Want to know more about Xiaomi’s latest Android One device, the Mi A2? We have put together a number of queries and attempted to answer them to the best of our ability. Presenting the first in our series of product FAQs. You can read our detailed review of the Xiaomi Mi A2 over here.
What makes the Mi A2 special?
In the simplest terms, the fact that it is part of the Android One initiative and runs on stock Android. All of Xiaomi’s other devices in India run on the company’s own interface, which is called MIUI.
What is Android One? Why is it important?
Without getting too technical about it, phones that are part of the Android One initiative are made in collaboration, the company which makes Android. This means they are designed to run Android in its purest form as smoothly as possible. Being part of the Android One initiative also enables the phone to get Android updates for a period of two years – this means your phone will be running the latest version of Android until mid-2020.
So does it come with the latest Android, Android P?
It comes with Android 8.1 out of the box. And as per a Google spokesperson at the India launch, it would be one of the first devices to get Android P. We would like to point out at this stage that Xiaomi did have some problems updating its previous Android One device, the Mi A1, to Android 8.1, but it was an issue that was fixed swiftly enough.
What are the important specifications of the Xiaomi Mi A2?
The phone comes with a 5.99-inch display with full HD+ (2160 x 1080) resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio with limited bezels. It has a pixel density of 403 PPI, which is definitely on the higher side. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm 660 processor and comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. It has a 12-megapixel main camera and a 20.0-megapixel secondary camera at the back, both with f/1.75 aperture, as well as a front-facing 20.0-megapixel camera. Connectivity wise, the phone has 4G on both SIMs, Bluetooth, GPS and an infra-red port. The battery stands at 3000 mAh.
What are the different variants of the device?
At the time of writing, only the 4 GB/ 64 GB variant is available. A 6 GB RAM/ 128 GB storage variant has also been announced, but at this time, we have no information about its pricing and/or its availability.
In terms of color, the Mi A2 comes in black, gold, lake blue and rose gold colors.
What do you think is missing in hardware terms from the Mi A2?
There are a few missing features, considering its price segment. For starters, it does not have a 3.5 mm audio jack (although you do get a dongle), does not have expandable memory, which could be a bit of a deal breaker for some. There will be some who will also wish for a bigger battery – 3000 mAh will get you through a day, but not much more.
What are the available sensors on Mi A2?
The Mi A2 comes with most of the sensors you normally see in a smartphone at this price range. It includes the Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Light, Proximity, etc. And yeah, it comes with IR Blaster as well.
Is there no headphone jack on the Mi A2? How can one connect wired earphones/headphones to it?
That’s right. Xiaomi has removed the 3.5mm audio jack from the Mi A2. It’s probably the first device we have seen below Rs 20,000 ($300) to ditch the headphone jack. But the company is providing a dongle within the box which one can use to connect traditional earphones to it.
Does the Xiaomi Mi A2 support FM Radio?
No, there is no FM Radio support on the Mi A2.
How is the display quality on the Mi A2?
Mi A2 comes with a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display with 18: 9 resolution (and no Notch!). It’s an IPS LCD panel with good viewing angles. But the brightness levels are on the lower side which affects its sunlight legibility. The reflective screen doesn’t help its cause either.
Is there any issue with screen calibration or proximity/ambient sensor on Mi A2?
Quite a few of you had asked this question. In our testing across two different units, we didn’t find any such issue with the screen calibration or proximity/ambient sensors of the Mi A2. As mentioned earlier, the only issue is with the overall brightness of the screen.
What sort of display protection does the Mi A2 have?
Mi A2 comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top of the display, which is quite commendable at this price point.
Does Mi A2 support Dual 4G, Dual VoLTE?
The Mi A2 comes with dual SIM card support and yes, it supports Dual 4G and Dual VoLTE as well out of the box. There is no microSD slot though.
The cameras have been highlighted as the USPs of the Mi A2. How good are they?
We would say they are about the best one can get in the sub-Rs 20,000 price category. We got good colors and great detail in good lighting conditions. Portrait Mode with AI was brilliant too. Video quality is generally spot on as well.
Do the cameras come with optical image stabilisation?
No, they do not. The rear cameras, however, have electronic image stabilization (EIS) specifically for video recording.
How is the low light performance of the cameras on the Mi A2?
In a word: mixed. The absence of optical image stabilization we think makes capturing movement in low light very difficult. While the cameras captured colors very well, details were a slight issue, and there was a fair amount of noise in low light snaps.
Can the Mi A2 record 4K videos?
Yes, the Xiaomi Mi A2 can record 4K videos at 30fps. The quality is average and acceptable.
Can you record slow-motion videos on the Mi A2?
Yes, you can. Unfortunately, that’s restricted to 720p (HD) at 120fps.
Is the Mi A2’s camera setup significantly better than that of the Redmi Note 5 Pro?
In our opinion, yes, it is. Both the lenses on the rear come with f/1.75 aperture which is very rare for a mid-range device. We wished it came with OIS, but the overall setup is definitely a step up from Redmi Note 5 Pro which had pretty nice cameras.
Is the Mi A2 capable of handling high-end gaming?
From what we have seen, it can handle games like Hitman Sniper and Asphalt Legends, without significant lags and frame drops (there will be a few, but not of a deal-breaking level). PUBG also played reasonably well, with medium settings. To give you an idea, by default, games like PUBG choose Medium graphics on the Mi A2.
How long does the battery last?
In our day to day normal usage, about a day. Heavy gamers and photographers would be advised to not wander too far from power outlets as the day wears on. We roughly got 4.5 to 5 hours of screen-on-time on an average.
Does the Mi A2 come with fast charging?
In India, the Mi A2 comes with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+. However, you will have to purchase a Quick Charge 3.0/4.0 charger separately. In our testing, it takes around 100 minutes to charge with the QC 3.0 charger. The built-in wall charger is the usual 5V 2A one.
Does the Mi A2 have any heating issues?
We have faced no heating issues. The phone gets a little warm while playing high-end games and if you leave the camera running for a while but never uncomfortably so.
Does Mi A2 come with face unlock?
Yes, it does. But it is a very basic face unlock and works even when your eyes are closed. It’s the usual “Trusted face” feature found on stock android. We would advise against depending on it too heavily. The fingerprint scanner on the back works just fine.
Does Mi A2 come with a gesture-based interface?
No, it does not. But it should get gestures when the Android Pie update arrives, which is expected soon.
How is the speaker performance on the Mi A2?
The Mi A2 comes with a single speaker (the second speaker grille on the bottom is just for the design aesthetics), but much like the Mi A1, the speaker on this is quite loud and the audio quality doesn’t degrade at higher volumes.
Does the Mi A2 has LED notification?
Yes, it does. The notification LED is present on the top right part of the screen next to the selfie flash.
Is there USB-OTG support on the Mi A2?
Yes, the Mi A2 supports USB OTG out of the box.
Is the Mi A2 waterproof?
No, there is no IP certification for the Mi A2. There is no nano-coating either like we see on the phones like OnePus 6.
What is the pricing of the Xiaomi Mi A2?
At the time of writing, the device is available in just one specification variant in India – the 4 GB / 64 GB one – for Rs 16,999. In Europe, the Mi A2 is available in three configurations – 4GB RAM / 32GB for €249, 4GB RAM / 64GB for €279 and 6GB RAM /128GB for €349.
When can one get the Xiaomi Mi A2 in India?
It will be available from August 16 on mi.com, Amazon India, and Mi Home stores. You can also place pre-orders from August 9 onwards.
For Rs 16,999, what are the other devices that I can consider? How do they compare with the Mi A2?
Well, the Moto G6 also offers stock Android at 8.0 and starts at Rs 13,999 for 3 GB/ 32 GB, and comes with a much-inferior Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor and dual cameras. The Asus Zenone Max Pro M1 is another stock Android option that comes with a new 6 GB/ 64 GB edition and dual cameras, a Snapdragon 636 chip and also with a large 5000 mAh battery at Rs 14,999. And then there is Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 5 Pro, which has a Qualcomm 636 chip, dual cameras and has a 4GB/64 GB variant at Rs 14,999. Finally, there is the Honor Play with 4GB RAM, Kirin 970 processor and dual cameras for a slightly higher price of Rs 19,999. We will be publishing detailed comparisons with some of these in the coming days, but as of now, we would say that the cameras of the Mi A2 give it a clear edge over the competition at its price point.
I have a Xiaomi Mi A1. Do you think I need to upgrade?
We thought the Mi A1 was an excellent device in its own right, even though it had a few software eccentricities. But yes, we would recommend upgrading as the Mi A2 comes with a newer processor and significantly better cameras.
You can read our detailed review of the Xiaomi Mi A2 at http://techpp.com/2018/08/08/xiaomi-mi-a2-review/
Is there something you would like to ask about the Mi A2? Tweet us a query at our Twitter handle @TechPP!