Xiaomi launched the Mi A2 in August 2018 in India, and it is the successor to the popular Mi A1(can read my review).
Xiaomi Mi A2 Review – Intro and Details
The Mi A1 was the best camera phone launched last year by the company which changed its image from a brand which sells performance mobiles to a brand that knows a thing or two about how to make a good mobile camera phone.
The Mi A1 was one of the best phones offering an excellent portrait mode, and the Mi A2 is not much different when it comes to Portrait mode photographs.
I have been testing the device for the last 6 days, and so far the experience is mixed. The Mi A2 comes with some great features, and there are some flaws that make it less than perfect.
Let’s have a Quick Look at the Top Features and Specs and then will proceed further with the review.
Top Features Xiaomi Mi A2
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Processor.
- Android One Smartphone, running the latest Oreo Os.
- Excellent Front and Rear Cameras
- Good Sound Quality
Specs Xiaomi Mi A2
|Specifications||Xiaomi Mi A2|
|Processor||Octa-core 2.1 GHz Snapdragon 660, Adreno 512 GPU|
|OS||Android Oreo 8.1|
|Rear Camera||12 MP (f1.75 aperture) + 20 MP Dual (f/1.75)|
|Front Camera||20 MP Camera (f/2.0)|
|Display||5.99 Inch FHD+ (1980*1080), 18:9,|
|Connectivity||USB Type C, Dual 4G VolTE, Dual Sim|
|3.5 mm Headphone Jack||No|
|Price (Value for Money)||Rs. 16,999|
|Launch Date||August 2018|
|Availability||Amazon.com and Mi.com|
Xiaomi Mi A2 comes in a nice white box with two noticeable things – 1. mention of Xiaomi as a number 1 smartphone brand in India and second that the phone is made in India.
Inside the Box:
- Xiaomi Mi A2
- Quick Starter Guide
- 3.5 mm headphone jack to USB Type C adapter
- Sim Ejection tool
- Charger (5V and 2A)
- USB Type C Cable.
There are no earphones supplied by Xiaomi with the Mi A2 like most other brands.
Design, Display and Build Quality
The in-hand feel for the Mi A2 is premium, and it comes with a metal unibody design. The phone is thin and measures 7.3 mm in thickness and weighs 168 grams.
Due to a thin design and a large display, it feels a bit sharp or uncomfortable to grip at times but overall the build quality is top notch. The phone has a fingerprint scanner at the back, and there are vertically aligned Dual rear cameras like the iPhone X.
The Dual rear cameras are bulging outward and look ridiculous and even make the mobile wobble when kept on a flat surface. It is best to use this mobile with a back cover to prevent any damage to protruding camera unit.
There is a USB Type C port at the bottom of the device, and there is a speaker.
The Mi A2 comes with 5.99 Inch display with FHD+ resolution (2240*1080 pixels and 402 PPI). The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, but my phone got a micro-scratch after 2 days. Better use it with tempered glass.
The adaptive brightness doesn’t work well at all times. Personally, I don’t think it works great on any phone at least for me. Also, the display is decent for indoor usage but a little less bright when used under direct sunlight.
User Experience & Features
The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box, and there is stock Android with minimal apps. Overall the UI is great, and there is no bloatware. There are few Xiaomi Apps and all essential Google Apps.
Using multiple Apps and doing tasks on this phone is a breeze due to the snappy processor and GPU. The UI is clutter free, and everything looks good on the Mi A2 large display.
Also, since it an Android One mobile we already have the August security patch and we are expecting Android PIE update in the coming months.
Performance, Gaming, Heating, and Benchmarks
Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and the Adreno 512 GPU. The Gaming performance is smooth and we played games like Tekken, PUBG and Asphalt 9.
You can play PUBG in the medium settings with ease but at high settings may feel the processor and GPU getting strained a bit. There are no issues when playing Tekken or the latest racing game, Asphalt 9.
Also, the temperatures stay fairly normal (around 36-degree Celsius) during gaming and even when you game for an extended period.
Antutu Score – 115450
GeekBenchmark Single-Core Score – 1633
GeekBenchmark Multi-Core Score -3730
FaceUnlock and Fingerprint
The Faceunlock on this phone is more of a gimmick feature as it works slow and is not reliable when the light is dim. On the other hand, the fingerprint scanner works superbly. It is accurate as well as fast.
The key highlight for the Xiaomi Mi A2 is its camera and is probably the reason to buy this phone. It comes with the latest Sony IMX 486 sensor with 12 MP resolution and f/1.75 aperture for the primary lens.
The secondary lens is a 20MP Sony IMX 376 sensor that comes with f/1.75 aperture and has the pixel binning technology that helps to improve the low light images.
The camera can record 4K videos but has support for EIS for only 1080P. The front camera also uses the Sony IMX 376 sensor and comes with 20 MP camera but has a f/2.0 aperture.
The camera performance is great in my testing, and I am sharing with you the pictures and videos I have taken with this mobile.
The Portrait mode is also great similar to the Mi A1 and has decent edge detection and bokeh.
Do I like the Mi A2 Camera? Yes, it is one of the best cameras on any phone I have tested in last 1 year in a sub 25k phone.
Check Out some of the images below to get an actual feel of the camera quality.
Please click on the below image to check High Resolution Sample of the images.
The battery life is a sore point for the Xiaomi Mi A2. It was a stupid decision by someone at Xiaomi to equip this great device with a low battery capacity to make it thin.
I barely get 4 hours of screen on time using it for calls, gaming and watching youtube videos. Yes, it can work all day with moderate usage but mostly you will need to charge it in the late evenings.
The charging time with the supplied charger is not too good either, takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge. The phone has Q.C 4+ support, but Xiaomi has not bundled a fast charger with it.
I even tried to charge it with 18 Watts Asus Zenfone Charger but the charging time is still the same.
Connectivity & Other features
Another ridiculous choice was to omit the support for Micro-SD card. However, it doesn’t bother me much as my space requirements are not so high.
There is Dual Sim Support, and also it comes with Dual VOLTE to work with all 4G VOLTE operators. You can use two Volte sims on this device.
The calls clarity is good and I have not faced any issues in terms of using it with JIO Sim card for data or voice.
Sound and Audio Quality
There is no headphone jack on this phone, and that’s another ridiculous choice by Xiaomi, and I hate to carry the supplied dongle with it. It is easy to lose that dongle or forget it at home at times.
On the bright side, it comes with an AMP and the sound output from the speaker as well headphones is great. The speaker sound is loud and clear, and I don’t have any complaints about it. But I despise that dongle.
There are several good options in the market such as the Realme 1, Redmi Note 5 Pro or the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Also, if you are willing to spend a little extra you can get the Huawei Honor Play or the POCO F1 (both are great value for money).
Pro & Cons for Xiaomi Mi A2
- Great Cameras.
- Android One Experience
- Fast Performance
- No 3.5 mm Headphone jack.
- Poor battery life.
- No Micro-SD Card Slot
- Ugly camera Bump.
Concluding Thoughts – Should You Buy?
Considering there are many better choices such as the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Zenfone Max Pro M1 (6 GB), or Honor Play or POCO, I find it slightly difficult to recommend this to an office goer whose main purpose is to use it for watching videos or doing the general task.
Watch Detailed Video Review for Xiaomi Mi A2:
The battery life is pretty average and will also become worse after a year when it loses some bit of charge.
Undoubtedly, it is a superb performer when it comes to the camera, and you should buy it if you love to take photos and your budget is restricted to Rs. 17,000.
Also, I loved the user experience on this phone a lot more than any Xiaomi or honor device.
POCO F1 is a great choice if you have the budget over 20K and Honor Play are obvious choices.
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