Xiaomi has launched its first stock Android smartphone, the Mi A1 in India today. It packs dual-cameras, runs on the Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM and a 3080 mAh battery. This is the first time that Xiaomi has launched a phone with stock Android on it. The Mi A1 Android One runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo within 2017. It has been priced at Rs. 14,999.
Coming back to the dual rear cameras, the Xiaomi Mi A1 has dual 12MP cameras at the back. The main 12MP camera has a wide angle lens while the second camera has a f/2.6 telephoto lens. The second lens provides 2X optical zoom similar to what we have seen with the Galaxy Note8 and the iPhone 7 Plus. You also get portrait mode, where you can blur the background of your subject or add bokeh to the image.
The Mi A1 is a refreshed version of the Xiaomi Mi 5X which was launched in China last month. The display remains the same here at 5.5-inches with crisp full-HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels). It is covered in 2.5d glass for protection. Just above the display, you have the necessary sensor and a 5MP selfie camera, there is no selfie flash here. Below the display, you have capacitive keys for multitasking, home, and back. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of the phone below the camera module.
Apart from the dual cameras on the back, you have an additional microphone, the dual-tone LED flash, fingerprint sensor as well. The back of the phone is made of a single block of aluminum giving rigidity to the frame. The sides are curved for better grip and you have a 3080 mAh battery inside this 7.3mm thin shell. All in all, the Xiaomi Mi A1 feels great to hold in hand and doesn't feel hefty.
Xiaomi has also packed a standalone AMP on the device which can power headphones with up to 600ohms. Thanks to being a part of the Android One project the Mi A1 will get regular monthly security updates like the Nexus and Pixel smartphones. It will also get unlimited Google Photos storage with high-quality uploads.
The Mi A1 has a tough competition in the space with the recently launched Moto G5s Plus, Lenovo K8 Note, Cool Play 6 all packing dual cameras. Even the Honor 6X has a pretty good standing in this price point. However, the promise of stock Android and quick updates thanks to the company's partnership with Google could well be a game-changer for Xiaomi.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 has been priced at Rs. 14,999 and will be available in gold, rose gold and black color options available starting September 12th on Flipkart and Mi.com. It will be available through both online and offline retailers.