Xiaomi has taken the India by becoming the second largest smartphone manufacturer by market share, just behind Samsung. This is due to it offering phones with high-end specs, good looks, and a solid build at a reasonable price. The Xiaomi Mi A2 is one such offering from the Chinese brand, which is aimed at the price sensitive Indian buyers, having a starting price of Rs 13,999. Let’s look at the phone in detail, and see if it’s worthy of your money or not.
The Mi A2 is a well-designed phone. The metal unibody gives the device a premium feel. It feels extremely good to hold in the hands, and the matte finish on the back is good at avoiding fingerprint smudges. The device is very slippery, though, and you would be better off applying a case on it to avoid it slipping out of your hands.
Talking about the design, the power button and the volume rockers are on the right side of the device, and they’re at a convenient height. One the bottom, you’ll find the speaker grill and the USB-C charging port. Sadly, Xiaomi has given the 3.5mm audio jack a miss on the Mi A2, so you’ll have to use an adapter to listen to music via headphones. At the back, you have the vertical dual camera module on the top-left side and the circular fingerprint sensor in the center, slightly towards the top.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a 5.99 inch 18:9 FullHD+ panel. The display, despite being an IPS LCD panel, is extremely vibrant and produces sharp images due to it being 403ppi and 1080 x 2160 resolution. It also has very good color reproduction.
One place where the display was a little lagging was in saturation. It was just what you’d expect from an LCD panel, with a neutral palette and slightly under-saturated images. This is not a problem per se, but if you have a liking for those vibrant, and over-saturated Amoled displays by Samsung, then the Mi A2 would be a letdown.
The display is protected by Gorilla Glass v5.0, and thus has excellent scratch resistance and shock absorption. One pleasant thing was the absence of a notch, like one on the Mi A2 Lite. The brightness of the display was adequate for indoor conditions, though you might find it hard to see things in bright direct sunlight.
Performance and Software
The Xiaomi Mi A2 is powered by the Snapdragon 660 processor, with an Adreno 512 GPU. The mi-range SoC is a powerhouse, and extremely fast compared to the Snapdragon 625 found on other devices in this price bracket. The UI is very smooth and lag free. There was practically no stutter or hang-up while navigating the UI.
Talking about the versions, the phone is available in two choices: 4GB RAM with either 32 or 64GB of storage, or 6GB RAM with 128GB of storage. One thing to note here is that the device does not come with expandable storage, so you’re stuck with what you buy. The device has a 3000mAh battery, which though not much is sufficient to last for a day of normal usage.
The device has a single speaker setup at the bottom. The speaker gets substantially loud, and is able to provide sharp treble and detail. The speaker is lacking in bass, and the sound gets distorted at very high volumes.
The phone runs on Google’s new Android One platform. This allows the device to get the latest updates as soon as they’re released by Google. The overall UX is comparable to stock Android on the Pixel devices. If you’re a person who likes the extra witty features that other brands provide, then Android One is not for you.
Being on stock Android, the device UX is extremely smooth, without any lag or stutter. The device comes pre-loaded with most of the default Google suite of apps, but there was no Mi app other than the camera, feedback, file manager, and Mi Drop.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 has a dual camera module at the back with a 12MP f/1.8 main camera and a 20MP f/1.8 low-light shooter. The main difference between the Mi A2 and the Mi A1 is the missing 12MP telephoto shooter, in place of which is the 20MP low-light lens.
In the camera app, you would see the different camera modes arranged side-by-side so that you can switch among the modes by swiping across the screen. Sadly, there is no swipe gesture for switching between the front and back camera, you have to push a button or that.
There’s also a decent manual mode, where you can change setting like ISO (100-3200), Shutter Speed (1/1000s to 32s), and white balance (preset and temperature ranges). You can also change the focus in 0-100 increments from close-up to infinity.
The photos taken using the Mi A2 are decent considering its price bracket. The performance in natural lighting conditions is good, with good detail and sharp images. The camera was also able to produce some good macro photos, with detail and colors accurate. The HDR mode helped in taking sharper photos, but was not much of a help in balancing shadows and highlights.
The photos taken in low-light conditions were also good, with great color reproduction and detail. Some of the low-light photos did contain substantial amount of noise, but nothing too much.
On the front, the Mi A2 has a 20MP selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture. The selfie camera was able to capture very detailed and sharp photos when in natural lighting, but did falter in dim light conditions. The portrait mode also did a good job in producing a bokeh-like effect, and is available on both the front and rear camera.
The Xiaomi Mi A2 is a solid offering by Xiaomi in the mid-range phone segment, with a good balance between price and features. It comes with the promise of timely updates, thanks to Android One, and also has the stock Android. It would be a great choice for anyone looking for a decent all-rounder phone under the 15K price margin, though it does lack in areas like camera performance and audio.
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