- Front camera: 20MP, 1.0µm pixel size, f/2.2 aperture, Auto HDR, pixel binning. 1080p/30fps video recording.
- OS: Android 8.1 Oreo (part of Android One).
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: octa-core CPU (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260), Adreno 512 GPU.
- Memory: 4/6GB of RAM; 32/64/128GB storage; no microSD slot.
- Battery: 3,000mAh Li-Po (sealed); QuickCharge 3.0 fast charging.
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE, USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 5.0, IR blaster.
- Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; single down-firing speaker; no 3.5mm jack (adapter in the box).
More of side measure than a definitive advancement is the camera. Gone is the 12MP telephoto module that offered 2x zoom, replaced by a 20MP secondary camera for enhanced low-light performance (OnePlus-style). The main cam in the back is still 12MP, but today has a 2/3 of a stop brighter lens (f/1.8 vs. f/2.2). On the front, a 20MP selfie cam (same detector as the one on the rear) replaces the basic 5MP shot of the Mi A1, and features an added flash also.
Which brings us into the changes that can’t really be translated as an advancement. Xiaomi may want you to feel that the Mi A2 is even more affordable, because there’s a 32GB storage variation, and you also get the choice to get a totally tricked out 6GB/128GB one to get a price premium (the original was just offered in 4GB/64GB trimming ). What does not make it into the media materials is that the microSD slot is now gone. Boo!
Another sufferer with this generation is the 3.5millimeter headphone jack – and we believed midranges were resistant by this spreading fad. At least there’s an adapter at the package.
Xiaomi Mi A2 unboxing
The Mi A2 comes at a rather unusual box as Xiaomi packaging moves – it’s not the flat black boxes of the Mi Mixes and the Mi 8, and it’s not the glowing red packaging of the Redmis either. Instead, it’s a white box with a photo of the phone at the top and a notable Android One symbol exactly the same as the A1 then.
Indoors, you’ll discover the phone, a charger (5V/2A), a USB-C cable to go for it, and the USB-C into 3.5millimeter dongle we mentioned.
Let us focus on the phone, however – a lot of photos and a couple of words about the design to follow the next page.